Student Traditions in Padua

Practices that have a long history

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In the 1950s, during matriculation celebrations that commemorated the student revolt against the Austrian rulers of the Veneto in 1848, the area between Palazzo del Bò and Palazzo Moroni (which houses the City Hall) was the site of a furious battle to capture a mock fort using nothing more lethal than talcum powder. The area then had two-way traffic, so the battle caused all sorts of pandemonium. However, at the time, no one complained. Far from it.

Of the goliardic student activities of the time, all that remains are the so-called papiri [papyruses]. Pasted to walls or trees by a neo-graduates’ friends, these – in far from chaste images and language – recount his or her life as a student.

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