Located on one of the main streets into the city centre, Palazzo Cavalli takes its name from the family who built it and then lived in it for almost three centuries. Its original construction, in the 1660s, is linked with the fascinating figure of Marino Cavalli ‘Il Vecchio’, Venetian ambassador to some of the main courts in Europe. The palazzo subsequently underwent refurbishment at the end of the seventeenth/beginning of the eighteenth century; it was then that Federico Cavalli and his wife, Elisabetta Duodo, commissioned the imposing decorative work which can still be seen within the structure.
In 1892 the building became home to Padua University’s Technical School for Engineering, and since 1932 has housed the collections of the Museum of Geology and Palaeontology. The first material here was that donated to the University in 1734 by Antonio Vallisnieri the Elder, who also donated to various other museums, and since then the collections have continued to grow.
Home to the new Museum of Nature and Humankind, the largest Italian scientific university museum, the exhibits document the history of our planet, and illustrates how life-forms have changed and evolved over the course of geological time.
A wealth of 200 thousand natural and anthropological exhibits, built up over centuries. A merger of four collections — Mineralogy, Geology & Paleontology, Zoology and Anthropology — associated historically with the University of Padua. A scientific narration of planet Earth as an evolving system, describing the diversity of humankind and the environment, and the relationships between them, using multimedia and interactive methods for the ultimate learning experience.
To round off the celebrations marking 800 years since its foundation, the University of Padua offers this opportunity for participation and scientific citizenship to schools, to the city and to tourists.