OUR STAFF HAS THOUGHT OF AN AD HOC ITINERARY FOR A QUICK VISIT OF THE CITY BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE FROM THOSE WHO LIVED IT AND LOVE IT FORWARDS.
THE MEADOW, THE SAINT AND THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
- PRATO DELLA VALLE: one of the symbols of the city, the Prato is a monument in itself, we recommend visiting it to enjoy its beauty and have fun browsing the market in one of the largest squares in Europe.
- THE BASILICA OF SANT’ANTONIO: known worldwide as the Basilica of the Saint, or more simply as the Saint, it is one of the largest churches in the world and one of the most revered sanctuaries in the Christian world. It houses the relics of Saint Anthony of Padua and his tomb.
- THE BOTANICAL GARDEN: founded in 1545, it is the oldest botanical garden in the world still in its original location. Located in an area of about 2.2 hectares, with over 6,000 cultivated plants, it collects 3,500 different species. It is located in the historic center, near the Prato della Valle. Since 1997 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
THE GHETTO AND SQUARE AREA, THE HEART OF THE CITY
- THE PALAZZO DELLA RAGIONE: also known as the Salone, it is located between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta and resembles a huge upturned ship. It was built between 1218 and 1219 and was the ancient seat of the city courts. The lower floor houses the historic covered market of the city while the upper floor is occupied by what was once the largest hanging room in the world, called the “Salone” where you can admire the frescoes originally created by Giotto, thanks to which, in 2021 it has been included by UNESCO among the World Heritage Sites.
- IL CAFFE ’PEDROCCHI: located in the center of Padua, it is a historic café of international fame. Open day and night until 1916 and therefore also known as the “Café without doors”, it still welcomes Paduans and tourists who can relive the atmosphere of past times by reading one of the numerous newspapers available in the Green Room. Try the Pedrocchi coffee and the green spritz.
- THE SQUARES: the heart of Padua is in the squares: there are three, adjacent to each other, with the Palazzo della Ragione in the center.
Piazza delle Erbe, formerly called delle Biade and then del Vino, still today, every morning from Monday to Friday and Saturday for the whole day, hosts one of the most picturesque markets in the city. Try the “Nazionale” sandwiches.
Through the large arch near the fountain you enter the Piazza della Frutta, once called del Peronio, today it houses the fruit and vegetable market, spices, various cereals. In the autumn period roast chestnuts are prepared and sold.
Continuing to the left, leaving the Hall behind, you enter Piazza dei Signori, where the Royal Palace of the Carraresi, Lords of Padua from 1318 to 1405 stood. The square is bordered by the Church of San Clemente and the Palazzo del Capitanio, with the Tower of the clock. On the southern side stands the elegant Loggia della Gran Guardia, a sixteenth-century building where the city’s Major Council met.
- THE CATHEDRAL AND THE BAPTISTERY: The Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, also called the Cathedral of Padua, is located a few steps from the main squares of the city. The building, initially built on the site of an ancient early Christian cathedral, was consecrated and damaged several times over time. Do not miss the Sacristy of the Canons, which houses important works of art such as the Madonna and Child by Giusto de ‘Menabuoi and two splendid canvases by Giandomenico Tiepolo.
In the crypt we can appreciate the altar of San Daniele with bas-reliefs by Tiziano Aspetti. Under the cathedral are preserved mosaics, terracotta urns, pieces of columns, worked stones, animal bones, which were probably part of ancient pagan sacrifices.
To its right, always overlooking Piazza Duomo, we find the Baptistery, one of the most sparkling testimonies of fourteenth-century art, decorated by Giusto de Menabuoi, between 1374 and 1376, with splendid frescoes depicting various episodes from the life of St. John the Baptist , Mary and Jesus. Finally, the representation of Paradise inside the dome is spectacular, with an enormous Christ in the center surrounded by a multitude of saints.