Fun things to do in Padova

  • The stall of shame
    The stall of shame
    by oriettaIT
  • Situated at the square Piazza Duomo.
    Situated at the square Piazza Duomo.
    by Jerelis
  • The tower of the Duomo.
    The tower of the Duomo.
    by Jerelis

Most Viewed Things to Do in Padova

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    Saint Anthony

    by traveloturc Updated Jan 16, 2014

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    The most famous church is the basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, simply known as "Il Santo".
    The bones of the Saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them of Sansovino and Falconetto; the basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century; tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano; it is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal. it is an imposing construction in Romanesque-Gothic style.St. Anthony is the object of pilgrimages from all over the world.
    Among the works of art it keeps, one must point out the frescoes by Altichiero and Giusto de' Menabuoi (end of the 14th century); the Crucifix, the statues and the bronze reliefs of the High Altar, superlative work by Donatello (1444-1448); the Altar of the Saint and the Treasure Chapel. Near the Basilica rise the St. George Oratory, holding a great cycle of frescoes by Altichiero (1379-1384) and the School of the Saint, that keeps three famous frescoes by Titian (1511).

    Saint anthony church st Anthony

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    Roman amphitheatre - Imagine it.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    The following fact we learned from a book and a sign which was located at the site: “The Roman amphitheatre of Padua had an elliptical shape of 134,26 meters on its major axis and 97,31 meters on its minor axis. The building leaned on massive foundations and, on its façade, it had an external porch with 80 arches on two different levels. On the basis of the most accepted reconstruction hypothesis, the decoration was of Tuscan order and it was made of trachyte. The pavements were in red marble from Verona, and particularly the stairs, the podium and the radial rooms.”

    Of the amphitheatre of Padua we can see parts of the elliptical middle wall, with the 2 meters large openings and several disconnected fragments. This means that it is even larger as what we could see and it extends into the current Giardini dell’Arena park fences. Therefore it is quite difficult to imagine that there used to be an entrance / gate that gave access to those taking part in the show. On the side of the Scrovegni chapel there used be another gate through which the dead gladiators were transported out of the arena. So the current site leaves much to imagine, but still gives a nice idea of the history of the Roman city of Padua. I say … it still is a must see!

    Sam is having fun in Padua. Just imagine ...
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    Roman amphitheatre - The Arena.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    The city of Padua was a Roman municipium since 45 BC and used to have the name Patavium at that time. Unlucky enough the city was stormed and burned by enemies in the year 601 AD and very seriously damaged by that war. Therefore the some bridge foundations and the remains of the amphitheatre (the Arena) are all that remains of Roman Padua today, such a shame.

    Lucky enough some of the remains of the Roman amphitheater are still visible. To be honest, at first it is very difficult to discover an amphitheater in the walls. That’s the main reason why we thought that it had to be old defensive walls. The stand or stages are all gone and the outside walls is all that is left. Once inside these walls we were able to discover an elliptical shape, which gave vision to the fact that is once was an arena. The amphitheater was identified in the 17th century and the excavated between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. With reference to the old Roman city it was situated in its northern outskirts. We walked our way along the walls and saw a drawing on a sign how the amphitheater must have looked like.

    Sam at the main entrance. Some beautiful remains of the walls.
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    Roman amphitheatre - Surpise ... ?

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    To me this is one of the most funniest tip to write I guess. Let me tell you why. By the time we arrived in Padua we walked our way up from our parking spot towards the old ancient city center of Padua. We kind of passed the park of Giardini dell’Arena by and saw some beautiful Roman remains of which we were convinced that these were the old city walls of Padua. We first decided to go to the centre and have a closer look at the roman remains later that day by the time we would go back to the car. By the end of the day I was very excited to have a look at these city walls and arrived at the Giardini dell’Arena. Having a look around and reading some signs made me realize that the old walls were not the defensive walls, but the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. How about that?

    As you can read above we were a bit disappointed not to have found the old defensive walls, but on the other hand we were about to visit another highlight of Padua. This is what we read on a sign and therefore found out. The Roman amphitheatre of Padua, which located inside the park “Giardini dell’Arena”, dates back to Augustan times (30 BC – 14 AD) and it is only partially conserved. Particularly, it is possible to see the remains of the elliptical middle wall, still visible for some parts. Time for us to explore it indeed!

