Things to Do in Padua
Padua is home to one of Italy’s greatest treasures of medieval art: the Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni). Decorated with an exquisite early-14th-century fresco cycle by Giotto—considered a masterpiece of Western art—the chapel was restored in 2002, and the frescoes were returned to their original magnificence.
The Villa dei Vescovi was built in the 16th century, perched on a hill about 11 miles from Padua, as a summer retreat for the bishops of Padua. Today, the stately villa and the grounds are open to the public.
The rooms feature beautiful frescoes and high ceilings with wooden beams, both of which extend out onto the porticos that overlook the gardens, and there is historical furniture throughout. The grounds surrounding the villa include a vineyard and an orchard of fruit trees.
The second story of the villa contain the rooms in which the bishops lived, from the time it was built through the 20th century. The property was renovated and restored from 2007 through 2011. Today, two of the apartments on the second floor are available to rent, with two bedrooms each, plus private kitchens and bathrooms.
The largest public square in Italy is in the city of Padua, although Prato della Valle is much more of an oval than a proper square. The huge space of more than 96,800 square feet (9,000 square meters) has an island in the middle that's surrounded by a canal that has rows of statues on either side. This was once a swampy area, but in the late 18th century, a drainage system was installed and the piazza took on its present look.
There are 78 statues in the Prato della Valle set in two rings, including one dedicated to the man whose idea it was to drain the swamp and build the piazza. There are bridges over the canal so people can walk to the island – Isola Memmia. It's often the site of local festivals.
This interactive museum in Padua explores the evolution of medical science and humanity's knowledge of the body from ancient times to today through multimedia exhibits, videos, and themed displays. Learn about the history of medicine by visiting the museum’s six halls and anatomical theater.
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