The Palazzo Chiericati is a Renaissance palace in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio for the Count Girolamo Chiericati. The architect started building the palace in 1550, and some further work was completed under the patronage of Chiericati's son, Valerio. However, the palazzo was not fully finished until about 1680, possibly by Carlo Borella.
The palazzo was built in an area called which housed the wood and cattle market. At that time, it was an islet surrounded by the Retrone and Bacchiglione streams, and to protect the structure from the frequent floods, Palladio designed it on an elevated position: the entrance could be accessed by a triple Classic-style staircase.
The palazzo's principal façade is composed of three bays, the central bay projecting slightly. The two end bays have logge on the piano nobile level, while the central bay is closed. The façade has two superimposed orders of columns, Tuscan on the lower level with Ionic above. The roofline is decorated by statuary.
Palazzo Chiericati, along with the other Palladian buildings of Vicenza, is part of a World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.