Padova  (English: Padua, French: Padoue, Latin: Patavium) is a city in North Eastern Italy, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located centrally in the Veneto region, between Venezia on one side and Vicenza and Verona on the other. The city itself has 210,821 inhabitants (2001), with about 350,000 inhabitants in the wider metropolitan area.
One of the oldest cities in northern Italy, according to a legend Padova was founded by the Trojan prince Antenor in the 1183 BC after the fall of Troy. It is certain that there were settlements around the 10th - 11th centuries BC, the ancient town was probably one of the most important of the Veneti people. Padova later fell under the control of the Romans during their expansion in northern Italy, grew rapidly and became one of the wealthiest cities outside of Rome.
Padova is a central railway node in the Veneto area. Many lines converge into the city central station, notably from:
- Venezia (Venice, Trieste, and points East) - Venice is only a 30-minute ride away.
- Bologna (Bologna, Ferrara, Rovigo, Rome, Florence) one hour and half ride.
- Milano (Milan, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza) two hours and half minute ride.
- Castelfranco (Belluno, Calalzo, Feltre) 45 minute ride.
All kinds of trains pass through Padova: Thello, InterCity, EuroCity, InterRegionale, Regionale, InterCityNight, EuroNight, Espresso. More info is available on the Trenitalia website .
Padova has its own airport for private planes, but with no direct commercial connections. However, three international airports are conveniently located nearby:
- Venezia Marco Polo (VCE) , 50km, lot of destinations throughout Europe.
- by bus: direct and frequent connections to Padova, 1h 
- by train: bus to Venezia Mestre station, then train. 
- Treviso (TSF) , 42km, low-cost airport with Ryanair and other carriers. Destinations: Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Brussels, Barcelona, Paris
- by bus: direct and frequent connections to Padova, 1h10 - see SITA website  - choose Linee Regionale, then Veneto, then Orari Linee Veneto; last bus leaves airport around 20.00 or 20.25 depending on day of week.
- Verona Valerio Catullo (VRN) , 88km, many domestic flights and some international destinations (also low-cost)
Other options further afield include:
- Brescia Gabriele D'Annunzio (VBS) , 130km
- Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY) , 190km, many low-cost flights
- Bologna Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ) , 120km
Padova is connected through the national highway network
- A4 - Torino-Milano-Venezia-Trieste
- A13 - Bologna-Padova
Many national/regional roads originate in or pass through the city:
- SS11 Padana Superiore
- SS16 Adriatica
- SS47 Valsugana
- SR516 Piovese
- SR307 del Santo
Discovering the city on foot is very easy. The historic center is not very big, so you can go around in the narrow streets.
Padova, luckily, is quite a flat city. Apart from the few roman bridges and some -not very steep- streets, you will not find any hills to hike. Especially in the city center, most of the streets are narrow and quiet and the terrain is sometimes made of pavé or cobblestones. In some areas, the cobbling is such that it would be unsuitable for standard road bicycles. Outside the narrow streets, a bike lane is sometimes available.
In the near Riviera del Brenta you can hire bikes at local shops , with free delivery services at your hotel, for make excursions in Padova region.
Busitalia runs the only tramway line of the city, based on the rubber-tired TransLohr vehicle.
The line SIR1, entered service with passengers on 24 March 2007, and was extended in 2009 to link the north at Pontevigodarzere with the south at Capolinea Sud, calling at the main station and then passing the historic city centre. Useful stops for tourists are Stazione F.S. (Piazzale Stazione, the railway station), Eremitani, Tito Livio, Santo and Prato della Valle.
This line is very useful for tourists because it stops near various monuments, museums and local landmarks like Santo Basilica, Eremitani Civic Museums, Cappella degli Scrovegni, Prato della Valle, Santa Giustina Basilica, Botanic Garden, central squares.
Travel time is 32 minutes from terminus to terminus. The tram runs every 7 minutes during weekdays daytime, 10 at early evening, 15 at late evening, every 15-20 minutes on Sundays from around 06.00 till around midnight. See the full timetable.
Busitalia also runs a network of local transport that covers the main areas of the city as well as some suburbs.
- lines with numbers are urban and sub-urban, as well as Minibus (Diretto Piazze-Diretto Duomo-Circolare Antenore) and LIS
- lines with letters A-M-T-AM-AT are connecting Padova to the Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme Spa area.
