Palazzo Liviano Padua

Palazzo Liviano Padua (Sala dei Giganti)

The Palazzo Liviano is a 20th century building in Padua. It is located in the Piazza Capitaniato. The third floor is taken up by the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art. The Sala dei Giganti is taken up with huge frescoes depicting ancient heroes.

Palazzo Liviano Padua

Useful information

Address: Palazzo Capitaniato, 7 – 35121 Padova. Phone: (+39) 049 8273939.

History and description

When the Palazzo Liviano was constructed, ruins of the old Palazzo del Capitanio were incorporated in the building. The Piazza Capitaniato was the courtyard of the Reggia Carrarrese when the Venetians ruled over Padua.

It is named after the Roman historian Titus Livius (59 BC – 17 AD), who was born in Padua and wrote 142 books describing the history of the Roman people. In English he is also known as Livy. It was one of several university buildings that were reconstructed in the 1930’s and was initially meant to host the Faculty of Letters.

Gio Ponti was the architect of the Palazzo Liviani and also the person responsible for several of its interior decorations.

The fresco in the atrium was painted between 1937 and 1940, by Massimo Campigli, and represents “Archaeology as the source of Italian culture”. Like Ponti for the design of the building, Campigli had had to win a competition in order to get the job. Arturo Martini was responsible for the sculpture of Titus Livius in the same atrium.

The cellar contains a number of anti-air raid shelters, which have never been used however.

Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art

At present the building is the seat of a number of educational institutions and of the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art. The latter was founded in 1937 and takes up the third floor. Its collection consists of ancient Etruscan, Greek and Roman sculptures and ceramics. There is also a section of Renaissance art.

Sala dei Giganti

The Palazzo Liviano is connected to the so-called Sala dei Giganti. In this space, concerts and conventions are organized. The “Room of the Giants” is decorated with frescoes. it is called thus because of the life-sized frescoes depicting heroes and other famous people from antiquity. They were painted in the early 16th century. The Sala dei Giganti replaces a similarly decorated room, with painting based on the works of Petrarca, that used to be part of the Reggia Carrarrese. The room can be reached from a staircase next to the building.

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