Basilica Palladiana

Gallery in Vicenza

Now a venue for world-class temporary exhibitions, the Palladian Basilica is capped with an enormous copper dome reminiscent of the hull of an upturned ship. The building, modelled on a Roman basilica, once housed the law courts and Council of Four Hundred. Palladio was lucky to secure the commission in 1549 (it took his patron 50 years of lobbying the council), which involved radically restructuring the original, 15th-century palazzo and adding an ambitious double order of loggias, supported by Tuscan and Ionic columns topped by soaring statuary.

The building is also home to the elegant Museo del Gioiello and its dazzling collection of historic and contemporary jewellery.