Vicenza: Wikis


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—  Comune  —
Comune di Vicenza
A collage of Vicenza showing: the Villa Capra "La Rotonda", the classical temple in the Parco Querini, a panorama of the city from the Monte Berico, the Piazza dei Signori and the Renaissance Basilica Palladiana.

Coat of arms
Vicenza is located in Italy
Location of Vicenza in Italy
Coordinates: 45°33′N 11°33′E / 45.55°N 11.55°E / 45.55; 11.55Coordinates: 45°33′N 11°33′E / 45.55°N 11.55°E / 45.55; 11.55
Country Italy
Region Veneto
Province Vicenza (VI)
Frazioni Anconetta, Bertesina, Bugano, Campedello, Casale, Debba, Longara, Maddalene, Ospedaletto, Polegge, San Pietro Intrigogna, Santa Croce, Tormeno
 - Mayor Achille Variati
 - Total 80 km2 (30.9 sq mi)
Elevation 39 m (128 ft)
Population (31 December 2008)
 - Total 115,279
 Density 1,441/km2 (3,732.1/sq mi)
 - Demonym Vicentini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 36100
Dialing code 0444
Patron saint Madonna of Monte Berico
Saint day September 8
Website Official website
City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

"Piazza dei Signori" by night.
State Party  Italy
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii
Reference 712
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1994  (18th Session)
Extensions 1996
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Vicenza About this sound listen , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione. Vicenza is approximately 60 km west of Venice and 200 km east of Milan.

Vicenza is a thriving and cosmopolitan city, with a rich history and culture, and many museums, art galleries, piazzas, villas, churches and elegant Renaissance palazzi. With the Palladian Villas of the Veneto in the surrounding area, and his architectures like the renowned Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre), the "city of Palladio" has been enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994[1].

As of December 2008, Vicenza had an estimated population of c. 115,000[2], and a metropolitan area of 270 000. Vicenza is the third-largest Italian industrial centre as measured by the value of its exports, and is one of the country's wealthiest cities[3][4]. Especially due to its textile and steel industries which employ tens of thousands and about one fifth of the country's gold and jewelry industry is made in Vicenza, greatly contributing to the city's economy. Another important branch is the engineering/computer components industry (Federico Faggin, the silicon chip's inventor was born in Vicenza[5])




Roman age

Vicentia was settled by the Italic Euganei tribe and then by the Paleo-Veneti tribe in the third and second centuries BCE, . The Romans allied themselves with the paleo-veneti in their fight against the celtic tribes that populated north-western tribes.[citation needed] The roman presence in the area grew exponentially over time and the paleo-veneti ( whose culture mirrored etruscan and Greek values more so then celtic ones ) were gradually assimilated.[citation needed] In 157 BCE the city was a defacto roman centre and was given the name of Vicetia or Vincentia, meaning "victorious".

The population of Vicentia received Roman citizenship in 49 BCE. The city had some importance as a way-station on the important road from Mediolanum (Milan) to Aquileia, near Tergeste (Trieste), but it was overshadowed by its neighbor Patavium (Padua). Little survives of the Roman city, but three of the bridges across the Bacchiglione and Retrone rivers are of Roman origin, and isolated arches of a Roman aqueduct exist outside the Porta Santa Croce.

During the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Heruls, Vandals, Alaric and his Visigoths, as well as the Huns laid waste to the area, but the city recovered after the Ostrogoth conquest in 489 CE, before passing to Byzantine rule soon after. It was also an important Lombard city and then a Frankish centre. Numerous Benedictine monasteries were built in the Vicenza area, beginning in the sixth century.

Middle Ages

In 899, Vicenza was destroyed by Magyar raiders.

In 1001, Otto III handed over the government of the city to the bishop, and its communal organization had an opportunity to develop, separating soon from the episcopal authority. It took an active part in the League with Verona and, most of all, in the Lombard League (1164–1167) against Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa compelling Padua and Treviso to join: its podestà, Ezzelino II il Balbo, was captain of the league. When peace was restored, however, the old rivalry with Padua, Bassano, and other cities was renewed, besides which there were the internal factions of the Vivaresi (Ghibellines) and the Maltraversi (Guelphs).

The tyrannical Ezzelino III from Bassano drove the Guelphs out of Vicenza, and caused his brother, Alberico, to be elected podestà (1230). The independent commune joined the Second Lombard League against Emperor Frederick II, and was sacked by that monarch (1237), after which it was annexed to Ezzelino's dominions. On his death the old oligarchic republic political structure was restored -a consiglio maggiore ("grand council") of four hundred members and a consiglio minore ("small council") of forty members - and it formed a league with Padua, Treviso and Verona. Three years later the Vicentines entrusted the protection of the city to Padua, so as to safeguard republican liberty; but this protectorate (custodia) quickly became dominion, and for that reason Vicenza in 1311 submitted to the Scaligeri lords of Verona, who fortified it against the Visconti of Milan.

