The Material is called Nanto or Vicenza Stone and it has always been
one of the most used stone in Veneto Villas and Garden; one of the
greatest exponent of the use of Vicenza Stone has been the famous
architect Andrea Palladio. Thi material is extracted from mines near
Vicanza so as not to spoil the hilly scemery of our landascape, being
a sedimentary stone, it is characterized by the presence of fossils,
shells and spots of oxides which are not to be considered as lessening
its valve or beauty but as somothing which makes evident and enhance
its naturalness and materiality. Tha Vicenza Stone, like all sedimentary
stone is suitable for sculptures and benefits from a na tural hardening
process with time
NAME: Vicenza Stone
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION: Monti Berici
MAIN ACTIVE MINES: open mines and tunnels
GEOLOGIC FORMATION AND AGE: Tertiary Period or Cainozoic Era, Eocene
middle period. This period is started 55 million years ago and is
lasted 20 million years.
MINERALOGICAL COMPOSITION: clayey limestones lightly.
MACROSCOPIC ASPECT: gross limestone, with varied structure, formed
by clastic material and by fossil remains, in particular by thin
beddings of clayey materials (morillonites) and by fossils, mostly
nummulites (fossils protozoans of the tertiary period, with calcerous
shell with the form of a coin). It has a variable colours, from
white to straw-coloured yellow.
PETROFRAPHIC DEFINITION: organogenic limestone.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: calcium carbonate (CaCO3), about 80%, not
negligible percentages of silicon oxide, aluminium oxide and iron
oxide. It is a -biomicrite- that is formed by microcrystalline calcium
carbonate, of biologocal origin.
PHYSICAL AND MECHANICAL FEATURES: the burden of compression break
is quite low (320 Kg/m2). The weight of every unity of volume is
2100 Kg/m3. It is a -geliva- rock.
POSSIBLE ALTERATIONS: on the surface the rock undergos a progressiva
hardening due to the partial cementation of the pores.
WORKABILITY: it is very good workable, prevalently with the hammer
and the bit of various dimensions. It is possible to saw it only
when it has just been extracted, when there is up to "the water
USE: there are witnesses about the use of this stone till the roman
period, at least in the zone around Vicenza. Only since Middle Ages
there is its systematic utilization in the building, in the ornamentation
and in the sculpture. It was a big diffusion since half of the XIV
century until the first decades of the XVI century, at first at
Vicenza and then at Padova. This was supported by the facility of
the river transports throught the canal Bisatto that touched Ponte
di Nanto, where there was and there is yet the mine for the extraction.
It was used by the major sculptors and architects of Renaissance
and of all the '600, from Palladio to Falconetto, from Sanmicheli
to Sansovino. It was used in Venezia and in the Venetian hinterland,
became less usual in the Veronese area. Because of the excellent
workability it was very used in the creation of the armorial bearings
and of other sculptural works and of the architectural parts as
coverings, windowsills, jambs, frames of eaves and dripped, less
for elements of forniture of gardens (so it uses more the tender
stones of Vicenza, as for example in the statues of Prato della
Valla and at Villa Pisani in Stra). It is exemolar the realization,
in Padova, of the sixteenth century Loggia and Oden Cornaro, projected
by Falconetto. After the half of '700, consistently to the neoclassic
taste, it was preferred to the Nanto's stone, always lass used,
the stone of Castrozza and in general the tender stone of Vicenza,
today very used in Italy and at abroad for its versatility.