In this chapter we discuss one of the most spectacular and surprising buildings in the world: it is the Ragione Palace.
The Ragione Palace, or also called the "Salone" for Paduans, was built in the 13th century and was used until the decline of the Republic of Venice, in 1797, as a city court. It is located between Erbe Square and Frutta Square, in the heart of Padua, and is characterized by a trapezoidal shape and a particular cover in the shape of an upturned ship hull, designed by Giovanni degli Eremitani.
In the first decade of the 14th century, the task of decorating the walls of the great hall was assigned to the famous painter Giotto, but the marvelous cycle of frescoes was destroyed by the fire that in 1420 sent the Carraresi archive to ashes. The Stone of Vituperium is preserved in the Hall, on which the debtors unable to pay their debts, were obliged to beat their buttocks three times after having undressed, a custom that is at the origin of the expression remain in braghe de tea.
Along the loggia, open on the ground floor, we find numerous typical Venetian shops and bars, which sell passers-by a wide range of typical products and the most delicious shadows and cicchetti characteristic of the territory. On the upper floor, we find the largest suspended hall in the world whose measurements are: 81 meters long, 27 wide and 27 meters high. Inside you can admire an extraordinary cycle of frescoes on three overlapping bands, about 217, which decorate the walls with paintings dedicated to astrology, dating back to the fifteenth century.
They are divided into twelve sections, corresponding to the months. In each compartment we find depicted the zodiac sign, the apostle, the planet, the allegory of the month, the typical professions and the constellations. All around are represented the characters of the persons indicated by the astral influences and in turn, connected by the date of birth and by the ascendant. In the lower part the distinguished judges are represented, symbolized by animals, among which the cardinal virtues and the theological virtues are associated. On one side of the hall we find a copy of the majestic horse of the monument by Gattamelata by Donatello.
The City Center of Padova