The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, is the cathedral of Padua, located in the Piazza Duomo, in the historical center of the city. SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the first cathedral of Padua was built after the Edict of Milan from 313. Originally, the church was dedicated to Saint Justina, but following one of its reconstructions, from 462 or 602, it was dedicated to Saint Mary. In 1075, Bishop Olderico consecrated a new cathedral, built on the ruins of the previous one. This basilica was destroyed by the famous earthquake of January 3, 1117. Following the earthquake of 1117, a new cathedral was built on the project of the architect Macillo. The cathedral was consecrated on April 24, 1180. The new church stood in the area of the current cathedral, having the same orientation. In 1227, the bell tower was rebuilt and, between 1399 and 1400, the bishop Stefano da Carrara carried out some restoration works and built the cross vaults. On January, 1551, the church approved the project of the illustrious Michelangelo Buonarroti for a new presbitery. The Michelangelo project was completed and inaugurated by the bishop Federico Cornaro on April 14, Read more [...]
Palazzo della Ragione is an imposing palace in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, between the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta. The palace is famous for having the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the palace dates back to 1219, and was intended to house the courts of justice and financial offices of the city, a role it played throughout the Venetian domination, until 1797. The current shape of the palace is due to Frà Giovanni degli Eremitani who, between 1306 and 1309, raised the large hull-shaped roof and added the porch and the loggias covering the stairs. The roof was redone with larch trusses, without central columns and was covered with lead plates. On August 17, 1756, a tornado devastated the large building, destroying its roof and uncovering it. Bartolomeo Ferracina, engineer of the Republic of Venice, best known for the construction of the clock in Piazza San Marco, rebuilt the imposing structure. The courts of justice were transferred from the palace in 1797, and the hall was opened for large popular gatherings, anniversaries and parties. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The hall on the upper floor of Read more [...]
The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is the most important Catholic church in Padua and one of the largest in the world. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is visited every year by over 6.5 million pilgrims, making it one of the most revered shrines in the Christian world. Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised in Lisbon, and died in Padua on June 13, 1231. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history. SHORT HISTORY In the Middle Ages, this place was located in a peripheral area of the city of Padua. Here, there was the small Church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, where Saint Anthony stayed for over a year between 1229 and 1231. When Saint Anthony died on June 13, 1231, his body was transfered to this small church and buried there, following his desire. Soon, many miraculous phenomena were recorded around his grave and pilgrims began to arrive first from the nearby districts and then from beyond the Alps. The canonical process took place in the Cathedral of Spoleto on May 30, 1232, where Pope Read more [...]
With 88,620 square meters, Prato della Valle is the largest square in Europe and one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The current configuration dates back to the late 18th century and is characterized by a central elliptical island, called Memmia island, surrounded by a canal on whose banks is a double ring of statues, with an outer circumference of 1450 meters. SHORT HISTORY In the Roman times, the area was known as Campo Marzio, named after Mars, the god of war, because it was used as a place for military meetings. Since the 12th century, various shows and games have been documented in Prato. From 1257, horse races are held here to commemorate the liberation from the tyranny of Ezzelino III da Romano. In 1310 a more extensive intervention in the area was carried out under the guidance of Fra Giovanni Eremitano. Between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, the town’s forgery was built near the Prato. During the 15th century, an imposing palace was built on the northern corner of Prato, as the residence of Cardinal Bessarione, now known as Palazzo Angeli. In 1498, the old Basilica of Santa Giustina Read more [...]
The Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni and frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by the painter and architect Giotto di Bondone, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. Since 2006, the Scrovegni Chapel has been nominated to become the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Padua, the first being the 16th century botanical garden. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 14th century, Enrico Scrovegni, a rich Paduan banker, had bought a land in Padua, in an ancient Roman area, to build a sumptuous palace and a chapel that will be used as a family mausoleum. For painting the chapel, he comissioned the Florentine Giotto, who started the work in 1303 and finished it before March 25th, 1305, when the chapel was consecrated. Giotto painted the entire inner surface of the oratory with a unitary iconography, helped by a team of about forty employees. Palazzo Scrovegni was demolished in 1827 to obtain precious materials and make room for two condominiums, and the chapel was officially acquired by the Municipality of Padua. Immediately after the purchase, the condominiums were demolished and the chapel was restored. In Read more [...]
