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Third week: from Bonneval to La Rochelle

The stages, day by day


































La Rochelle


In the centre of Bonneval, a city surrounded by water and slate roofs stands the Notre-Dame Gothic church, with high buttresses, an austere facade and a thin spire dominating the square.

Starting from here, leaving the remains of the temple complex of Saint-Florentin’s abbey behind us, we head southwest passing the many charming bridges that cross the river along the way.

Among all the places that preserve the objects of the pilgrimage of those linked to Padua, the Municipal Library of the city of Vendôme holds several exceptional historical pieces.

The manuscript marked no. 243 signed on the 8th of August 1440 by the doctor Michele Savonarola testifies to anecdotes of his time in Paduan. Manuscript marked no. 110 belonged to the Pavia doctor Antonio Guarnieri that included a customs formula written in the code, certifying that he was in Padua in October of 1441.  Among the various freedoms guaranteed to the University of Padua, was the freedom of carrying books, then a very precious commodity, without paying duties.

Not far from here, Andrea Navagero, ambassador of the Serenissima passed away in the city of Blois on May 8, 1529. A student in Padua and pupil of Pomponazzi, Navagero was a historian of the Republic of Venice who collaborated with Aldus Manutius. Upon hearing the news of Navagero’s death, Girolamo Fracastoro shared many good thoughts about the virtues of his dear late friend.

The third day includes the town of Tours (UNESCO). Here we admire the tall spires of Tours Cathedral dedicated to Saint Gatianus that house Cantori Library and features a set of towers on the lowermost stage.  The charming city is famous for its medieval district of preserved half-timbered buildings.

Niort, a city in the far west of the Marais Poitevin regional natural park, preserves the mighty castle built by Henry II Plantagenet, the tall spires of the Notre-Dame church and other Middle Age buildings. We cross the park and its countless waterways until we reach La Rochelle, a city that is different for those arriving by sea and land.

La Rochelle stronghold and free city for Protestants gave asylum for a period to the jurist and adviser of the parliament of Toulouse Jean de Coras.

In 1573, besieged by the King of France and supplied by sea by the British. The besieged managed to withstand eight terrible assaults, eventually and fortunately wresting an honourable peace. Not even a year had passed since the massacres that followed the night of Saint Bartholomew when three councillors were hanged in the city of Toulouse; among them was Jean de Coras, a student in Padua in 1534.

The team of the week

Why? Why not! When I read about the relay proposed by our University in celebration of its 800th anniversary, I knew it would be the perfect combination of a great personal challenge and a chance to honour my university. This is a great adventure based on fundamental values of teamwork, sustainability and sport. My participation feels like the logical next step in strengthening the values I experienced as an Erasmus student more than 20 years ago.  Now, as a teacher who deals with the economics of sustainability and the environment, this event is a chance for me to add a good dose of sweat, friendship and well-being to a cause I am passionate about ?.
Daniel Vecchiato

Daniel Vecchiato

I am a laboratory technician, and while I have only been part of the UniPD community for a short time, as soon as I heard about this initiative, I knew I wanted to participate.   It is an honour to share the history of our University with some of Europe’s most celebrated institutions of higher education. This truly is a great opportunity to combine sport with a beautiful example of green mobility.
Giordano Della Valle

Giordano Della Valle

My name is Giovanni Gazzola, I’m a mechanical engineering student and a cyclist in the Pedale Scaliergo set for those under 23 years old.  I was determined to participate in the relay because I wanted to combine my passion for sport with my passion for my university. I think this is a great way to do something beyond my training, as I discover new places while cycling, having fun, and sharing my experience with the world.
Giovanni Gazzola

Giovanni Gazzola

The combination of culture and sport motivated me to participate in the cycling event that celebrates the 800th Anniversary of the University of Padua. I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful experience with others by documenting and sharing the emotional “fuel” from each participant. Needless to say, even as a member of the technical staff, I’ll be ready to jump on a bike and ride if needed!
Livia De Paolis

Livia De Paolis

Main sponsor


Sponsor tecnici

De Marchi Rudy project Elastic interface


Le origini dell’Università Sorbona risalgono al XIII quando maestri e scolari si riunirono in corporazioni chiamate “università”.

Inizialmente le lezioni si svolgevano nell’Île de la Cité, ma in seguito si spostarono in quello che oggi è chiamato quartiere Latino. Gli insegnamenti delle facoltà di teologia, diritto, medicina e arti potevano tenersi in casa dei docenti ma anche all’aperto. Gli studenti erano raggruppati per area di provenienza e organizzati in quattro nationes: la francese, la piccarda, la normanna e l’inglese.

Le prime residenze universitarie portarono alla formazione di collegi fondati grazie ai lasciti di generosi benefattori. Tra questi ricordiamo il Collège des Cholets (1292), il Collège de Montaigu (1314), il Collège de La Marche (1362) e il collegio fondato nel 1253 per poveri studenti di teologia da Robert de Sorbon.

I collegi parigini crebbero di numero fino ad arrivare ad una cinquantina. Alcuni divennero famosi per l’insegnamento di una particolare Facoltà: il collegio della Sorbona, ad esempio, divenne noto in tutto l’occidente cristiano per l’insegnamento della teologia.

Il complesso di edifici originati dal vecchio collegio fondato da Robert de Sorbon vennero abbattuti nel XVII secolo per far posto ad una costruzione sorta grazie all’interessamento di un nuovo preside il futuro cardinale Richelieu. Committente e progettista, l’architetto Jean Lemercier, non videro mai la conclusione dei lavori perché si protrassero per trent’anni.

Nel 1791 l’università venne chiusa a seguito della Rivoluzione francese e i locali riassegnati ma durante la Restaurazione gli spazi vennero nuovamente destinati all’insegnamento universitario. Alla fine del XIX secolo l’intero complesso, tranne la cappella in stile barocco, venne demolito per far posto alla costruzione della Nuova Sorbona.

Dal 1968 l’università è stata riorganizzata in diverse università autonome. L’Università di Parigi 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne è la maggiore per popolazione universitaria e offerta formativa ed è specializzata in scienze politiche ed economiche, diritto e scienze umane.