The walls of Padua are a splendid itinerary to be done on foot which extends for about 11 km. Almost entirely preserved, it has 20 bastions and 6 gates, and forms the heart of the city.
The Renaissance wall was built after Padua in 1509 was temporarily occupied by the imperial troops of Maximilian of Austria. The city was immediately freed, but the Corsican danger led the Venetian Senate to order the complete reconstruction of the walls. Started in 1523 by Bartolomeo d'Alviano, the work was continued by Michele Sanmicheli and in 1544 could be said to be completed. The complex defensive system, ordered on formidable walls and bastions, exemplary for the military architecture of the time, made Padua, according to the judgment of contemporaries, an impregnable city.
Starting from Piazza Garibaldi where the medieval Porta Altinate (1286) stands , one of the three remaining of the oldest wall, then go along via S. Fermo until the intersection with via Dante and then you reach the second medieval gate, Porta Ponte Molino , large ogival arch surmounted by a mighty tower, on whose sides important sections of the city wall curtain extend. Beyond the bridge, on the right, the so-called Ezzelino Tower (XIII century) external defense of the medieval walls. Following Piazza Mazzini and Viale Codalunga we reach the Bastione della Gatta , so called because the defenders of Padua, in 1509, exposed the besiegers, for ridicule, a cat on a pike.
From here you can reach the Baluardi: Moro I, Moro II, degli Scalzi and Impossible . Following the walls, continue to Porta Savonarola , dedicated to Antonio Savonarola. This splendid work, which plays on the chromatic contrasts between the Istrian stone and the gray trachyte, was made by Giovan Maria Falconetto in 1530. We continue towards the Savonarola Bastion and just beyond the Bulwark of S. Prosdocimo . Continuing on, you meet Porta s. Giovanni , another work by GM Falconetto and the homonymous Bastione. Following via Cernaia, you go around the B astione Saracinesca and you arrive, passing the bastioncello della Catena(which blocked the entry of the waters into the city), in view of the so-called Devil's Tower , the main remnant of the defensive citadel of the Carrarese era.
From here, taking the Paleocapa Riviera you will soon arrive at the Astronomical Observatory-La Specola , erected by the Serenissima in 1767 on Torlonga, one of the towers of the ancient Castle , an imposing defensive structure from the early Middle Ages, enlarged by Ezzelino da Romano and rebuilt by the Carraresi.
Following the course of the river towards the south, after passing the Ghirlanda bastion , you reach the Alicorno bastion (open to visitors), the extreme southern point of the 16th century defense system. After passing the Trieste park and crossing Piazzale S. Croce you reach Porta S. Croce (1527), surmounted by the statues of s. Prosdocimo and S. Girolamo, and the homonymous bastion (open to visitors). Following the Via G. Bruno and A. Manzoni which offer a complete view of the walls of Michele Sanmicheli on the left, you reach Porta Pontecorvo (1517) also called Porta Liviana , in honor of the captain general of the Serenissima Bartolomeo d'Alviano.
Taking the pedestrian path that crosses the whole block of hospitals, you reach via Giustiniani. From here, turn right up to via Gattamelata and then follow the same road to the left up to Bastione Cornaro , designed by Sanmicheli in 1539-40. From here, via Cornaro and then via S. Massimo, you reach the intersection with via Orus where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the ancient Ponte delle Graelle (the metal gate valves of the duty). At the end of via Orus, turn right and continue along via Fistomba and then the Ognissanti bridge from where you have a beautiful view of the bastions Portello Nuovo, Castelnuovo (with river port originally for military use) and Portello Vecchio (can be visited from via San Massimo).
From here take the Lungargine Piovego up to Porta Venezia (formerly Ognissanti) . Built in 1519, perhaps based on a design by Guglielmo Bergamasco, it has a beautiful façade in Istrian stone topped by a turret with a clock. It is popularly called Porta Portello because here there was the small river port where the boats connecting Padua and its Province with the Venice lagoon used to stop. In front of the gate, beyond the bridge, there is still the aedicule of S. Maria dei Barcaroli from 1790, where travelers attended mass before embarking on the burci. Continuing along the walls, past the Piccolo bastion you enter the Arena park, with the bastion of the same name and you reach the navigation basin and the church of the Contarine gates (1723), an ancient place where water traffic flows.