The ancient city of Padova (Padova), which is today the administrative center of the province of Venice (also known as Veneto), was founded in the XI - X centuries BC and is considered one of the most attractive places for tourists in Italy.
Centuries-old history, the color of national culture, ancient streets and picturesque canals, masterpieces of architecture, sculpture and painting, magnificent squares, interesting museums - all this attracts travelers with extraordinary power.
The inexhaustible interest in the sights of Padua is not surprising, because for most of them only an excellent degree of comparison applies. Let's figure it out, what can a tourist have time to see on their own in one day in Padua?
The most important religious building in the city is the Cathedral of Padua (Duomo di Padova), also called the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta), is a unique monument of church architecture. Its construction began in the middle of the 16th century on the site where the older Christian sanctuaries that had once been destroyed to the ground were located, and ended almost two centuries later, in 1754.
According to some historians, the construction of the temple took into account drawings made by Michelangelo di Buonarroti himself.
Outwardly relatively small, the cathedral looks concise and restrained. Its architectural complex includes a three-nave basilica, two chapels attached to it and a baptistery built in the 12th century, a vivid example of the Romanesque style.
The interior decoration contrasts sharply with the outward appearance without any pomp: the interior is decorated with marble statues and paintings created by painters of the XV - XVII centuries. Particularly impressive are the ancient wall paintings and domes of the Baptistery. In the temple are stored two priceless Christian shrines:
- The exact list of the ancient miraculous icon "Our Lady with the Baby"dating from the 17th century, the Byzantine original was lost in the 13th century (a copy is in the chapel of the Madonna of Miracles);
- The relics of Gregorio Barbarigo, a Catholic theologian, enlightener, protector of all the destitute, canonized by the church in the second half of the last century (the sarcophagus with the embalmed body of the righteous is in the chapel of the Holy Sacraments).
The address of the cathedral is Piazza Duomo. The attraction can be visited all days of the week from 7:30 to 19:30. Lunch break - from 12:00 to 15:00. Free admission.
You can get inside the baptistery every day (except for national holidays), from 10:00 to 18:00. Entrance is paid - 3 euros.
Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua
The Basilica of St. Anthony (Basilica Pontificia di Sant'Antonio di Padova) is considered the largest in size and popular among pilgrims Christian building in the city (more than 6 million visits per year).
It is one of 12 Italian temples under the jurisdiction of the Vatican (La Città del Vaticano) and subordinate to the Pope.
The work on the construction of the basilica was carried out in honor of Anthony of Padua (Antonius Patavinus), a Catholic monk, a gifted orator, preacher and wonderworker, beheaded a year after his death.
Construction lasted 78 years (from 1232 to 1310), it was carried out next to a small church dating back to the second half of the 12th century, known as the Cappella della Madonna Mora, and later integrated into a common temple complex. It was in this place that the relics of a saint who was considered the patron saint of the city, as well as the protector of all children, destitute and traveling, were buried. In the Catholic world, the miracle worker Anthony is reverently referred to as the Teacher of Life, the Father of Science, the Sun of Padua and other lofty words.
The external and internal appearance of the basilica has repeatedly changed, additional construction, finishing and reconstruction work was carried out in the XIV and XV centuries. Her eclectic look today is an amazing symbiosis of different styles and eras. In this masterpiece of temple architecture, romance, Byzantine, Gothic, Oriental and other motifs are fancifully and at the same time extremely harmoniously intertwined.
The interior is distinguished by its richness and solemnity of decoration, special splendor and sophistication of decoration. Inside the basilica is decorated with sculptures, reliefs, paintings and frescoes of the best Italian masters:
- Donatello (Donatello);
- Titian Vecellio (Tiziano Vecellio);
- Altichiero da Dzevio (Altichiero da Zevio);
- Jacopo d'Avanzi (Jacopo d'Avanzi);
- Niccolo Pizolo;
- Titian Aspetti (Tiziano Aspetti).
Attraction address: Piazza del Santo, 11. Services are held in the temple, it is open for visits all days of the week from 6:20 to 19:45 (with the switch to winter time - until 18:45). Tourists are advised to follow the dress code.
Museum at the temple
Of particular interest to travelers, as well as connoisseurs of art and history, are three museums operating at the temple:
- Museum of St. Anthony;
- Museum "Donatello in the Basilica";
- Museum of votive gifts.
Their collections include valuable masterpieces made to decorate the basilica by masters of different eras: interior items, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, church utensils, jewelry and other exhibits.
Museums are open from Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 to 13:00, on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 18:00 (lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00), Monday is a day off. The cost of a single ticket is 2.5 euros, and for students, pensioners and organized groups of more than 10 people - 1.5 euros. The basilica has an official website in Russian www.santantonio.org/en - all relevant information is presented there.
Prato della Valle
Prato della Valle is a little away from the historical center - it is a favorite place for walks of the city residents.
The size of the area is about 90 thousand square meters, which makes it the largest in Europe. The square is a large space with a green island in the center (l'Isola Memmia), surrounded by a small canal in the shape of an ellipse, bordered by two rings of 78 statues created in the period from 1775 to 1838.
