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    Padua Carrarese

    The itinerary winds through the whole city, from north to south, touching the main places linked to the Carrarese epic.

    In the artistic field, in the fourteenth century, Padua had surpassed every other Italian city for the quantity of frescoed surfaces, for the quality of the formidable team at work inside its churches and for the cultural sensitivity of its Court, frequented by Francesco among others Petrarch . In 1318 with Giacomo da Carrara the political rise of the family begins. The Lords of Carrara will be proclaimed Princes and in the century of their dominion they will strive to give the city a modern, lively and elegant appearance making it one of the main capitals of the European fourteenth century.

    It starts from the  Church of the Eremitani  with the   Mausoleums of Ubertino and Jacopo da Carrara.  The two sepulchral monuments come from the demolished church of S. Agostino and are the work of Andriolo de 'Santi and collaborators. Under the mausoleum of Jacopo you can read the Latin epigraph dictated by Francesco Petrarca in honor of his dear friend and benefactor from Carrara. Next to the church stands the complex of the former monastery of the Eremitani which today houses the  Civic Museums , where important Carraresi memories are preserved, such as the splendid series of  Angels painted by Guariento di Arpo, the first court painter of the da Carrara family, for the decoration of the Chapel of the Carrarese Palace. Adjacent to the Museums is the  Scrovegni Chapel , Giotto's masterpiece. Finally, in the museums of  Palazzo Zuckermann it  is possible to observe  Carraresi coins .

    You move towards the heart of the city passing in front of  Palazzo Bo , the prestigious historical seat of the University of Padua. The Carraresi protected the University and did not affect its statutes of autonomy and freedom, favored the influx of students from all over Europe and called to teach the best teachers. In 1363 they obtained the establishment of the Faculty of Theology with Bolla di Papa Urbano V , which then existed only at the Sorbonne and in Bologna. You then reach  Palazzo della Ragione , the heart of city life for over 800 years. Among the other excellences of this building, a pictorial cycle by Giotto based on the astrological theories of Pietro D'Abano .

    From Palazzo della Ragione a few steps are enough to reach  Piazza dei Signori,  one of the most suggestive and vital spaces of Padua, it is so called because here stood the "Palazzo della Signoria ", the  Royal Palace of the Carraresi . The square was wonderfully suited to the meetings and strolls of nobles. Jousting, tournaments were held here, and bullfighting was held on Shrove Thursday. On the west side stands the  Palazzo del Capitanio, with the Clock Tower  whose portico leads to Corte Capitaniato and the nearby square of the same name, where the Royal Palace of the Carraresi stood.

    The  Reggia Carrarese , residence of the Lords of Padua, was built by Ubertino da Carrara starting from 1338. It impressed a new particular development, modern and elegant, to the western part of the city and constituted a real insula in the city, a worthy home destined to host the sumptuous Carrarese court. The Royal Palace was immediately enriched by internal courtyards, vegetable gardens and gardens, by three large reception rooms, and by a whole series of service rooms. Today such magnificence are few witnesses: the new building, the  Hall of Famous Men  (known as  Giants' Hall ), the old palace is double porch is saved (known as the  Academy Loggia), and little else, preserved in other museums or palaces in the city.

    From the Duomo along via S. Gregorio Barbarigo you reach La Specola , formerly Torlonga of  the Carrarese Castle , transformed into an Astronomical Observatory in the eighteenth century, in a few minutes  , a unique extraordinary monument that contains almost a thousand years of Paduan history and 250 years of astronomy. From Piazza del Santo, returning to the historic center, at the crossroads with Via S. Francesco, you will find  Palazzo Zabarella , a Carrarese residence in the 14th century and today a prestigious venue for exhibitions.

    Not far from the Basilica del Santo . Although Fina Buzzaccarini and  Francesco I Da Carrara had elected the Baptistery of the Cathedral as a privileged place to become a family mausoleum, the power of the Lords of Padua is clearly revealed also in the Basilica del Santo. Francesco il Vecchio and his highest dignitaries are  portrayed  in all the main fourteenth-century fresco cycles still existing inside the basilica.

    It was the third circle of city ​​walls from the Carrarese era . Completely demolished in the first half of the sixteenth century, it was replaced by the new bastioned wall from the Venetian era, which followed its development in broad lines. They remain from the Carrarese era: a short section of the Acquette branch of the intermediate walls, the tower, a section of the wall of the old citadel, the Chain tower, a small section of the fence of the Saracinesca gate, as well as a few vestiges of uncertain reading or inside buildings.

    The castle remains in shape, albeit mutilated, which it acquired in the Carrarese era, and few but significant traces of the ancient magnificence of the palace of the Da Carrara lords remain, as well as of the ferry , the long viaduct that connected the palace to the municipal walls and through these to the castle.

    Finally, the Carrarese Herbarium   (now conserved in London at the British Library) is very well known and stands out from the tradition of medieval herbariums for the realism with which the different botanical species have been depicted. The foundation of the Botanical Garden of Padua (1545) was intended to facilitate students in recognizing true medicinal plants with sophistication. Since 1997 it is registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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