Vicenza is known as the city by Andrea Palladio (1508-80), who started out as a humble stone-mason to become the most influential architect of his time. As we walk around the city it is fascinating to see firsthand the evolution of his distinctive style.

Among his designs, the most distinctive is Teatro Olimpico, his final work. He began his design in 1579 but died the following year without finishing it. His pupil, Vincenzo Scamozzi, took over the project and completed the theatre in time for its ambitious opening performance on March 3, 1585.

Teatro Olimpico is Europe's oldest surviving indoor theatre, is a fine and remarkable structure, largely made of wood and plaster and painted to look like marble. The stage setting represents the Greek city of Thebes, with the streets painted in prospective and rising at a steep angle to give the illusion of great length. The set was made for the first performance of Sophocles's tragedy Oedipus Rex and never taken down.

We passed by a Cafe, where in the 1520's Luigi da Porto wrote the immortalized tragedy, "Romeo and Juliet".