Discover Padua and its surroundings.

Discover Padua and its surroundings.

2647_05_C415_PADOVA_GB 17-05-2006 10:36 Pagina 2

Discover Padua and its province.

A land of History,

Art, Spas and Nature.

Padua is one of the most charming and dynamic cities

in Italy. The city centre boasts a wealth of fine medieval,

renaissance and modern architecture; here a fascinating mix

of historic and new, of centuries-old traditions combined

with metropolitan rhythms creates a unique atmosphere.

The medieval palaces, churches and cobbled streets emanate

a sense of history and culture, the shops, markets

and locals, a sparkling vitality and vibrant modern life.

Palazzo Bo, Old Courtyard

Below, Prato della Valle and Basilica of St. Giustina

Old map of Padua

The province of Padua has a vast cultural and artistic

heritage and great natural assets. One has only to think

of the Euganean Hills’ rich flora and history, of the countless

villas and castles scattered all over the area, of the medieval

walled towns, of the world famous Euganean spas, of the

medieval monasteries and abbeys, of the old farm houses

surrounded by wide expanses of fields, of the network of

rivers, streams and canals leading to the Venetian lagoon,

a portion of which belongs to the province of Padua.

3000 years of history.

“Antenor, from the midst of Grecian hosts,

Could pass secure, and pierce th' Illyrian coasts,

Where, rolling down the steep, Timavus raves

And thro' nine channels disembogues his waves.

At length he founded Padua's happy seat,

And gave his Trojans a secure retreat;

There fix'd their arms, and there renew'd their name,

And there in quiet rules, and crown'd with fame.”

Virgil, Aeneid, I, 242-249

The Greek poet Virgil celebrates with these verses the legend

that speaks of Antenor as the mythical founder of Padua. The

historical Padua was actually founded over 3000 years ago,

during the Paleoveneti age, when the old Veneti people were

famous thanks to their excellent breed of horses. In the year 45

b.C. the town became a Roman Municipium. Thanks to thriving

commerce, fruitful land and abundance of waterways, Patavium

was one of the most important and powerful centres of the

Roman Empire. During the Barbarian invasions the town was

razed to the ground by command of Langobard king Agilulf

(601 A.D.) It was only after the year 1000 that Padua registered

an important growth in wealth and power, and new imposing

religious and civil buildings, such as the Cathedral, the

Commune Palaces, towers and defensive walls were built. The

13th and the 14 th century marked a period of extraordinary

economic and cultural liveliness and ardour, which left great

evidences in town: the medioaeval walls, the foundation of the

University, the Ragione Palace, the Basilica of st. Anthony and

many others. The Trecento, historically characterized by the

ruling of the Seigneury of the Da Carrara family, is considered

Padua Golden Age: the art panorama was dominated by Giotto

and his followers and the city was the most important centre

of artistic production in medieval Europe. In 1405 the

Da Carrara Seigneury terminated and Padua passed under

Venetian rule. Venice fortified Padua with new walls, increased

the power of the University, and the venetian nobility invested

their capitals on the paduan land, where beautiful villas

were erected. The decadence of the Serenissima (1797) and the

upcoming of the Napoleonic imperialism put an end to one

of the most extraordinary historical, artistical and cultural ages

of Europe. The French and the Austrian dominations, and

the two World Wars produced a long period of economic and

cultural standstill, from which Padua, as the rest of Veneto,

recovered with a new and reinforced conscioussness starting

from the second half of the 20 th century. Today Padua is one

of the main economic centres of Veneto and of Italy,

an important motorway, railway and waterway junction, which

connects Italy with the rest of Europe, and last but not least

a beautiful city of art and culture.

Piazza delle Erbe

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