No, not Venezia (Venice), Vicenza! A lot of people apparently get these names mixed up and the fact that they are located not far from each other doesn’t help! The school organized an outing to Vicenza for Saturday so I joined in on the excursion.
It is a nice town, a good bit smaller than Verona, but with more balconies and narrower streets, at least that’s how it struck me! There are also quite a few windows designed in a very Moorish style which is typical of Venice, so it is interesting to see the influence one city had on another as they were being constructed and architects and builders moved from one to the next.
One architect from Vicenza, Palladio, designed a number of buildings throughout the town and this style was adopted in the U.S. as neo-Palladian and is actually the style used at The White House, Capital Hill, and Monticello.
Our last stop in the day was to a lovely theatre, Teatro Olimpico, which was also designed by Palladio and was constructed in the late 1500′s. It is the oldest surviving enclosed theatre in the world and also has the oldest surviving stage set still in existence.
The stage set is really fascinating as it is about 18 metres deep but contains God knows how much trompe-l’oeil which gives the appearance of incredibly long streets receeding into the distance. It is impossible to tell what is real or fake from the audience seats.
Luigi da Porto also lived in Vicenza. Who? He was the first to write the story of Romeo & Juliette, some odd 80 plus years before Shakespeare’s adaptation was published.