Padova: Palazzo del Bo, Galileo’s Lecture Podium, Basilica of St. Anthony

Buongiorno,

Welcome to Padova, located in the Veneto region of Italy whose capital is Venice. Our first visit in the city was to the Basilica of Saint Anthony where we had the privilege to see the relics and reliquaries of Saint Anthony. In these beautiful gold and jewel reliquaries house the mandible, tongue and vocal cords of Saint Anthony. It was quite a unique way to symbolize and revere such an important individual during the 16th century. The weather was so chilly and as I sat in front of the Magnolia tree at the Basilica of St. Anthony the wind rustled through my hair and made me feel so blessed to be in such a religious sanctuary.

Our morning in Padova consisted of a tour of the city center and then was followed by a visit to the Palazzo del Bo, the historic seat of the University of Padua. We had the chance to stand in the exact location where anatomists and professors of medicine dissected corpses to teach medical students. The anatomy theatre was a candle-lit arena which all focused down to the underground dissection zone. The theatre was quite small in real-life and very compact. I can only imagine the level of odor that swarmed the theatre due to the lack of windows in the venue. It seems unimaginable that students were able to understand human anatomy in such a fashion were they hovered over the corpse rather than stand right next to it.

Interesting Facts:

  • Donatello, Dante and Galileo all lived in Padua.
  • The clock tower in the center of Padua doesn’t have the Libra zodiac sign because there wasn’t a good sense of justice in the town. The clock however is adorned with gold constellations, a navy blue backdrop and gold zodiac signs.
  • Medical students at the University of Padua were only allowed to dissect 2 bodies per year, one male and one woman. Majority of the time they had to arrange to find a corpse on their own.
  • Galileo Galilei became a professor at the Palazzo del Bo where he lived for 18 years.

A short stop in Padua concluded with a visit to Galileo’s lecture podium at the Palazzo del Bo. I can’t wait to greet you all for our day trip to Venice.

Ciao,

Ashna