The largest of the circular bastions (in Italian "torrioni") commissioned by Captain General Bartolomeo d’Alviano was completed by 1517. Its dimensions (58 meters in diameter) are justified by the role as stronghold of the new ramparts of Padua, at the point where the Bacchiglione river, the main communication route of the time, reached the city.
Both its external appearance and the configuration of the fascinating interiors are very different from the original ones, mainly as a result of an aborted process of transformation into a polygonal bastion, and the subsequent return to the circular form, in the mid-sixteenth century.
Its history, which is of little significance from a military point of view, is intertwined with the urban history of the city, which has undergone radical transformations in that area. It is also connected with the scientific and civil life of Padua, as testified by the presence of the buildings of the Public Bath of the early twentieth century and that of an obelisk-like meridian mark, used to calibrate an astronomical instrument installed in the city Observatory.
It is the first of Padua's bastions whose interiors have been restored to a new life as a theatrical and exhibition space.
Access to the bastion is inside the Alicorno Gardens
(entrance from Piazzale Santa Croce or at the corner between via San Pio X and via Marco Polo).
It is located in the access room to the upper north-east casemate.
In the reception area you will find a short introductory video to the Walls of Padua, common to each station. You will also find a QR code that will let you download the contents of the Mura Vive app specific to the bastion to your smartphone (the app itself is downloadable for free from your app store, with both Italian and English texts).
Every 45 minutes, in groups of max 20 people, the staff will then take you down to the lower level, where, in the main hall, an audiovisual installation, projected on the brick walls around you, will bring back to life the protagonists of the events that have involved the bastion over the centuries, from its construction to the present day.
Foreign visitors may use headphones provided free of charge to listen to English dubbing. Headphones are available at the reception desk.
Hearing impaired visitors may use dubbing in sign language (Italian only), and an Italian transcription on tablet available free of charge at the reception desk).
After the vision, you may begin your self-guided visit to the casemates of the bastion using the Mura Vive app.
In the upper south-western casemate, the last stop of the internal route, you will find an educational video that will explain in detail the transformations undergone by the bastion and the urban context over the centuries. The videos are captioned in English.
Once out, you can continue the visit outside by following the instructions and using the detailed information you will find in the MuraVive app.
To be able to se the audiovisual installation inside the gate, booking is recommended.
Reservation is REQUIRED for groups of more than 5 persons.
We recommend that you take a jacket or sweater with you, even in the middle of summer: temperature inside the bastion is significantly lower than outside and after a few minutes it could make you uncomfortable.
For opening days and hours and instructions to make a reservation, please check the INFORMATION page.
The area of the Alicorno garden is accessible without any particular difficulty, but visitors with walking problems or on a wheelchair who want to visit the station of MURA VIVE are advised to be accompanied.
The audio-video installation on the lower level is fully accessible, while there is an alternative route to the internal stairs, to reach the upper level, with the assistance of the staff. The upper casemates have non-stabilized gravel flooring. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that interested visitors on wheelchair be accompanied by a person who can help them in their movements.
inside the Giardino Alicorno, entrance from:
piazzale Santa Croce (the gate near n. 23H) or via San Pio X, at the corner with via Marco Polo