It has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1994.
The splendour of Vicenza lies in the theatricality of its works by its celebrated adopted son, Andrea Palladio. The sensual colours of the Berici Hills act as the backdrop
When you say Vicenza, you think of Palladio, of his whimsical architecture, the new Renaissance artistic language, and the researched spectacle.
The Venetian established themselves in this city, at the bottom of the Berici Hills. It then became an important Roman town with the name, Vicetia. However the greatest period of splendour was over three centuries of Venetian rule, when the city was enriched with precious architectural works and it became of the main artistic centres in Veneto, and indeed Italy.
It is the Palladian city for autonomism, the stage on which the genius of the young Paduan architect, Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, named il Palladio, exhibited his work. The grand master, gifted with a highly modern sensibility, invented a completely personal style that stupefies whereby ancient, classic architectural elements are recombined and transferred into a private context. Using modest materials, to give birth to a "black and white city, with the tones of copper-etching" as written by Guido Piovene.
His most celebrated construction dominated the central Piazza dei Signori, being the most symbolic building of the city: the Palladian Basilica, a medieval construction that was restructured by the architect in 1500, giving it double order with a portico and loggia. He also gave his signature to other buildings such as the Loggia del Capitanio, Palazzo Barbaran da Porto, Palazzo Chiericati, home of the Civic Museum, Palazzo Valmarana, the Loggetta Palladiana, and the Olympic Theatre, an example of fixed scenery, conceived by Palladio and realized by Vincenzo Scamozzi.
Vicenza is also a gentle town, outlined by the Berici Hills. A short distance from the town centre, there is the Basilica di Monte Berico on the hilltop, whose interiors preserve the Cena di S. Gregorio Magno, one of the greatest works by Paolo Veronese.
At the entrance to the city, there is the Villa Almerico Capra, known as La Rotonda, regarded as a masterpiece of Andrea Palladio, of which Goethe wrote that "never in the art of architecture has there been achieved this level of magnificence".