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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    First Bronze Cast Statue Since Roman Empire

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Aug 9, 2013

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    Located out front of the Basilica de San Antonio is a somewhat non-descript statue of a man on a horse. Not being able to determine the significance of it, I inquired within the church to find more information.

    The statue I found was of a man named Erasmo da Narmi, a famous condotierri or mercenary from the Italian Renaissance. He is sometimes referred to as Gattamelata or the Honeyeyed Cat. The statue was sculpted by Donatello. The statue is regarded to be the first time bronze casting was used by a sculptor since the Roman Empire.

    Gattamelata is buried within the Basilica de San Antonio in the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament.

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    Chapel of the Holy Sacrament- Il Santo

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Aug 9, 2013

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    One of the prettiest chapels anywhere in Italy I was dumbstruck by the array of colors coming from this chapel in the Basilica de San Antonio (Il Santo). According to the church's website the chapel has undergone significant changes over the centuries with the latest being in the early 20th century when the apse under the altar was modified.

    The chapel was completed in 1458 and is located to the right of the main nave. It used to be called the Gattamelata Chapel in honor of, Erasno di Narmi, the man on the horse statue in front of the church. Narmi's body as well as that of his son is buried in the chapel.

    This chapel is definitely worth a view.

    For additional information be sure and visit the excellent web site basicilladelsanto.org which is put together by the Basilica staff.

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    Basilica di San Antonio Exterior

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Aug 9, 2013

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    As I took the tram from the railroad station I kept hearing some ladies talk about, "Il Santo.." It wasn't until I got off the tram that I realized they were talking about the Basilica di San Antonio. Approaching the Basilica I was also struck by the sheer number of stalls selling religious artifacts on both sides of the street leading up to the church.

    The main view of the basilica was unfortunately covered by scaffolding as work to keep it free from dirt, grime and aging continues. Even without the scaffolding the exterior is certainly not that impressive compared to other churches in the area. While guides debate what the predominant style of the basilica is there are elements of at least three architectural styles present. According to the church's own web site construction took place in three distinct phases over seventy years beginning in 1238. During St. Anthony's life there was a small church called Santa Maria Mater Domini. This small church was later integrated into the main basilica and today is called the Chapel of the Black Madonna. The first major church addition constructed was a Franciscan church with only one nave and a small transept. Then two lateral naves were added and the church grew and grew. However as the church grew over time Romanesque and Byzantine themes were added to the exterior resulting in the smorgasboard of styles you see today. The difference in domes and other architectural features is striking as you walk around the church.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.....

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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.

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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.

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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! :-)

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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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    Duomo and baptistry

    by leics Written Apr 9, 2012

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    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.

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    The Eremitani

    by leics Written Apr 9, 2012

    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.

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    Giardino dell'Arena

    by leics Written Apr 8, 2012

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    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.

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