Piazza dei Signori or Piazza della Signoria is a beautiful square in the historic center of Padua, with the famous Clock Tower and the Palazzo del Capitanio 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.
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 of the city market, in the morning.
The square has a rectangular shape, with houses that surround it from various eras and styles, that are still bearing medieval and Renaissance decorations.
To the west, is the Clock Tower flanked symmetrically by Palace of the Capitanio. In front of the palace rises the Colonna Marciana (Marciana Column), a monument with a lion on top dating back to the middle of the 18th century.
To the east, is the ancient Church of San Clemente, flanked by medieval houses. To the south, the Loggia del Consiglio stands out, largely rebuilt after being hit by a bomb in the Second World War. To the north, there are several interesting medieval houses, among which we can mention the gothic Molin building.
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza dei Signori is 1.3 kilometers away from the Padua Train Station and about 1.4 kilometers away from Prato della Valle. The closest bus station, Signori Orologio, is right in front of the Clock Tower, on the bus line U02.