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Beyond the Castle: what to visit in Thiene

The Castle of Thiene is in the heart of the city of Thiene, an ancient center of Roman origins, a few kilometers from Vicenza. The old town that surrounds the Castle is a limited traffic area. It is the perfect place to have a walk through the streets where shops and bars are hosted inside historical buildings that, through their stones, tell the history of the city.
Coming out of the courtyard of the castle, walking through the tower, you get to Ferrarin Square. The owners used to take that very same path, but only a few meters below. The Castle in fact has an underground passage that once gave access to the square where the fifteenth century's Gentilizia Chapel stands. The Chapel is dedicated to the Nativity of Mary, with the characteristic red brick façade. More recent is the fountain of Bacchus and Ariadne, dedicated to drinkers through quotations from Horace. It was given to the citizens by the last member of the Colleone family who lived in the Castle, Guardino Colleoni.
The path opens further more to Chilesotti Square, the ancient political center of the city. Here was the fourteenth-century Loggia del Podestà (mayor’s lodge,) the city government building, demolished in the 20s of '900 to build the War Memorial of the First World War, still warning of the terrible conflict. Close by there is Machiavelli Palace, with its façade of red diamonds, commissioned by a pedantic Vicario who did not want to reside in the Lodge but preferred to administer the power directly from home. Soaring into the sky, with its sleek profile, the tower built by the famous Renaissance architect Sebastiano Serlio, has a profile that borders between sacred and profane. Local people call it "bell tower" but it is actually a civic tower, point of transition between the seat of political power and the the religious power.
Passing through the tower you arrive, in fact, to the Duomo Square. Here stands the Cathedral dedicated to San Gaetano (Thiene) of ancient origin but lively site of adjustments and embellishments until the 1960s. On the external east wall of the Cathedral you can admire the gothic tomb of Miglioranza Thiene. The smaller Rosario Church is a fifteenth-century architecture. Its façade was decorated only in '900 because before then it was hidden by other buildings, but inside, it preserves its original character.
Other interesting sites worth mentioning are the Art Nouveau balustrade of Casa Chilesotti, along Corso Garibaldi, the City Library hosted the Thiene-Cornaggia villa whose façade is half fifteenth and mid-nineteenth century, the church of St. Vincent, the most ancient one in the city made in the fourteenth century by three brothers from the Thiene family to commemorate their deceased father.

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