Vicenza came under rule of Venice in 1404, and its subsequent history is that of Venice. It was besieged by the Emperor Sigismund, and Maximilian I held possession of it in 1509 and 1516.

Modern age

Vicenza was a candidate to host the Council of Trent.

The 16th century was the time of Andrea Palladio, who left many outstanding examples of his art with palaces and villas in the city's territory, which before Palladio's passage, was arguably the most downtrodden and esthetically lacking city of the Veneto.

After 1797, under Napoleonic rule, it was made a duché grand-fief (not a grand duchy, but a hereditary (extinguished in 1896), nominal duchy, a rare honor reserved for French officials) within Bonaparte's personal Kingdom of Italy for general Caulaincourt, also imperial Grand-Écuyer.

After 1814, Vicenza passed to the Austrian Empire. In 1848, however, the populace rose against Austria, more violently then in any other Italian centre apart from Milan and Brescia ( the city would receive the highest award for military valour for the courage displayed by revolutionaries in this period ). As a part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, it was annexed to Italy after the 3rd war of Italian independence.

Vicenza's area was a location of major combat in both World War I ( on the Asiago plateau ) and World War II ( a focal centre of the Italian resistance ), and it was the most damaged city in Veneto by Allied bombings, including many of his monuments; the civil victims were over 2,000. After the end of the latter, what followed was a period of depression following the devasatation caused by two world conflicts. In the 1960s the whole central part of Veneto, witnessed a strong economic development caused by the emergence of small and medium family businessess, ranging in a vast array of products ( that often emerged illegaly ) that paved the way for what would be known as the "miracolo del Nordest". In the following years, the economic development grew vertiginously. Huge industrial areas sprouted around the city, massive and disorganised urbanisation and employment of foreign immigrants duely followed.

Vicenza is home to the United States Army post Caserma Ederle (Camp Ederle), also known as the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza. In 1965, Caserma Ederle became the headquarters for the Southern European Task Force, which includes the 173d Airborne Brigade.

In January 2006 the European Gendarmerie Force was inaugurated in Vicenza.


The surrounding country is predominantly agricultural. Major products are wine, wheat, mais, olive oil ( in the Barbarano area ) and cherries and asparagus are a particularity of Bassano. There are also quarries of marble, sulphur, copper, and silver mines, and beds of lignite and kaolin; mineral springs also abound, the most famous being those of Recoaro. Massive industrial areas surround the city and extend extensively in the western and eastern hinterland, with numerous steel and tectile factories located in the Montecchio, Chiampo and Sovizzo area in the west and Camisano and Torri in the east, areas characterised by a disorganised and extensive cementifaction. Elitè sectors are the jewelry and clothing factories. Important vicentino clothing frims include: Pal Zileri, Marzotto, Bottega Veneta, Marlboro Classics etc.. The Gold Exposition is world-famous and it takes place in Vicenza three times per year (January, May, September). Other industries worthy of mention are the woollen and silk, pottery, and musical instruments. The headquarters of the bicycle component manufacturer Campagnolo and the protective wear for sports manufacturer Dainese are located here.


In 2007, there were 114,268 people residing in Vicenza, located in the province of Vicenza, Veneto, of whom 47.6% were male and 52.4% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 17.17 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 21.60 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Vicenza residents is 43 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Vicenza grew by 3.72 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[6] The current birth rate of Vicenza is 9.16 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 87.53% of the population was Italian. From 1876 to 1976 it has been calculated that over a million people from the province of Vicenza have emigrated, with more than 3 million people of vicentino descent living around the world ( most common migrational currents included Brasil, America, Canada, Australia Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland ) escaping the devastation left by poverty, war and sickness. Today nearly 100 000 Vicenza citizens live and work abroad. Today the city has morphed from land of emigration to immigration. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (the largest being Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia): 6.28%, South Asian 1.85%, sub-saharan Africa: 1.44%, and North Africa: 1.36%. Currently one quarter babies born in Vicenza has at least one foreign parent. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic, but due to immigration now has some Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Sikh followers.

Main sights

The Basilica Palladiana.
The three-dimensional stage at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.
Palazzo Thiene Bonin Longare, designed by Palladio and built by Vincenzo Scamozzi
Porta Castello Tower.