Hotel Patavium is a 3-Star hotel in Padua, located about 1.2 kilometers from the Scrovegni Chapel and about 1 kilometer from the Piazza dei Signori. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite LCD TV, telephone and mini-bar. Some rooms come with wood floors or private terraces. Junior suites feature a hydromassage bath. The hotel has a private garden, where breakfast can be served. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Patavium is located about 1 kilometer from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop, Beato Pellegrino 105, is located right in front of the hotel, on the bus Lines U09 and U11.
Majestic Toscanelli is a 4-Star boutique hotel in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, about 200 meters away from the Piazza delle Erbe and the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. The hotel offers 34 rooms designed in various styles, with carpeted or hardwood floors. All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning and a satellite TV. A generous and varied buffet breakfast is served daily. The guests of Majestic Toscanelli are allowed to take their car into the city’s restricted-traffic area. HOW TO GET THERE Majestic Toscanelli is located about 1.4 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza delle Erbe, about 140 meters away, on the bus Line U02. The closest tram stop is Livio, about 300 meters away, on the tram Line SIR1.
B&B Ai Carraresi is a bed and breakfast in Padua, located in the historical center of the city, about 400 meters from the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and about 750 meters from the square of Prato della Valle. All the rooms come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom with a hairdryer, bidet and bath or a shower. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property and the B&B also offers a shared lounge. An Italian breakfast is available every morning. HOW TO GET THERE B&B Ai Carraresi is located about 2.1 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is Barbarigo 58, located about 180 meters away, on the bus Line U02.
Piazza della Frutta (Fruit Square), once called Piazza del Peronio, is a beautiful square in Padua, dominated by the imposing Palazzo della Ragione. Together with the nearby Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Frutta was, for centuries, the commercial center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The area was inhabited since pre-Roman times, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds. According to some, it was a site of trade already during the Roman age, but owes its current conformation to a period between the 10th and 11th centuries. The square was occupied by numerous shops and stalls, selling all kinds of goods, especially vegetables and fruits. With the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione at the beginning of the 13th century, an attempt was made to arrange the various points of sale – under the hall, the sellers of fabrics and fur were installed, the vendors of poultry and game to the east, the sellers of fruits and vegetables to the west, while the removable stalls with leather were placed in the center of the square. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the medieval houses enclosing the square were renovated, with the rectification of the arcades. In the first half of the Read more [...]
Loggia del Consiglio is a beautiful Late Renaissance palace in Padua, located in the southwestern corner of Piazza dei Signori. Beginning with 1240, when the large hall of Palazzo della Ragione was destroyed in a fire, the city’s council met in the Loggia del Consiglio, hence the name of the building. The palace is also known as the Loggia della Gran Guardia, because it was used as a military commandment during the Austrian domination. SHORT HISTORY The elegant Mannerist building was designed by Annibale Maggi from Bassano, and built starting with the year 1496. The works proceeded slowly and were often interrupted by long pauses, of which the longest was after the Siege of Padua by the Roman Emperor Maximilian I, in 1509, during the War of the League of Cambrai. The work resumed in 1516 under the guidance of Biagio del Bigio from Ferrara, and later, starting with 1530, continued under the direction of the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto. Faconetto, due also to his work on the Torre dell’Orologio, played an important role in the new configuration of the square. In 1866, the Loggia del Consiglio became part of the municipal patrimony, and was subsequently used for cultural Read more [...]
