PADUA: PRATO DELLA VALLE
Prato della Valle has a surface of 88,620 m2 and at its centre there is an elliptical island called Memmia island (20,000 m2), surrounded by a small canal (fed by the Alicorno canal) on whose shores there is a double ring of statues. The external circumference is 1,450 mt.
During the Roman and early medieval period, the area was known as Campo di Marte or Campo Marziano because it was used, among other functions, as a military meeting place. Afterwards, the area was nominated both as “Valle del Mercato”, for the seasonal markets and fairs that took place there, and as “Prato di Santa Giustina” in relation to the presence of the church that bears this name.
In the medieval period, the word Pratum was used to indicate a large space for commercial uses that, if not paved, could often cover with grass. The word Valle actually means “lowland” and “swampy place”.
Its current appearance was willed by the superintendent Andrea Memmo in 1775, who planned the creation of a central island surrounded by an elliptical artificial canal bordered with a double ring of statues. The island was created through the transport of 10,000 carts of land that were used to fill the central depression of the lawn and to avoid the stagnation of the waters and the swamp phenomena that periodically hit the area. The island immediately took the name of Memmia in honour of its creator.
Besides Prato Della Valle, Padua encloses many treasures to discover! Choose the itinerary you prefer and venture out to discover this wonderful city.