Monday, May 7, 2018

Highlights of Padua (Padova) Italy


On my last post--click here-- I showed you the spectacular frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. There are many other highlights to see on a visit to Padua, and one is a stop on Prato della Valle, a 90,000 square meter elliptical square and park. This was once the site of a Roman theater, and then a swampy terrain. It was transformed in the late 1700's by Andrea Memmo into the largest square in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe!  (All photos and collages will enlarge if clicked on)


Today, the square is a large space with a green island at the center, l'Isola Memmia, surrounded by a small canal bordered by two rings of statues.


The 78 life-sized marble statues that rim the canals are of spiritual and intellectual leaders of Padua. Most of them are professors and students who have worked and studied at Padua University. The statues on the four bridges crossing the narrow canals were reserved for Popes, Doges, and politicians.



The square and the "palazzi" buildings constructed between the 14th and the 18th centuries, that surround the square. are all very picturesque. We enjoyed walking around to view it from all sides. 



The Basilica and Abby of Santa Giustina as seen from the Prato.


The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the largest churches in the world, visited every year by more than 5 million pilgrims. Construction of the Basilica began in 1232 and its principal part was completed towards the end of that century. It was dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, who was born around 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal, and who died in Padua on June 13, 1231. Saint Anthony was known for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of the scriptures, and his undying love and devotion to the poor and sick. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in the Roman Catholic Church.  His tomb is inside the basilica, where many come to pray.


The basilica is enormous and very beautiful inside. No photography is allowed inside to keep the sanctity of devotion to those making a pilgrimage there. Some of the artwork treasures inside can be seen on the basilica's website here.


The square surrounding the basilica includes ...


...the house Donatello lived in while he was commissioned to complete sculptures for the basilica and the Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata that stands in the square outside the basilica.


The University of Padua was founded in 1222 and is the second oldest university in Italy after the University of Bologna. 


The civic museum has a fine art gallery as well as historical and archaeological exhibits, libraries, archives, and collections of sculpture and coins. It continues to be one of the most prominent universities in Italy and Europe.


There are many bridges in Padua crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, a small river, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.


The tower known as La Specola rises on the spot where Ezzelino III da Romano, the 13th-century tyrant of Padova, had built his fortified castle. The present-day tower was erected in the 14th century after the fort was rebuilt by Francesco I da Carrara. In 1767 the building was converted into an astronomical observatory (specula). In 1777 the tower housed a lower observatory


Many Padua natives also call La Specola "Galileo's Tower" along with the legend that this was the place from which the famous scientist performed his extraordinary astronomical discoveries.


Piazza dei Signori and Piazza della Signoria is one of the many plazas of the historic city of Padua


It looked particularly beautiful in the evening.


The piazza was filled with outdoor dining from all the surrounding restaurants. At the west end, it is dominated by the Clock Tower--the Torre dell'Orrilogico.




The astronomical clock that dominates the square is the oldest machine of its kind to be conserved in the world.  The Winged Lion of St. Marks, a symbol of Venetian overlords, stand on a pillar next to the Torre dell'Orrilogico.




On the other side of the Piazza is the Church of Saint Clement.


It was a beautiful evening, and the food we saw on the outdoor tables looked so appetizing, that we stopped for dinner in the piazza before returning to our Bed and Breakfast room. we had assorted salumi. wood-fired pizza and we shared a berry pannacotta. It was all delizioso--delicious! 

Our day in Padua was over--I hope you enjoyed seeing it through our eyes. We visited more churches there, and strolled many of the pretty streets, and wished we had more time to explore more. The next morning we were headed by train to Bologna, where a cousin of my husband lived with his family. My husband had not seen him since he was a young boy so we were looking forward to spending the day with him seeing the sights in his beautiful city. Stay tuned for those posts!

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39 comments:

Mersad said...

That pizza has me drooling over my keyboard. Love your travel images. Italy is really great and you had some amazing weather to see it all. Thank you for linking up with "Through My Lens".

Ola said...

So beatiful views and architecture!

Maggie said...

Padua looks like a fascinating place to visit, the piazza's, restaurants, architecture & statues are all breathtaking in their own special way. It's amazing that you only had one day there, you packed in so much sightseeing, you must have been exhausted! Loved walking the streets of Padua with you on Mosaic Monday.

Cathy Keller said...

I remember crossing the bridge on the way to the Basilica two years ago! Doesn't seem like it's been that long! Thanks for the memories! Have a wonderful week!