Basilica of Santa Justina
The Basilica of Santa Giustina (Basilica di Santa Giustina) is one of the most revered Christian buildings in Italy. It dates from about the X century, and was erected on the site where the burial place of the martyr Justina (Justina) of Padua was once located, and later (around the VI century) - a small Christian church.
In the 1530s, it was decided to transform the building of the old temple. Large-scale construction and restoration work has been carried out for almost a hundred years. As a result, an impressive architectural structure appeared, which is one of the ten largest temples in the world, and includes nine domes and a bell tower. The length of the building, erected in the spirit of Renaissance architecture with elements of the Byzantine style, is 122 meters, and the width is 82.
The walls of the basilica contain ancient Christian relics:
- The relics of St. Justina, who suffered from the cruel persecution of faith in the IV century BC. e .;
- The relics of the holy Prodocius, who baptized Justin, and who was the first patron saint of Padua;
- The remains of St. Luke, the author of one of the canonical Gospels;
part of the relics of St. Matthew.
Basilica address: Via Giuseppe Ferrari, 2-A. She is an active temple, admission is free.
The small (20 X 9 m) Catholic Church, the Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), built at the beginning of the 14th century, is one of Padua's most memorable sights.
The story of its creation is interesting. According to legend, the construction of the chapel (dedicated to Our Lady) was conceived on the initiative of Enrico Scrovegni - a successful merchant, banker and member of one of the Catholic orders of chivalry, for the remission of the sin of usury, which he and his father Reginaldo were engaged in. Initially, the church was supposed to serve as a house chapel, attached to the palazzo of a wealthy Padua, however, immediately after completion of construction it became available to all parishioners. Skrovegni Palace changed its owner over time, in the 20s of the XIX century it was completely destroyed, and the chapel was transferred half a century later to the ownership of the municipality.
From 1303 to 1305, the great Italian painter and sculptor, Giotto di Bondone (Giotto di Bondone) was engaged in the interior decoration of the chapel, painting the walls, devoid of any architectural delights.
The master’s work, striking with emotionality, a sense of realism, liveliness of images, unity and completeness of the composition, has become a reference example of interior design for artists of subsequent eras. All plots of magnificent frescoes, separated by decorative panels, are devoted to religious subjects. On them are presented:
- detailed scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ;
- allegorical images of human vices and virtues;
- paintings of the Last Judgment.
In 2002, the wall paintings underwent a global restoration, as a result of which it was possible to restore the almost original appearance of the frescoes.
The attraction is located at 8. Piazza Eremitani. Opening hours: from 9:00 to 19:00, but the time and date of the visit must be booked in advance on the official site of the chapel, as the number of visits is limited to preserve priceless artworks. The interior of the church can be seen only a few months of the year:
- January to February
- from the second half of June to the end of July;
- In November;
- in the second half of December.
The maximum ticket price is 13 euros; 50% discounts are given to children (from 6 to 17 years old), students and retirees. For persons with disabilities, the entrance fee is a symbolic amount of 1 euro. An evening sightseeing will also cost less -8 euros.
The official site of the chapel www.cappelladegliscrovegni.it
Palazzo della Rajone (Palace of Justice or Reason)
Impressive grandeur and monumentality combined with sophistication and airiness - such striking epithets deserve the Palazzo della Ragione (Palazzo della Ragione), - a magnificent stone palace, erected at the beginning of the XIII century to hold the city court, it appeared on the site where it once was located medieval building of municipal communities.
The architectural structure was repeatedly transformed, and in the 15th century, after a devastating fire, it underwent a global restoration, acquiring, under the leadership of the Italian master Bartolomeo Rizzo, its unique appearance today. The facade of the palace corresponds to the Renaissance and (after restoration work in the 19th century) neoclassical architecture styles.
Of particular interest is the interior of the palazzo. It is noteworthy that the arches of the high ceiling are not supported by columns or props, this technique creates a feeling of lightness and volume.
The walls of the huge hall, considered the largest in Europe (80 X 27 m), and which is the only interior, are decorated with a cycle of frescoes and bizarre ornaments. Their authors were Giotto di Bondone and artists from his workshop, as well as the famous astrologer and thinker Pietro d'Abano and his assistants. Most of the paintings are dedicated to the zodiac theme, some of the frescoes were created based on the gospel stories and were later performed by painters of the 16th century.
The Palazzo is located in the middle of two squares: Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori. Nowadays, vernissages of paintings and photographs are often organized here. A visit to the palace is possible only as part of an excursion group. The attraction is open for visits from 9:00 to 18:00 (from March to October - until 19:00). Guided tours are not available on national holidays and on Mondays. Ticket price - 5 euros, children receive a 50% discount. More detailed information can be obtained on the official website of the palace.
Within the walls of the majestic Zuckerman Palace (Palazzo Zuckermann) are two interesting objects that deserve special attention of travelers and connoisseurs of antiquity:
- Museum of Applied Art (Museo delle arti applicate), occupies the 1st and 2nd floors of the building;
- Bottacin Museum (Museo Bottacin), based on the 3rd floor.
