The fact that this site is still on the tentative list is really a mortal sin! How can such a magnificent site be left out of the WHS list!!! This is truly Padova's highlight. It is a masterpiece - nothing more to add!
Date posted: February 2013 John S. (USA):
This site deserves to be added to the list. More than what the rest of Italy--Venice, Florence, Rome, the whole lot--can claim, it was this building that kick-started the European Renaissance and thus the modern world as we know it. It is also incredibly beautiful to boot. Along with the Orto Botanico, the Capella degli Ermani really shows that during its height Padova and its university was one of the most important centers of learning in the western world.
Date posted: July 2011 Ian Cade (England):
This was the single highlight of my trip around the Veneto, and the finest site I have visited from the tentative list. It could easily make it onto the World Heritage list proper and I really hope it does.
The chapel is famous for its magnificent frescos painted by Giotto. There was something about the amazing misty colours of the interior that really grabbed my attention and held it. The 15 minutes or so we were in this small chapel enabled us to follow the story being depicted on the wall very closely, and gave plenty of time to really absorb the details of the art works, looking at the incredible emotion that Giotto was able to get into the depictions. This chapel is one of the key works of art from a major turning point in the western tradition; it shows the transition from gothic art to the more natural forms associated with the renaissance.
Entry to the chapel is restricted and you will have to book in advance (at least 3 days before but I would recommend booking as early as possible especially if you come in the high season). This limited entry means that a maximum of 25 people are allowed in the chapel at a time, which makes for an exceptionally rewarding way to see the paintings, allowing you time and space to really appreciate them (if only somewhere like the Sistine Chapel could give you the time and space to admire the artworks). Before entering you watch a 10 minute video in a small chamber to help regulate the environment inside the chapel. The chapel is located a pretty near to the station in Padua, and really should be the main purpose for visiting the city, even over the already inscribed Orto Botanico.
After exiting I had to take a little while to just reflect on what I saw, it stands alongside Skellig Michael and the Plantin Moretus Museum as one of the most impressive sites I have seen. These small and manageable places manage to squeeze a lot into small places and they really had a major effect on me.
This is a truly World Class site and one that the World Heritage list is poorer for not including at the moment. I really hope this is added at some stage in the future.
[Site 9: Experience 9]
Date posted: April 2011 Assif Am-David (Israel):
I went to Padua especially to see this marvelous Giotto capella and it was even more striking than I had expected. Giotto was indeed a genious. Padua by the way was heavily bombarded in WWII so many other sites including the nearby Capella degli Eremitani covered with frescoes by Mantegna were damaged. Nonetheless, the huge dining room (the largest in the world), Scuola San Giorgio, San Antonio complex, Prato della Valle, the Univeristy del Po' and the Battistero all offer the art lover great pleasures. Weren't it in Italy I'm sure a town like Padua would become a prominent tourist attraction and a country's main source of pride!
Date posted: May 2008
Have you been to Cappella degli Scrovegni? Share your experiences!