6 Logge del Palazzo della Ragione
In 1546, the Consiglio of the City of Vicenza approved the drawings which Palladio had prepared for the loggias of the Palazzo della Ragione.
Palladio proposed what might be defined as an 'elastic' solution, capable of providing the necessary alignment with the openings and passageways of the internal 15th-century structure. The 'system' is based on a repetition of the Serlian arch, which is composed of an open arch of constant dimensions flanked by two rectangular openings of varying width and thus capable of absorbing any differences in bay width. This function is clearly evident in the corner arches, where the architraved openings are reduced to an absolute minimum.
With a certain rhetorical emphasis, it was Palladio himself who referred to the Palazzo della Ragione with its new stone loggias as a Basilica, as a tribute to the buildings of ancient Rome where politicians and merchants met to discuss their business. Work on the Basilica proceeded very slowly: on the north and west sides, the lower arches were completed in 1561, while those of the second storey were begun in 1564 and completed in 1597. The side facing Piazza delle Erbe was not completed until 1614.