• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto

  • Historical Function

    Art, trade and industry.

  • Administrative Status

    Chief city of the province of Vicenza.

Location and site

At the base of the Italian Pre-Alps, Vicenza was established in the vicinity of the Berici and Lessini mountains. Between Verona and Venice, this Venetian city is at the intersection of natural communication routes. The Bacchiglione River passes through it.

Urban Morphology

The great axes of the Roman city are still evident in the layout of the streets of Vicenza. Modified in the Middle Ages and again during the Renaissance, the plan took shape, beginning in the 14th century, around four large squares. The irregular urban layout, of which gardens are an essential element, integrates with its natural context with rare harmony. The architectural work of Palladio is its remarkable keystone.

In Vicenza, which also possesses Gothic buildings, Palladio is the designer of 26 works. He brings together ancient architectural traditions with Venetian Renaissance traditions. The monumental facades, with their rhythm of solids and voids, are symmetrical, almost theatrical, in composition, and their elegance is enhanced by columns which extend into statues. The works by this celebrated architect of the Cinquecento include numerous palaces, churches, and villas, as well as the splendid Teatro Olimpico.

Registration Criteria

"Vicenza represents a unique artistic achievement in the many architectural contributions from Andrea Palladio integrated within its historic fabric and creating its overall character." (I) "Through its architecture, the city has exerted exceptional influence on architectural and urban design in most European countries and throughout the world." (II)

Historical Reference

  • A Venetian settlement occupied the site of Vicenza before the Roman town of Vicetia obtained municipal status (as a municipium) in 49 B.C. The ruins of the theatre, the forum and the aqueduct survive from this period.
  • As a victim of Barbarian invasions in the 5th century, Vicenza was integrated into the Lombardian Kingdom. The Lombards were expelled by Charlemagne in 774, at the Pope's request, after they had been defeated by Pepin the Short in 756. The dislocation of the Carolingian Empire in the 10th century was followed by a period of turmoil. Ramparts were erected around the city.
  • The arrival of the Benedictine and Cisterian orders had an impact on the reorganisation of the city in the 11th century. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Vicenza was in the midst of raging wars between the Ghibellines and the Guelphs, the partisans of the Pope and the supporters of the Empire. This did not hinder its growth. Developed as a "commune" like most other Italian towns of the day, it possesses an urban plan that dates to 1208.
  • Its annexation to the Republic of Venice (1404-1797) marked the beginning of a period of peace and great prosperity. The feudal aristocracy was replaced by a dominant merchant class, and the market places determined the town's design.
  • In the 16th century, Vicenza enjoyed cultural and artistic growth. Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), the central figure during this period, transformed the city with his architectural achievements. Few changes have taken place since.
Mr. Francesco Rucco
Municipio di Vicenza
Palazzo Trissino Corso Palladio 98A
36100 Vicenza, Italia
+39.(0)444 22.10.25
+39.(0)444 22.13.13