Set in the splendid grasslands and canals of Northeastern Italy, the town of Padova rises from the plains as a truly medieval city. The waterways come up right to the houses and city walls. The placement of the town is ideal between Venice and Verona making it a worthwhile stop along a tour of this region. The city is home to a world famous shrine, Europe’s biggest square, several festivals, churches, gardens and ruins too.
The city is home to some of the best universities in Italy and it is a laid back student town with good shopping and café’s, hotels and public transit. Skip bringing in a rental car as parking is non-existent and fines are heavy. The city is perfectly flat and walkable and great for cycling too.
The gorgeous walls around the city show that it has a long history and importance. The peaceful plains and rivers of the Veneto region are wide open and lovely. There are no natural land formations which would protect an established and important center of medieval culture, therefore human made walls and moats are part of the city’s constructed defenses. There are parking lots available for tourists and tour buses outside these walls.
The city’s religious monuments and historic sites are a big attraction for groups to gather. St. Anthony is one of the most beloved Italian patrons and his life has inspired a majestic basilica, museums and pilgrimages to this place. The best way to enjoy Padova is to get in early before the many tour groups, vendors and student traffic as this is also a very popular university town.
The central loggia is the town hall around which the city’s daily life turns. It is a focal point of attraction in the city where markets, concerts, cultural events and historic features are found in abundance. While it is still a functioning city hall most days of the year, annual festivals, holidays and exhibitions may allow one to get a peek inside its ornate interiors.
The morning market is a beautiful way to see the locals at their authentic daily routines. The flourishing countryside is rich in produce and if you are looking to get some fresh veggies for a lunch, snack or if you decide to rent an apartment in town (which is a great call by the way!) You can savor the sights and smells of vibrant and fresh foods just like the locals do.