Padua

Works of art of incomparable beauty

Padua, probably founded in 1184 b.C. is also known with the Roman Empire’s name “Patavium”. It is one of the major cities in the Veneto Region, the nerve centre between the cities of Venice and Vicenza. It has easily accessible by the various motorways, rails and the airports of Venice, Treviso and Verona. Padova, thanks to the Basilica of St. Anthony, is known worldwide by his famous Portuguese Franciscan born in 1195 who lived for several years and died in Padua, where his remains are still kept in the Basilica.

Padua history

The Basilica itself, is a destination of constant pilgrimages of tourists from around the world who invoke the prayers of devotion to the saint. The Chapel of Scrovegni, built and painted by Giotto between 1303 and early 1305. Inside, there are representations with fake marble paintings of the “Vice and Virtue”, stories of the Virgin Mary, St. Joachim, St. Anne and the Last Judgment. In the chapel, there is still kept an imposing “Madonna with Child and Angels.”

The chapel, in 1880, was acquired by the municipality of Padua and restored. The city is surrounded by many water courses resulting from the rivers Brenta and Bacchiglione. A culture of first importance is dictated by the tradition of major celebrities such as Peter d’Abano, philosopher, physician and scientist, Francesco Petrarch, poet; Lovati Lovato from Padua, judge, notary and poet as well as Galileo Galilei, physicist and mathematician.

The Scrovegni Chapel

There are many artists who have enriched and made it known to the world. Paintings realized by Giotto in the ‘300 on display at the Scrovegni Chapel to those of Giusto of Menabuoi which decorate the walls of the Duomo and the Baptistery. Masterpieces created by Donatello and Tiziano in the Holy Basilica to the pictorial decorations of the Chapel Ovetari at the Eremitani.

Other artists whose contributions have increased the popularity of the city are: Guariento of Arpo, Italian painter from 1338 to 1370; Altichiero da Zevio, Italian painter in Padua from 1369 to 1384, Girolamo of Romano, said Romanino, Italian painter moved to Padua in april 1513, Paolo Veronese, in the world Paolo Caliari, Italian painter of the Renaissance in Padua in 1556, Gregorio Ricci Curbastro, graduated in Padua in physical sciences and mathematics and professor of mathematics in 1880 in the same university.

The University, one of the oldest in the world

The prestigious University of Padua, the second one in Italy, is among the oldest ones in the world whose origins dates back to 1222. Padua, is a major economic centre and one of the most important centres of intermodal transport and inland waterways throughout Europe. Its important transport is among the largest in the northern and central Italy.

Palazzo Ragione, today town hall of the city, was the ancient seat of the courts of Padua. Its construction dates back to 1218 with alteration in 1306 by Giovanni of Eremitani who provided to put a cover with the shape of the bottom of an overturned vessel. Inside, paintings by Giotto destroyed in 1420 and paintings with astrological subject. In the hall, a giant wooden horse and two Egyptian sphinxes arrived in the ‘800 are present – everything to highlight the indissoluble link between Padua and science.

Under the Salone, home of the local markets of Padua, along two parallel arcades, there are many characteristics food shops. Piazza delle Erbe with Piazza della Frutta, are the two squares where each of the two facades of the Palazzo of Ragione is reflected. An extremely important fruit and vegetable market is held daily while, in the evening, crowds of people take place who give life to the typical veneto appetizer “spritz”.

Piazza Signori, near to the two above mentioned squares, is the square on which the Carrarese Palace was showed. Its original door was replaced in the ‘400 with the current Clock Tower.

Prato della Valle, with its elliptical shape, is the largest square of Padua and Italy and one of the largest in Europe with an area of 88,620 sq.m. The square has 78 statues (40 ones long the outer ring and 38 ones along the inside ring). On them, there are depicted the Venetian Doges destroyed by Napoleon in 1797. Subsequently, there was a repositioning of some of them.

Well knows are: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, Museum of Applied Arts and Museum Bottacin, Museo of Risorgimento e Contemporary Age. Not to forget the culinary art of the city consisted of the famous “Gallina Padovana” a chicken which, according to tradition, the Astronomer and Philosopher “Giovanni Dondi of Orologio” in Poland around the ‘300, saw a particular quality of hens and, keen on them, brought some back to Padua.