© Melanie De Jesus. Contact me at melanie_dejesus@yahoo.it

When I am not in school, I make my home in Vicenza, Italy, where most of my family lives.

Vicenza is a small city in the Veneto region of Northeast Italy, squarely nestled between the larger and more famous cities of Venice, Padova and Verona. Although few people outside the country are aware of its existence, it is an important cultural and economic center. Vicenza's claim-to-fame is its stately Palladian architecture, compliments of the great 16th century architect Andrea Palladio, the only architect to have an architectural style named after him, who made Vicenza his home as well as the beneficiary of his creativity. His Basilica at the heart of the city is world-famous, and the numerous villas of his creation that pepper the surrounding countryside have inspired architects the world over. Thomas Jefferson's Monticello abode is modelled after Palladio's Villa Capra Valmarana (La Rotonda).

Vicenza is also known for its gold and leather industries, both of which date back to medieval times. With more than 1,100 firms in the province, today Vicenza produces 20% of the world's gold, and holds the world's largest gold fair. Despite these flourishing industries, Vicenza, with its small, cobblestoned downtown protected by the surrounding hills, the Colli Berici, maintains a lively, small-town flavor that is reflected in the people and culture.

Vicenza Gold

Venesiani gran signori, Padovani gran dotori, Visentini magna gatti, Veronesi....tuti mati, Udinesi castelani co l cognme de "Furlani", Trevisani pan e tripe, Rovigti baco e pipe, i Cremaschi fa coioni, i Bresn, tia cantoni: ghe n ancora de p tristi.... Bergamaschi brusacristi! E Belun ? Preo Belun, te s proprio de nisun! -proverb