Many lines run on the two main axes in the centre: North-South and East-West. Many of them terminate at the train station, which is also the main node of the bus network. Apart from the tramway, the most frequent are lines 10 and 3.
See here for an up-to-date list of prices.
- 75 minutes urban ticket € 1,30
- 75 minutes urban tickets carnet (x18) € 20,00
- family urban ticket € 3,00
- daily ticket € 2,70
- weekly 'ticket' € 9,00
- 90 minutes sub-urban ticket € 1,10
- 90 minutes sub-ubran carnet (x12) € 12,00
- 1 zone extra-urban ticket € 1,30
- 2 zone extra-urban ticket € 1,50
- 3 zone extra-urban ticket € 2,40
Getting around by car in the city center can be very difficult. During peak hours traffic jams are frequent. And if you want to see the city center, apart from the narrow streets and pedestrian zones, a traffic limited zone  has been established from 8AM till 8PM and cameras on several entrance points control the access: those who are not authorized will get a fine. It is useful to park your car in one of several parking lots  or on the park areas on the streets, then take a bus or walk from there. More info can be found (in italian) on  website.
The Padua Card allows you to visit most churches and all museums as well as to use the public transport for €16 (48h) or €21 (72h).
- Saint Anthony's cathedral (Basilica di Sant'Antonio), Piazza del Santo (limited traffic area,parking in Prato della Valle+free shuttle bus line n° 3-8-11-12-13-16-18-22-32-43-Minibus Piazze-A-M-T and tramway line 1 stop Basilica del Santo-Santa Giustina-Prato della Valle), ☎ +39 0498789722, . Various info <[email protected]>. Every day, 6.20 - 19.00 (DST 19.45). Saint Anthony's Basilica is the best-known tourist site in Padova - millions of pilgrims visit every year. Built immediately after "The Saint's" death in the 1200s, it houses his tomb and notable relics. The statues and crucifix on the main altar are by Donatello, as is the statue of horse and rider in the square in front of the church (called "Gattamelata" - "the honeyed cat"). Free. edit
- St. George's Oratory (Oratorio di San Giorgio). A beautiful, frescoed, and generally empty hall on the south side of the piazza next to the Basilica di Sant'Antonio. The paintings were done by two of Giotto's students, and though they are not as magnificent as those in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, you can sit down and gaze at them undisturbed for as long as you like. €2.50. edit
- Scrovegni's Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), Corso Garibaldi (parking near bus station, bus lines n° 3-8-9-10- (stop Corso Garibaldi) 7-9-4-15 (stop Piazzale Boschetti)), ☎ +39 0492010020, . Every day, 9.00-19.00.. The Chapel is in the north of the city center, not far from the bus and train stations. The walls and ceilings are covered in frescos by Giotto, completed in 1303-1305. The chapel has been well preserved and the art is very impressive. Some of the techniques used were well ahead of their time. A must-see for art and art history fans. €12 full price, €5 student price (including Eremitani Civic Museum and Contemporary Art Museum). edit
- Notice: Reserve your ticket/timeslot in advance or go very early. In the off-season, the wait from purchase to first available timeslot is about 4 hours unless you arrive before the hordes; in summer it's probably even longer. When you are admitted, you will be held for 15 minutes in a antechamber to lower body humidity which would otherwise damage the frescoes. During this time, you'll see a documentary presenting the chapel and its history. Then you will be allowed 15 minutes to see the frescoes before being shepherded out.
- At 90.000 square meters, Prato della Valle is the biggest square in Europe and probably one of the most beautiful in the World. Historically a Roman theater and later a fairground, it was redone in 1775 to the present layout: a large central grassy area, surrounded by a statue-lined canal, then a broad expanse of flagstones before a couple lanes of traffic are allowed to trickle around it in the distance. Saturdays the square hosts a giant market. Other large events occur frequently (concerts, fairs, etc.). The area around the canal is well-used by joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers. The square is also a great place to sit in the evening, relaxing and watching the world go by. The statues appear to have been placed precisely to be good backrests.
- Santa Giustina Basilica
is along one side of Prato della Valle. When you visit, don't miss the Martyr's Hallway off of the right-front corner of the basilica.
Prato della Valle and Saint Giustina Basilica
- Roman ruins, including an Arena. The Arena is smaller and less impressive than those in Verona or Rome, but well-located in a lovely and well-maintained park. About three quarters of the Arena walls remain; the rest were removed to make way for the Scrovegni Chapel and Scrovegni Palace (the latter now long gone). In summertime, open-air movies are shown in the Arena.
