Padova, or Padua claims to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to a tradition dated at least to Virgil's Aeneid, and rediscovered by the medieval commune, it was founded in 1183 BC by the Trojan prince Antenor, who was supposed to have led the people of Eneti or Veneti from Paphlagonia to Italy. The city exhumed a large stone sarcophagus in the year 1274 and declared these to represent Antenor's relics.
The Cathedral of Padua
In the 15th century, it became one of the most important monasteries in the area, until it was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810. In 1919 it was reopened. The tombs of several saints are housed in the interior, including those of Justine, St. Prosdocimus, St. Maximus, St. Urius, St. Felicita, St. Julianus, as well as relics of the Apostle St. Matthias and the Evangelist St. Luke. This is home to some art, including the Martyrdom of St. Justine by Paolo Veronese. The complex was founded in the 5th century on the tomb of the namesake saint, Justine of Padua.
The most famous of the Paduan churches is the Basilica di Sant'Antonio da Padova, locally simply known as "Il Santo". The bones of the saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them Sansovino and Falconetto. The basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century. Tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano. It is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal.
this is the second time i went to padova and as far as i can recall, not much have changed. it's still beautiful, especially the piazza dell prato, it's still breathtaking! when we toured, it wa Sunday, so there is a long flea market around the plaza. yet, we didn't have much time to roam around the market, we're busy capturing the sights, visiting the churches, buying souvenirs and all.
One of the best known symbols of Padua is the Prato della Valle (Prà deła Vałe in Venetian), a 90,000 m² elliptical square. It is the largest square in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe. The square today is a monumental space of extraordinary visual impact, with a green island at the center, l'Isola Memmia, surrounded by a small canal bordered by two rings of statues. the centre is a wide garden surrounded by a ditch, which is lined by 78 statues portraying famous citizens. It was created by Andrea Memmo in the late eighteenth-century.
Prato della Valle has, from its very beginning, taken its place in the hearts of Padovans who frequently refer to it simply as Il Prato. At various times it was also known as valley without grass because the number of trees prevented much grass from growing there. Today, however, it is completely covered with grass, and many small trees.
During the 1990s, the "Prato" went through a period of degradation and neglect, but today it has been restored to its original splendor through reclamation projects and the concern and involvement of the citizens of Padova. During the summer, the square is animated by large numbers of visitors who skate, stroll or study while tanning themselves in the sun. Summer evenings are marked by the presence of teenagers and young adults who chat until the early hours of the morning.
For several years, Prato della Valle has been the seat of the Padovan section of the Festivalbar, and recently it has even played host to skating competitions, thanks to the wide asphalted ring which surrounds the square.
Every New Year's Day (Capodanno), and during the Feast of the Annunciation in August (Ferragosto), parties with music and fireworks take place in the Prato.
There are 78 statues sorrounding the canal of the piazza. but according to the original design, it should have been 88 statutes.