A travel journal
to Vicenza by Barb B
Quote: As a retired Military Family, Vicenza is an important stop on our semi-annual Italian Visits. The Army Base, Caserma Campo Ederle, provides Commissary and Exchange privileges for active and retired Armed Forces personnel. We find Vicenza truly a stimulating, cultural city which is still relatively unknown to tourists.
Enjoy the showcase of several of his gracious palazzi, the Duomo, Villas and other buildings within the city and the nearby countryside.
As a retired Military Family, Vicenza is an important stop on our semi-annual Italian Visits. The Active Army Base at Vicenza's Caserma Campo Carlos Ederle, provides Commissary and Exchange privileges for active and retired Armed Forces personnel and we find Vicenza a pleasant and stimulating cultural city, which is still relatively unknown to tourists.
Just south of town, the main sights of Monte Berico, Villa Valmarana and Villa Rotunda are conveniently clustered, and bus service is excellent! Unfortunately, trips to some of the outlying villas and countryside will require a rental car.
Begin with the local favorite, soppressa. Pastas are all homemade and ravioli stuffed with radicchio is a featured menu item. Rustic pasta, barley and bean soup is ladled from a terrine and provides a fragrant, hearty primo course. Polenta here is marvelous and the rice and hops side dish (riso e bruscandoli) may be, in itself, worth the trip!
Italians generally dine with an antipasto, primo course (usually soup or salad) and a secondo course (main entree) but here, with such hearty foods, tourists usually just order one or two items per person and frequently share.
The wine list is small but interesting with lots of local flavors available. Desserts are simple, specializing in fresh fruits. Sunday lunch here is a mob scene of locals, better to visit on a weekday when the kitchen is less stressed.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2000
Restaurant Da Remo
Via Caimpenta 14
Attraction | "HILLSIDE Villas near Vicenza"
Palladio spent most of his life building homes for the wealthy, and his influence was imported to America where Jefferson’s Monticello and many antebellum southern mansions reflect his style. Several buildings were destroyed during World War II air raids but the Villas near Vicenza remain as constant reminders of his architectural genius.
VISITING THE VILLAS Opening times are irregular and subject to change on short notice (they tell me this is due to staffing shortages). I strongly recommend you call first or ask at the tourist office to avoid disappointment.
We only had time to visit 3 of Palladio's Villas, but there are many others hidden in the hillsides near Vicenza. You can obtain a comprehensive map of all of the Villas at the Tourist Office in Vicenza.
Located in the village of Maser, a tiny town adjacent to the famous hill town of Asolo. The construction on this magnificent villa began in 1549 and was substantially completed by 1558. The interior of the central residence is highlighted by elegant frescos executed by Paolo Veronese and the "Roman" character of the Villa is highlighted by the insistent use of rustication, both on the ground floor and in the borders of the first floor windows.
Hours: Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday only:
3:00-6:00 p. m. ( March-September)
2:30-5:00 p. m.(October-February)
Location: Maser (Treviso District). Accessible by car from Asolo (10km) or Venice (60km)
This is a masterwork of Palladio's middle design period and it is unique among Palladian works because of its original tile and terrazzo floors. The Villa's south facade provides a graphic record of the family’s births, deaths and honors. This villa also has a superb display of numerous opulent frescoes depicting scenes from the New Testament.
Hours: Open to groups (minimum 10): Throughout the year by appointment -
Open to individuals: May-September only - Saturday 3:30-6:00 p. m.
Located in the village of Piombino Dese about 30km from Venice
VILLA AMERICO (La Rotunda)
Situated high atop a hillside in suburban Vicenza, La Rotonda is the diamond in the crown of Palladio's Villas. With its four facades, each looking out upon cultivated fields and a wooded slope, it depicts the true Palladian spirit of being at once in touch with the environment. Commissioned in 1566, it was designed between 1566 and 1571. Unfortunately, Palladio's protege Vincenzo Scamozzi was required to oversee the completion of the structure due to the untimely death of Palladio's death in 1580.
Hours: March-December only--Villa and grounds: Wednesdays 10-12 a.m. and 3 -6 p. m.
Grounds only: Daily (except Monday) 10-12 a. m. and 3-6 p. m.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 16, 2001
Perhaps the most important sight for visitors is Palladio’s "swansong", the Teatro Olimpico. Today it is Europe’s oldest surviving indoor theater. It was designed and built by Palladio between 1579 and 1585. He began work on this magnificent project and had the outer walls erected by 1580, when his death left his student, Vincenzo Scamozzi responsible for the completion.
We were a bit disappointed when we visited to find that the portion that was formerly a castle, now leaves only the stage and two rooms open to the public. The Odeon room features some notable frescoes and is used as a music room. The auditorium was a marvelous display; originally designed to replicate the experience of sitting in an ancient classical outdoor theater, with a blue-sky ceiling and marble (actually painted wood) steps. The stage set itself represents the Greek city of Thebes and features clever trompe L’aeil art techniques which add depth and perception to the stage appearance.
Since the 1930's the theater has slowly been brought back to life and Classical concerts, jazz, dance and theatre are all now staged in the Teatro Olimpico. Between April and October special visitors performances feature ballets and opera presentations. Open Mon to Sat 9:00 am to 12:15 and 2:15 to 4:45pm (in summer until 6:45 pm). Entrance fee is about 5000 Lira ($2-$3 US). NOTE: Tourists can find several ticket options and bargain prices which provide entrance to several of the city center’s major museums and other attractions. Check at the Information office in Piazza Matteotti.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2001
Teatro Olimpico - Olympic Theater
Corso A Palladio
We quickly developed an interest in antique and fine quality corkscrews (cavatappi in Italian). After doing some research and checking several corkscrew design and collection websites, we discovered that THE most elegant and famous corkscrew in the world is made by the world-famous bicycle manufacturing company, Campagnolo Corporation, of Vicenza, Italy.
Campagnolo is, first and foremost, a world class manufacturer of one of the most prestigious and finest quality bicycles in the world. They began their operations in 1933 in a small workshop in Vicenza when Tullio Campagnolo, was a rising star on the Italian cycling scene. Over the years they have grown and become a major economic force in the manufacturing economy of Vicenza.
Besides the fabulous cycling equipment, they also manufacture one other precision instrument -- a beautiful and quality corkscrew. Campagnolo corkscrews are no ordinary corkscrews -- they are precision instruments, patented for their own particular features. Their stainless steel wormscrew has been developed so that it never pierces out the cork's lower surface; thus avoiding cork fragments in the wine. Its self - centering telescopic bell prevents the glass from breaking and also makes it easy and safe to pull even the most stubborn cork, without shaking the bottle. This is important since, the most expensive and aged wines can be ruined by shaking the sediment within the bottle.
If you develop an interest in corkscrews, you will want to be aware that corkscrew enthusiasts value printed, stamped, raised, etched, etc items on the corkscrew indicating the following:
· patent date,
· manufacturer's name,
· name of the design,
· advertiser's logo,
· or (on the stratospheric European side) a coat of arms
We bought our lovely Campagnolo corkscrew while we were in Vicenza, but you can visit the Campagnolo website at -- http://www.campagnolo.com -- and purchase online. The corkscrew is available in two versions: copper finish and satined finish and THE corkscrew is described as "the first and sole Campagnolo" -- it costs about $85 - $90 (US) plus delivery, tax and import customs.
Some excellent websites for viewing antique corkscrews, getting a "feel" for what is available and checking out a virtual corkscrew museum are -- http://www.bullworks.com AND http://www.corkscrewcenter.com
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