Palazzo Thiene

Historic Building in Vicenza

Just off Corso Palladio, you’ll find the headquarters of the Banca Popolare di Vicenza (the People’s Bank of Vicenza), housed rather ironically in Palladio’s Palazzo Thiene, which was fashioned for the aristocratic Thiene family in 1556. Purchased by the bank in 1872, the palace is now home to fine paintings, sculptures, and the world's largest collection of oselle (silver and gold coins minted by the Doge each year and presented as a Christmas gift to all the noble families of the Great Council of Venice).

Originally, the gift was five mallards per family, but given the growing number of nobles and the declining number of mallards, in 1521 the Council decreed that the doge should mint a silver coin instead, hence the name, oselle, which is Venetian for bird.

Further along the street at No 21, you can’t miss Palladio’s blinding white, unfinished 1549–53 Palazzo Isoppo da Porto, rippling with eight inset Ionic columns on the 1st floor and crowned with sculpture and pilasters along the attic. At the time of writing, this building was not open to the public.