The Basilica Palladiana is a Renaissance building overlooking Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza.The building where Palladio would have intervened was the Palazzo della Ragione, designed by Domenico da Venezia. To the left of the building stands the Torre dei Bissari (12th century), 82 m tall. The Palazzo della Ragione (built in Gothic style in the middle of the fifteenth century), in its upper floor is entirely occupied by a huge hall without intermediate supports, called Salone del Consiglio del Quattrocento. The overturned hull cover, covered with copper plates, partly lifted by large archivolts, was inspired by the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua (1306). The building was the venue of the Vicenza Public Magistrates. From 1481 to 1494, Tommaso Formenton surrounded the old palace with a double order of loggias. However, two years after the end of the building site, collapses the south-west corner. In the following decades are called the most famous architects of the region: Antonio Rizzo and Giorgio Spavento (1496), Antonio Scarpagnino (1525) and then Jacopo Sansovino (1538), Sebastiano Serlio (1539), Michele Sanmicheli (1541), Giulio Romanus (1542). In March 1546 the City Council approved the project of a local architect: Andrea Palladio. After three more years of discussions, which put the Rizzo-Spavento and Giulio Romano projects into play, in may of 1549 Andrea Palladio's project was finally approved. The solution proposed by Palladio is a structure whose system is based on the "serliana". The loggias in the lower floor are in doric order instead in the upper floor are in ionic order. Palladio defines the "Palazzo della Ragione" as a "basilica" in homage to the structures of ancient Rome. With this project he officially becomes the architect of Vicenza.
UNESCO World Heritage Site