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Restaurant food in Padova tends to be simple, tasty, and made from fresh ingredients.


Padua (pop. 212,000), Italy, the capital of Padova province, is 40km west of Venice. Set amongst the historic Euganaean Hills, Padua boasts a picturesque network of arcaded streets, numerous bridges, and large communal plazzas.


Patavium, as Padua was known by the Romans, was inhabited by Veneti, who prospered due to their excellent horses and high quality wool. In 1452 the Padua of Antiquity was destroyed by the Huns, under Attila. The only remaining Roman ruins are the amphitheater and some bridge foundations.

After centuries of conflict, Padua began to prosper. In 1222 the university was founded, making it one of the oldest universities in continuous operation. Galileo taught in Padua from 1592 to 1610. His chair can be seen in the "Room of the Forty". The famous Anatomy Theatre, where Vesalius taught, is the oldest in the world (1594).

The botanical garden, Orto Botanico di Padova, was founded in 1545 as the garden of curative herbs attached to the University's faculty of medicine. It is the oldest botanical garden in the world and still contains an important collection of rare plants.

Prior to the formation of the united Kingdom of Italy in 1866, Padua was ruled, at various times, by the Venetians and the Austrians.

Places to See

Padua park
                   Padua Park

The Palazzo della Ragione, commenced in 1172 and finished in 1219, may have the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe.

The Gran Guardia loggia, constructed between 1493 and 1526, is in the Piazza dei Signori.

The Palazzo del Capitanio, the residence of the Venetian governors, and the Michaelango inspired Cathedral, are nearby.

The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua was commenced in 1230, and completed about a century later. It's ornate exterior is complemented by the quailty of its interior decor. Donatello's magnificent equestrian statue, cast in 1453, of a is in the piazza in front of the basilica.

Frescoes by Titian can be seen at the Scuola di S. Antonio

the Prato della Valle, a 90,000 m² elliptical square has a wide garden surrounded by a trench which is lined by 78 statues portraying famous citizens.

Santa Sofia is probably Padova's most ancient church, the crypt being initiated in the late 10th century by Venetian craftsmen.


  • Villa Molin, in the Mandria fraction, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1597.
  • Villa Pacchierotti-Trieste (17th century), at Limena
  • VIlla Cittadella-Vigodarzere (19th century), at Saonara
  • Villa Selvatico da Porto (15th-18th century), at Vigonza
  • Villa Loredan, at Sant'Urbano.
  • The most important is however Villa Contarini, at Piazzola sul Brenta, built in 1546 by Palladio and enlarged in the following centuries.

Personal Notes

While Italy is a wonderful country to visit at any time of the year, spring and fall may be preferable to the summer. It has been our experience that Italy can be very hot and very crowded during the summer months. Hotel prices also tend to be more expensive, and service may suffer due to the crowds.

If you must travel over the summer, Padua may present a pleasant respite from the crowds of Venice, Florence,and other major cities. Padua is easy to reach by rail or road. Since it is so close to Venice, it is possible to take a day trip, returning to Venice the same night. If you have the time, spend a night or two in Padua. Keep in mind that the center of Padua, and not the outskirts, are most suitable for tourists.


Basilika Justina of Padua
Basilica of St. Giustina

Park with Statues, Padua

Villa Molin
Villa Molin, Padua

Clock Tower
Clock Tower

Photographs licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Padua.    Contact us at:    Last updated December 31, 2007    © 2007   This is an unofficial page about Padua