10 Palazzo Civena
The first city palace that Palladio built in Vicenza was constructed for the brothers Civena. The date "1540" engraved on the foundation medal fixes the laying of the foundation stone to that year. The building was probably finished twenty-four months later. The history of the palace, however, is unfortunate: heavily modified by Domenico Cerato in 1750, it was half destroyed by bombardment during World War II and thence reconstructed.
The very early date of the project makes Palazzo Civena precious evidence of Palladio's youthful activity and marks a rupture with constructional praxis in Vicenza: the traditional polifora at the centre of the facade has been substituted with a regular sequence of bays, rhythmically articulated by paired pilasters. In this respect Palladio was evidently inspired by the Roman palaces of the early Cinquecento. Moreover, all the elements of his architectural vocabulary derive from Venetian models, not Roman ones, above all the buildings realised by Giovanni Maria Falconetto in Padua.