Portal of the Cathedral
In 1560 Paolo Almerico asked the Cathedral Chapter for permission to erect a portal at his own expense on the north side of the Cathedral, in correspondence with the chapel of San Giovanni Evangelista. This is the same Paolo Almerico who a few years later would commission Palladio for the construction of the Villa Rotonda. The portal was opened in 1565, probably on the occasion of the solemn entrance of the bishop Matteo Priuli.
In the absence of documents or autograph drawings, the attribution to Palladio rests firstly on the portal's affinities with antique models well known to the architect (like the portal of the Temple of Fortuna Virile) and secondly its similarity to the design of the lateral portals of the Cathedral of San Pietro di Castello in Venice, which Palladio designed in 1558.
Dome of the Cathedral
The construction of the apse in the Cathedral of Vicenza had begun in 1482 , based on the design of Lorenzo da Bologna, but was still unfinished in 1531. Only in 1557 did the Comune of Vicenza receive the financial means necessary from the Republic of Venice, in the shape of a bequest left by Bishop Zeno at the beginning of the century, and therefore become able to begin the work's completion.
Andrea Palladio, the author of the new project, most probably drew up an overall design which was however executed in two phases: from 1558 to 1559 the main cornice was built over the windows and the drum raised, while from 1564 to January 1566 the dome itself was constructed.
The characteristic form of the lantern, abstract and devoid of decoration, was replicated on the summit of the cupolas of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice (planned in the same years), and is also present in some of Palladio's reconstructions of centrally planned antique temples, such as the Mausoleum of Romulus on the Via Appia.