This morning, rain still threatens, but it seems dry enough to walk to the Tourist Office to purchase a museum card for the Teatro Olimpio.
Then the rain comes, still I stop to buy some makings for dinner from the food trucks that have parked by the cathedral.
I drop off the food, put it in the frig, and go out again heading to the tourist office. I stop to look at a clothing market in the Piazza dei Signori. I need a wardrobe update after all those t-shirt days in the mountains.
Then I see these necklaces in a window! I go into the store to check them out. They are made from very beautiful Murano glass.
Finally I go on to the tourist office to get a museum card and an audio guide for the Teatro Olimpico. I need to scan a QR-code to access the guide, so I go to pull out my phone and !@#$ !@#$ !@$!@
WHERE IS IT? Oh! Oh! No! No! I take everything out from my purse in the crowded tourist office, check out all the pockets, check the floors and the counters, scoot back to the jewelry store…no, not there. No! No!
Could I have left it when I dropped off the food? It is a sinking feeling. The rain is coming down more heavily. I start thinking about options. A new phone? Backups?
When did I last use it? The market… As I rush toward the vendor, she gives me a thumbs up. Oh! Oh! Whew!! She seems almost as happy as I am that I returned to pick it up. I had left it on top of some boxes. Not a smart move, but so glad that fortune was with me this time. Big Whew!
I went back once more to the Teatro Olimpio and arrived just in time for the sound and light show. It is Palladio’s last work and the oldest roofed theater in the world. The seating area is shaped like an elipsis with the original wooden seats from the 1500s.
The scenery depicting the Streets of Thebes designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi shows a deep perspective but is mostly flat.
I wanted to get down on the stage and see the scenery close up, but that area is rightfully protected from the many curious visitors.
These oil lamps were used to provide lighting in the 16th century theater. It must have been very evocative.
My timing is off. A production is scheduled for early September, but I will be gone.
From the Teatro Olimpico, I go across the street to the Civic Art Galley of the Palazzo Chiericati, a UNESCO Heritage site. Palladio also designed this building for a wealthy client. It was later purchased by the city of Vicenzo as a museum.
In this painting, St. Vincent, patron of the city, holds up a model of his beautiful city. A number of very large paintings celebrating the podesta, governors of the city under the Venetians, hang in this room.
Many of the rooms in the palazzo retain their original decor. This painting is said to depict Apollo’s son, who has lost control of his chariot and Diana?, who is trying to help him.
The ceiling made me speculate that people of the time didn’t think it odd to see genitals, both human and animal, from an upside-down perspective.
Next I visited the Church of Santa Corona, the Church of the Holy Crown. The church was built in the 1260s to house a thorn from Christ’s crown given by the King Louis IX of France to the Bishop of Vicenza.
A chapel in the church is devoted to the thorn, but despite the signs indicating its presence, the guard told me it is now housed in the Cathedral’s museum.
The church served as Vicenza headquarters for the Inquisition. Perhaps the Dominicans judging heretics sat in these wooden seats.
Each seat is backed by a unique panel of inlaid wood.
The church also has an enormous altar of inlaid stone.
One of the many figures adorning the altar.
I took a break for a cheese platter lunch under the arches of Palladio’s Basilica, another UNESCO site.
The sharp mustard fig marmalade went very well with the cheeses.
I visited the upper story of the Basilica where I could see down to the Piazza dei Signori and the building called the Loggia del Capitaniato, also designed by Palladio.
The enormous council room in the Basilica, also designed by Palladio, has a wooden roof shaped like a boat hull. It was restored after being destroyed by bombs during World War II.
The Venetian lion stands on one wall of the cavernous room.
Next I visited the jewelry museum, also located on the ground floor of the Basilica. I am not one for glitz, but this necklace of diamonds set in gold dazzled me.
I also like this pair of earrings made from silk woven by an antique textile studio in Campagna.
I zoned in on the holy thorn in the cathedral museum, but I could not figure out where in the elaborate gold fixture the thorn could be.
The guard told me it was preserved for posterity in the rectangular “mini box” in the center of the circle. For sure.
The bishop’s silk slippers seem to come from centuries past, but according to the display text, they were worn in the 1960s.
The bishop traveled widely and collected orbs of stone from all over the world. The museum was closing, so I didn’t have the chance to explore all the various stones, but the display was impressive, accompanied by some philosophical words about orbs representing wholeness and spirituality.
I kept thinking about the bishop lugging these stones to Vicenza in his suitcases, but obviously he had the means to ship them home.
Tomorrow I’m off to Ravenna, having spent just the right amount of time in Vicenza for my liking.