|Regions in Italy Veneto Province of Padova Padova|
Province of Padova, Veneto, Italy
The city of Padua (Lat. Patavium, It. Padova) is the economic and communications hub of the Veneto region in northern Italy.
It stands on the Bacchiglione river, 40km west of Venice and 29km southeast of Vicenza. Its agricultural setting is the Pianura Padana, the "Paduan plain," edged by the Euganaean Hills praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch and Ugo Foscolo. The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. Padua was where most of the action in Shakespeare's play, The Taming of the Shrew, took place.
Padua has long been famous for its university, founded by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1238. The list of professors and alumni is long, containing, among others, the names of Bembo, Sperone Speroni, the anatomist Vesalius, Fallopius, Fabrizio d'Acquapendente, Galileo Galilei, Pietro Pomponazzi, Reginald, later Cardinal Pole, Scaliger, Tasso and Sobieski.
The place of Padua in the history of art is nearly as important as its place in the history of learning. The presence of the university attracted many distinguished artists, as Giotto, Fra Filippo Lippi and Donatello; and for native art there was the school of Francesco Squarcione (1394-1474), whence issued the great Mantegna (1431-1506).
The industry of Padua has greatly developed in modern times. Corn and saw mills, distilleries, chemical factories, breweries, candle-works, ink-works, foundries, agricultural machine and automobile works, have been established and are flourishing. The trade of the district has grown to such an extent that Padua has become the central market for the whole of Veneto.
Population: about 213,000 inhabitants in 2012 -- Zip/postal code: from 35121 to 35143 -- Phone Area Code: -- Padova has four Patron Saints: San Prosdocimo celebrated on 7th November, Sant'Antonio di Padova celebrated on 13th June; Santa Giustina celebrated on 7th October, and San Daniele celebrated on 3rd January
History - Antiquity
Padua claims to be the most ancient city in northern Italy. The legend says it was founded by the Trojan Antenor, whose relics the commune recognized in a large stone sarcophagus exhumed in the year 1274. The historical Padua inhabited by Veneti thrived thanks to its excellent breed of horses and the wool of its sheep. A Roman municipium since 45 BCE, it became powerful and famous in Roman times. Abano nearby was the birthplace of the historian Livy, and Padua was the native place of Valerius Flaccus, Asconius Pedianus and Thrasea Paetus.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, it then passed under the Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric the Great, but during the Gothic War it made submission to the Greeks in 540. The history of Padua follows the course of events common to most cities of north-eastern Italy.
History - Middle Ages
Under the Lombards the city of Padua rose in revolt (601) against Agilulf, the Lombard king, and was stormed and burned by him. The Padua of Antiquity was annihilated: the remains of an amphitheater (the Arena) and some bridge foundations are all that remain of Roman Padua today.
The people fled to the hills and returned to eke out a living among the ruins; the ruling class abandoned the city for Laguna, according to a chronicle. The city did not easily recover from this blow, and Padua was still weak when the Franks succeeded the Lombards as masters of north Italy.
At the Frankish Diet of Aix-la-Chapelle (828), the duchy and march of Friuli, in which Padua lay, was divided into four counties, one of which took its title from that city. During the period of episcopal supremacy over the cities of northern Italy Padua was not very important and its bishops were, for the most part, Germans.
At the beginning of the 11th century the citizens established a constitution, and during the next century they were engaged in wars with Venice and Vicenza for the right of water-way on the Bacchiglione and the Brenta. The citizens, in order to protect their liberties, were obliged to elect a podestà, and after 1174 their choice fell first on one of the Este family.
In 1236 Frederick II established his tyrannical vicar Ezzelino da Romano in Padua and the neighbouring cities, where he practised frightful cruelties on the inhabitants. When Ezzelino was unseated in June 1256 thanks to Pope Alexander IV, Padua enjoyed a period of rest and prosperity: the university flourished; the basilica of the saint was begun; the Paduans became masters of Vicenza. But this advance brought them into dangerous proximity to Can Grande della Scala, lord of Verona, to whom they had to yield in 1311.
As a reward for freeing the city from the Scalas, Jacopo da Carrara was elected lord of Padua in 1318. From that date till 1405 nine members of the enlightened Carrara family succeeded one another as lords of the city. It was a long period of restlessness, for the Carraresi were constantly at war; they were finally extinguished between the growing power of the Visconti and of Venice.
History - Renaissance and Modern Age
Padua prospered economically, and culturally, and in 1405 passed under Venetian rule, and so remained till the fall of the republic in 1797. The city was governed by two Venetian nobles, a podestà for civil and a captain for military affairs; each of these was elected for sixteen months. Venice fortified Padua with new walls, built between 1513 and 1544, and with a series of monumental gates.
After the fall of the Venetian republic the history of Padua follows the history of Venice under the French and Austrians. In 1866 Padua and the rest of the Veneto became part of the united Kingdom of Italy.
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