In 1994 UNESCO inscribed "Vicenza, City of Palladio" on its list of World Heritage Sites. In 1996 the site was expanded to include the Palladian villas outside the core area, and accordingly renamed "City of Palladio and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto".

Palladio's works

Vicenza is home to twenty-three buildings designed by Palladio. The famous ones include:

Other sights


  • The cathedral (church of Santa Maria Annunciata), dating from early in the 11th century, and restored in the 13th, 16th, 19th and after the ruinous destruction of Word War II, possesses numerous pictures and sculptures, nearly all of them by Vicentine artists (Cittadello, Celestia, Liberi, Ruschi).
  • The Church of Araceli (1244), by Guarino Guarini, formerly belonged to the Clarisses, contains statues by Orazio Marinali and Cassetti, and paintings by Tiepolo.
  • The Churches of the Carmini (1372) and St. Catherine (1292), formerly belonging to the Humiliati, possess notable pictures.
  • Santa Corona (1260) was built by the Dominicans after the death of Ezzelino, and is pictured by Montagna (The Magdelene) and Bellini (Baptism of Christ); it also hosts the Valmarana chapel by Palladio.
  • Santa Croce (1179)
  • SS. Felice and Fortunato (8th century)
  • SS. Filippo and Giacomo (12th century)
  • S. Lorenzo of the Friars Minor (1280), in the Gothic style, contains the tombs of many illustrious Vicentines.
  • In the cloister of S. Maria of the Servites (1319) took place the miracles of St. Philip Benizi de Damiani.

Secular buildings

  • The Torre Bissara (clock tower) (1224–1446), 82mt, is one of the tallest buildings
  • The Biblioteca Civica Bertoliana, public library founded by Count Giovanni M. Bertolo, opened 1708.
  • Casa Pigafetta (1440), house of Antonio Pigafetta.
  • The Pinacotheca Civica houses mainly Vicentine paintings in the Palladian Palazzo Chiericati.


Vicenza is home to Vicenza Calcio who currently play in Serie B. Their home is the Stadio Romeo Menti.

Cuisine and popular dishes

A plate of Baccalà alla vicentina, a typical dish of the city.

Vicenza's cuisine, despite being Venetian in essence, is slightly more unique. Vicenza is known for its simple dishes, and often famous cheeses, fruits, ingredients and wines, such as Asiago cheese, Marostica cherries, Nanto truffles and Breganze Cabernet wine.

The inhabitants of Vicenza are jestly known to other Italians as magnagati 'cat eaters'. Purportedly, Vicentinos turned to cats for sustenance during times of famine, such as World War II.

Famous people from Vicenza

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Vicenza is twinned with:




See also

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Vicenza is a city located in North Eastern Italy. The city and the surrounding countryside and hills are particularly famous for the many works, and particularly the Villas, by Palladio. Because of the architectonic contributions of Andrea Palladio, it was included in UNESCO's list of world heritage places in 1994.


Vicenza is an ancient city. In 157 b.D. it entered into the roman empire with the name Vicetia or Vincentia. In 889 it was destroyed by Ungari, and in 1001 it became an episcopal stronghold. In 1404 it became part of the Republic of Venice.

The XVI century was very important for Vicenza because Andrea Palladio built several villas and palaces. During the XIX century, after the fall of Napoleone, the city was taken by Austria, but in 1848 the citizens rebelled against the austrian government and in 1866 it finally became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Get in

There are two ways to arrive to Vicenza. One is by car, the other is by train.

By train

The railstation of Vicenza is on the line connecting Milano (Milan) to Venezia (Venice).

All kind of trains pass through Vicenza: Eurostar, InterCity, EuroCity, InterRegionale, Regionale, InterCityNight, EuroNight, Espresso. More info on Trenitalia [1].

A 50 minute ride from Venice.

By car

Padova is connected through the national highway network

  • A4 - Torino-Milano-Venezia-Trieste
  • A31 - Vicenza-Piovene Rocchette

By bus

Vicenza is connected to other cities with a bus servirce offered by Ferrovie Tramvie Vicentine [2] . It is a less comfortable service than train, but it can reach several places that don't have a railstation.

Get around

By bicycle

Rental bike service companies, easy biking itineraries at Vicenza and Colli Berici Region.

On recommend bike rides with specialized rental bike company, Mira, Venice,[3] this company can make easy biking tours with bike hire and guide services on the road. Bike delivery at b&b, hotels and railway stations with a small fee. Free estimate costs from customer service.

