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Santa Sofia

Step inside a church that is one of Padova’s most ancient, a carefully preserved religious relic of the Roman Age. 

The Church of Santa Sofia is perhaps the oldest church in the city of Padova. Come today to see a structure that dates back to the Roman period, with construction having begun in the early 12th century. However, a place of worship is known to have stood on this site even earlier than this. The building is an impressive testament to the long history of Padova, a city defined by its deep roots and ancient buildings. 

Try to imagine when a very different building stood on this spot. It is thought that the earlier place of worship here was likely a pagan temple. Inside the church’s vault is a sacrificial stone dating from these early pre-Christian days. The remains of the building’s original foundations are preserved here too. Inside, look for beautiful artwork including Madonna with Child by Giovanni da Gaibana.

Stand outside the church and look up at the stately façade of the building. It is built from a combination of bricks and stone. Like many of Padova’s buildings, it has a warm, sandy color. The geometry of the exterior is very neat and simple, with the shape of the roof and the arched details marking the building as Romanesque. 

The church stands close to a wide range of other cultural attractions. The surrounding area has a cluster of museums housed in beautiful buildings, including the Museum of Zoology, the Museum of the History of Physics, the Eremitani Museum, which houses archeological artifacts, and the Third Army Museum. Find several other churches in the vicinity too, including the gorgeous Scrovegni Chapel in the lovely green Giardini dell’Arena. Allow time to visit the Roman arena that is located in this delightful park. 

Walk to the Church of Santa Sofia in about 20 minutes from Padova’s main train station. The route is very pretty and will take you across the photogenic Brenta river. The church is open daily, with morning and evening hours. After you visit the church, consider heading back north and strolling along the river’s lovely banks, which draw cyclists, walkers and joggers in good weather.


Guide to Exploring around Santa Sofia


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Best Lodging Options Near Santa Sofia

See all 783 Properties near Santa Sofia
Best Western Plus Hotel Galileo Padova $87
Best Western Plus Hotel Galileo Padova

Best Western Plus Hotel Galileo Padova

Via Venezia 30, Padova, PD
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the historical district, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Padova Trade Fair and Porta Ognissanti. Palazzo di Giustizia di Padova and Padova Industrial Area are also within 15 minutes. Padova Station is 19 minutes by foot.

    Small Internal Nest 11_ by Camilla
    Small Internal Nest 11_ by Camilla

    Small Internal Nest 11_ by Camilla

    Padova, Veneto
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Historic Centre, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Church of San Nicolò, Palazzo Liviano, and Piazza dei Signori. Clock Tower and Loggia della Gran Guardia are also within 5 minutes. Padova Station is 14 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Maritan $59
      Hotel Maritan

      Hotel Maritan

      Via Gattamelata, 8, Padova, PD
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Padova, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hospital of Padova, Loggia and Odeo Cornaro, and Santa Sofia. Museo Antoniano and Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua are also within 15 minutes. Padova Station is 28 minutes by foot.

        Hotel Belludi 37 $170
        Hotel Belludi 37

        Hotel Belludi 37

        Via Luca Belludi 37, Padova, PD
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Historic Centre, this hotel is steps from Oratory of San Giorgio, Scoletta del Santo, and Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Padua Botanical Garden and Museo Antoniano are also within 5 minutes. Padova Station is 26 minutes by foot.

          Four Points by Sheraton Padova $58
          Four Points by Sheraton Padova

          Four Points by Sheraton Padova

          Corso Argentina 5, Padova, PD
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Hospital of Padova, Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, and Scrovegni Chapel. University of Padova and Padua Cathedral are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Hotel Casa del Pellegrino $84
            Hotel Casa del Pellegrino

            Hotel Casa del Pellegrino

            Via Melchiorre Cesarotti 21, Padova, PD
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Padova, this hotel is steps from Museo Antoniano, Loggia and Odeo Cornaro, and Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Scoletta del Santo and Oratory of San Giorgio are also within 5 minutes. Padova Station is 24 minutes by foot.

              NH Padova $72
              NH Padova

              NH Padova

              Via N. Tommaseo, 61, Padova, PD
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Padova, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Clock Tower and Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Padova Station is 14 minutes by foot.

                Best Western Hotel Biri $91
                Best Western Hotel Biri

                Best Western Hotel Biri

                Via Antonio Grassi 2, Padova, PD
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the business district, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Padova Trade Fair and Porta Ognissanti. Padova Industrial Area and Palazzo di Giustizia di Padova are also within 1 mi (2 km). Padova Station is 25 minutes by foot.