Top 5 attractions in Padua
Padua, in the Veneto region, is one of the oldest cities in all of Italy. It almost goes without saying that, for this reason, it is one of the most historic boot-shaped cities in the entire country and is home to real treasures. Today I take you to discover the 5 main attractions of this magnificent city called Padua. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.
Today I take you to one of the most charming cities in our beautiful Italy! Let’s go to Padua (Padova), Veneto, to discover the 5 main attractions of this city full of magic. Padua is a very old city and, to this day, it houses true historical gems. Find out where to sleep in Padua here!
According to legend, Padua was founded in 1185 BC. by Antenore, a leader who fled from Troy. It is said that shortly after he ascended the Adriatic Sea he entered Italy via the lagoon, Venice, and under the command of a group of ancient Venetians from Illyria (or Asia Minor) he arrived at an area near a river where founded Padua. Padua was one of the most important cities of Venetian civilization and already at that time it presented itself in a majestic way when it came to trade: it was there that several commercial agreements took place, even for its excellent location, and the route soon became famous and important. for the entire area around the territory. Padua Tourist Bus! Click here to learn more!
A little more about Padua
Padua is a very pleasant city with around 210,000 inhabitants. The city is also home to one of the oldest universities in Europe: the University of Padua. The theater on site opened in 1595, and was the first permanent space for public exhibitions in Europe. Today it is possible to visit the theater along with the Palazzo del Bo, which is a very beautiful place. Find out here how to get to Padua from Venice!
If you want to visit the historic university and the beautiful Palazzo del Bo, you need to buy your ticket in advance, and for that, you can click here! All visits are guided and they take place daily, including weekends and holidays.
Top 5 attractions in Padua
Padua offers many attractions and we could write a book on the subject, so we have listed the top 5 attractions you need to visit during your stay in the city. If you want a more detailed itinerary, remember that I am a travel consultant and I will be happy to help you organize your dream itinerary in Padua. Want a more in-depth script? Talk to me here!
1) Scrovegni Chapel
If you arrive by train, we will start our visit at the Scrovegni Chapel. At first glance, passing calmly in front of the place, the construction may not attract our attention, however, once inside, everything is very clear! It’s a splendid place! The simple construction houses, nothing short than some of the most important frescoes in the world made by the brilliant Giotto: a ‘starry sky’ under which the episodes of the life of Joaquim and Ana unfold (seen in panels 1 to 6 ), those of the life of Mary (visible in panels 7 to 13) and episodes of the life and death of Christ. What is also impressive is the time it took Giotto to complete the work: only two years!
In 1303 he was commissioned by Enrico Scrovegni and delivered the work completed in 1305. Enrico’s idea was to build the chapel in honor of the soul of his father, Reginaldo Scrovegni, who according to him, there were many sins to be forgiven. Banker and usurer, Reginaldo was famous and feared and, therefore, was mentioned by Dante as being in hell, in the book of the Divine Comedy. With the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto started the revolution of modern painting and changed the history of art forever. There are also those who say that, in fact, Enrico commissioned the chapel so that he could be buried there. Be sure to also check the pretty frescoes in the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista, which are just as beautiful.
2) Piazza delle Erbe
Padua is also famous for its squares! They are delightful, pleasant and attract our attention, however, one of them deserves to be highlighted: Piazza delle Erbe. Piazza delle Erbe is the commercial heart of the city and is home to the fruit and vegetable market; it also houses the City Hall and deserves a strategic stop so you can stop for a coffee and watch the city come and go.
3) St. Anthony’s Basilica
The main attraction in Padua is definitely the Basilica of Saint Anthony. It is, without a doubt, the symbol of the city and impresses with its beauty, although – if we compare it with other Italian Basilicas – it has a simplicity that catches our attention. The people of Padua call Saint Anthony “The Saint”, without adding his name in the quote. This explains the importance that Santo Antônio has for the city. The basilica is a constant pilgrimage destination throughout the year, but on June 13th, Saint Anthony’s day, the Basilica has a much greater flow of visitors. The church also houses several relics of true Italian masterpieces. The mixture of architectural and artistic styles are also well marked and visible, starting with the facade, which is in Romanesque style. The Gothic ambulatory has seven chapels, and we can also see the Byzantine domes and the Moorish bell towers.
Attractions inside the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua
Inside the basilica, starting from the right, we can see two chapels: the Gattamelata Chapel and the San Giacomo Chapel, frescoed in 1300 by Andriolo de Santi, one of the most renowned Venetian artists. Another point of incredible beauty is the Chapel of the Crucifixion and the Chapter Room; in the Chapter Room we find a priceless relic: a fragment of the Crucifixion attributed to Giotto. The so-called “Basilica Treasure”, which gathers other relics of the Saint, is in the center of the ambulatory. There we can see, intact, the tongue and chin of Saint Anthony. Religiously, they are signs that, according to the Church, God offered the Saint the gift of evangelization.
Leaving the church, in the square right in front of the basilica, be sure to see the equestrian monument to Gattamelata, which is a bronze statue made by Donatello, and has become a true revolution in the history of art, as it was the first major statue to feature artistic elements never previously used by any other artist.
4) Padua Botanical Garden
Following our list I suggest a place full of nature and indescribable natural beauty: the Botanical Garden of Padua. Founded in 1545, the Padua Botanical Garden is the oldest in the world and, of course, one of the most important. It underwent several renovations and expansions, and presents us with incredible samples of the world of botany. Today it is a modernized and very active center, combining technology, research and entertainment centers, where the visitor experiences a true immersion in the world of nature. Here you will find an immense structure 100 meters long and 18 meters high, housing more than 6,000 specimens of various natural samples. It really is a very special place and deserves your visit!
5) Plate from the Valley
To close our list, it is impossible to talk about Padua without mentioning the famous Prato della Valle. Here you find a grand triangular square that until 1775 was a dull and lifeless swamp! Everything changed thanks to the administrator of Serenissima, Andrea Memmo, who requested the construction of an oval-shaped garden, surrounded by statues of illustrious people. It is considered one of the largest squares in all of Europe and is of a beauty that impresses even the most demanding tourist! Padua is very proud of the dimensions of this place: it is 88,620 square meters of pure beauty and is second only to Red Square, in Moscow, in total extension. There is a completely green central island known as Isola Memmia in honor of the mayor who commissioned the work, of course!
A little about Isola Memmia
Around the island Memmia there is a channel with about 1.5 km in circumference, and it is surrounded by a double row of numbered statues, totaling 78. To reach the central island there are 4 kinds of avenues that cross the place through bridges. Prato della Valle is where, centuries ago, there was a huge Roman theater and a circus used for horse racing. Here, two of the city’s four patrons were martyred: Santa Giustina and San Daniele. In this place, in the Middle Ages, fairs and public celebrations took place. Nowadays, the place serves as a resting place and the locals use it for sunbathing, cycling, hiking, among other activities.
Top 5 attractions in Padua – Map
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The top 5 attractions in Padua – Going to Padua, be sure: you will be enchanted! The city presents itself in an unpretentious way, but manages to touch our heart in a unique way. Yeah! You will fall in love with Padua!
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