  • Basilica Palladiana or "Pallazzo della Ragione" (1549-1617) is a massive structure on one of the main squares (Piazza dei Signori), designed by the architect Palladio, who seems to have been responsible for many of the famous buildings in and around Vicenza. It still has the old clock tower from a previous building on that site.
  • Loggia del Capitanio right in front of Basilica Palladiana on Piazza dei Signori. Also made by Palladio around 1571, but in red brick without any stucco.
  • Teatro Olimpico on Piazza Matteotti is another of the many buildings in Vicenza and its surroundings designed by Palladio (dating from the 1580s). It's a wooden theatre, with the audience arranged in a compact half-circle, most noted for its use of perspective to give the impression of a very deep stage. It can be visited for itself, or supposedly is still used for some performances.
  • Palazzo Chiericati, another landmark by Palladio, opposite the Teatro Olimpico, is home to the Museo Civico. It has a collection of paintings, most from northern Italy with some from further afield. The main collection requires a ticket, but some other rooms are free to visit (at least, were during an April 2007 visit). In the freely-accessible section, there's an amusingly unusual ceiling painting - people and animals are painted from the 'natural' perspective.


People from Vicenza are often teased because of the recipe of the Roast Cat (Gato a la Visentina). Although it isn't prepared any more, this recipe still remains in the memory of people as a sign of the bad times when people could hardly survive. So don't be scared because of it, consider it just a joke and don't mind if they tell you that cats and rabbits taste the same. However as a matter of fact, if you go buy a rabbit in a supermarket, it is usually sold with its head, just to re-assure you that it is really a rabbit and not a cat. However, apart from these picturesque stories, you do not need to be afraid to be served a cat for lunch or dinner.

There are many typical dishes. For example the "Baccalà alla Vicentina": this is stockfish left to soak for days in flowing water and then cooked for hours at a very low flame. It is served usually with "polenta" prepared with maize flour. Once food of poor people is now considered a delicacy.

Or you can try the "Bigoli co l'arna". Bigoli are a kind of thick spaghetti made with flour and eggs (normal spaghetti are without eggs) while "arna" means duck.


You absolutely have to try the Spritz, a mixture of white wine, water and usualli Campari or Aperol. People usually drink it before lunch or dinner, talking with friends and eating chips. It is served in every bar or pub of the city at any time.

But do not forget that Veneto is also the land of Prosecco. Maybe it is less trendy than a Spritz, but especially with some appetizers a good glass of Prosecco is for sure worth to be considered.

  • Ostello di Vicenza, V. Giuriolo, 9, 0444/540222 (fax: 0444/547762), [4]. 17.00€ (with common bath), 20.00€ (with private bath).  edit
  • Camping Vicenza, Strada Pelosa, 239, 36100 - Vicenza (VI) (2 km south east, located at the exit of the Vicenza-East tollgate), +39 0444 582311, [5].  edit
  • Hotel Campo Marzio Viale Roma, 21, Vicenza. Tel +39 0444 545700 Fax.+39 0444 320495 Email Special Offers and direct Booking. The Hotel Campo Marzio, located just 20 meters from the pedestrian zone and 200 meters from the railway station, easy to reach, is the most central 4-star hotel in Vicenza with free parking. The Campo Marzio's position will allow you to discover the main attractions of the city. Monuments, museums, shops and restaurants are all within easy reach, including Piazza dei Signori with the Basilica Palladiana (500 metres). Hotel Campo Marzio offers an Internet Point in the hall, and ADSL high-speed WiFi in all rooms. The reception, open 24 hours, is serviced by a multilingual staff, always available to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
  • NH Jolly Tiepolo, Viale S. Lazzaro, 110, +39 0444 954011 [6]. The NH Jolly Tiepolo is a modern and elegant structure, built in 2000. The location between the exhibition centre, shopping district and the historical district, makes the hotel the perfect place whether you are travelling for business or leisure purposes.
  • Basilica di Monte Bèrico, south of the city, is a well-known Catholic church up on a hill. The Virgin Mary reportedly appeared twice there in 1426. Today many pilgrims travel to see it, and even normal residents of Vicenza visit regularly.
  • La Rotonda, also just outside the city, is a famous villa by Palladio. Its most notable feature is that the exterior looks the same (and very impressive) from all four sides. It's still used as a residence today, so visiting hours are limited - check before you go if you want to do more than look up from the roadside.
  • Bassano del Grappa
  • Marostica
  • Recoaro
  • Asiago
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. Province of Veneto, Italy.
  2. Capital of the province of Vicenza.



Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Vicenza f.

  1. Vicenza (province)
  2. Vicenza (town)

Derived terms


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