Basilica of St Anthony.


Though less than an hour from Venice, Padua (Padova in Italian) seems a world away with its medieval marketplaces, Fascist-era facades and hip student population. As a medieval city-state and home to Italy’s second-oldest university, Padua challenged both Venice and Verona for regional hegemony. A series of extraordinary fresco cycles recalls this golden age – including in Giotto’s blockbuster Cappella degli Scrovegni, Menabuoi’s heavenly gathering in the baptistry and Titian’s St Anthony in the Scoletta del Santo. For centuries, Padua and Verona fought for dominance over the Veneto plains. But Venice finally occupied Padua permanently in 1405.

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