Prato della Valle, Padova

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  • Prato della Valle
    by TooTallFinn24
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    Prato della Valle
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Prato della Valle
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  • oriettaIT's Profile Photo

    Prato della Valle

    by oriettaIT Updated Feb 3, 2011

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    at the sunset
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    The bigger square in Padova and one of widest in Europe.
    This square have a round island in the midle, surrounded by a canal. There ae four bridges to walk through. The canal is decorated with a double ring of huge statues, 78 at all, representing famous people. The island is all green planted with nice tree.
    The municipality use this place to organize events, there is fireworks on new year eve and on 15 August. But it is just a very nice place to go for a walk, enjoy the green and have a coffee or an ice cream.
    During Saturday there are a huge market where you can find clothes, shoes, flowers and plants.
    Try to go at night, it is a excellent place to take picture, the statues are all lighted up and make wonderful reflections in the canal in the center of the square.

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    Prato della Valle

    by suvanki Updated Jun 22, 2008

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    Prato della Valle Padua
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    It's hard to imagine that this attractive landmark of Padua was originally swampland.

    In 1775, Andre Memmia - the patrician of Padova aka "The Provider of Padova" declared a programme of reclamation and restoration.
    During excavations, ruins of an ancient Roman theatre were found.

    "The Square" as the area is popularly known, contains a grassed island - L'Isola Memmia, which is surrounded by a water filled moat, crossed by four stone bridges.

    The inner and outer 'banks' of the moat are surrounded by 78 stone statues, each representing a famous citizen of Padua, or someone with connections to the city. One of the statues is of Memmia himself.

    Surrounding the moat is a pathway, then a broad roadway that encircles the square. This is popular with joggers, rollerbladers and cyclists.

    At 90, 000 sq metres, this is the largest square in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe - possibly only second to Moscow's Red Square

    New Years Day and the Festival of Annunciation each August a party is held here with music and fireworks

    Prato della Valle originally had so many trees growing, that very little grass was able to grow. Now, all but one of the original trees has died, so there is plenty of grass for the many students, workers and visitors to sit on.

    I first saw this impressive square on the Sunday, when a lively market was held. I only saw a small part of the market as not realising this was just held on the last Sunday of each month!,

    I'd planned to go back later in my stay. Hmmm- I'm now regretting not buying one of the old posters that I'd liked.

    One of my favourite visits to 'The Square' was at sunset, when the sun, statues and clouds were reflected in the water.

    I sat for quite a while entranced by the sight of the reflected clouds which appeared to be underneath the water.

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    Prato della Valle

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 18, 2010

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    The Prato della Valle's moat and statues

    In Roman times, this square was known as the Campo Marzio, the social center of the city. It was built around the Zairo theater, whose remains continued to stand here for centuries after the fall of Rome. In 1775, Governor Andrea Memmo commissioned the architect Domenico Cerato to design an elliptical public space with an island in the middle. Along the moat, he had statues erected of Padua's most distinguished citizens. It is still the main center of Padua.

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    Prato delle Valle--Piazza

    by painterdave Updated Aug 5, 2009

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    Part of the Canal and Statues
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    If you visit Padova you will undoubtedly see Prato dell Valle as it is the center of Padova. The buses and tram circle the area, and the big market on weekends, any festivals that might be scheduled, and concerts will take place here.
    Padova has many websites that list any festivities, so you might google padova and check on the itineraries for the month you are visitiing.
    You can walk north of this piazza and go along the "no car" street to the 3 smaller piazzas and the big market building. Also near these piazzas is the University area called the Bo, and if you are lucky you will see some graduates going through the final steps of graduating where they wear funny costumes and read a short dissertation on themselves. There are two musicians that follow them around playing music and their friends and family gather near them when they are reading and hoping not to make a mistake. If they do, they have to take a swig of some high powered liquor as punishment.
    I like to think of this area as a place to go and relax, have a coffee and watch the people. I sit near the flower seller area, which makes a nice background to my watercolor sketches.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    Prato della Valle
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    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........

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    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    Prato della Valle
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    ........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.......

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    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    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.

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    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    Prato della Valle
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    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.

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    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    Prato della Valle
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    ......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......

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Prato della Valle

    by croisbeauty Updated Jul 25, 2004

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    Prato della Valle
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    .....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.

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    Prato della Valle

    by call_me_rhia Written May 7, 2003

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    prato della valle, detail

    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

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    PRATO DELLA VALLE

    by BerniShand Written Sep 17, 2005

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    we couldnt find a statue of Pakettle
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    you know you are someone special in Padova when they erect a statue to you here !

    Once this was a Roman amphitheatre, since 1775 it has been a wonderful piazza, the lagest in Europe, where a canal surrounds a grass oval crossed by paths,
    around the canal stand 78 white marble statues of great people from Padovas history, from a distance it looks like a gathering of pale townspeople, close to the effect is stunning

    now it is a place of fairs and special events, and it is used daily by the people of Padova as somewhere that children play, elderly people and footsore tourists sit and rest, and lovers meet

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  • hundwalder's Profile Photo

    Soaking up the rays at Prato della Valle

    by hundwalder Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    Sun worshiping pilgrims

    Padovans and their dogs come to Prato della Valle on weekends to relax and socialize. The 78 statues of famous Padovans appear to be carefully monitoring the " decadent " activities. Prato della Valle was established about 800 years ago, but the site has served as an entertainment venue since ancient Roman times.

    In the background is the basilica di Santa Justina, which has dominated the piazza for more than 600 years. Shown in the photo are all 8 domes of the incredible basilica.

    Notice the numerous trailers parked between the prato and the basilica. They did not belong to the saint seeking pilgrims. There was something resembling a large weekend flea market in full swing. Merchants sold everything from art antiques to junk to gelato ( ice cream ) from these trailers. Definately an added bonus for weekend visitors to Padova.

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  • hundwalder's Profile Photo

    Prato della Valle Saturday afternoon.

    by hundwalder Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    weekend sun and fun in Padova

    Prato della Valle near Basilica di Santo Antonio is said to be the largest public square in Italia. It owes its elliptical shape to the ancient Roman ampitheater that once occupied the site. The square is surrounded by a water filled moat. Access is by the bridge shown in the photo. Shown are a few of the 78 statues of famous Padovans adorn the periphery of the square. ( I cannot name any of them ). In the background on your left is a surviving piece of ancient roman Padova, the triumphal arch. It is about 1800 years older than Napolean's copy in Paris.

    Prato della Valle is now the favorite gathering of locals & students at Padova's famous 800 year old university. Concerts, plays, political rallies, etc. are often held there. I enjoyed a good concert there that very evening. I was feeling pretty good when I caught the late night train to Venezia afterward. In my condition I was lucky to find my way to the train station.

    ciao !

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Prato della Valle

    by Willettsworld Updated Sep 18, 2005

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    Prato della Valle (literally "meadow of the valley") is a huge oval area south of the city centre is said to be the largest "square" in Europe. The area served as a theatre in Roman times but it deteriorated into an unhealthy swamp until, in 1775, it was transformed into a grand 22-acre park. The area features an oval moat in which 4 bridges span over it so that visitors can reach a central island of grass and paths. At the edges of the moat are 78 statues of foreign sovereigns and important figures in the town's history.

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