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.
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.
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.
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.....
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.
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.
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! :-)
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.
I didn't manage to visit the Duomo, because it was closed when I arrived (hours are 0730-1200 and 1545-1930).
But the Baptistry was open and really is well worth the 2.60 euro entrance fee.
This Romanesque building dates from the 1200s and was built by the Da Carrara family. It's not huge but is covered with frescoes by Giusto de'Menabuoi (from the late 1300s) and is absolutely lovely.
No photographs are allowed inside, unfortunately, but scenes depict the life of Christ on all four walls...some are absolutely delightful, and the colours seem very fresh. The cupola includes painted figures which almost give a 'trompe l'oeil' effect...very clever, given that the work is so early.
There is a beautiful wooden altarpiece with tiny paintings in jewel colours, also by Menbuoi.
Definitely a 'must-see'...and also a little oasis of peace and quiet in the city.
The Eremitani church stands next to the Giardino dell'Arena, on Piazza Eremitani.
It was built in the early fourteenth century but was almost completely destroyed in the 1944 bombing raids...including the destruction of the 15th-century frescoes by Mantagna, considered to be the second-worst of Italy's wartime artistic losses (after the Camposanto in Pisa).
What fragments of the frescoes remained have been pieced together again, and you can see the result in the chapels to the side of the main altar. But they give only the tiniest glimpse of what lovely pieces of art the frescoes must once have been.
The side-chapels also have small areas of fresco remaining, including some by the late fourteenth-century Paduan Guariento.
I was amazed at how well the church had been rebuilt, and by how much its 'feel' of antiquity remained. the wooden ceiling, shaped rather like the interior of a boat, is rather magnificent (sorry the photo is a bit blurred).
It's definitely worth spending some time in the Eremitani on your way to or from the station.
These rather lovely little gardens are set alongside the river Bacchiglione, as you cross into the historical city from the railway station.
They are well worth wandering and offer a pleasant, shady spot for a picnic in summer.
Little fountains ,flowerbeds, the occasional sculpture...and the remains of the Roman theatre (hence 'Arena').
The Scrovegni Chapel and the Eremitani monastery (now a museum) are also within the grounds.
Santa Sofia is the oldest church structure in Padova, built originally in the 10th century, on the site where Mithraeneum to stand. It has original and unique structure.
The Mithraeneum was usually natural cave, windowless and dark. It was pagan temple worshiping god Mitra.
The very suggestive Romanesque facade was constructed from 1106 to 1127. It was dedicated to Bishop Sinisbaldo in 1123, before it was even been finished. The interior of Santa Sofia is sparse. It has three naves divided with the columns and is very spacious. The bell tower was added in the 13th century.
The Church (Chiesa) of Santa Maria Dei Servi is a small, but old and interesting church located along one of the main street's in Padua's historic center. We almost walked right by it, but saw someone coming out a door and decided to go in out of curiosity. It is an active parish church, and was raising money for renovations when we visited. The church dates back to around 1400 and has an attractive altar area and some interesting paintings and sculptures decorating its interior. Its ceiling consists of dark wooden beams.
Padua's cathedral (the Duomo) is not nearly as interesting as the St. Anthony Basilica or Scrovegni Chapel, the two churches in town that get more tourists. The cathedral was built between 1550 and 1750 on the site of two previous cathedrals. The exterior is rather plain and the interior is also not very ornate, with a white ceiling and walls and a fairly plain altar (compared to other European cathedrals). The small baptistry, which is adjacent to the cathedral, is the exact opposite. It's interior is covered with beautiful 14th century frescos, and we were glad that we took the time to visit it. The ceiling of the baptistry is covered with a fresco of hundreds of saints surrounding Jesus. The walls have a numebr of frescos depicting biblical scenes, including the wedding at Cana, John the Baptist, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. There is a small charge to enter the baptistry, but it is well worth it, in our opinion. Unfortunately, we don't have any photo from the interior of the baptistry, because photography and video were not permitted.
The Eremitani Civic Museum is Padua's museum of art and archaeology. It is located in a former monastery and has two floors. The first floor features archaeological artifacts from the city's Roman past. The second floor features a nice collection of a hundreds of mostly Italian religious and secular paintings from the 1300s to the 1700s. Artists whose paintings are exhibited include Tintoretto, Titian, Tiepolo, Veronese, Bellini, and Giotto. The museum also has a small cafe.
The Erimitani Museum is also where you you to pick up tickets for the Scrovegni Chapel, which is adjacent to it. Give yourself about two hours to see the museum's two floors. On the day that we were there, there were surprisingly few visitors, which made for a very pleasant visit.
The exterior of the museum is nothing special to look at. The main reason to go there is to see its good collection of paintings.
The Galileo is a modern hotel that was built in 1907 next to the Padua University's sprawling...more
We picked this hotel because it looked pretty decent and was a 10 minute walk from the train station...more
The hotel is just in front of the basilica of Saint Anthony and quite near to the station. The rooms...more