Perhaps the most visited site in Padua is Scrovegni Chapel. And, for good reason! It is a beautiful, moving, surprising and relatively short visit.
Originally called the Arena Chapel, the affluent Paduan banker Enrico Scrovegni commissioned Giotto (the famous Florentine painter) to paint the frescos in the early 1300s. The chapel had two purposes -- to serve as the family's private oratory and as a funerary monument for Scrovegni and his wife.
The chapel survives today because leaders of the city bought the property in 1881 and dedicated themselves to its preservation. A major study of the chapel in 2001 led to a realization that the moist climate was ruining the frescos. A full-scale restoration was undertaken and climate controls were put in place to ensure that visitors would be able to enjoy the site for years to come.
Speaking of enjoying the site, Scrovegni Chapel is incredible. The detail, the imagery, the facial features, the biblical and more "modern day" references. So much to take in! Tested Travel particularly enjoyed the images of vises and virtues on opposing walls of the chapel. Beautiful and emotive.
To manage the climate inside the Chapel only allows a few visitors at a time to visit the Chapel. As such, getting tickets in advance is a must! In high season, tickets sell out weeks in advance. Tours alternate between Italian and English.
Read more about Scrovegni Chapel here.