The little Oratory of the Blessed Virgin, half hidden in Padua


Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Laura Teso

The Oratory of the Blessed Virgin (1723), which overlooks the Porte Contarine basin is dedicated to the Madonna dei Barcari (Virgin of Boatmen).

On the exterior west wall there is an ancient marble stone carved with inscriptions: they list the boats that were able to pass and the related fees.

Tariff Carved in Stone
Tariff Carved in Stone

Although the church has a simple and plain style, its rococo bell tower is very elegant and refined.

In 1839, under Austrian dominion, the Oratory became at first the seat of the customs, and later a simple deposit.

Blessed Virgin Oratory
Blessed Virgin Oratory

Oratory of the Blessed Virgin – why I like it

I really love this place. It goes often unnoticed when you walk in a hurry even though it is a few steps from the main attractions (for example the Scrovegni Chapel is only 300m away. By the way, if you want you can read my post about the Scrovegni Chapel). It would deserve more attention. I think it’s romantic and charming, like a little corner of an forgotten world. Unfortunately it is located next to a road junction. The zone is a limited traffic area, but at certain times of day there are nevertheless many cars passing by, depriving it of its sentimental aura. From time to time I like to stop here for a few minutes and take a photo of this beautiful corner. It relaxes me a lot.



  • Unique and romantic
  • Free admission


  • Interior open only Wednesdays afternoon
  • Located next to an unromantic road
  • To get inside you have to go down some steps (but you can still admire it without going down)
In the Evening
In the Evening

Oratory of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Via Giacomo Matteotti, Porte Contarine – Padua

Opened only on Wednesdays (except holidays) for Mass celebration
Winter: 5.30 pm (Wednesday) – Summer: 6 pm (Wednesday)

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