Postcard from a centre of reason: Vicenza

The architectural study tour I lead every year naturally takes me to Vicenza, Palladio-land. For an unimaginably low fee, this city has been made into an unimaginable paradise, without the faintest sound of a car or motorbike engine. With a few lines of paint they have told drivers on roads around the town centre to park a little bit out from the curb to give cyclists some space protected from traffic. The paint has mostly worn off. It still does the job.


Then, with a few hours leaning over a map they have eliminated through-traffic in the town centre. See how the white roads, where motorised machines are permitted, are mostly dead-ends:

vicenza map

Where it took a few buckets of paint to make the cycle tracks, all it took were some signs to eliminate through-roads.

vicenza signs10

The few garages that exist in the city can all still be accessed. Drivers of trucks, vans and taxis can get where they need to go too. Nothing has been sacrificed. Everything has been gained. Parents can ride in the town with their kids:


Everyone is available for chance interaction.


Mens love handles grow hardly so bulbous.


Teenagers can grow into adults, not fat little bastards.



Middle aged women aren’t scared of bike riders.


And those old enough to wear pearls can retain some prowess.


Of course these are Northern Italians, descendants of great humanist scholars and architects like Palladio striving to achieve perfection on Earth. We can’t expect descendants of Barbarians to make rational choices for the collective good of their people.



  1. nikdow says:

    And I can get a room on AirBnb to stay in an attic in the centre for $AUD45 a night and rent out my apartment in Melbourne for 3 times that. Might be a good place to escape the next southern winter.

  2. crank says:

    Gorgeous. I need somewhere else to move to.

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