Rome Venice Padua/Verona/Vicenza Florence Galileo

Galileo, Padua, and Italian Architecture

It is well known that the city of Venice became prosperous as a trading port during the medieval age. It was the capital city of its hinterland called Veneto including Padua, Verona, and Vicenza. The Veneto district was developed as an exported-oriented manufacturing area. It still is one of the three major exporting areas of Italy along with Milan and Genoa.

Thanks to this prosperity, major universities emerged in this area. Galileo Galilei studied in Venice and conducted his astronomical research at the University of Padua (1592-1610). Galileo is still a prominent figure in Padua. Let us first look at the astronomical observatory where Galileo did his research.

The city of Padua has many medieval-style buildings. Even new buildings are being built in the old style. There are many Romanesque-style churches. You do not have to go to art museums in Padua. Go to churches.

Indeed, in Padua, there are Romanesque buildings. Egyptians built Pyramids, Greeks built the Parthenon Temple. Romans figured out the vector division of forces experimentally. This enabled them to construct arches and domes. They developed Romanesque architecture with a semi-spherical dome providing a wide area under one roof without a jungle of supporting poles.

Greek and Roman styles without harmony (above).
Harmony of the two traditions to
create a new style (below).
Let us look at some buildings in Verona. There are three interesting buildings at Verona's arena square.

Could Italians afford this kind of imperfection? In order to find an answer to this question, let us go to Vicenza, and look at the buildings there.


The most famous persons from Verona are of course Romeo and Juliet. Their story is well known. It is believed that they died in 1303. Their houses were and still are within a walking distance. Here are some photos.

Wherever I go, I talk with friendly and open-hearted people. Whenever I meet Italians, I feel as if I am one of them.

copyright@2014 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified. All photos were taken by him during the period: May 26-30 (2008).

Click here for his home page.