Day 13: Rain and even more Palladio in Vicenza

As predicted, the day started with rain which at times was quite heavy.

It was a good day to do some laundry. There’s a laundry room on the ground floor.

Bought strawberries on Sunday at a weekend local farmers’ market.

We went to the Palladio Museum located in Palazzo Barbarano da Porto, designed and built by Palladio. Built between 1570 and 1575, the owner asked Palladio to use walls from pre-existing buildings, with irregularly shaped rooms, to create a harmonious Renaissance palace. Palladio had to design the floor of the great hall on the piano nobile and restore a symmetrical appearance to interiors.

Inspired by the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, Palladio divided the interior into three aisles, used four Ionic columns which reduced the span of the central cross-vaults, set against lateral barrel vaults. He achieved an efficient framework capable of bearing the floor of the hall above. The central columns are tied to the perimeter walls by fragments of rectilinear entablature, which absorb the irregularities of the atrium plan and created a system similar to that of the Basilica Palladiana loggias.

Palladio also used a type of Ionic capital (derived from the Temple of Saturn in the Forum Romanum) because it permitted him to mask the slight but significant rotations necessary to align the columns and engaged columns.

The museum describes Palladio’s life and works.

It also had a exhibition showing the connection between Raphael’s architectural ideas and Palladio. Raphael is not thought of as an architect because most of his plans were for buildings that no longer exist or were never built.

From there, we walked a block to Palazzo Thiene, which was designed by Giulio Romano, who I will describe more about when I’m on my May tour, but the young Palladio worked on the building, some say he oversaw its construction.

As a museum, it shows the home of a wealthy Renaissance noble. Personally, I found it all excessive but then, again, it was meant to impress.

The fireplaces were particularly jaw dropping but maybe not in a good way.

There were a lot of frescoes and paintings but few were by first rate artists. There were some small Tintoretto portraits.

We then went to the Jewellery Museum which features jewellery by Italian designers. Again, impressive but maybe not in a good way. It all seemed so impractical like a brooch of the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.

The museum is located in Basilica Palladiana and I liked the views out the window.

We bought a Vicenza card which gets us into 11 museums and churches for one price. Of the three places we went into today, I would have only wanted to pay for the first.

For a late lunch, we went back to Garibaldi Bistrot (again).

Marinated salmon, Caesar salad, very good bread
Grilled whitefish with clams and tomatoes

Scott tried to see if jewellery shops were open but none that he hoped would have men’s rings were open. I also looked for travel size toothpaste but the pharmacies are mostly closed as well and those that were open only had large tubes. As this is a holiday, it was hard to know what was happening with retail.

The courtyard of our apartment building is used as a starting point for some Palladio tours and the tables, chairs and benches seem to be part of that business but we haven’t seen anyone sitting. The guy operating the tour sales said we could sit. So we sat outside and did some sketching.

Thunderstorms brought more rain in the early evening but it eased up enough that we stayed dry walking to dinner at Antico Guelfo, a family run restaurant with a decor mixing old and new. Scott like the hand blown water glasses.

Quail, foie gras on toast, spinach
Carrot ginger soup
Beef fillet
Tortelli filled with osso buco
Italian Merlot variant grape

The server spoke Italian with me, slowly, and waited while I paused to remember vocabulary. She was very kind.

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