Historic Shops

History and Tradition in the city’s commercial life

historic shops
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

There is a long history behind commercial life in the city. Even nowadays, as you stroll around the city streets you can come across ancient stores, pastry shops and restaurants that can trace their history back decades, if not centuries.

The historic shops of Padua city centre are both a commercial and artistic heritage. Important for the life of the city and the surrounding area, they also bear witness to the various traditions that have been handed down from one generation of shopkeepers to the next.

As you explore the city’s bars, pastry shops, restaurants, food shops and grocery shops, you begin to realise how much history they contain. Each time you go into one, you get some idea of how important they are in themselves – like so many small museums. In fact, in a number of these premises you can even find old column capitals, or other traces of artistic work and age-old tools and implements. Each place bears witness to ancients trades, traditional local products and the artisans who played such a part in writing the history of Padua.

In 2008 Padua City Council responded to requests from those working in this sector and instituted a Register of Historic Business Premises to safeguard this part of the city’s past and fully exploit the potential of its various neighbourhoods.

Special tours were organised for those who wanted to experience the atmosphere of these various old shops within Padua, illustrating the links between the history of the city itself and of the various business premises within it. Some of these tours are particularly suitable for children. For example, ZAC: Zogàr a contar [Play and Storytelling], an itinerary that is planned rather like the board game Gioco dell’oca [Game of the Goose]. For adults, there are tours that take in antique shops and local food and wine, which can give you a real ‘taste’ of history.

Which are the oldest shops in the city?

First prize goes to the Farmacia Al Duomo, which is recorded as far back as 1686, but probably dates from much earlier; it stands of the site of an apothecary’s house.

The Drogheria Ai Due Catini is a grocery shop that dates from 1775. It carries around 15,000 different products, and prides itself on never saying “We don’t have that” – rather like Harrods of London, whose motto was “Ask for whatever you want; we have everything”.

Discover all the historical shops in the Register of Historic Business Premises.

Some of their stories are available in the website www.storiedibottega.it

It may interest you

A Food Market ‘Sotto il Salone’

Torta Pazientina

Resta in contatto

Iscriviti per ricevere aggiornamenti sugli eventi e le attività della città di Padova.