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The Sala dei Giganti is reached by taking the left staircase at the entrance to the Liviano, where the fresco decoration by Massimo Campigli (1939-40) dominates the atrium. The room acquired this name because of the subjects of the frescoes that decorated it. In fact its first name was the Sala degli Eroi (Hall of Heroes), because in the fourteenth century, at Petrarch’s suggestion, illustrious figures were depicted, among whom, in 1374, Petrarch himself was included at his death.
The room was destroyed by a fire at the beginning of the sixteenth century and in 1540 it was completely renovated with a new cycle of frescoes, dating back to the years 1539-1541, painted by Domenico Campagnola and painters of the Paduan school, including Stefano dall’Arzere and Gualtieri, who maintained the theme of the exaltation of the heroes, but with particular emphasis on Petrarch.
The hall was used for parties and social gatherings, then from 1629 to 1912 it was the seat of the university library.
Damaged during the First World War, it took on its present structure in 1939.
The latest restoration, completed in 2001, has restored the splendour of the hall, which now hosts concerts and musical events.