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.
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 the square were standardized. In 1874, Palazzo delle Debite was built in the western part of the square, on the site of the prisons.
The square, paved for the first time in the Middle Ages, was paved several times during the 18th century and for the last time in 1867.
The square has a trapezoidal shape. Every working day, it hosts the fruit and vegetable market in the morning. In the afternoon, numerous bars occupy the space with chairs and tables until late in the evening.
To the west, there is the Palazzo delle Debite and the entrance to the ancient Contrà Beccherie Vecchie, which runs towards Piazza Duomo.
To the east, there is the Palazzo del Podestà, with the Moschini wing completed at the beginning of the 20th century, and the entrance to the Contrà San Canziano towards the Canton of Gallo.
To the south, there are tall medieval houses, with arcades of various eras and styles. To the north, stands the Palazzo della Ragione with its numerous loggias.
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza delle Erbe is located about 1.3 kilometers from the Padua railway station. The closest bus stop is located in the west of the square, near the Palazzo della Ragione, on the bus Line U02. To find the square on foot, use the map below.