"Padova - Prato della Valle" Italy Things to Do Tip by Willettsworld

Italy Things to Do: 1,470 reviews and 2,257 photos

Prato della Valle (literally "meadow of the valley") is a huge oval area south of the city centre is said to be the largest "square" in Europe. The area served as a theatre in Roman times but it deteriorated into an unhealthy swamp until, in 1775, it was transformed into a grand 22-acre park. The area features an oval moat in which 4 bridges span over it so that visitors can reach a central island of grass and paths. At the edges of the moat are 78 statues of foreign sovereigns and important figures in the town's history.

When I visited it was a glorious warm sunny day and the area was filled with students basking either in the sun or lying in the shade (of which there is very little).

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  • Written Sep 25, 2005
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