This quaint chapel is one of the most important historic sites in the city, and is home to what is considered one of the masterpieces of Giotto- a complex series of frescoes which are a marvel to behold. The frescoes were completed in 1305. The name of the chapel is the surname of the man who commissioned Giotto. The chapel is equipped with modern instruments that make for interactive tours. Reservations in order to visit the chapel are recommended.
This basilica, the most important of the city, has been dedicated to main saint of Padua, San Antonio. It was built 8 centuries ago and from then on, it became one of the most important spiritual places of the Christian world. Antonio chose Padua as his permanent home in the period in which he was travelling all over Italy. The church is owned by the Vatican and it houses the tongue of the saint, an important holy relic.
Together, with the Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Palazzo della Ragione is a symbol of the city. Built in 1288, it is called the Salone, or lounge, because of its large room with its wooden vaulted ceiling (destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries), making it the largest undivided hall in the world. The piazza and the bustling daily market are dominated by its loggia. It was a real layman's center in the city. Justice was carried out in the upper rooms, adorned with frescoes of astrological depictions (perhaps even by Giotto). If the sentence was serious, the accused would be taken to one of the local prisons. The building also houses a large wooden horse that Annibale Capodilista had made for a merry-go-round and then donated to the city. On the ground floor, traditional commercial activities took place, as they still do today.
Home to the university since the 16th Century, the building dates back to the same time, and was then renovated in the 20th Century. The best preserved area is the interior courtyard, with its porticoes decorated with coats of arms of the noble families, to which the students belonged. It housed the first anatomical theater in the world (1594) and the desk of Galileo Galilei, teacher of mathematics. Hours vary as per season.
One of the most prominent squares in Padua is Piazza dei Signori. Surrounded by medieval houses on all sides, this rectangular Piazza provides great insight into the Renaissance era architecture. However, the main attraction here is the clock tower, which can be called the crowning jewel of this famous square.
Prato della Valle is a square located in the city of Padova, Italy. Spread over a vast area of 90,000 meters (2,95,276 foot), the oval shaped square is the largest in the country. The square came into existence in the year 1635, when a temporary theater was built here. Thereafter, in the year 1775, the entire area was re-constructed to give the square it's current appearance. The square is beautifully designed with an island of grass in the center, surrounded by a ring of water. A total of 78 statues are placed at each side of the water ring. Today, the square forms an ideal meeting place with large number of people visiting the square to take a walk, skate or study. Festivals too are celebrated at the square.
Minutes away from Venice by train is the city of Padua (Padova), which is home to the Basilica of St. Anthony, the Scrovegni (or Arena) Chapel and one of the most prestigious universities in Italy. Many tourists simply go straight on to Venice or just remain in the city for their stay and seldom venture into the surrounding towns and cities of the Veneto region. Padua is very quiet and small, and is architecturally a mélange of Medieval, Renaissance, and post-1945 buildings; however, large sections were destroyed during World War II. The one day of the year when Padua is bustling with pilgrims, tourists and the curious is June 13 - the Feast Day of St. Anthony, patron saint of lost articles, animals and the poor.
Padua Cathedral is a minor basilica church located in the city of Padua. The current church is the third one to be built in this spot, the first being a Gothic structure made in the year 313 and the second was one being a Romanesque structure built in 1117 when an earthquake destroyed the first one. The current church, which was built between the 16th and 18th Centuries, still has traces of the older models. For instance, the annex where the baptistery is situated has beautiful frescoes from the Romanesque church.
Although it's name may suggest otherwise, Sala dei Giganti, that literally translates to 'Hall of Giants', is a truly beautiful place. The hall is associated with the 20th-century building Palazzo Liviano on Piazza Capitaniato. Exquisite frescoes, that depict several mythical heroes and Roman legends adorn its walls; these paintings were inspired by the works of Francesco Petrarch. It is said that enchanting concerts and conferences used to be once held at this wondrous place. Although it was renovated in 16th Century, it retains its grandeur and aplomb. Sala dei Giganti was used as the University library for some time, however now, it remains open to the general populations on Saturdays. Guided tours are available.