- Chiesa Eremitani, near Scrovegni's Chapel, has an unusual wooden ceiling. The church was badly damaged in WWII, and much of its artwork was destroyed, but what remains is beautiful.
- The Duomo, or cathedral, is smaller than the two basilicas but not by much - don't be misled by the relatively small façade on Piazza del Duomo. Michaelangelo was involved in the cathedral's design. Inside, there are some surprisingly modern touches among the statues and artwork. The duomo is mostly known for its baptistry which is filled with frescoes in late medieval style.
- Note: The cathedral closes during lunch, with no visible hours posted beside the doors. If they're closed, try again later.
- Next door to the cathedral is the Baptistry, with impressive frescos by Giusto de Menabuoi (done between 1375-1376).
- Astronomic Observatory (La Specola), 5, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio, (bus n° 12 or 18, stop "Via P. Paoli", turn to via S. Alberto Magno to reach the Specola tower), +39 0498759840 ([email protected]), . Sa-Su 11.00-16.00 (18.00 May-Oct).
Although the observatory was build after Galileo's time in Padova, you'll learn a lot about his significance for the research in Padova. You reach the top of the tower after a lecture of about one hour and can enjoy the view.
- Tickets at the Oratorio S. Michele, Piazzetta S. Michele, 1: 50 meters from the Specola, through the arcade on the right before the little bridge
- Palazzo della Ragione is the large building located between Piazza della Frutta and Piazza delle Erbe. Its ground floor hosts small market shops. The upper floor is a single large hall housing artwork and occasional exhibitions.
- Jewish Ghetto, it's located between "Piazza della Frutta", the "Duomo" and "via Roma". Characterized by narrow streets and many small art galleries and bars where to enjoy a "spritz".
- Palazzo del Bo' is the main university building. Padova's university is the second oldest in Italy (founded 1222). Gallileo taught at the university in the late 1500s/early 1600s.
- Botanical Garden, via Orto Botanico 15, . spring and summer daily 9:00 - 19:00 (last entrance 45 minutes before closing); October 9:00 - 18:00 daily (closed on working Mondays); November - March daily 9:00 - 17:00 (closed on working Mondays). the first Botanic Garden in the World, operated by the University of Padova, and on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1997. It isn't a large garden, but subtly laid out to swallow groups of people and give the impression of solitude. Do not miss the carnivorous plants, or the wooded hill at the southeast corner mounted by a double helix pair of paths. Admission ranges from free (for some university students) to to €1 (for other university students) to €10 for everyone else. edit
- Most of the City walls of Padova have been made into the borders of people's back yards, but you can still roughly follow their route. At the northern gates leading towards the train station is a terraced garden leading up to the old water tower.
- If you have extra time before your bus or train, visit Tempio della Pace, the large brick church a few minutes' walk away. Built between 1920 and 1934, the interior is light and airy - very appropriate for a place dedicated to Peace - and the walls are a subtle but moving memorial to the 5401 WWI soldiers and 989 civilian victims of WWII who are buried there.
- Belzoni Museo-Laboratorio di Antichi Strumenti Scientifici, Via Speroni Sperone, 39/41, 35139 Padova (PD), ☎ +37 49 655157 ([email protected]), . school hours (9:30-12:30 weekdays) and certain Saturdays. This is a very peculiar museum, a collection of old scientific instruments assembled by Professor Pietro Paolo Gallo, a teacher of physics at a technical highschool, which also houses the museum in a couple of its rooms. No one speaks anything but Italian, and they are not prepared for anything more than a few enthusiasts. Tell the secretary at the school's entrance that you would like to see the scientific instruments, and she will attempt to find Professor Gallo for you. Free admission, but Professor Gallo has a few instruments he cannot identify, and you may be interrogated if you have any knowledge of what they might be.. edit
- Musei Civici agli Eremitani (Archaeological Museum), Piazza Eremitani, 8, ([email protected]), . A museum divided into an archeological section and a picture gallery, which has a very important collection with Tizian, Tintoretto, Giotto and Bellini among other important painters. edit
- A pleasant local tradition is the spritz or aperitif in one of the central piazzas (Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza della Frutta or Piazza dei Signori), starting between 7 and 8 in the evening. There are lots of students and young people, which makes for a very pleasant atmosphere.
