Vicenza - Santa Corona
A few steps from the Teatro Olimpico (Palladio) the lovely church of Santa Corona was built around the year 1260 to honor properly a thorn from Christ's crown that Bartholomew of Breganze received from the king of France, Louis IX.
It was heavily altered over the centuries (it was the seat of the Inquisition of Vicenza) and its current appearance is due to the Venetian period (XVI century) and ... the bombing of World War II.
Hosts at least three masterpieces: the baptism of Christ altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini, an adoration of the Magi by Paolo Veronese and an altar decorated with marble inlays really impressive work of Corbarelli from Florence.
The medieval age is over. You can see immediately from the decoration around the altar with the work of Bellini is an anthology of mermaids and sea animals all around. But are no longer the enigmatic and ascetic bicaudate sirens of the twelfth century. They are pure decorative elements with queues wrapped in baroque spirals. A siren is presented in the act of lactating ...
These bicaudate sirens no longer have the task of teaching and provide insights to preachers, clerics and wandering troubadours. Knowledge no longer passes through stories told and reported during the long winter evenings. Here the sirens are no longer symbols but only coy decorative elements. Mr. Gutenberg had changed the world: it changed the way of transmitting knowledge and was born a different world. The Middle Ages is over! Of course, there is even a unicorn on a basket of snakes ... but he too is just decoration!
If you have time, visit the adjacent former Dominican monastery: there is a Dominican inquisitor killed in 1252 by a knife pressed to the head: it is St. Peter of Verona, figures particularly dear to the tribunals of the Inquisition ...