Padua Italy

Keywords: Padua Italy
Description: Padua or Padova vacation guide. Padua, a short train ride from Venice, makes an excellent base for exploring the Veneto Region of Italy.

James Martin is a writer, photographer, and webmaster who has traveled extensively in Europe since 1977 and hasn't tired of it. He has lived and worked as an archaeologist in Italy and Greece and has studied Italian at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy. He's been living part-time in northern Italy for seven years, and writes about the experience at Wandering Italy and on the Wandering Italy Blog. His experience there has induced him to author the mobile app called Tuscany for Foodies. Even more recently, he's authored, with Paola Loi, the mobile app called Sardinia Inside Out.

You can learn about some of the other things I'm doing these days in his Google Profile James Martin .

The Basilica and Botanical gardens are found on the southern edge of town. Either the Corso del Popolo or the Viale Codalunga heading south will take you into the old center of town.

Between the train station and the main part of Padua's historic center is the Scrovegni Chapel, consecrated in 1305. Don't miss the Giotto frescoes inside.

The celebrated Basilica Pontificia di Sant'Antonio di Padova. sometimes called La Basilica del Santo is not Padova's main church--an honor that falls to the Duomo, also called the Cathedral-Basilica of St.

Mary of Padua. But Sant'Antonio is the one you need to visit. Construction began around 1232, a year after the death of Sant'Antonio; his relics are found in the baroque Treasury Chapel. There is a museum inside, the Anthonaian Museum. There is another exhibit where you can learn about the life of Saint Anthony and the continuation of his work today. There are two cloisters to visit. Really, it's one of the most amazing religious complexes you'll visit.

Places to stroll: The university on the east side of Via III Febbraio (the anatomy theater, built in 1594, is the oldest of its kind and can be visited on the Palazzo Bo tour), Piazza Cavour, the city's heart, Prato delle Valle, the largest public square in Italy.

When it's time for a drink, head on over to the 18th century Pedrocchi Café ; the elegant bar and restaurant had a role in the 1848 riots against the Hapsburg monarchy.

Between Sant'Antonio and the Prato delle Valle is Padua's fantastic Orto Botanico, which you'll see on page two.

The symbol of Padua is the Palazzo della Ragione. It is the heart of the old town, surrounded by market squares piazza delle Erbe and the piazza dei Frutti .

I prefer to stay near the train station when I arrive by train. the hotel Grand'Italia is right in front. The four star Art Deco hotel is air conditioned and has free Internet access.

The Hotel Donatello is right across the street from the Basilica di Sant'Antonio and has a restaurant called Ristaurante S. Antonio.

While it may offend your sensibilities, Paduans have been eating horse for a long time, since the Lombards came, some tell me. If you didn't flinch, then try Sfilacci di Cavallo, which is made by cooking the leg for a long time, then smoking it, then pounding it until it breaks into threads. It looks like saffron threads in the market.

Risotto is the first course of choice over pasta, but there are several bigoli (thick spaghetti with a hole in the center) dishes that are popular, sauced with duck ragu or anchovies.Pasta e fagioli, a pasta and bean soup, is a signature dish of the area.

Food in Padova is a cut above the average fare in Venice. The best food is simple and made from fresh ingredients.

Our very favorite restaurant in Padua is the Osteria Dal Capo on Via Dei Soncin, across the piazza del Duomo. Via Dei Soncin is a narrow, alley-like street directly across the piazza from the front of the Duomo. The sign on the door says the Dal Capo opens at 6pm, but ignore it, they won't serve you until 7:30 pm. Moderate prices, good house wine. The menu changes daily and features typical Veneto cuisine. English is spoken, although it's best if you know a little Italian.

Before dinner you might try going for an aperitivo (cocktail, try the typical Italian Campari soda) at one of the two cafes that compete for customers in the Piazza Capitaniato to the north of the Duomo. One you'll notice attracts the young folk, the other the older crowd. There is a wine bar further north on the Via Dante.

Just discovered on our latest trip was Osteria ai Scarpone. You'll find them on Via Battisti 138.  The bigoli with drunk hen is fantastic.

Padua is 26 minutes from Venice on the train, making Padua a possible base for exploring Venice for those not wanting to pay the price of a Venice Hotel .

Padua is one of the prettiest cities in Europe, although lightly touristed. Take a virtual tour through our Padua Picture Gallery.

Photogallery Padua Italy:

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