Social Program

Concert at “Sala dei Giganti

Tuesday, September 3rd

Sala dei Giganti originally belonged to the Palazzo dei Carraresi (from the name of the da Carrara family that governed Padua in the 14th century). This great hall gets its name from the size of the figures – personages of Ancient Rome – depicted in the frescoes found within. The original cycle, now lost, was inspired by Petrarch at the invitation of Francesco I da Carrara, whose guest he had been previously, on the basis of his “De viris illustribus”, recounting the lives of illustrious men in the history of Rome. The first decoration of the hall, completed a few years after Petrarch’s death (1374), is attributed to either Altichiero da Zevio or Jacopo Avanzi.

Among the personages portrayed was Petrarch himself, posthumously: His portrait is the only one of the older cycle that has survived to this day. The hall was completely renovated in the 16th century. A new cycle of frescoes was completed around 1540, by Domenico Campagnola and his collaborators, in which the theme of two centuries earlier was taken up again, albeit with some changes to some of the subjects depicted.

Sala dei Giganti housed the University Library from 1631 to 1912. The frescoes were restored to their original splendour during recent work, completed in 2008.