Cappella degli Scrovegni
Musei Civici agli Eremitani
The ground floor of this monastery houses artefacts dating from Padua’s Roman and pre-Roman past. Upstairs, a rambling but interesting...
Home to the Museo d’Arti Applicate e Decorative decorative-arts museum, covering flatware to fashion on the ground and 1st floors, and...
Chiesa degli Eremitani
When a 1944 bombing raid demolished the extraordinary 1448–57 frescoes by Andrea Mantegna in the Capella Overtari in the Chiesa degli...
This all-day hotspot near Piazza Eremitani is nicknamed ‘the library’ because university students practically live here, mesmerised by...
Pistachio macaroons, wild-berry tarts and other two-bite indulgences sweeten the expressions of traffic cops bolting espresso at the...
Lonely Planet review
Dante, da Vinci and Vasari all honour Giotto as the artist who ended the Dark Ages with his 1303–05 frescoes. Giotto’s moving, modern approach changed how people saw themselves: not as lowly vassals but as vessels for the divine, however flawed. This humanising approach was especially well suited to the chapel Enrico Scrovegni commissioned in memory of his father, who as a moneylender was denied a Christian burial.
Previously medieval churchgoers had been accustomed to blank stares from saints perched on high, golden thrones, but Giotto introduced biblical figures as characters in recognisable settings. Onlookers gossip as middle-aged Anne tenderly kisses Joachim, and Jesus stares down Judas as the traitor puckers up for the fateful kiss. A 10-minute introductory video provides some helpful insights before you enter the church itself.
Pick up prebooked tickets at the Musei Civici agli Eremitani, where you access the chapel. Chapel visits last 15 minutes, plus another 15 minutes for the video, though the ‘double turn’ night-session ticket (adult/reduced/child under seven years €12/6/1) allows a 30-minute stay in the church.