In this chapter we discuss the Squares of Padova, a meeting point for citizens and the different markets held in the city.
The Squares of Padova are one of the meeting places for Paduans, places where you can meet old friends, drink a good coffee, brighten up your day with some typical shot or simply by buying in the lively stalls of its market, where you can breathe still today an almost medieval atmosphere. Frutta Square and Erbe Square are colorful and elegant thanks to the colorful flowers, fruit and fresh vegetables sold in the stalls during the morning market. A historic meeting place for Paduans, even in the evening hours, for the usual aperitif, or to conclude some outstanding business.
Interesting and, to be searched, are the names of the stairs that rise from the square to the Ragione Palace, given that each is characterized by a particular name, which derives from the product that was sold at the time. In fact, one can find for example, the "scales of herbs" where fruit and vegetables were sold or the "scale of the oseis" where there were birds and various poultry. The huge market of the two squares surrounding the Ragione Palace, one of the most characteristic buildings in the world, reflects very well the ancient splendor of the free commercial city of Padua.
The Signori Square or Signoria Square, was the center of power of Padua and, over the years, was the scene of important civic events, fairs and courtships. It was born from the rubble of an old neighborhood, so as to give importance to the access tower of the Carrarese Palace that was being built. Today, on the ancient area of the Carrarese Palace stands the Capitanio Palace, which at the time was the residence of the captains, who preserved the city throughout the rule of the Serenissima. To interrupt the linearity of the façade of this splendid palace, we find one of the pride of Padua, namely the 14th century Clock Tower, decorated in Gothic style with the famous astronomical clock in the center and at its base a large triumphal arch designed by Giovanni Maria Falconetto.
The ancient courtyard, originally a space of the Palace, was surrounded by buildings used for various purposes, including the headquarters of the curia, the stables and areas for the exercises of the guards. Not far from the palace we find the seventeenth-century Church of San Clemente in red brick, donated to the Paduans who had founded the communities of Rivolato and Dorsoduro in Venice in the 5th century and Loggia del Consiglio, in white Istrian stone. The lively squares of Padova are transformed in the warmer summer evenings into an elegant and comfortable living room, both for Paduans and for all tourists staying in this wonderful city.