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The 700th Anniversary celebrations

In 1922, under the rectorate of Luigi Lucatello, the University of Padua marked 700 years since its foundation.

Celebrations for the prestigious anniversary were held between May 14 and 17 of that year, welcoming representatives of universities and institutes from all over the world plus members of the aristocracy and military leaders.

The first day of celebrations began with the inauguration of the Exhibition of Scientific Instruments, followed by the first meeting of delegates in the Aula Magna of Palazzo Bo. Here, the Ladies’ Committee donated new rectoral ceremonial maces to the University, which had been stolen by the Austrians.

On this day, students dressed in 14th-century costumes and greeted the goliardi of Vicenza to join them along with the Venetian committee for the 16th-century costume procession that welcomed the University Reformers to Palazzo Bo.

The Formal Ceremony was held on May 15 at the Palazzo della Ragione. Members of Padua’s academic body and delegations arrived at the Salone and brought life to a procession that had started from Palazzo Bo. After the academics, Vittorio Emanuele III (King of Italy) made his triumphal entry after arriving in the city that morning and took his place on stage next to Rector Lucatello and the Senator of the Kingdom and a University of Padua law professor Giovanni Tamassia.

That morning the young goliardi had gathered at the station to welcome King Vittorio Emanuele III, but they were turned away by the military guards. The King had become aware of the situation and had sent a representative to Palazzo della Ragione in advance.

The celebratory day began with speeches by the Rector, Mayor Milani, and Senator Tamassia, followed by a student choir singing the University anthem. The floor was given to eight international delegates and the Minister of Public Education, Antonino Anile. The Athenaeum donated a golden specimen of the commemorative medal to the King.

Video for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the University of Padua, commissioned in 1922 by the Student Committee in agreement with the General Commission, from Ambrogio Film, restored and digitized by  L’immagine ritrovata – Cineteca di Bologna.

The celebrations on May 16 opened with the Honours for Morgagni in the Aula Magna, and guests were taken to visit the Villa Pisani in Stra later in the afternoon. The students had different plans for this commemorative day. After a barrel race in the morning, students began a procession of allegorical floats depicting the different delegates that had attended the celebrations that afternoon.

On the last of the celebrations of May 17, delegates, guests, and students spent the day in Venice and visited the International Fine Arts Exhibition