- Many young folk, particularly students, converge on the Prato della Valle to eat their lunch, either on the central grass, or leaning against the statues that line the water. In fine weather you will generally find people ensconced against these statues for the afternoon. It is one of the nicest places to rest, write, or watch the world go by in Padova.
- A big festival called Sherwood Festival usually take place for a month, between mid-june and mid-july in the outside garden of the main soccer stadium of Padova and it host Italian and international bands every weekend. It is easy to reach from the city center by bike in 20 minutes. More info in the website of the event Sherwood Festival 
- Italiaoutdoors, . Outdoor Activities in the Padova area edit
Padova has two major markets. The older, much larger market fills the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, lying to the north and south of a grand, arcaded stone building, the Palazzo della Ragione. The open passages of the Palazzo house the butchers, cheese vendors, fishmongers, and fresh pasta shops. The Piazza delle Erbe to the south is mostly fruits and vegetables; the Piazza dei Frutti to the north is about half fruits and vegetables and half bric-a-brac and clothing. These markets are open all day every weekday plus Saturday.
On Saturdays, the Prato della Valle is filled with a giant market selling clothing, household goods, plants, and antiques. A small fruit and vegetable market has opened weekday mornings as well, though it is incomparably smaller than the offerings at the Palazzo della Ragione.
The old stone streets and piazzas to the southeast of the Piazza delle Erbe are pedestrianized and form the shopping center of the town.
For a light lunch, stop into any cafe for tramezzini - small sandwiches that come with a variety of fillings, and are usually cheap.
- Il Re del Kebab, Via Belzoni 127 (Near to Porta Portello), ☎ 049774447. 12:00 - 15:30, 18:00 - 23:30. Very good and cheap kebab and pizzas. One of the best felafel in town, and maybe one of the very few where to find home made humus and baba ganoush. Only take away. 3/10 €. edit
- Pizzeria al Duomo, Via S.G. Barbarigo 18, ☎ +39 049.87.60.434, . 18:00 - 24:00 closed on Mondays. edit
- Pago Pago, Via Galileo Galilei 59 (near the Basilica), . They have the usual range of pastas, meat/fish dishes, pizzas, etc. If you've overdosed on Italian food and want something lighter, try one of their salads. Great atmosphere and reasonable prices (salad, drink, and coffee under €15) edit
- Ai Talli (Via Boccalerie 5) is on a side street off of Piazza della Frutta, or has tables on the corner of the Piazza when the weather is nice (i.e., most of the time). They specialize in Calabrian dishes - from the southern tip of Italy - and use only authentic ingredients. Be sure to check out the daily specials, or just stop in for a spritz if you're not quite hungry yet. Affordable prices for a central location (spritz, two courses, and wine about €20).
- La Lanterna, Piazza dei Signori 39, . 12:00-14:30, 18:00-24:00. Pizza is baked on wooden kiln. Salata mista, two pizzas and half litre prosseco €28 (Dec 2009). 15 EUR. edit
- Birrolandia, Via Nazareth 11 (Near hospital (500 mt) and close to Croce Verde), . 12:00 - 15:00, 19:00 - 02:00. Pub with a huge choice of beers and sandwiches. Very pleasant atmosphere. €15. edit
- L'Anfora (hostaria and wine bar), Via dei Soncin 13, ☎ +39 049656629. Another must try food place of Padova in the hearth of the Jews quarter. Historic hosteria of Padova with a great jazz and bohemien atmosphere plenty of photos (mainly of Giacomelli). Truly traditional Venetian food. The place got packed easily with all kind of people and booking are recommended all the time for eating, just walk in for a drink at the bar and eat some 'cichetti' best time for a drink is between 5-7.30 pm after that you will struggle to find some space. Menu in Italian only.Food between 10-20€. A glass of wine 2,5 to 7€ over 30 wine by the glass. The owner or waiters could be rude at your eyes but it is a classic Venetian way of talking or acting, just have fun. Highly frequented by locals, artists and intellectual people. edit
- Enoteca dei Tadi, via dei Tadi 16 (behind Duomo), ☎ 3384083434, . 18°°-24°°. Situated just behind the Duomo, in via dei Tadi. Fresh products for a truly typical dinner . Great atmosphere. Hundred of italian wines available. 20 /25. edit
- Gourmetteria, via Zabarella 23, ☎ +39 049 659830 ([email protected]). Good quality restaurant with regional cuisine and more. You can also buy several products. edit
- La Folperia da Max e Barbara, Piazza della Frutta 1, ([email protected]). It is a must try fish street stall in Padova ranked on of the top ten street food stall of Italy. Try the boiled octopus (folpo in dialect) or the crab ball. The fish is extremely fresh everyday. No menu and no English speaking just point your finger on what you want, however some Italian around there will help out to choose your food. You will eat standing over there with a beautiful surround of the market fruit square, really Italian style and if you want a spritz or a glass of local wine there is a bar just close by happy to serve you. Prices is between a few euro to 10. They probably work only in the evening. edit
- Many small bars, serving spritz as well as other drinks and aperitifs, can be found in the areas of the former Jewish ghetto and in the nearby squares divided by people categories...Piazza Duomo (wealthy youngster), Piazza dei Signori (middle age people), Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta (university crowd), Jews quarter (intellectual, artists and alternative people). Most of them have fairly reasonable prices (a spritz is usually €2.50) and are crowded with student and youngsters especially on Wednesday (in a good one thousands of people can crowd), Friday and Saturday night, from about 7pm to 12am (when all bars in the area need to close by law).
