padova

A city rich in art: Padova

Hey guys, here am I with a new article! It passed much time, I’m sorry but in these days I’m so busy with the school, I always have to study and I do not have the time to visit new places and to write article.

Some Information About Padova

Nevertheless recently I went on trip with my school, we went to Padova, a city located in north-east part of Italy, precisely in Veneto. We went there because the class we accompanied had to retire a prize and we took the opportunity to visit this city. In the city there’s the famous “Cappella degli Scrovegni“, a masterpiece that our art teacher wanted us to see since we also studied it. We booked in advance on internet and we paid also less because we were a group of students (yayy what a luck :D). Now le’ts talk about Padova: the city is the third largest city of Veneto, after Verona, yep the city of Romeo and Juliet, and Venice. Padova is rich of great artistic relevance pictures and between the XVI and XV century, together with Florence, an important cultural movement woved to the ancient came to life and it was surnamed “Rinascimento Padovano” that is Paduan Renaissance. The city also has the seat of an important university, one of the most ancient in the world.

What To See:

Palazzo Bo

Firstly, once we arrived, we visited “Palazzo Bo” (Bo’s palace), it’s called in this way from the name of the Bove, the person that used to rule the city of Padova. I guess you saw the similiarity between the name Bove and Doge, the one who used to rule the city of Venice. Inside you can see a lot of emblems because it was an habit for the students that were at the end of their studies to leave their family emblems to the university. This practice was then abolished by the republic of Venice because of the great numbers that university already owned. This palace reminds me a lot of roman temples, I thought to be in Rome. This building is still used nowadays as the law rectorate’s headquarter and many official ceremonies take place here. A lot of european scientists studied in this university, we could see their pictures! By the way inside I could not take photos, our guide prohibited it to us, I only managed to take a photo of the ceiling ahaha

Caffé Pedrocchi

Afterwards our guide lead us to Caffé Pedrocchi, an historical café located in the city centre of Padova. In the past it was known as the Caffé senza Porte (Café without Doors) because it was open all day and night long and it was an outstanding meeting point for intellectuals, students and politicians. In 1848 an italian student was hurt provoking revolutionary movements in the whole Veneto in order to obtain the indipendence from Austria and be annexed to Italian kingdom. In 19th century, like in many other european countries, in Italy the café imposed itself as the meeting point for intellectuals and in padova the presence of many students encouraged the birth of these kinds of places. Then, taking advantage from this situation Francesco Pedrocchi came from Bergamo, an italian city located in the north, to Padova and founded this café. He was very fond of travelling in fact in the café, in the upper floor, you can find 2 rooms dedicated to his travels in Egypt. Pedrocchi also admired Napoleon and in his honour he built a room in the empire style in where there is also a little theatre. A curiosity that the guide told is that on the walls you can see many bees: they represent the laboriousness and it was used by Napoleon as his symbol. The café has an its own kind of coffee, it costs very much but all the people that were with me and tried it, said it was really tasty, so I guess the price’s worth it 🙂 When we visited inside, it really gave me the impression to having come back in the time, it was very well-maintained and there was also a good pianist.

Piazza Delle Erbe

Soon after, we headed towards the main square of Padova, Piazza delle Erbe (Grass Square) where Palazzo della Ragione is located. The square is called in this way because in the past it was the place where the merchants used to gather and sell vegetables, fruits and other products. On this square there was a market with many stands that sold clothes, souvenirs, jewels, flowers etc. and someone was playing music. My friend wanted to give a look to that market but we did not have the time, that was a pity because I had already seen some nices dresses that I would liked to buy ahaha Palazzo della Ragione, that literally means Palace of Reason, was used, during the middle age, as seat of public aministration of the urban life. Inside this place there’s the biggest hanging room in europe, at that time there was a architecture exhibition: many city design plans and plastics were diplayed to the public. In any case our guide did not talk about them to us, she focused on the explanation of the freschis on the walls. She said that the first freschis painted in this palace were made by Giotto, one of the most famous and best painter of all time but then a fire destroyed them so another painter made them again. The freschis represent the zodiacal signs and there are the typical of activities and habits related to the month. For example a friend of mine was born in december and the activity of december is the making of salami. The room was really huge, I can believe that it’s one of the biggest in europe, there was also a big horse that reminded me of the wooden horse used during the Troia war and indeed it is! It’s a replica but I do not remember why or who made it. Another curiosity: if you look up in the photos I posted you can see that the ceiling is all made of wood and it resembles to one of a ship, that’s because a sailor designed it taking inspiration from where he used to work.

