Midway between the cities of Venice and Verona in northern Italy, lies a third “V” – the tiny town of Vicenza. Though smaller and lesser known that its more famous neighbors, Vicenza nonetheless packs a punch in terms of history, culture, and especially architecture. In 1994, Vicenza was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its concentration of buildings designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. But in my opinion no other place displays the city’s beauty better than its central plaza, Piazza dei Signori.
Every evening, locals and visitors gather at Piazza dei Signori to share a meal or a glass of wine at outdoor cafes. One evening, I was fortunate to witness a particularly gorgeous scene. The setting sun cast the surrounding palazzos in shades of burnished gold and ocher, while the sky behind the piazza’s two signature columns, topped by statues of the Lion of St. Mark and Christ the Redeemer, turned pink and purple. It was easy to see why Piazza dei Signori is considered the heart of Vicenza.