- Ostello della Gioventù.  Located within the city center, near La Specola and an easy walk to Prato della Valle and Basilica Saint Antonio.
- Casa a Colori, , Inspired by ethical values and social solidarity offers a cheap accommodation in Padua for any type of traveler: pilgrims, students, workers and immigrants.
- Ostello "Città di Padova" , Via Aleardi 30. Dorms from €19.
- B&B Hotel Padova . Via del Pescarotto 39 - 35131 Padova - Tel.: +39 049 7800233 - B&B Hotel Padova - Free WiFi, Free Pay-TV, with private bathroom
- Casa del Pellegrino, Via M.Cesarotti 21 (across the square from the Basilica di Sant'Antonio), ☎ +39 0498239711 ([email protected], fax: +39 0498239780), . A no-frills hotel, specializing in groups, but immaculate and quiet, and located across the street to the north of the Basilica de Santo Antonio. Some of the rooms have views of the basilica. From €40 (single, off season, shared bathroom) to €106 (more than three beds, high season).. edit
- Hotel Abano Terme Grandtorino, . Famous in Europe for over 55 years for its tradition. Built and always managed by the Maggia family, its philosophy is a warm ”family-style welcome” in an intimate atmosphere, joined with a professional staff that is always available and punctual. Prices are from €67 (for a single) depending on the season and room type.
- Hotel Grand Italia, Corso del Popolo, 81, ☎ +39 049 8761 111 ([email protected]), . 4 star hotel Free WiFi, with private bathroom, just in front of Main Train station and down town. Rooms from € 69. edit
- NH Mantegna, Via Tommaseo, 61, ☎ +39 049 8494 111, . 4 star hotel in the centre. Rooms from €78. edit
- Residence La Fenice, Via Carlo Leoni 16, . apartments in the centre. Apartments from €80. edit
- Bring your Italian phrasebook and study up - a little Italian goes a long way in Padova, especially in the low season.
- The Padova Card offers free entrance to several key attractions, discounts at others, free parking, and free travel on buses. It's valid for 48 hours from the time you buy it. At €16, it's worth having even if you only use it for the Scrovegni Chapel and one or two other sites or bus rides.
- There are many students that can speak in English in Padova and many foreign students too, so the best way to find particular hints or suggestions is to go to one of the 3 piazzas around the Palazzo della Ragione during "aperitivo" time (19-23 hrs) and ask people there! They are usually really friendly and helpful.
- The Colli Euganei are low hills to the west of town with some nice trails to hike on, and other equally nice restaurants to eat at after a day of walking.
- Abano Terme is a small resort town especially popular with elderly German tourists based on the thermal spas in the area.
- Arquà Petrarca is a beautifully preserved medieval town nestled in the hills, which is probably best known for being the final resting place of the Italian poet Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) open on weekdays. You will climb up this outstanding village famous as well for the cherries and the loquats from which they do a liqueur (Brodo di giuggiole).
- Venice is not far at all. If you're in Padova, chances are you've already been to Venice or are on your way there. But if not, it's definitely worth a day trip (or two!).