You would hardly know this genteel little city was home to the world’s most influential architect of the last millennium. Andrea Palladio’s Renaissance designs have been copied all over the world, as far afield as the Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the centre, his Teatro Olimpico is packed with theatrical trickery and optical illusion. The Basilica Palladiana was hit by an Allied bomb in 1945, but was brought back from the brink by a recent €15 million restoration. The Palladio-designed Villa Rotonda, on a hill outside the city, shaped the symmetrical designs of country houses all over rural England.