A World Heriage Centre since 1994, Vicenza is famous for the numerous buildings designed by Andrea Palladio. In the city itself there are the Olimpic Theatre, the Pazza dei Signori and the Loggia of the Capitain which all deserve a visit. Just outside the city are many of the most important examples of Palladio’s work. Amongst these are: the Villa Almerico Capra (also called “La Rotonda),the Villa Saraceno,the Villa Cordellina Lombardi and Villa Godi Malinverni. The Basilica of Monte Berico, with it’ s works by Veronese, is nearby and dominates the Colli Berici which guard the city. Within easy reach are Recoaro, know for it’ s healing waters, the foothills of the Dolomites for hiking, biking and climbing, and Tonezza del Cimone, a tranquil holiday resort.
Adjacent to Vicenza, enclosed by it’ s ancient walls, is Marostica renowned for it’ s medieval re-enactment of the game of chess dating back 1454. This takes place in the main square in even numbered years and involves more than five hundred players dressed in period costumes. The Camini trail is a scenic route that follows the walls giving visitors a great panoramic view of the rolling hills and in spring the cherry orchards in blossom.
Bassano del Grappa:
The symbol of the city is the Ponte Vecchio designed by Andrea Palladio. Repeatedly destroyed it is always rebuilt to the original design – most recently after WW2. At one end is the museum of the Alpine mountains. Bassano is also known for it’ s ceramics, examples of which can be seen in the Sturm Museum. For the gastronome the city is famed for it’ s white asparagus, fine wines and of course grappa. Close by is Monte Grappa sadly remembered for the fierce battles of WW1.