What to see in Padua, to amaze your better half and entertain your children? The Museo della Specola, home to the ancient Astronomical Observatory of Padua!

Have you always been fascinated by dark matter, asteroids, stars and magnetic fields? Then you must stop to visit the Padua Astronomical Observatory, a flagship of the city’s university tradition as well as one of the main research facilities of INAF, the National Institute of Astrophysics, Italy’s largest body for the study of the universe. Follow us as we explore the prestigious Specola Museum: one of the most interesting destinations in the city!

cosa visitare a padova museo della specola osservatorio astronomico

© INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova – ph. Simone Zaggia

It is a truly magical place, not only because of its link with the stars, but also because it is housed inside the Torlonga, the legendary tower of the Patavino castle. You must include it in your cultural weekend itinerary in Padua, especially if in the company of your children! Ready? Let’s start! 🙂

Eyes on the heavenly wonders

After a long and troubled history dating back to the 13th century, from the 18th century, the Torlonga was transformed into a place of science. Once the Astronomical Observatory was started, it continued to reap success and recognition for its prestigious research activities.

sala della meridiana museo della specola cosa vedere a padova

© INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova – ph. Antonello Satta

The museum route winds through the ancient tower, through the Inscription Room, the Column Room, the Meridian Room and the Figure Room. You can visit places frequented by the great astronomers of the past and take a close look at the instruments used by scholars during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Nose up to see the stars, also outdoors

Not just a museum. The Padua facility works in partnership with the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory, an important scientific hub used to test the most advanced optical technologies. Why are we telling you this? Because you can visit this site too! 🙂

cosa visitare a padova museo specola osservatorio astronomico

© INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova – ph. Sergio Dalle Ave

Schedule an exciting guided tour of the Asiago Cima Ekar Observation Station! Here you can participate in astronomical observing sessions, all the more enjoyable  without the disturbance of the city background light light. Looking up to the sky then, to seek out the stars: you could also take advantage of the occasion for a romantic evening 🙂

In addition, you can also see Copernicus, Italy’s largest optical telescope. Boasting a diameter of 182 centimeters, it was recently featured in some scenes in Giuseppe Tornatore‘s film “The Correspondence.”

How to buy tickets for the museum

come visitare osservatorio ekar asiago

© INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova – ph. Sergio Dalle Ave

From Tuesday to Sunday, the Specola Museum hosts organized tours by reservation, catering for schools and groups. Individual visitors can enter the museum on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays without reservation.

You can purchase tickets ten minutes before the entrance at the Oratorio di San Michele, located a few meters from the museum. To find out how to reach Cima Ekar, visit the official website of the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory.

To Padua with Italo

Thanks to theItalo high-speed train, the Museum of the Specula and the other beauties of the city – including the beautiful UNESCO heritage Botanical Garden – are at your fingertips. Every day, you can board trains to Padua from Rome, Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Florence, Naples, and Salerno –travel at your leisure and plan your stay in the city with ease. The stars await you!

Cover photo: © INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova – ph. Antonello Satta