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«It’s not possible

The Palladian Basilica is the iconic building of Vicenza. Renowned for its loggias with Serlian arches, designed by the great Paduan architect Andrea Palladio, which encircle the medieval Palazzo della Ragione, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994.

to describe

It is also known as the “Palladian Loggias” and is the symbol of the city. The loggias cover the building known as the Basilica which, despite the name, has nothing to do with religion: it is in fact the ancient Palazzo della Ragione, also called “Basilica” according to the use of this term in ancient Rome – the place where business was carried out and where the life of the city was administered, on the upper floor which housed a single hall, covered by a keel vault.

the impression

The city council met in the enormous upper floor. Today, however, the Basilica has become a place of culture, therefore a museum, hosting exhibitions and events (curiously, in the sixties of the last century, the Basilica also served as a sports field: it was in fact the scene of the home games of the basketball team of city).

what the basilica does

Palladio’s brilliant idea was to cover the old Basilica with stone loggias from Piovene Rocchette (near the Asiago Plateau). He therefore created two orders of superimposed loggias which are characterized by the use of repeating modules and consist of serliane, i.e. architectural elements which are composed of a round arch between two rectangular openings delimited by columns.

of Palladio»

The Serliana takes its name from Sebastiano Serlio as it was he, in his architectural treatise, who provided the most detailed descriptions of this type of structure, which is a bit of a “trademark” of the works of Palladio, who used the great care was taken in the construction of the new arches in order to achieve solidity, harmony and magnificence.


Solidity, because the serlianas effectively support the weight of the vault. Harmony, because Palladio could modify the width of the lateral openings to create a balanced work: and we see it in the corners, where the lateral openings of the serliane are reduced a little to better adapt to the dimensions of the building. Magnificence, because the Serlian resembles a triumphal arch.