Torre dell’Orologio is a medieval clock tower in Padua, located between Palazzo del Capitanio and Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, in Piazza dei Signori. SHORT HISTORY The tower was built in the first half of the 14th century, as a fortified entrance to the Carrarese Royal Palace, owned by the noble family of da Carrara, Lords of Padua. However, its current appearance is due to the works began 1426 at the behest of the Captain Bartolomeo Morosini, concluded with the inauguration of the clock on the Feast of Saint Anthony from 1437. The astronomical clock that dominates the square is the oldest mechanism of its kind in the world. It is actually a reconstruction from 1436 of the clock built by Jacopo Dondi in 1344, and placed on the tower of the southern gate of the Carrarese Palace. The clock is the work of Matteo Novello and Giovanni and Gian Pietro delle Caldiere. In 1531, the nobleman Vitale Lando comissioned the large triumphal arch located at the base of the tower to the architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto. In June 2010, the monument undergone a careful restoration work that affected both the architectural structure of the tower and the mechanisms of the Read more [...]
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà is a medieval palace in Padua, located near the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, on the northern side of Piazza Duomo. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built between the 13th and 14th centuries, and it belonged to the famous moneylender Rinaldo Scrovegni. At the beginning of the 14th century, it was destroyed by a fire and subsequently abandoned. The palace was taken over by the noble family of da Carrara, and with the annexation of Padua by the Republic of Venice at the beginning of the 15th century, the building became the property of the Venetian government. A fire damaged much of the building in the first half of the 16th century. Doge Andrea Gritti, at the request of the bishop Pietro Barozzi, sold the palace for 10,000 ducats to the Monte di Pietà institution, founded by the Franciscans a few decades earlier to combat usury. The renovation of the facade was entrusted to the Veronese architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, who redesigned the building on the basis of the six-arched loggia and the perimeter walls that survived the fire. The headquarters of the Monte di Pietà was inaugurated in 1533, while in the following Read more [...]
Piazza delle Erbe, also known in the past as Piazza delle Biade (Corn Square), Piazza del Vino (Wine Square) or Piazza della Giustizia (Justice Square), is a beautiful square in Padua, located in the historical center of the city. The square is dominated by the magnificent Palazzo della Ragione. SHORT HISTORY The area dates back to pre-Roman times, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds. Although the place was destined for trade since the imperial age, its current conformation dates back to a period between the 9th and the 11th centuries. After the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione at the beginning of the 13th century, the various shops were reorganized – under the portico of the palace, the sellers of fabrics and fur were installed, the sellers of wrought iron in the east of the square, the sellers of wine in the west, while the stalls with grains and leather were installed in the center of the square. The goldsmiths were located under the portico of the Palazzo del Podestà, built also in the 13th century in the eastern side of the square. In the 18th century, the arcades of the medieval houses located to the south of Read more [...]
Porta Liviana, known also as Porta di Pontecorvo, is a city gate in Padua, part of the Mura Cinquecentesche (16th Century Walls). The gate now appears detached from the walls and therefore presents itself as an isolated monument. Originally, the walls were linked to the sides of the gate, where today two semicircular niches can be seen. SHORT HISTORY The walls, also known as the Mura Veneziane, were built by the Venetian Republic during the first decades of the 16th century, as a project of the captain Bartolomeo d’Alviano. The walls were protected on its west flank by a canal known as the Fossa Bastioni. The construction of the Porta Liviana was begun immediately after the Siege of Padua from 1509, in the context of the War of the League of Cambrai. It was the first gate to be completed in 1517, and was probably based on a design by the Lugano architect Sebastiano Mariani. The gate was dedicated to Bartolomeo d’Alviano, who died on October 7, 1515. ARCHITECTURE The gate is actually a cube of 16 meters on each side, with the arches of the passage underlined, on the two opposing facades, by pilasters, entablature and tympanum Read more [...]
