The escape from everyday life in the Renaissance Paladio style villa, on Italian hills with a spectacular view of the azure sky and olive groves. No, it’s not a fictional story, but a real place you can get next weekend because it’s just 4 and a half hours drive from Zagreb.
We are used to tourist agencies offering standard routes, especially for holidays – Venice, Cinque Terre, Tuscany? All these are wonderful places, but if you want an original Italian vacation, away from the crowds, choose Arcugnano.
This Italian village is located on the slopes just next to Vicenza. The winding road along the hill will bring you to the beautiful Italian villa, fully restored with special attention to the latest detail to keep paladic style of high ceilings, antique furniture and elegant Venetian-style mosaics. The airy ambience, sophisticated luxury and sophisticated services additionally complement the hospitality of Hotel Villa Michelangelo, who is worthy of the prince.
How does the beginning of the day look alike in this villa? After waking up with the sound of birds, you will experience magical look through the glass rocks on the relaxing green hills. After a rich breakfast offering delicious Italian snacks, a paradise for your taste, you can head to a turquoise swimming pool with fluttering white canvases and enjoy the view of the nearby town tasting the Italian prosecco.
If you want to enjoy every bite, visit the nearby Da Biasio restaurant, where you can enjoyed as much as in the perfect cuisine as much in the ideal location and the view. From the terrace of the restaurant the view really goes far, so while enjoying the Italian specialties, you have a great view of the city.
Vicenza, the capital of the province of Veneto, is only a 10-minute drive away and is definitely worth a visit. It is absolutely perfect place for all lovers of architecture because it was literally built and famous by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Its legacy is truly impressive, from the basilica, the theatre to the many noble villas that surround Vicenza.
We will list five of the many attractions that you should not miss
1. Basilica Palladiana
This religious building is one of the Vicenza icons, placed in the center of the popular Piazze dei Signori. It was built in the 15th century and is one of the first examples of the Renaissance structure that is distinguished by the paladian window design – the basilica’s lodge has a number of decorated arches that run along both sides and create a visually appealing building.
2. Teatro Olimpico
This theater is not like any other you will see, and its interior is entirely made of stone, stucco and wood. The stage is simply beautiful and looks more like a palace than a place of performance – the facade is decorated with stone statues, arches and plaster works. Original scene sets are still in place behind the main facade and create an illusion of great depth – while looking through the arches, it seems like many streets stretch far behind the building.
3. La Rotonda
Located on a gorgeous terrain, built for a retired Vatican priest, it’s located south of Vicenza, about 15 minutes from the city centre and is one of the most recognisable buildings. The building is specially made up of its amazing design and symmetry – each of the four sides of the house has a porch that looks like Pantheon in Rome. Inside the building is a series of lavishly decorated rooms with beautiful frescoes and ornate plaster work.
4. Museo Palladiano
Located in the same complex and square as the Palladian Basilica, the Palladianon Museum is an inescapable attraction combined with the Basilica itself. Within this museum there is a fantastic collection of artifacts and relics related to the basilica, along with informative and detailed views of his history and construction. Here you can find out about the importance of the building, as well as its famous architect Andrei Palladio.
5. Torre Bissara
Although this building is associated with the Basilica of Palladian, it is an impressive attraction in itself and has a long history. With a height of 82 meters, it is the tallest building in the historic center of Vicenza. It was built in the 12th century and has since then been in its original form and is of great historical importance to the city. On one side there is a beautifully decorated satin with a light blue colour, and on top is a bronze dome and a timing vessel.
For lovers of Instagram photos, don’t miss the picturesque bridge of Ponte San Michele, and you can order an aperitivo in one of the bars at Piazza dei Signori, a romantic square in the old town centre.
The night out in Vicenza certainly consists of spending time in Italian restaurants, currently the popular Julien and Osteria dei Monelli and you will not make mistakes if you go there. Try a typical dish for this end, grilled sausage and caramelised onion or pastry with the finest prepared duck.
The next Italian jewel worth visiting is Marostica. As you approach this little town, you will see a castle on the top of a hill with walls stretching to the left and right sides of the hill. Like the Chinese wall, right up to the footsteps surrounding the whole town. Indeed impressive already on the first. Be sure to visit the castle at the top of the hill because it provides a spectacular view of the entire city and its surroundings.
Also, this, not so developed, village is known for the cherry festival, which takes place in May, and a chess game with live people. The latter event has become a real spectacle, and it takes place every two years to reconstruct the episode from 1454. Legend says two noblemen were in love with the daughter of the ruler of the Lion Castle, and the ruler ordered them to play the chess instead of the duel in order to win his daughter. What was the end, find out when you visit Marostica.
If you continue with the car for another twenty minutes, you will find a perfect little discovery – Bassano del Grappa .
The four things that Bassano del Grappa is best known for are the old bridge over the River Brente, known as the Ponte Vecchio, then a strong liqueur produced in that area, the military history of Monte Grappa and locally produced ceramics.
The architecture reflects the location of Bassano, a combination of different styles, typical of the arcade streets, Venetian-style squares, and historic buildings with Alpine wooden balconies. For this city they say it is the first to drink alcohol per capita in Italy. That’s why it is not surprising that the streets of this peaceful little town are full of bars with terraces where it is very lively at all times.
So forget about Venice and Tuscany and head to the Vicenza hills.