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Padua

Padua (Lat. Patavium; Italian Padova), a city of North Italy, situated on the river Bacchiglione, 25 miles west of Venice. In the early days of the Roman republic it was a considerable place; but at the fall of the empire it suffered severely from the Huns, and passed twice from the Gothic kings to the Greek emperors. It went through the various vicissitudes of the towns of North Italy until acquired by Venice in 1403, after which date its history becomes identical with that of Venetia. The university of Padua, founded by Frederick II. in 1238, was throughout the Middle Ages one of the most famous schools of Europe, and it still retains great vitality. Among the many striking architectural features may be mentioned the Palazzo della Ragione (1172), with a roof of larger span than any in Europe; the Piazza dei Signori; the Palazzo del Capitano; Il Santo, or the basilica of St. Antony; the Augustinian church of the Eremitani, with frescoes by Mantegna; the Capella dell' Arena, decorated by Giotto; and the cathedral, where Petrarch's tomb is seen. The city possesses some industries, such as weaving and dyeing silken and woollen fabrics, and it does a considerable trade in grain, cattle, wine, and oil.

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