Palazzo Zacco al Prà is a beautiful palace in Padua, located on the western side of the square of Prato della Valle. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the building was begun on December 19, 1555, commissioned by Marco, an exponent of the Zacco family of Padua. The building was designed by Andrea Moroni, and probably incorporated some pre-existing buildings. The construction was completed in less than two years and, by 1557, the palace was already occupied by its owners. The Zacco family resided in the palace until the early 1800s. One of the last major events that took place in the palace was the stay of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of Habsburg and his wife, Carolina Augusta of Bavaria. On June 27, 1839, the last descendants of the historic owners sold the building to the Armenian Mekhitarist Congregation. Four years later, the palace became the Collegio Morat. Later, the property was taken over by the municipality of Padua, which in 1904 ceded it to the Italian state. Palazzo Zacco was declared a building of artistic interest on April 24, 1925. Occupied by various Military Commands, Palazzo Zacco became the Padua headquarters of the Officer’s Club of the Italian Read more [...]
Basilica of Santa Giustina, dedicated to Saint Justina of Padua, is an important Catholic church in Padua, located in the square of Prato della Valle. SHORT HISTORY In the 6th century, the praetorian prefect Venanzio Opilione built a basilica on the site of the tomb of Saint Justina of Padua, martyred in 304. The basilica, which in the meantime was flanked by an important Benedictine monastery, collapsed due to the earthquake of 1117. The church was rebuilt in the following years, reusing what remained of the previous construction. Between the 14th and the 16th centuries, the choir, the sacristy and the Chapel of San Luca were built. In this period, the adjacent monastery was also rebuilt. Starting with 1501, a new construction was begun on the project of Girolamo da Brescia. After abandoning the da Brescia project, the monks entrusted the work to Sebastiano da Lugano and then to Andrea Briosco. After the death of the latter, the direction of the work passed to Andrea Moroni and then to Andrea da Valle. The huge construction site lasted for more than a century. The basilica was solemnly consecrated on March 14, 1606. Following the Napoleonic ecclesiastical laws, the abbey was Read more [...]
Loggia Amulea is a neo-Gothic style palace in Padua, located on the western side of the beautiful square of Prato della Valle. SHORT HISTORY The Loggia takes its name from the cardinal Marco Antonio da Mula, known also as Amulio, who founded in Padua the Collegio Amulio and the Compagnia del Gran Nome di Dio, dedicated to the assistance of orphans. He owned a palace in Prato della Valle, which was destroyed by a fire in 1822. The Municipality of Padua then decided to built a new palace. Initially, the building was supposed to be divided into cafes, dance halls, game rooms, theaters, but later it was preferred to be used for military purpose. Around 1860, among the various competing projects, it was chosen the one presented by the architect Eugenio Maestri. The palace was the seat of the Padua fire brigade between 1906 and 1989. It currently houses some municipal offices. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The front of the building is characterized by an elegant loggia, a two-storey neo-Gothic structure which recovers medieval elements, especially in the use of architectural decorations in terracotta (architraves, tiles, pilasters). Between the lower arches of the loggia, there are the statues of Read more [...]
Piazza dei Signori or Piazza della Signoria is a beautiful square in the historic center of Padua, with the famous Clock Tower on one side and the Church of San Clemente on the other. Its name comes from Palazzo della Signoria, residence of the Lords of Padua between 1318 and 1405, a building that does not exist anymore. SHORT HISTORY Piazza dei Signori appeared in the 14th century on the place of an ancient district, as the result of an urban reorganization promoted by Ubertino da Carrara, Lord of Padua. The war between the Carraresi and the Visconti at the end of the 14th century damaged the square and left it in ruins until the ‘20s of the 15th century, when the Venetians started a work of recovery. At first, the square was paved with terracotta tiles, arranged in a herringbone pattern, gradually replaced starting from the 18th century by tiles of Euganean trachyte. Following a speech by Father Alessandro Gavazzi, on May 9, 1848, the square became Piazza Pio IX, the heart of the anti-Austrian popular movement. Then, it became Piazza Unità d’Italia, to return to its original name during the Fascist era. Now, the square hosts part Read more [...]