    The outside walls of the Roman amphitheatre. The innercourt of the Roman amphitheatre.
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    Chiesa Maria dei Servi

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Aug 19, 2013

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    Located right off Via Roma, the Chiesa Maria dei Servi does not look like a church from the outside because of its location sandwiched between other structures in the very heart of downtown Padova.

    The Gothic church was built in the late 13th century, It is oriented parallel to Via Roma. Opposite of the main entrance door there is a very striking Addolorata Baroque altar (see picture below.) The inside is impressive with three richly adorned chapels. Some of the red marble columns were actually brought over from the Basilica of St. Anthony in the 15th century. There is an impressive crucifix that was designed in keeping with the principles of the Donatello school.

    There was no charge to walk into the church briefly and take a few pictures.

    Chiea dei Servi Entrance Addolorata Baroque Altar Maria dei Servi Interior - cour. Wiki

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    Explore the markets

    by leics Updated Aug 18, 2013

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    If you are lucky, there will be markets in the appropriately-named Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti, probably spreading into Piazza dei Signori as well.

    We visited on a Tuesday and there were markets in all three squares...the Pizza Erbe for fruit and vegetables, the other two squares filled with stalls of all kinds, with some excellent clothing deals to be found!

    Cheeses and meats are indoors, in the arched corridor of the Palazzo della Ragione which divides Piazza dei Frutti and Piazza Erbe.

    We spent a long time exploring these markets and were hugely impressed not only by the variety of goods on offer but also by their quality and their prices. There's a big difference between markets in a hugely tourist-popular location and those in an ordinary working town, especially one which has a university (and thus thousands of hard-up students!).

    These markets are open every day except Sunday. On Saturdays the vast Prato della Valle also becomes a market.

    Fruit & veg Indoor stalls Market in Piazza dei Signori
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    Santa Maria dei Servi

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 25, 2013

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    Santa Maria dei Servi (its full name is Chiesa della Nativita della Santa Vergine Maria ai Servi) is an 13th century building overlooking via Roma. The church was built between 1372 and 1390,at the behest of Fina Buzzaccari, wife of the Prince of Padova Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara. It was constructed on the ruins of the palace of Niccolo da Carrara, razed on the ground after owner in 1372 betrayed the Signoria Carraresi, by siding with the Scaligeri from Verona.
    In 1393 Francesco Novello, son of Fina and Lord of Padova, entrusted the church to order of Servi di Maria (Servants of Mary). In the 16th century the church was subject of great embellishment works, especially by Bartolomeo da Campolongo who in 1511 built the portico. Many Padovan celebrities are buried in this church.
    This Gothic building features the facade constructed by pilasters and arches, with an short porch in the middle where an elegant Lobbard-Ghotic styled portal can be seen, made of stone from Vicenza. The 14th century bell tower rises above the chapel, on the right side, which is constructed by pilasters and arches, same as the portico. The interior of the church is vast and rich in works of art by Giovanni Bonazza, Rinaldo di Francia and Damini. The most valuable is, however, the miraculous crucifix by Donatello.

    Santa Maria dei Servi Santa Maria dei Servi Santa Maria dei Servi

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    Casa Olzignani

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 21, 2013

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    Casa Olzignani, in Via Umberto I, is one of my most favorite buildings in whole of Padova, whenever am visiting the town I must see again this exceptionally structured house.
    The house was erected in 1466 by Pietro Lombardo, one of the first Renaissance architects, and father of two Italian prominent sculptors. Pietro Lombardo (1435-1515) was an Italian sculptor and architect. He sculpted many Venetian tombs, including those of Dante Alighieri and several Venetian doges. His most appreciated project is the Venetian church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli.

    Casa Ozignani Casa Olzignani

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    Palazzo Emo Capodilista

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 21, 2013

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    Palazzo Emo - Capodilista, located in Corso Umberto I, with a batllements and tall medieval tower, is one of the few buildings from the 13th century left in the city. It has the splendid Romanesque facade with three-lights balcony and staircase inside from the 17th century. In the hall of the palace there is the tombstone of Tito Livio, who died in Padova in 17 AD, with an inscription engraved on a large block of rough Euganean trachyte.
    (Titus Livius Patavinus was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people).
    Inside the palace is a hall decorated by Francesco Zugno. Palazzo Emo - Capodilista is one of the many medieval tower-houses, so typical for the homes of noble families. Such a buildings were very numerous in the old core of the city, as it could be seen when strolling around.