 

Capella degli Scrovegni and picturesque Padua Streets

Then our class got separated by the other that was going to retire their prize. In the meanwhile we decided to visit main cathedral of Padova and the park. After that we had the booked visit in the Capella degli Scrovegni. In order not to lose time, we headed towards the cathedral and on our way we saw a lot of beautiful houses with splendid windowsilles. I fell in love with them and started taking a lot of photos, some of them also looked like arabian windows. There were many people wandering around or some on bicycle. That day was even very hot for a spring day and it was quite uncomfortable to walk so much with that hot!

Prato Della Valle

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We were tired thus we decided to take a 20 minutes break in the Prato della Valle that literally means Valley’s Field, I really do not know the origin of this topnym but I know this place changed name several names: before it was called Campo di Marte (Mars’ Field) or Campo Marzio (Marzio’s Field) since it was used for military meetings; Mars, infact, is the god of war in the greek-roman mythology. Afterwards its name changed to Valle del Mercato (Market’s Valley) for the markets and seasonal fairs but the toponym Valle del Campo was used for the first time in the XII century. This park is really huge, from the photos you can’t see its greatness but I can assure that when you’re there, you feel a bit confused. In the afternoon many people are used to go there in order to relax or just to pass the day, the place is neat and clean and there’s much space to sit. Around Prato della Valle there are some canals and 2 bridges that connect the park with the rest of the city. Many statues, precisely 78, stand all around the canals. At the start of the project, the statues should have been 88 but when the napoleon’s army came, destroyed 6 statues represeting venetian doges thus, after this episode, they made some changements eliminating some statues or changing them of position.

prato della valle seen from the high, the photo is NOT mine.
prato della valle seen from the high, the photo is NOT mine.

Basilica di Sant’Antonio

After the break in that big park, we went to Basilica di Sant’Antonio di Padova the main worship place in Padova and one of the biggest church in the world. It’s visited by more than 6 milions of pilgrims from all over the world and it makes this church the most worshipped sanctury in the christian religion. The inhabitants of Padova know it also with the name Il Santo (The Saint). The Basilica is consecrated to Sant’Antonio (Saint Anthony) who was a Catholic priest from Lisbon, in Portugal and died in Padua; he is much loved by Paduans since he did a lot of good things during his stay in the city. The church is characterized by a perfect harmony of different styles: the façade is in romanic style, the arches are gotic and the domes are in byzantine style that comes from the Venetian influence and the two tower bells looks like minarets. Paduan architecture was much influenced by Venetian one, that’s why many buidings in Padua remind us to Venetian architecture but also to Arabian style. Venice used to entertain trades with Turkey and Arabian countries and they influenced Venetian architecture very much. The inside is beautiful, huge and spacious. The ceiling was finely decorated, I really liked it! Unfortunately I could not take many photos, there were priests and special guards that were looking that you would not use your camera. In front of the church there’s the Monumento Equestre a Gattamelata (Equestrian Statue) made by Donatello, a very important italian sculptor in the Renaissance. It’s the first example of an equestrian statue made in big sizes and one of the first sculptures that is free of architettonic integrations. The statue portrays Erasmo da Narni, known with the surname of Gattamelata, that served the Venetian army.

I post  some photos of the city that I took randomly 😉 By the way I do not have photos of the Cappella degli Scrovegni because it’s was prohibted to take photos inside: there were guardians everywhere and I had to leave all my stuff out, so sorry…

I hope you will like my article, I gave my post in writing all the information concerning the monuments. I was really interested in listening to the guide that was coming with us and I tried to write all the things she said.

Written by 

First of all, let me state clearly that I am a human: two legs, two arms, brown hair etc (yep, everything is at its place) and then, I am Federica from the corrupted and mainly-famous-for-pasta-and-mafia country, otherwise known as Italy. I am a temple geek, I totally love temples, every kind: from Buddhist, to Taoist, to Shinto ones ? Other thing I am fixated on are anime (my God, I watched so many that I lost the count), pasta (of course, I am italian), ramen ? and travelling.I am really interested in travelling and discovering the world, I can say, it is my greatest passion and I try to persue it, everytime I am not busy with studying or attending some lessons at university

2 thoughts on “A city rich in art: Padova”

  1. What a beautiful city! Thank you for sharing your pictures. If Italy wasn’t that far away, I would go there at once!

    1. I’m very happy you liked my article and the city 🙂 Even if Padova is not a so big city, there’s so much to see 🙂 I really hope you will be able to come here one day. Best wishes and thanks for the comment 🙂

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