OUR HISTORY

We have a future rich in history

The History of Padova Fiere -1919, the first Italian trade fair Padova Exhibition Centre was inaugurated in 1919 with the first edition of Campionara, exhibition devoted to all aspects of the good life; food, holidays, tourism, travelling, hobbies & interests….

This was held during a period prior to the existence of the present trade fair in a city seriously damaged by the 1st world war. At that time fairs were held at the Foro Boario, (public forum) the Palazzo della Ragione and the Pietro Selvatico School. Padova Fiere rapidly became known as the fair of the North West attracting visitors from within and beyond the city of Padua . The origins of Padova Fiere extend well beyond this period however to medieval times, when festivities to celebrate Saint Prosdocimo and Saint Giustina, patron saints of the city of Padua were held.

Campionaria was held for some time in front of the Saint Anthony Church and at the Prato della Valle during times of pilgrimages to celebrate, devote and collect memorabilia of Saint Anthony.

The official visit of King Vittorio Emanuelle III honoured the first edition of 1919 and thus boosted the bid to build an exhibition site. In 1920, Campionaria received a concert by the renowned master Arturo Toscanini. The following year 1921, the new site on the Via Niccolo Tommaseo, where Padva Fiere is today was ready. The year 1923 saw the visit of Mussolini and the King of Italy.

Through commitment to innovation and tradition from 1929, Campionaria was delighted to welcome the first sale for used vehicles and the first international exhibition for Sacred Modern Christian Art. During the thirties, the fair flourishing and by now autonomous received in 1935 an exhibition devoted to the film industry featuring 1072 projections. The 2nd world war interrupted the activities of the exhibition centre, and the surrounding district was severely damaged by bombing. After the 2nd world war, the reconstruction and in 1954 the foundation, in part from the Padua City Council, the County Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Padova Fiere was established. The development in the sixties was marked by specialised shows: by the trade fair complex to the Campionaria show, remaining international and in line with other fairs, responding to market demands. This continued until the end of the nineties.

From 2002, Padova Fiere became a Public Limited Company, the first of its kind in Italy and in 2005 the majority of the shares were bought by the French Multinational GL Events, following European legislation, and reflecting the changing dimensions of the Trade Fair industry.

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