The priceless collection includes more than 2,000 different exhibits, allowing visitors to trace the history of applied art, features and trends of its development, the methods of work of artists of past eras who were looking for innovative ways to create beautiful works. The museum displays:
- vintage jewelry and accessories from semiprecious stones, silver, ivory
- bones and other materials (some date from the 15th century);
- items of national clothing related to the XVIII-XIX centuries;
- a unique collection of ceramic and porcelain dishes;
- collection of medieval weapons and knightly armor;
- household items and decor made of wood, marble, bronze and silver;
- antique furniture dating back to the 18th century;
- sculptures, paintings and engravings by European artists.
Zuckerman Palace is located at 33 Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi Street. Museum doors are open to visitors daily, except Mondays and public holidays from 10:00 to 19:00. The maximum ticket price is 10 euros (discounts are provided to students and pensioners). Admission is free for children under 17 and disabled. More complete information is available on the official website of the palace.
University and Palazzo Bo
The University of Padua (Universita degli Studi di Padova) was founded in 1222 and bears the honorary title of the oldest educational institution not only in Italy, but throughout Europe. During the Renaissance, it gained incredible popularity, and became the main center for the development of such sciences as medicine, astronomy, philosophy and jurisprudence.
Since 1493, the university’s educational and administrative facilities are located within the walls of the Palazzo del Bo.
In the middle of the XVI century, the palace building (which used to be a meat restaurant, and, according to some sources, a hotel) was rebuilt and acquired its current appearance.
The walls of the alma mater were decorated by teachers and graduates of the university, this interesting tradition existed in the XVI-XVII centuries. At the foot of the stairs, painted with ancient frescoes and leading to the second tier, there is a monument to Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia - Doctor of Technical and Philosophical Sciences, the first woman in the world to receive her academic title (1678).
The University is located at via VIII Febbraio Street 2. On the premises of the palace, Monday to Saturday, 45-minute excursions are conducted in English and Italian. As part of the organized group, you can see one of the world's first Anatomical Theater (built like the Coliseum), the Hall of Medicine (Aula di Medicina), the famous department of the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei, the Hall of the Forty (Sala dei Quaranta), portraits of prominent graduates , samples of old diplomas and other interesting things that tell about the rich history of the institution. The cost of the tour is 7 euros, discounts apply. More information is available on the official website of the university www.unipd.it
I advise you to read about: universities in Italy
The Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) was founded in Padua back in 1545 and is considered one of the oldest in the world. He became an example of landscape design in Europe.
Initially, valuable medicinal herbs were planted here, collected from distant corners of the planet, for the research work of medical students at the University of Padua. Today, the collection of plants includes more than 6 thousand diverse species, including exotic, rare and endangered species.
In the XVIII century, the territory of the garden with an area of more than 20 thousand m2 was decorated with marble statues, fountains, stone balustrades and gazebos. There were greenhouses and greenhouses, several types of fancy sundials. The number of unique shrubs, trees and flowers continues to grow, and in 1997 Orto Botanico was awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The attraction is located at via Orto Botanico, 15.
- from April to May without days off (from 9:00 to 19:00);
- daily, except Monday, from June to September (from 9:00 to 19:00);
- daily, except Monday, in October (from 9:00 to 18:00);
- from November to March without days off (from 9:00 to 17:00).
Ticket price - 12 euros. Discounts apply: for children under 5 years old - admission is free, from 6 to 18 years old - 7 euros. Upon presentation of a pension certificate, the ticket price is 10 euros. More information is available on the official website of the Botanical Garden.
To save money when visiting the sights of the city, travelers are invited to use a special Padova Card (Padova Card), designed for 48 and 72 hours - activation occurs from the date of issue. You can buy it online and in tourism offices located in several places:
- Eremitani city museums (Musei civici agli Eremitani) at 8 Piazza Eremitani;
- main lobby of the train station (Padova Centrale);
- Pedrocci lane behind the old Pedrocci cafe of the same name (Cafe Pedrocchi) at Via VIII Febbraio, 15.
The cost of a Padua card, depending on its validity period, is 16 and 21 euros. It is designed for one adult and a child under 14 years old. The map can serve as an excellent guide for sightseeing. Its acquisition also has several advantages:
- Free admission to a number of city museums;
- Stowaways in public transport;
- Providing significant discounts on visits to some attractions;
- Benefits when renting cars, bicycles and staying at a hotel.
More detailed information on the conditions for using the Padua map can be obtained on the official website of the local tourism department www.turismopadova.it
The optimal plan and route for an independent walk in Padua looks like this:
Upon arrival at Padova Centrale Central Station, go to the tourist center - there you will be given a free map of all the attractions and interesting places. Then follow the route:
- Chapel of Delhi Scrovegni
- Zuckermann Palace
- Palazzo Bo, University
- Palazzo Della Ragione
- St. Anthony's Cathedral
- Botanical Garden
- Prato della Valle
- Basilica of St. Justina
This route will take you about 4 hours.
If you have taken care of the mobile Internet in advance, you can simply bookmark this article and use the map below - I put all the main attractions there: