Padua is a commune in the Veneto region in northeastern Italy. The city is extremely beautiful, has many charming buildings and bridges, and its main attraction is the university, where the legendary Galileo Galilei once worked.


Who and why should come to Padua

Padua is called the city of contrasts. Here the streets of the old town are adjacent to the architectural structures of the Renaissance and the Byzantine domes of temples. The locals are proud of Prato della Valle, which skirts the main waterway of Padua. Every guest of the city can walk along it and admire the majestic statues.

Other tourist attractions include a prestigious university with the world’s first botanical garden and theater, as well as a frescoed chapel, which is a real treasure of Italy.

Since the time of the Roman Empire, the city has been one of the richest policies in the state — it was not for nothing that in the Middle Ages it attracted the best artists with its poetry: Giotto, Giovanni, Donatello, Paolo Uccello and others.

Historical monuments

Palazzo della Ragione

palazzo paulo de radgeo

This is the medieval town hall in Padua. It is believed to have the largest roof in Europe not supported by columns. The hall on the last floor is almost rectangular, its length is 81.5 m, and the walls are covered with allegorical frescoes.

The construction of the palazzo began at the end of the 12th century and was completed only fifty years later. Initially, it had three roofs, the internal partitions between the rooms were lost after the fire of 1420, then the Venetian architects did not carry out restoration, but combined everything into one hall. The last interior renovation works were carried out at the end of the 18th century.

Ancient porticos on Francis Street

portiki po ul francisa

Porticos are covered arenas with columns. There are a huge number of them in Padua, but the most attractive for tourists are those that stand on Francis Street. They are considered the oldest in the city, while they are surprisingly well preserved.

House of Galileo

dom galileo

This is the place where the famous Galileo Galilei lived in the 1500s. However, according to some sources, the scientist stayed not only in this house. It turns out that there are many places in Padua where he liked to stay, and this is just one of them.

Piazza Del Santo

piazo del santo

All major events take place on the central square of the city. Most of the important buildings are located here. Locals like to gather on Del Santo in the evenings to stroll around the square and enjoy drinks and food served in the many cafes and restaurants.

Prato della Valle

prato della valley

Until 1635, the area was a featureless expanse due to the swampy terrain. A group of noble Venetians then financed the construction of a temporary theater as a venue for mock battles on horseback. A century later, the area was bought, and it became the property of the city.

The elliptical city square is spread over 90,000 square meters. It is considered the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Today, the square is a large space with a green island in the center, surrounded by a small canal and two rings of statues.

Today there are 78 statues on the territory (40 in the outer ring and 38 in the inner), but according to the original plan, there should have been 10 more. The sculptures were created from stone by different craftsmen in the period from 1775 to 1883.

University of Padua


The University of Padua was founded in the 13th century and first functioned as a law school. Already in the Middle Ages, he was one of the most prominent in Europe. Today it is the second oldest university in Italy and the fifth in the world. Since 1595, the school’s famous anatomical theater has attracted artists and scientists who have studied the human body during public autopsies.

religious buildings

Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

basilica st paduanskog

The Papal Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Pope. Its construction began in the 13th century, just a year after the death of St. Anthony.

According to his will, he was buried in the small church of Santa Maria mater Domini, next to which a monastery was founded, and then a basilica. Its official name is Chapel della Madonna Mora.

Padua Synagogue


This is the only synagogue in the city that has been preserved since the Renaissance and survived the Second World War. It was built in the 16th century and over the course of three centuries it was restored several times.

It was closed at the end of the 19th century when the community built a more modern synagogue. But the old building was reopened after World War II because the Nazis burned down the new one. Now the Padua Synagogue pleases with luxurious decoration, gilded doors and four Corinthian columns made of black marble with white veins.

Scrovegni Chapel

capella skrovenii

The ceilings and walls of this chapel were painted with frescoes by the famous artist Giotto. He depicted the life of the Virgin Mary, in whose honor the 14th century church was built. The decoration of the chapel was commissioned by the wealthy Italian banker Enrico Scrovegni.

Initially, the chapel was a family chapel and was inextricably linked with the success of the rich man in financial affairs. It was built on the territory where the Scrovegni Palace used to be located (it was later demolished).

Church of the Hermits

cerkov otshelnikov

It was built in the 13th century and dedicated to Saints Philip and James. Now there is a city art gallery. The halls are frescoed by Mantegna, but they were largely destroyed by the Allies during World War II, as the building was located next to the German headquarters. Other artists who had a hand in painting the interior are Guariento and Ansuino da Forli.

Today, the collection of relics includes more than 88,000 pieces of art. Also in the church are the tombs of Jacopo II da Carrara and Ubertino da Carrara, the lords of Padua.

Padua Cathedral

paduanski sobor

The modern Cathedral of Padua is the third building built on the same site. The first one was erected after the Edict of Milan in the 3rd century and destroyed by an earthquake 900 years later. The reconstruction brought to its appearance notes of the Romanesque style — in this form it is depicted in the frescoes of Giusto de Menabuoi.

The painting of the interior of the cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was the work of Andrea della Valle and Agostino Righetto. Although the construction of the new Renaissance building began in the 16th century, it was completed only after 200 years, and the facade remained unfinished.

Abbey of Saint Justina

abbey st austina

The abbey of St. Justina is attached to the basilica, which was built in the 5th century by the prefect Opilius to house the remains of St. Justina of Padua and other Christian martyrs of the city.

The life of the abbey ended in the 18th century, when, along with all other religious communities, it was suppressed during the occupation of Italy by the army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The most valuable collections of the abbey library and works of art were sent to Paris. The monks were expelled and the property sold off. Later, the monasteries were used as military hospitals and barracks.

Church of Santa Sofia

cerkov st sofii

The oldest church building in the city was built in the 10th century on the site of a supposed Roman mithraeum (temple of the cult of Mithras). The first official information about the church dates back to 1123. The altar with the image of the Madonna with a baby in her arms in a conversation with the saints was painted by a novice artist — 17-year-old Andrea Mantegna.

In the 16th century, Santa Sofia was a parish church. With the invasion of the city by Napoleon’s troops, the nuns were expelled, and the shrine was made state property. Already in the twentieth century, major restoration work was carried out in the building in order to restore the original appearance of the church.

Museums and parks

Botanical Garden

bot sad

It was laid out in the middle of the 16th century, and today it is the oldest academic garden in the world, which has never been moved anywhere. Its history is inextricably linked with the University of Padua. In 1997 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The round building was built to protect the garden from frequent night thefts that occurred despite severe punishments (fines, prison, exile). It was constantly enriched with new plants from all over the world, especially from countries that participated in trade with Venice.

Museum of Living Insects

musei givih nasekomih

An unconventional and highly educational museum dedicated to butterflies and insects. The employees of the institution are proud of a large collection, which includes a significant number of species and colors of these representatives of the fauna. The installations for children will be especially interesting. The museum often hosts shows in the format of 4D films.

Film Museum

musei cinema

As the name suggests, this is a museum dedicated to cinema and those who pioneered cinematic art in Italy. It houses an exhibition of various types of machines and technologies that were used in the creation of cinemas, and are now outdated. The most eye-catching part is the exposed props and decorations used in the cinemas of the early periods.