Ever since the medieval period, the ground floor of the Palazzo della Ragione, and the surrounding piazzas (Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti) have hosted the city’s main food market.
The Palazzo della Ragione is one of the main landmarks of the city of Padua. It is called “Il Salone”, or “The Big Hall” by the locals, because of the large room that dominates the space, on the first floor of the palazzo. It is believed to be one of the largest halls still standing from that time period. It dates from 1218, but construction was not completed until 1306. One takes an external staircase to reach the first floor.
From the loggia at the top of the stairs, one has a wonderful view of the piazza below.
The frescoes we see inside date from 1425, and are the work of Nicolo Miretto, and Stefano da Ferrara.
At one end of the hall, there is a large wooden horse that dates from 1466, and is the work of Annibale Capodilista.
The hall is also home to the famous Pietra del Vituperio, or Stone of Shame, on which debtors were forced to disrobe and, then, stand and hit themselves on the buttocks three times. The stone used to be in the piazza outside.
In the piazza outside the palazzo, you will find one of the city’s most popular food carts: La Folperia. This small food cart serves nothing but octopus: Delicious and tender octopus they cook, chop up, and serve with a simple sauce, and some lemon. We caught them when they were first opening. Later in the evening, the line for the food stretches around the corner, so it is best to get there early, if you want to sample the tasty dish!
A plaque marks the old mill factory, which dates from 1217. The mill here was used for fulling and washing wool. There were a few mills in the area and, at the time, they were known as the Mulini Grendini.
Tigotà is a great store where you can get good quality health and body care products, at reasonable prices.
Next up: We begin our last day in Padua with a visit to the stunning Cappella degli Scrovegni!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Padua, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!