A N. E. Province Of Italy, in Venetia, bordering on Tyrol and the provinces of Belluno, Treviso, Padua, and Verona; area, 1,016 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 363,161. The principal towns are Vicenza and Bassano. In the north the surface is traversed by several offsets from the Alps, but in the south it is level or undulating. The most important rivers are the Bacchiglione and the Brenta. There are considerable tracts of forest with much valuable timber; abundant chestnut trees furnish food for a great part of the population. The level country is remarkably fertile. A large quantity of silk is produced. Cattle and sheep are numerous. Several coal mines are worked, and silk, linen, and woollen goods, hardware, porcelain, paper, gold and silver articles, and leather are manufactured. It is divided into 10 districts.
A City (Anc. Vicentia Or Vicetia), capital of the province, in a fine hilly region, at the junction of the Bacchiglione and Retrone, 37 m. W. by N. of Venice; pop. in 1872, 37,686. To Palladio, who was born here, is ascribed the finest of the eight bridges, and he built many of the celebrated public and private palaces. Among the former are the town hall and the prefecture. The finest square is the piazza dei Signori, in which are the two columns characteristic of most Venetian cities. In the market place is a remarkable belfry 270 ft. high and only 23 ft. wide. Of the 19 churches, the cathedral and the church of S. Lorenzo, and especially Sta. Corona near the Corso, are noteworthy for their architecture and pictures. Palladio began to build in the piazza d'Isola the teatro Olimpico, on the ancient plan, and it was completed by his son; it is now in a rather dilapidated condition. In the museum is a large picture gallery, and there are several gymnasia, a lyceum, a college, and a palace for the resident bishop. The sanctuary of Monte Berico is joined to Vicenza by arcades beginning at the triumphal arch of the Lupia gate; at the foot of it is Palladio's villa, copied in the duke of Devonshire's villa at Chiswick, and described by Goethe as a marvel of splendor.
The finest promenade is the Campo Marzio, which contains a triumphal arch and the railway station. The campo santo or cemetery is an extensive building with many fine monuments. - Vicentia was a municipium of Venetia under the Romans. In the 12th century the city was among the earliest members of the Lombard league against the emperor Frederick I. In 1236 it was devastated by Frederick II. Henry VII. gave Vicenza in fief to the Scala family, and this and other local families were at the head of the government until it passed in 1404 to the Venetians, who recovered it in 1516 after it had been for some time in the hands of Maximilian I. It came into the possession of Austria in 1815. In 1848 Vicenza rose against the Austrians, who bombarded it in May and June, and it surrendered on June 11 to Radetzky.