Wednesday, June 12, 2013

{Flashback} Nanaw and Papa visit Italy: Vicenza

Okay so when we last left off, we had all spent the day in Verona. But we were all super on each other's nerves and I needed a break from, well everyone. So the following day I took just my parents downtown to see the sights of Vicenza. It was really nice having a day with just them, made me feel all grown up playing tour-guide to my parents.

We live in a suburb (or ''village'' would really be a better term) of Vicenza. As a city, Vicenza prides itself on it's architecture, most of which was designed by or build by Andrea Palladio. We actually live right down the street from one of his lesser known Villas (it is still a private residence).
So all my photos from this day are all mixed up (no clue why) and because it's been almost a year, I can't really remember what order we did things in but here is what we did...
We went downtown to the Teatro Olimpico. This theater was designed by Andrea Palladio is one of only three Renaissance theaters remaining in existence. To say it is old is an understatement...construction began in 1580 and it is full of history. The "big deal" about the theater is this: it is the oldest surviving stage set still in existence.
  The gardens outside are very pretty as well...I love the ivy growing all over the buildings.
 Inside the Teatro Olimpico...
 The set is painted to look three dimensional when in fact, it isn't at all. There is not a path leading to the distance, it's just a painting. The detail in the theater; from the carvings to the set design to the ceiling is just breathtaking.
 The ceiling:
After visiting the Teatro, we grabbed a quick lunch. Another famous Palladian work is just south of downtown, it's called "La Rotunda''. Taken directly from Wikipedia: 
In 1565 a priest, Paolo Almerico, on his retirement from the Vatican (as referendario apostolico of Pope Pius IV and afterwards Pius V), decided to return to his home town of Vicenza in the Venetian countryside and build a country house. This house, later known as 'La Rotonda', was to be one of Palladio's best-known legacies to the architectural world. Villa Capra may have inspired a thousand subsequent buildings, but the villa was itself inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
One of the people who were inspired by the Rotunda was Thomas Jefferson. My kids recognize the Rotunda because it "is that building on the back of the nickel." Thomas Jefferson's "Monticello" as well as The Jefferson Memorial, all take inspiration from the Rotunda.
The structure itself is set just south of town, on a small hill that overlooks much of the Veneto countryside.
From the front steps of the Rotunda, you can actually see to Mt. Berico (which is where we ate dinner the night of their arrival).
We had planned our visit on one of the mornings that the Rotunda is actually open. Most days you can pay to be on the grounds, some mornings you can pay an entry fee and see inside.
 Photography was strictly forbidden and only the first floor was open to the public but it was pretty impressive. Every room is covered in floor to ceiling murals. Very ornate.
  A few architectural details that I liked (I love all the unique doors in Europe).


 We ended up back downtown to finish out the day. We ate gelato (twice) and explored the main roads and back alleys. We even found an Asian grocery store and picked Ron up a few goodies. I didn't take my camera or very many photos with my iphone as I have been downtown before.


 And my favorite photo that I feel captures downtown best....
Ponte San Michele, a cobblestone walking bridge that is adorable.





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