A tour of Padova in 8 stops

Padova Urbs picta, with ‘The frescoed cycles of the fourteenth century’, has been included in the Unesco World Heritage list.

 

Here is an ideal weekend of 8 stops to discover the eight public and private realities that are the protagonists of Padova’s UNESCO heritage.

1st Stop - Giottos' Scrovegni Chapel

The starting point can only be the Scrovegni Chapel. Visits to the room with Giotto’s best preserved fresco works, widely considered his masterpiece, must be booked in advance (cappelladegliscrovegni.it). After a short introductory video, the visitor enters the Chapel of Santa Maria Della Carità for about 15 minutes, frescoed by Giotto between 1303 and 1305 at the request of Enrico degli Scrovegni.

 

Immersed in silence, you can admire the masterfully painted walls with scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin, figures of prophets and allegories flowing under the lapis lazuli blue starry sky of the vault, which leads to the majestic vision of the great Universal Judgment painted in the counterfacade.

2nd stop - the Church of Saints Philip and James of the Eremitans

The second stop is located a few hundred meters from the chapel, and it is the Church of Saints Philip and James of the Eremitans, which preserves a cycle of frescoes from around 1361, which depicts the stories of the Saints Philip, Giacomo and Agostino.

3rd stop - Palazzo della Ragione

Moving to the centre of Padua, not without stopping at the famous Caffè Pedrocchi (caffepedrocchi.it), we arrive at the lively Piazza delle Erbe, our third stop: the Palazzo della Ragione. The ancient seat of the city courts, built in 1218, preserves the largest hanging hall in Europe, embellished with murals from the 14th century, which reproduce astrological subjects linked to divine and earthly justice.

 

Unfortunately, the Giottesque cycle was lost during the fire of the Carraresi archive in 1420.

4th stop - the Baptistery of the Cathedral.

The fourth stop is in nearby Piazza Duomo: the Baptistery of the Cathedral. Elegantly decorated by Giusto de ‘Menabuoi on commission by Fina Buzzaccarini, wife of Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara, Lord of Padua in the fourteenth century, he proposes in a space of limited dimensions the most salient episodes of the Old and New Testament.

5th stop - the Chapel of the Carrarese Palace

Not far away is the fifth stop: the Chapel of the Carrarese Palace in Via Accademia. Here you can admire the only part of the Carrarese Palace intact: the Loggia, built in 1343 and subsequently closed, and transformed into a Chapel and frescoed between 1355 and 1360 by Guariento with scenes from the Old Testament.

 

6th stop - the Basilica and Convent of the Saint

A short and pleasant walk in the historic centre then leads to our sixth stop: the Basilica and Convent of the Saint. A religious centre frequented in all seasons by pilgrims whose construction began in 1232 to house the tomb of the Franciscan friar Antonio, who died in Padua in 1231. The Basilica is a jewel of 14th century painting with frescoes by Giotto, in the Chapel of the Madonna Mora, in the Chapel of Blessings and in the Chapter Room; by Giusto de Menabuoi, in the Chapel of Blessed Luca Belludi; by Altichiero da Zevio and Jacopo Avanzi, in the Chapel of San Giacomo.

 

Also worth visiting are the beautiful cloisters, including the one in the Antoniano Museum, which houses the altarpieces of Tiepolo, in addition to the Lunetta del Mantenga with the Saints Antonio and Bernardino da Siena.

7th stop - the Oratory of San Giorgio

On the Piazza del Santo there is also the San Giorgio Oratory, our penultimate stop. Founded in 1377 as a family funerary chapel of the Marquis Lupi di Soragna, this church was painted by Altichiero da Zevio, who finished the splendid pictorial cycle in 1384.

8th stop - the Oratory of San Michele

Our tour of Urbis Picta ends in the Oratory of San Michele, a chapel built by the Paduan family de Bovi on the foundation of a sacred Lombard building destroyed by fire. Here you can admire the frescoes centered on the Marian cycle and daily life in the city, created in 1397 by Jacopo da Verona.

Where to Stay

Belludi is a small boutique hotel with exemplary customer service and thoughtful in-room inclusions.

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