Whenever I travel, I’m always reminded that even the smallest of towns and cities can be as fascinating as the bigger cities.  This is so true of the little city of Vicenza, home to the famous renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).  His work was based on symmetry, perspective and values of formal classical temple architecture where the mathematics and formulae were core to the architecture.  Palladianism further influenced works in England, Ireland and North America.  It is even said that the White House is based on Irish Palladianism.

But Andrea Palladio’s last work, “Il Teatro Olimpico”, was his true masterpiece.  A piece that he did not see completed as he died unexpectedly in the same year construction started.  Thankfully the talented architect Scarmozzi brought the Teatro to completion.   Tucked away in the Academia Olimpica of Vicenza, you will find this little treasure.  (Fun Fact:  The Academia was founded in 1555 by 21 nobels and still exists today).  An auditorium designed like a roman amphitheatre enclosed by a colonnade and alternating statues.  Upfront a stage with an impressive scenae frons (stage wall) with statues, columns and 5 archways that lead into the streets of the theatrical scenery.  Each built with incredible perspective, giving the illusion of endless depth.   Talk about the theatrics!

This beautiful stage still hosts performances for the privileged few, so next time you are passing by …. stop and treat yourself to a night at the theatre, renaissance style.