Padavia is a city-state located in the north-east mainland of Talia, near Bellezza. It is known as the "City of Words", and is the main setting for City of Secrets.

The Italian equivalent of Padavia is the city of Padua. In contrast to other city-states in Talia, Padavia possesses the most differences from its Italian counterpart, particularly because Padua is not grouped together with an obvious centre like other cities that have appeared in Stravaganza.[1]


Padavia is an independent city-state, with an elected governor and senate; the current ruler is Messer Antonio. The city is centuries old, originally founded by the ancient Reman people.[2] For over three hundred and fifty years, the city has enjoyed traditions in liberality and learning.

The city holds strong ties with the neighbouring city-state of Bellezza, and was under its rule for a period of time[2]. As an independent city-state, Padavia is closely allied with both Bellezza and Classe and willingly contributes to finances for the upkeep of the Classe and Bellezzan navies as Padavia benefits from the trade the two coastal cities bring to the landlocked Padavia[3].

In Padavia, debtors unable to pay their creditors are forced to strip to their undergarments and forced to endure public humiliation and renounce their goods, regarded as sufficient punishment for a proud Padavian. He must leave the city, dressed only in what he stands up in and carrying no luggage. His house and any goods are now confiscated and the city sells them to pay his debts. During City of Secrets, Messer Antonio passes the anti-magic laws suggested by the di Chimici; breaking the anti-occult laws become punishable by death by burning. After nearly killing a group of thirty Manoush for celebrating the Day of the Dead, the governor repeals them and removes death by burning as a punishment[2].

Industry and SightsEdit

Scriptorium press

Printing press

Padavia is famous for its scholarship, particularly in the fields of law, medicine, rhetoric, astronomy, and philosophy. The university's Anatomy Theatre is known for its dissections performed by Professor Angeli; most dissections may only be viewed by medical students, though public dissections are open for other students and the general public to see. Padavia's scholastic interests extends to its industry of printed books.[2]

University of padavia

University of Padavia

The University of Padavia is the second oldest in Talia and was instituted 350 years ago[2]. It numbers Rodolfo Rossi, Luciano Crinamorte, and Cesare Montalbani amongst its previous and current students. The Palazzo del Montone is a notable area of the University; known informally as the Ram, the area was previously an unusually large inn that was frequented by students. As the university became more established, teachers began giving informal lectures there. More than a hundred years ago, the city eventually bought the inn and all the buildings on the block and converted them into the main part of the University.[2] The university also contains a vast scriptorium, which previously belonged to an old monastery next to the main university building.[2]

Black horse inn

Black Horse Inn

The Black Horse Inn is popular with the students and is located relatively close to the university's main building and the Scriptorium. Extracurricular activities for students include the School of Riding and the School of Fencing. The main cathedral in Padavia is Cathedral del Santo, where another major sight is a bronze equestrian statue of Ernesto da Bruni, the Volpeglassato by Donato Miele located in the churchyard of the basilica. The cathedral is also notable for its fine frescoes and the Tomb of the Saint[2]. One of the main piazzas of Padavia is the Piazza dei Fiori, located in the centre of the city.[4] There is a Reman amphitheatre under a swamp, in the south of the city.

Notable ResidentsEdit


Other ResidentsEdit

  • Giunta, wife of the governor of Padavia, originally born and raised in Bellezza[5], sympathetic towards the Manoush
  • Professor Angelo Angeli, the anatomy professor at the University of Padavia
  • Biagio, a printer at the Scriptorium, also works in Professor Constantin's secret scriptorium
  • Silvia Bellini, a wealthy "widow" from Bellezza
  • Susanna, Silvia's maid
  • Guido Parola, Silvia's valet and bodyguard
  • Cesare Montalbani, a student at the university, originally from Remora
  • Alfredo, Rodolfo Rossi's manservant, current serving as Luciano's servant

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. City of Secrets, Historical Note
    Of all the Talian cities I have written about so far, Padavia is the most different from its Italian counterpart. Padua is a fine city, full of wonders, but they are not grouped together in an obvious centre as they are in other cities in the Stravaganza sequence.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 City of Secrets
  3. City of Ships
  4. A Guide to Talia
  5. City of Secrets, "Signora Giunta was Bellezzan born and bred..."

Locations in Talia
Independent City-States
Bellezza · Padavia · Classe · Montemurato · Romula · Cittanuova
Di Chimici City-States
Giglia · Remora · Fortezza · Bellona · Volana · Moresco
Other Locations
Burlesca · Torrone · Merlino · Santa Fina · Belle Vigne · Saint-Mary-among-the-Vines