Vicenza, Where the Story of Romeo and Juliet Was Born

 

Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1994, Vicenza is adorned with a majestic architecture that draws every corner reciting only one name: Andrea Palladio. the architectural genius has left here the most evident sign of his art, which we can admire today in the unmistakable elegance of the buildings. Unknown to general public is the fact that, for his great masterpiece, William Shakespeare was inspired by a story of the writer from Vicenza Luigi da Porto, although all or most associate to the city of Verona and to the hand of the Englishman playwright the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

A reminder of the authorship of the story, is a commemorative plaque on the facade of one of the buildings of Contrada Porti in Vicenza, a central street where beautiful stately mansions follow one another, including the house where Luigi da Porto passed away in May of 1529. Da Porto’s novel tells of two young lovers named Romeo and Juliet, whose love story is made impossible by their families, so much that the two arrive to kill themselves: one by drinking a poisoned potion, the other stabbing himself. Doesn’t it remember anything to you?

10 THINGS TO DO IN VICENZA

1. START THE CITY TOUR FROM PIAZZA DEI SIGNORI, the commercial and social center of the city. Here overlooks the Basilica next to the Bissara Tower, the Palace of Monte di Pietà and the Palace of Capitaniato.

2. VISIT THE BASILICA PALLADIANA, the iconic building of the Venetian town. Renowned for the Serlian loggia, designed by Palladio, that surrounds the medieval Palazzo della Ragione, which was included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage properties.

3. ADMIRE THE WORKS STORED INSIDE CHIERICATI PALACE, Renaissance building located in Piazza Matteotti, designed by the architect Andrea Palladio. Now houses the Civic Picture Gallery of Vicenza, containing works by Tintoretto, Luca Giordano, Tiepolo, Veronese. Rich is also the collection of contemporary art.

4. BOOK A GUIDED TOUR TO VILLA LA ROTONDA, a villa-temple visited for centuries by poets and artists, rulers and statesmen, scholars and art lovers, travelers and tourists. The construction refers to the Pantheon in Rome, for the first time in history, it was taken as reference for the realization of a civil building.

5. TAKE A WALK IN THE QUERINI PARK, a quiet green oasis in the heart of the city. Enclosed by a long wall, it presents itself as a large clearing crossed by a boulevard lined with statues of the 18th century.

6. ENJOY THE REAL CUISINE OF VICENZA AT RESTAURANT AL PESTELLO, (Contrà San Stefano, 3), where you'll find recipes and local products manufactured with great care and respect for the quality of raw materials.

7. ENJOY A GOOD SPRITZ AT BAR BORSA (piazza dei Signori, 26), an elegant location with the atmosphere of jazz clubs, where it is worth to go for fine food, from finger food to dinner. Try the brunch on Sunday morning.

8. TREAT YOURSELVES WITH THE DESSERTS OF PASTICCERIA VENEZIA, (Contrà Pescaria, 4), landmark in Vicenza for the delicacy of its specialties. Amongst the many sweets served, we find dry pastries, assorted fresh pastries, brioches and great homemade panettone. Inside they also sell homemade jams for curious pairings.

9. RESERVE A ROOM IN THE 17TH CENTURY VILLA FERIANI (via Borgo, 16 – Montegalda), a farmhouse, with a family chapel and a court farm, nestled in a green park with two separate apartments. It is the ideal location for both those who want a peaceful and relaxing stay, and those who love art, since its given proximity to the various tourist destinations, such as Vicenza, Verona, Padova and Venice.

10. SOJOURN AMONGST THE MEADOWS AND WOODS OF AGRITURISMO LE MANDOLARE (via Mandolare, 6 - Villaga), a certified organic farm which takes its name from the numerous almond trees that are located in the property. It specializes in the cultivation of vineyards and olive groves, and offers accommodation in three comfortable apartments.