Located in the medieval heart of Padua, Palazzo Bo is home to some of the oldest existing parts of the University of Padua. While a university building might not be on a standard tourist visit to Italy, a stop at Palazzo Bo is a must!
At Palazzo Bo one can see when the study of medicine turned from hocus-pocus to actual science. People, OK men, from around Europe came to study in Padua. Palazzo Bo houses several fantastic sites:
- The anatomical theater is the oldest, permanent location to view the dissection of cadavers. While that sounds a bit creepy, back in the 1300s the only other way to study humans was by dissecting animals and making some assumptions about how human bodies work. Aula Magna was an auditorium specially built so that medical students could view dissections taking place -- a very rare event. Students stood on very narrow balconies overlooking the procedure. It is difficult to describe just how interesting this anatomical theater is. You've just got to see it.
- The podium that Galileo lectured from.
- Portraits of the many famous scientists who studied in Padua, including Gabrielis Fallopius, who described the structures of fallopian tubes for the first time.
Visits to Palazzo Bo are possible via tour only. Tours are conducted in Italian and English. Be sure to go early as space is limited.
Read more about Palazzo Bo here.