A Day in Padova

Poster of Padova

 

 

Padova, or Padua, is a short easy journey from Verona, Vicenza or Venice and is well worth the effort to visit it.
Main attractions are:

  • Giotto and the Scrovegni Chapel
  • St.Anthony and the Basilica di Sant'Antonio
  • The Botanical Garden
  • Galileo and The University
  • The Markets
  • Art and architecture

Padova facts on Wikitravel

The Scrovegni Chapel and Giotto

This is one of the most important works of art in the world. Frescoes by Giotto entirely cover the walls and were done over 700 years ago from 1303 to 1305.

Open all year round. Advance booking essential in peak periods. Go to the website for details and a preview of what there is to see..

Tip: Entrance is 12 Euros but if you have a Padovacard (15euros) you get in free.

It is in walking distance from the station.

capella scrovegni padova

photo by molorade

Padovacard

The Padova card entitles you to free or discounted entry to various sites, public transport, shopping, eating, etc
16euros for the 48hour card.
I suggest you get it at the tourist office in the railway station when you arrive.

See their website for details

padovacard  

The Basilica of St Anthony of Padua

Thousands of pilgrims make their way here where the body of St Anthony is buried. The basilica is run by the friars of the Franciscan order which St Anthony belonged to.

St Anthony of Padua is one of the church's best loved saints and is the patron saint of lost things, the poor and travellers.
The basilica website

More about St.Anthony

 

Bailica di Sant'Antonio
Padova
Padova Giclee Print
18 in. x 24 in.
Buy at AllPosters.com
     
 

The Botanical Garden - (Orto Botanico)

The oldest botanical garden in the world, founded in 1545. It is run by the University.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because:
"The Botanical Garden of Padua is the original of all botanical gardens throughout the world, and represents the birth of science, of scientific exchanges, and understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It has made a profound contribution to the development of many modern scientific disciplines, notably botany, medicine, chemistry, ecology and pharmacy. "

It is in the centre of Padova near to the Basilica and to Piazza Prato delle Valle.
Visit the website

ortobotanico
     
 

The University - Palazzo Bo

Padua University, founded in 1222, is the second oldest in Italy (the oldest is Bologna).

There are tours of Palazzo Bo, the oldest part, and you can see Galileo's lectern and the first permanent anatomical theatre (illustrated right).

It is in the city centre near Caffe Pedrocchi. The tour costs 5euros and lasts about 45minutes.

See the website for more info.

teatro anatomica padova

photo courtesy Wikipedia

 
     
 

Markets and Palazzo della Ragione

Every morning except Sunday and Monday there is a big market in the two squares to the north and south of the magnificent Palazzo della Ragione - Piazza della Frutta and Piazza delle Erbe.

Be sure to climb the steps and see the main hall of the palazzo which is said to be the largest unsupported roof in Europe. There are many fine frescos and a giant 15th century wooden horse (illustrated in the poster at the top of this page).

Padova palazzo della ragione
website

 
     
 

Prato della Valle

The biggest piazza in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe. It is a huge green ellipse surrounded by a canal/moat and two rows of statues of dignitaries. Very popular with Paduans, especially at weekends.

On the third Sunday of every month there is a HUGE flea market.

Read more at Wikipedia

prato della valle
 

Caffè Pedrocchi

One of the great cafès of the world. Opened in 1831 it immediately became the centre of Padova's social life, frequented by artists, intellectuals, professors and students of the nearby university. It was the hub of the 1848 Risorgimento uprising.
website

Well worth a visit if you want some refreshment.
Read this review

caffe pedrocci  
 

Getting around

The historic town centre is quite compact so you can see pretty well everything of interest on foot.

The Tram Get the tram outside the railway station. A ticket costs 1.10 euro and lasts 75minutes. Stops of interest are:

  • Eremitani for the Capella Scrovegni
  • Ponti Romani for the Palazzo della Ragione, Caffe Pedrocchi, University and market
  • Santo for the Basilica of St.Anthony
  • Prato delle Valle for Prato delle Valle

Bicycle rental
Padova is a very cycle friendly city.
You can rent bikes at the railway station.
50 euro deposit and 6 euros/day
website (in Italian)

also Goodbike website

Open top bus tour
There is a hop on/hop off bus tour which leaves from the Basilica of St Anthony
website

 
 

How to get there

Padova is on the Milan-Venice railway and autostrada.
From Verona there are frequent trains. The regional ones cost about 7 euros each way and take about an hour. Eurostar takes 40 minutes and costs about 14 euros at the time of writing.