Once a roman theatre this vast square has become the traditional site for fairs and amusements. It is a large elliptical green island divided by four avenues corresponding to four bridges, surrounded by a canal along which stand 78 statues of famous men.
All around there are eighty-seven statues in white stone, even if in themselves they are not of great value as works of art.
In the middle of the square stands Isola (islet) Memmia e Zairo, right on the place where Roman theatre stood.
.....Thus the spacious and original square, the only one of its kind in the world for its 18th c. table centre shape, came into being.
Nowadays Prato della Valle is the favorite pedestrian area of the locals, and the place where many open air concerts and events take place.
The Prato della Valle market was the traditional place already in 1077, where the cattle market took place twice a month as well as the two great fairs in October and November in honour of the two Patron Saints, Giustina and Prosdocimus........
......The palio del Santo race, instituted by the Comune in 1257 to commemorate the liberation of Padua from the tyranny of Ezzelino
Besides, Prato was a favorite rendezvous of all the free men of Padua......
........In 1767, the Senate declared Prato to be public property and the Venetian Procurator Andrea Memmo undertook to reclaim it and provide for a completely new layout with the help of Domenico Cerato, the architect and engineer.......
People say that Prato della Valle is the biggest public square of Italy. While I am no judge to that, I can certainly say that is one of the biggest squares that I have ever seen.
Its oval shape comes from the Roman theatre that ones stood on this spot - a fact that confirms the ancient origins of Padua, if any further proof was needed. Saint Antonio came here to preach to the folk of the city, and later a market was held on the spot.
History, however, was not most kind to Prato della Valle and it turned into a pretty dirty marsh. No worries! It was drained in 1767 to create a rather picturesque canal that now embraces the Prato. The canal is now crossed by four bridges leading into the square of Prato della Valle and its banks are decorated with statues of 78 most eminent citizens of Padua.
This is the first place people recommended us to see - Prato della Valle: however they told us it was a park - not the square it actuallly is - so for a long time we wondered around looking very lost, thinking we would never find it.
Prato della Valle is an oval "green" square surrounded by a canal and little bridges and lined with a double row of statues depicting important "padovani" (people from Padova) of the past.
It was built in 1775 by the architect Domenico Cerato
Prato della Valle is huge square on the place of the former Roman theatre. It has monumental aperiance with bridges on the artificial lake, statues, green areas and palaces all around. Great place to be! Few days a week there is open market.
Prato della Valle
One of the most beautiful parks I've ever seen! It's a network of small canals lined with wonderful marble sculptures. Unfortinately I don't know who or what the sculptures represent - you'll have to ask a Padovano. The park looks gorgeous even in the rain, as you can see on the photo.
When I visited it was a glorious warm sunny day and the area was filled with students basking either in the sun or lying in the shade (of which there is very little).
Some part of the Padova city is definitely French style. For this square, you can find a similar one in Paris. They look exactly the same.
Great photograph opportunities in this huge open area. Statues line the boundaries of this oval-shaped park. Great view of Basilica E Abbazia in the distance.