specola

The stars of Padua: From Galileo Galilei to wine festivals

Have you ever heard of Galileo Galilei? Did you know that he lived in Padua for 18 years?
I haven’t known it since last week. Wait a minute, I knew who Galileo was but I didn’t know that he spent so much time in Padua. Do you consider it a big mistake?
To be honest, my biggest issue is that I met Francesca B too late, when my general knowledge was already developed. I might know a lot of spots in the middle of nowhere around Veneto, but unfortunately I know literally nothing about their history.
I am kidding, it is not true. I will prove it telling you some interesting facts.
For instance, do you know that many famous people have lived in Veneto, especially in Padua?
That’s probably because Padua is the 2nd oldest university in Italy, mostly because of its faculty of medicine. It was one of the popular places to visit during the “Grand Tour”, when a lot of foreign people in the 1700 came to Italy to learn about the Italian culture and to visit its beauties and monuments.

But let’s move back to Galileo Galilei. He was born in Tuscany, but when he was 28 he moved to Padua. He began to teach mathematics and physics at the University, but his students used to say that rather than that he taught to open your mind.
Galileo created his own telescope and a urban legend says that he made his discoveries observing the sky from La Specola, the tower of the Observatory, and from Porta Molino, but the truth, most likely, is that all the observations were made from his home, located in via Vignoli (now called via Galileo Galilei).

La Specola, though, is now the MUSEUM OF THE OBSERVATORY and it is so close to “Prato della Valle” that it’s really worthy to visit. Here you can check the opening times

However, if you want to watch the stars and the milk way, there’s a very magical event going on every summer in the middle of August. It is a festival in the Euganean hills named “Calici di stelle”.
It is very popular, not only because of the stars that you can watch from the telescope, but moreover because of the local wines. “Wines and stars”, what else would you fancy? Especially if you are in love! It’s a perfect occasion for an intimate night with a romantic atmosphere and a beautiful scenery.

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