The City of Padua

Padua (Padova in Italian) is a city of Veneto, northern Italy, with a population of around 214,000 inhabitants. It is 40 kilometers west of Venice (see directions to reach Padua on this page). It is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, offering over 3,000 years of history. The rich cultural heritage, appreciated every year by thousands of tourists, includes the Scrovegni Chapel, with its frescoes by Giotto, the 90,000-sqm square of Prato della Valle, one of the biggest squares in Europe, the 13th-century Palazzo della Ragione, the world’s largest hall without supporting columns, and the Basilica of Saint Anthony.

Scrovegni Chapel

In fact,  the entire historical city center, is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets, bordering palaces and museums and opening into large communal squares and bridges over the Bacchiglione river. Thanks also to its close ties with the University, Padua is a lively and dynamic city offering throughout the year numerous events in the fields of art, music, theatre, cinema and sport. In 2018 Padova was nominated Italy’s official candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list for the 14th century cycle of frescoes “Padova Urbs Picta”. Shakespeare was also in Padua for some time and he set most of the action of his The Taming of the Shrew in the city.

For the great desire I had to see fair Padua, nursery of arts, I am arrived… and am to Padua come, as he that leaves a shallow plash to plunge in the deep, and with satiety seeks to quench his thirst – William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew

More details are on the Wikipedia’s page of Padua.

Prato della Valle

In fact, the region is very rich in terms of historical and panoramic/landscape sites. Not many words need to be spent to mention the world-wide renown Venice, which is 40-km away.

Padua is bordered by a second larger river, the Brenta, which is partly navigable. It is possible to take the boats of the Brenta, a cruise from Venice to Padua, or vice versa. It sails along the river and stops at several Venetian Villas, which were summer residences of the 18th-century aristocracy, and at monumental palaces with legendary frescoes.  Within a range of one hour by train, participants can easily visit Verona, famous for the Arena and for the Shakespeare’s novel on Romeo and Juliet, as well as Bologna. Alps are also rather close, including the Dolomites Mountain Park, which can be reached by public transportation within two hours.