I am glad we came across one of the largest basilicas in Italy. About 5 million people visit this significant place for prayer. There are remains of Saint Anthony of Padua buried here. He was a patron of poor and all that lost something.
The basilica comes from 13th century, but when you look at it, you can see that it reflects almost every architectural style. None of these - Romanesque style, Gothic, Baroque, Byzantine and Renaissance - is missing. There are also two bell towers and eight domes. The small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini (from the 12th century) is integrated into the basilica, now known as the Black Madonna Chapel. It is said St. Anthony prayed here.
Inside, you can see frescoes from the 14th century created by the Italian painter Altichiera da Zevio in the Chapel of St. James. The famous sculptor Donatello left here a bronze crucifix and statues of seven saints, for example, Virgin Mary with her baby.
Entrance is accessible for wheelchair. But there´s strict dress code you have to obey. You cannot come inside wearing shorts, skirts, sleeveless tops etc. No bare knees or shoulders. There are no scarfs or sarongs available to borrow. Using any kind of camera is prohibited, too. And no dogs allowed as well.
I´ve never seen any church protected so much.