Svjetski putnik said...

I've been there last year and I really liked it. Botanical garden is really great and architecture is amazing. Walking through Prato della Valle was also nice experience.

Sarah said...

Definitely enjoying all your photos of your teip to Italy, Pat. Keep them coming. I've only been to Italy once, so these images are make me long for a return trip.

Tamar SB said...

Beyond amazing!!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Thanks for another fabulous place to visit.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

What a beautiful place! And that pizza looks wonderful!

Snap said...

Gorgeous images. Armchair traveling with Pat! A lesson in history and food! Ha!

Gillena Cox said...

Gorgeous skies and lovely mosaics
Have a nice week

much love...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The City square with the beautiful cathedrals on either end ... and the outdoor eating (with white tablecloths!) on either side ... just exactly what I think a town in Italy should look like! And the food !!!!

Pondside said...

I was telling a friend about your last post and that I was going to add it to the resource list for our walking trip in 2019. Now I KNOW I have to go to Padua. The photos of the square at night are lovely. I could picture myself there! Your photos are wonderful.

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

My poor husband! Given all your recent post from Italy, I have put another have a dozen places to visit. Thanks for sharing!

NC Sue said...

What a marvelous city to visit - so full of beauty! I was glad to be able to visit through your photos. Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/05/strange-sights.html

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I need to go back, we only spent a day there and it rained.

ann said...

Your trip was amazing and your photos are stunning.

Kay L. Davies said...

What a lovely introduction to a beautiful city, one we haven't visited when we've been in Spain, I'm sorry to say.
Thanks for sharing.
Kay
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Lowcarb team member said...

The basilica is enormous!!!
Many thanks for the link you included.

I loved reading through and seeing all of your photographs, you really bring it all to life, thank you.

All the best Jan

betty-NZ said...

Your photos always make me feel like I'm there!

Lorrie said...

What a magnificent place Padua is, with the basilica, the square, and the university. I can just imagine the lovely warmth in the evening while you sat in the plaza eating that delicious pizza. Thanks for sharing your visit.

Angie said...

Oh, Pat! I hope these posts about Italy never end! I will never tire of the architecture, not to mention the food! I could gobble up that meal in a heartbeat!!! I wonder if the people who live there appreciate the history that surrounds them on all sides.

rupam sarma said...

Great to read. Beautiful place, awesome pics.

Weekend-Windup said...

Beautiful images. You took me a round around Italy. WOW Pizza:)

ellen b. said...

Such beautiful weather for the backdrop of these amazing structures!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Padua is an amazingly lovely city! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day. The weather looks so perfect for touring. I'm sure you enjoyed this day with your husband. I'm looking forward to Bologna, Pat. It's been many years since we visited that beautiful city. ♥

Jeanie said...

Your Italian trip fills me with surprises. When I think of Padua I think of Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, maybe?) I can't imagine what a fabulous holiday it was.

Jim said...

What a beautiful place.

Stanley Hattman said...

It's been 30 years since we were in Padua. Your post confirms that we missed a lot of great sights..lol.. So, thanks for the tour!

Decor To Adore said...

What an amazing and inspiring place. Truly a dream trip come true. Have a wonderful weekend.

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful adventure for you and wonderful sky and other photos for us!

Happy Weekend to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Photo Cache said...

Beautiful shots.

Worth a Thousand Words

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh my goodness - such an amazing place of beauty and history. Lovely photos - It looks like a wonderful trip! The outdoor dining in the square looks so inviting. I would never want to leave! Thanks for sharing. xx Karen

Spare Parts and Pics said...

The sense of history here is truly spectacular. Love all the statues. With all the people sitting outside, it looks like one big party! I'm drooling over that pizza!!

Thomas Lee said...

Wow! Spectacular place

Raquel Jiménez Lastras said...

Que preciosa ciudad Padua, arte en todos sus rincones.
Saludos

Su-sieee! Mac said...

It's wonder this basilica didn't become the home of the popes. It's so grand. I am so in awe to the craftsmanship that built these several hundred year old buildings. I cannot imagine any of our structures today in the U.S. lasting that long. Thanks for the tour. Your photos show off the city very nicely. I wish I was there. :-)

Nancie McKinnon said...

Padua looks like a place I could get lost in for a day or two. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Pat, I am always humbled when I see the architecture in Italy. It is the height of classicism and beauty and there is so much of it from so many different periods. You must have really enjoyed your visit there.