The Perfect Time to Visit Vicenza, "the Museum of Museums"

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Vicenza, located an hour from Venice, is renowned as the former home of Renaissance master architect Andrea Palladio. This fall, the city is experiencing another artistic renaissance, as hundreds of works of classical and modern art will be displayed in the newly restored halls of Palladio’s masterpiece: the Basilica.

Today our local Vicenza guide Ruben tells us about all the “big names” about to be on display – and why you should make a trip to Vicenza a part of your next Italian itinerary!

The most important architect of all time, Andrea Palladio, awaits you in Vicenza to show you his masterpiece. After many years of restoration work, the Palladian Basilica is again open to the public! You will be able to visit it and see its interior, until now closed for six years, and finally see the huge hall, the corridors and staircases completely restored.

On this special occasion, a hundred extraordinary paintings from museums of various continents will be exposed inside the huge hall. From October 6th 2012 to January 20th 2013, visitors can enjoy the Palladian architecture and the exhibit “Raffaello versus Picasso” at the same time. Raffaello versus Picasso represents the long path from the perfection of form and the breaking of that same form with the Cubist movement.

Displayed in four thematic sections, the exhibit tells a story in images of the people represented in the paintings. The painters on exhibit include Raphael, Botticelli, Mantegna, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Dürer, Cranach, Pontormo as well as Rubens, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Velázquez, El Greco, Goya and Tiepolo. Finally, the exhibit ends with the Impressionists, from Manet to Van Gogh and the great painters of the twentieth century: from Munch, Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani to Giacometti and Bacon - to name a few of the many that will turn Vicenza into a superb museum of museums.

In fact, during this time there will be three more museums in the city open with extraordinary exhibits. On October 6th, the local art gallery of Palazzo Chiericati, another Palladian palace, will also be open with an extraordinary exhibit of sixteenth to the twentieth century paintings by the most important painters of Vicenza, who will show you the society of Vicenza through portraits of the most important local aristocratic families.

Palazzo Barbarano da Porto is the only Palladian palace completely finished by Palladio. Starting October 5th, this palace, which holds the CISA (Centro Internazionale di Architettura Andrea Palladio) will become the new Palladio Museum where visitors will be able to discover Palladio's personal life, his original designs, his architecture in Vicenza and Venice and the historical period during Palladio's life in the sixteen century.

The third museum is situated in Palazzo Thiene, another palladian masterpiece decorated with frescoes and stuccos of the sixteen century that holds an extraordinary collection of Venetian paintings of the last five hundred years and the sole complete collection of oselle (antique venetian coins) in the world. Entrance to the palace will be free and visitors will be able to visit the three floors of the building.

Besides all these special events and new museums, Vicenza will still show you its timeless masterpieces including the Olympic Theater, Villa la Rotonda, Villa Valmarana ai Nani and so many more. Don't miss this exceptional moment to visit Vicenza: there won't be another one like it!

If you’re planning a trip through Northern Italy this Fall, be sure not to miss this abundance of great art and architecture on display in Vicenza! And if you make it here, consider getting in touch with Ruben , whose local knowledge will enrich your time in this splendid region.
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