Scrovegni Chapel is a gem, the number one attracion in Padova, you must see it. The Giotto paintings are incredible, he was known as the father of the renaissance, living almost one hundred years before so many famous painters. This paitings is impossible to describe in words, you must see by yourself.
The visit needs to be prebooked by phone dialing 0039 049 2010020 or in their Cappella degli Scrovegni On line booking system, they will give you the time you are supposed to be there and you can plan the rest of your visit according to this time. The afternoon seems to be a bit less busy as school visit are normally during morning.
Before entering the Chapel you will see a video that will explain the main facts. The video seems to be available only in Italian. I suggest you read about the Chapel BEFORE coming in, as the visit is limited to only 15-20 minutes.
The ticket you purchase includes the possibility to visit the Padova museum and Palazzo Zuckerman, if you have the spare time they are both worth a visit.
Fondest memory: I have seen the Chapel two times, first before and than after the renewal work they did in 2001. The difference is awesome, the Giotto paintings are simply incredible. The only negative thing is the short time they will give you to see.. it is not enough to see everything well.
For a funny slant on Life in Italy, please click on to the following site. I have never laughed so loud or so long as I did watching this clip.
Please note I take no credit for the production, but I wish I had this talent.
Be aware, that in Italy, the doors to shops and restaurants open 'inward' as opposed to opening 'outwards' as we are used to in North America.
It certainly makes it easier to open the door for the fair sex as you are leaving a shop, but coming in poses a problem.
We've been here over a year, and still make the door slam and the windows shake when we attempt to open the door.
In North America it is a fire regulation which is strictly enforced, the reason is that doors should open 'outwards' in order to prevent a pile up at an exit in case of fire. Makes sense, whereas here, if the door were to open 'outward', it could strike the car that is parked on the sidewalk.
Each case has its merits.
Basilica of St. Anthony...you can't wear shorts.
PLUS, the market squares:
Piazza Erbe for a selection of odds and ends, clothing, handbags, knick nacks etc., etc.
Piazza Frutta for the freshest assortment of fruits and vegetables, spices, and candy. If you're here in the fall, look for freshly roasted chestnuts, and buy the largest bag they offer, or you'll just have to backtrack to purchase more later. (wonderful hot)
Beneath the Palazzo della Ragione, you'll find two aisles of fish mongers, cheese venders, and delicatessens (salumerie). Fresh, fresh, fresh.
Fondest memory: The people. Padova has very nice, warm, and caring people. This is a generalization of course, but we have found that shopkeepers try very hard to accomodate, bus drivers always lend a hand when questions arise, and the customer service people at the train station are outstanding.
Italian people want to learn English, therefore will attempt to speak to you in English whenever possible. I am embarrassed when I compare my feeble linguistic skills to theirs.
With the greenery and canals of Padova it looked an interesting place to stroll and explore more ...but it was just too hot that day and we saw more of cafes than anything else.
This tower caught my attention though, especially being reflected in the little River Paleocapa which flows through this part of Padova:-)
Hopefully we'll discover more on another visit.
Fondest memory: This area of Padova was my favourite with the reflctions of the statues and buildings in the canals. This had been a former site for fairs and entertainments and was reclaimed in 1775 by Domenico Cerato, by order of Andrea Memmo. The "square" is very picturesque with its canal crossed by four bridges and lined by 78 statues of famous men.
Favorite thing: Padova municipality lately upload in it's site some interesting audio guide to play with your mp3 player. They provide five different itineraries to discover the city. The guides are available in italian and english. Download your mp3 audio guide You will get the mp3 files and a map showing you where to stop and listen.
Basilica of St. Anthony (the Church of the Saint),was built in 1232 as a shelter of "Il Santo's" remains. St. Anthony (Il Santo) was born in Lisbon and lived in Padova for a comparatively short time xet the city chose him for its Patron Saint.
Fondest memory: The church of Il Santo has gradually become the most important religious and artistic focal point in Padova and one of the most celebrated buildings in the world.
Palazzo della Regione, the Municipal Palace, was built in 1218 by the Comune of Padova as the seat of the Podesta and the Law Courts. It was designed by Giovanni degli Eremitani, the architect friar.
The spacious upper floor was divided up by walls into three sections; Tribunal with the judges', Great Council and the office of the Podesta. Later on, the whole upper floor was turned into one great hall, as it is today.
The great Trojan horse, situated inside, was copied in 1466 from Donatello's bronze horse, by Annibale Capodilista.
Favorite thing: Prato della Valle has been of primary importance in the life of Roman, medieval and modern Padova. The present look of the square was designed by architect Domenico Cerato in 1775 -76. In the middle of it there is an islet, Memmia, and all around there are eighty-seven statues in white stone presenting the famous citizens of the city trough the history.
Monument of Gattamelata is situated in the north-west corner of the square, right in front of Basilica di San Antonio
Fondest memory: Donatello's masterpiece; the bronze equestrian monument to Erasmo de Narni, known as the Gattamelata, commander in chief of the armies of the Venetian Republic.
The monumental Basilica of St. Justina is situated on Prato della Valle and it consists of the church and the monastery.
There are seven side chapels in the interior of the basilica, the first five dedicated to the most important Benedictine Saints.
The Corridor of the Martyrs connects the new basilica with the Little Chapel of Santa Maria, where the Body of St. Prosdocimus lies. It is a rare example of early Christian art, datable between 480-510.
Fondest memory: The existing building dates from the 16th century and is the last of the three to be built on the spot. A paleochristian basilica, probably of modest propotions, built immediately after the Edict of Tolerance (313) to hold the hallowed Tomb of the Martyr Justina. The second basilica built from the foundations in honour of St. Justina, while today building was built by Andrea Moroni and completed in 1580 by the Istrian architect Andrea da Valle (Bale in croatian, small townlet nearby Rovinj). a
Most of the people have wrong idea about ghetto, considering it as something what was established during the nazi rule in Germany. Ghetto, however, has much longer history which goes back into the medieval times. Actually, ghetto was established in the Venetian Republic, forsing Jews to live in the separate quarters of the town in order to keep them under the controll. According to this brutal and dicriminating law, Jews couldn't step out of the ghetto after the sunset. Hitler, who was adorned by Duce and most of his ideas, have applied this rule during Nazism times of Germany.
There exist ghetto, or what was left of, in most of the Veneto towns.
Favorite thing: During the day it is used as an big open market place and looks very ugly, therefore I suggest you to visit this place in the afternoon. The view at the eastern part of Piazza dei Signori where, right opposite to the Palazzo del Capitano and next to Palazzo della Ragione, stands this defending (?) tower.
If you are planning a visit to Padova and you want to know what is going on here while you will be staying, the sites you have to check is Padova cultura - the official municipality site, Padovando and 2night (I am sorry they are only in italian, I hope they will provide a english version soon!!!).
They list every event in town , music, teather, dance, cinema, fairs, markets and festivals, exhibitions and also live music shows in pubs are listed here.
I saw that recently they improved the official Padova province tourist site in English, it can be found here Turismo Padova. It does not contain all the information found in the sites in Italian but it is a good start!