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Vicenza: welcome

Vicenza is a town located in the North-East of Italy, in the Veneto Region (approximately 60 kilometers west of Venice and 200 kilometers east of Milan). With a total area of about 80 km2 and a resident population of 111.113 inhabitants (Dec. 2020), Vicenza is a compact city, from the old town to the outskirts, enclosed in a dense belt especially in north, east and west quadrants. It is located in a diversified territory, rich of urban as well as productive excellence, involved in demanding territorial dynamics that invest the entire area of Italy Northeast. 

It has been part of the Covenant of Mayors network since 2011 and of the Mayors Adapt network from October 2014. 

Also widely known as la città di Palladio (Palladio's town), Vicenza has been enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 based on criteria, which are strictly related to the work of Andrea Palladio, the Italian Renaissance architect active in the Venetian Republic (1508-1580). In fact, Vicenza represents a unique artistic achievement in the many architectural contributions of Andrea Palladio, integrated within its historic fabric and creating its overall character. Inspired by classical architecture, Palladio reworked the classical patterns and his constant typological experimentation have exerted exceptional influence on architectural and urban design in most European countries and throughout the world, giving rise to Palladianism, a movement named after the architect and destined to last for three centuries.

The best known buildings are the Palladian Basilica and Palazzo Chiericati, which are located in the city center.

Palladian Basilica (1549-1614)




Palazzo Chiericati (1551 - end of construction 1700)





Nearby, also by Palladio, the Olympic Theater, which is built in the style of a classic open-air theater




On the outskirts of the city, the Villa La Rotonda, which has 4 identical facades.



Food is on the agenda in Vicenza. The province is traditionally linked to the breeding of dairy cows and the production of typical cheeses, and high-quality winemaking testified by the production of DOC wines. In the area of CRFS and local food systems Vicenza has shared vegetable gardens: 132 urban gardens owned by Municipality of Vicenza have been assigned to a civic association and then to citizens by means of a public call – they are currently run by citizens. The main targets are: retirees, families, and couples of young people.

Another initiative is the Food Emporium for all, which is located in 400 square meters at the fruit and vegetable market. This provides economical, human, and technical resources – from the recovery of surplus food to donations integrations, and with fundamental support of the voluntary sector it managed to respond effectively and efficiently to the needs of the most vulnerable fellow citizens during COVID-19. Approximately 3.000 people, 25% of which are minors, receive food bags by Vicenza Social Services and the network of volunteers at present.

Vicenza is partner of Cities 2030 project and aims at establishing a new FOOD POLICY OFFICE and signing the Milano Food Policy Pact. The final scope is to improve the sustainability of the local food system. The aim of the policy lab is to improve CRFS sustainability and related urban policies. The intent of the Lab is to give life to a network of stakeholders committed to implementing sustainable food policies and practices, also through the exchange of ideas and suggestions on how to concretely address current challenges of global sustainability.


Vicenza Labs focus areas

  • Governance- Through the exchange of information, the involvement of all the actors of the local food system until to the establishment of the Food Policy Office at the Municipality
  • Sustainable diets- With activities such as the development of guidelines on healthy nutrition, promoting sustainable choices when shopping for food.
  • Social and economic justice - Which includes support for the most vulnerable through the creation/ improvement of community canteens, kitchens and food emporium for all, the promotion of social inclusion activities such as shared vegetable gardens and specific initiatives to give a chance to people living at the borders of society
  • Food production - With interventions to support urban and peri-urban production, the recovery of traditional food, the conservation of food knowledge
  • Food distribution - Through the planning of better logistics systems with low environmental impact, supporting farmers markets in the cities and improving the fleet of electric vehicles available to distribute food from the municipal fruit and vegetable market to the city's neighborhoods.
  • Food waste - The adoption of policies favouring surplus reduction and losses along the entire food chain and increasing awareness of the need to reduce waste, the promotion and support of new circular and social entrepreneurships for a better food consumption

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