    Palazzo Emo-Capodilista Palazzo Emo-Capodilista the tower on the rooftop Palazzo Emo-Capodilista Palazzo Emo-Capodilista

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    Loggia e Odeo Cornaro

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 18, 2013

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    Loggia e Odeo Cornaro is an architectural complex built by Alvise Cornaro in the first half of the16th century. Thew loggia was born as an result of humanistic interests for the theatre-antique, to represent the works of Angelo Beolco, called "Il Ruzzante", who was superintendent of Alvise Cornaro and his man of trust. This Forum Cornaro that faithfully reproduces the classical literature was designed by the architect and painter Giovanni Maria Falconeto in 1524 and was specially designed for the theatre performances. In fact it is a sort of lap without a depth and was used as a performance space (stage is theatrical background). The octagonal room in the center of Odeo consist of straight walls alternating with niches and is very similar to the rooms of the Domus Aurea (at Rome), which was discovered only at the beginning of the 206th century. Some scholars have suggested that the room should serve to host music cncerts.

    Loggia e Odeo Cornaro Loggia e Odeo Cornaro Loggia e Odeo Cornaro

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    Old Wall Of Padova

    by painterdave Written Jun 10, 2012

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    Padova was quite a large town back when they needed walls for protection and so its wall cannot be walked, and also some homes were built right into the wall. There is one home in the center of Padova that has a 3 foot wall inside.
    However, there are many places where you can see the wall up close and therefore you can see how they have been repaired, and constructed. This photo is from the wall nearest the Scrovegni Chapel where the famous paintings by Giotto can be viewed. You can see some reconstruction in the background... this has been going on for many years because of the economy.
    The wall was built originally by the Romans. It was strong enough hundreds of years later to stop the Austrian ruler, who was thrown out, from getting his army back inside. There was a long seige. When he finally got inside, he burned part of Padova as their reward for his ousting.
    I hope that now when you look at the wall, it will have more meaning for you.....

    Bricks and Blocks
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    Medieval Festival

    by painterdave Written Jun 10, 2012

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    Several times a year the citizens take out their medieval costumes, dust off the swords and armor, and get ready for a weekend of medieval life. There is usually a parade on both days of the weekend, and big medieval market of things made during that time, and tours of parts of the medieval town. Some of this includes underground visits to things not seen by tourists, guided trips along the wall and canal and entrance to some of the towers.
    The festival that I attended occurs in June of every year.

    Lots of costumes, even the shoes Ready To Use Armor Tripping on Cobblestones?  Hope Not!
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    Palazzo e Torre Zabarella

    by leics Written Apr 9, 2012

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    I love Italian 'tower houses'.

    I first came across these early Medieval expressions of power (and how terribly symbolic having a bigger tower than anyone else clearly is!) in Pavia. since then I've noticed them...or their remains, for few are still at their original height..in other northern Italian towns. Tower houses were very much in fashion during the early Medieval period (the 1200s-1400s, roughly) but most have been greatly reduced in height over the centuries, for obvious reasons. You can somtimes spot an ex-tower house by its shape...square based and quite narrow, with its lower layers made of huge stones.

    This one, attached to the Palazzo Zabarella, is the only one I spotted in Padova, though being with the FW meant I was not able to look as closely as I normally do.

    As with most palazzi, the complex is much bigger than it appears from the street, stretching back around a central (hidden) courtyard. The area itself was the heart of Roman Padova, and the torre and palazzo date from the 12rh and 13th century. Restoration was completed in 1996 (see the website for info...it's in Italian).

    The building is now used for exhibitions and events.

    Torre Zabarella Lower levels, showing huge stones
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    ...and make sure you look up! 1

    by leics Written Apr 9, 2012

    It's very easy to miss history and architectural interest if you don't look up.

    In this respect Padova is no different to anywhere else. So keep looking up...you'll see carvings and twiddles, frescoes and decorative brickwork, windows which tell you the building's age, sometimes clues to changes over the ages, elaborate balcony ironwork and...if you're lucky..a Green Man! :-)

    Ancient weather-worn fresco Detailed modern fresco Beautifully ornate balcony The Green Man! Family shield in the Via dei Fabbri
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    Just enjoy the architecture....

    by leics Updated Apr 9, 2012

    I found Padova absolutely fascinating from an architectural point of view.

    The historical centre still, in the main, has its Medieval street layout...and many of the streets are cobbled, and still lined with buildings of great age..some early Medieval, some later Medieval, palazzos and 'ordinary' houses, 18th-century mansions, arcades and pillars...

    There is so much to see and enjoy as you wander.

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