Prato della Valle

Prato della Valle cover

Prato della Valle, or simply ‘Il Prato’ (the Meadow), as the Padua citizens use to call it, is the main city square and it has always been the heart of the city.

An ancient theater, an arena, as its elliptical shape suggests, area for the preaching of The Saint, that is St. Antonio, patron saint. It seems that the material of the arena have been used to build the Basilica of San Giustino.

In the Middle Ages it hosted games and tournaments, as well as fairs and exhibitions of all kinds, as it is still today.

Prato della Valle is not only the largest square of Padua: with its 88,620 square meters is the second largest square in Europe after Moscow’s Red Square.

A double stand of seventy-eight statues, representing the most illustrious of the city, frames the channel which encloses the island Memmia. This green space connects this central space to the rest of the city through romantic bridges, where the Paduan are used to meet and stroll.