The largest public square in Italy is in the city of Padua, although Prato della Valle is much more of an oval than a proper square. The huge space of more than 96,800 square feet (9,000 square meters) has an island in the middle that's surrounded by a canal that has rows of statues on either side. This was once a swampy area, but in the late 18th century, a drainage system was installed and the piazza took on its present look.
There are 78 statues in the Prato della Valle set in two rings, including one dedicated to the man whose idea it was to drain the swamp and build the piazza. There are bridges over the canal so people can walk to the island – Isola Memmia. It's often the site of local festivals.
The Prato della Valle is located south of Padua's city center, near the botanical garden at the university.