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—  Comune  —
Comune di Padova
Prato della Valle

Coat of arms
Padua is located in Italy
Location of Padua in Italy
Coordinates: 45°25′N 11°52′E / 45.417°N 11.867°E / 45.417; 11.867Coordinates: 45°25′N 11°52′E / 45.417°N 11.867°E / 45.417; 11.867
Country Italy
Region Veneto
Province Padua (PD)
Frazioni Altichiero, Arcella, Bassanello, Brusegana, Camin, Chiesanuova, Forcellini, Guizza, Mandria, Montà, Mortise, Paltana, Ponte di Brenta, Ponterotto, Pontevigodarzere, Sacra Famiglia, Salboro, Stanga, Terranegra, Volta Brusegana
 - Mayor Flavio Zanonato (Democratic Party)
 - Total 92.85 km2 (35.8 sq mi)
Elevation 12 m (39 ft)
Population (21 December 2009)
 - Total 213,151
 Density 2,295.6/km2 (5,945.7/sq mi)
 - Demonym Padovani or Patavini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 35100
Dialing code 049
Patron saint St. Anthony of Padua
Saint day June 13
Website Official website

Padua (Italian: Padova About this sound listen , pronounced [ˈpadova], Latin: Patavium, Venetian: Padoa) is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 (as of 2008). The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of c. 1,600,000.

Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 km west of Venice and 29 km southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Pianura Veneta. To the city's south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.

The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.

Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.





Padua claims to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to a tradition dated at least to Virgil's Aeneid, and rediscovered by the medieval commune, it was founded in 1183 BC by the Trojan prince Antenor, who was supposed to have led the people of Eneti or Veneti from Paphlagonia to Italy. The city exhumed a large stone sarcophagus in the year 1274 and declared these to represent Antenor's relics.

Patavium, as Padua was known by the Romans, was inhabited by (Adriatic) Veneti. They were reputed for their excellent breed of horses and the wool of their sheep. Its men fought for the Romans at Cannae. The city was a Roman municipium since 45 BC (os 43. It became so powerful that it was reportedly able to raise two hundred thousand fighting men. Abano, which is nearby, is the birthplace of the reputed historian Livy. Padua was also the birthplace of Valerius Flaccus, Asconius Pedianus and Thrasea Paetus.

The area is said to have been Christianized by Saint Prosdocimus. He is venerated as the first bishop of the city.

Late Antiquity

The history of Padua after Late Antiquity follows the course of events common to most cities of north-eastern Italy.

Padua, in common with north-eastern Italy, suffered severely from the invasion of the Huns under Attila (452). It then passed under the Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric the Great. However during the Gothic War it submitted to the Greeks in 540. The city was seized again by the Goths under Totila, but was restored to the Eastern Empire by Narses in 568.

Then it fell under the control of the Lombards. In 601, the city rose in revolt, against Agilulf, the Lombard king. After suffering a long (12 years) and bloody siege, it was stormed and burned by him. The antiquity of Padua was annihilated: the remains of an amphitheater (the Arena) and some bridge foundations are all that remain of Roman Padua today. The townspeople fled to the hills and returned to eke out a living among the ruins; the ruling class abandoned the city for Laguna, according to a chronicle. The city did not easily recover from this blow, and Padua was still weak when the Franks succeeded the Lombards as masters of northern Italy.

Frankish and episcopal supremacy

At the Diet of Aix-la-Chapelle (828), the duchy and march of Friuli, in which Padua lay, was divided into four counties, one of which took its title from the city of Padua.

During the period of episcopal supremacy over the cities of northern Italy, Padua does not appear to have been either very important or very active. The general tendency of its policy throughout the war of investitures was Imperial and not Roman; and its bishops were, for the most part, Germans.

The main event of the High Middle Ages was the sack of the city by the Magyars in 899. It was many years before Padua recovered from this ravage.

Emergence of the commune

Under the surface, several important movements were taking place that were to prove formative for the later development of Padua.

At the beginning of the 11th century the citizens established a constitution, composed of a general council or legislative assembly and a credenza or executive body.

During the next century they were engaged in wars with Venice and Vicenza for the right of water-way on the Bacchiglione and the Brenta. This meant that the city grew in power and self-reliance.

The great families of Camposampiero, Este and Da Romano began to emerge and to divide the Paduan district among themselves. The citizens, in order to protect their liberties, were obliged to elect a podestà. Their choice first fell on one of the Este family.

A fire devastated Padua in 1174. This required the virtual rebuilding of the city.

The Cathedral of Padua

The temporary success of the Lombard League helped to strengthen the towns. However their civic jealousy soon reduced them to weakness again. As a result, in 1236 Frederick II found little difficulty in establishing his tyrannical vicar Ezzelino da Romano in Padua and the neighbouring cities, where he practised frightful cruelties on the inhabitants. Ezzelino was unseated in June 1256 without civilian bloodshed, thanks to Pope Alexander IV.

Padua then enjoyed a period of calm and prosperity: the basilica of the saint was begun; and the Paduans became masters of Vicenza. The university (the third in Italy) was founded in 1222, and it flourished in the 1200s.

However the advances of Padua in the 13th century finally brought them into conflict with Can Grande della Scala, lord of Verona. In 1311 Padua had to yield to Verona.

Jacopo da Carrara was elected lord of Padua in 1318. From then till 1405, nine members of the enlightened Carraresi family succeeded one another as lords of the city, with the exception of a brief period of Scaligeri overlordship between 1328 and 1337 and two years (1388–1390) when Giangaleazzo Visconti held the town. The Carraresi period was a long period of restlessness, for the Carraresi were constantly at war. In 1387 John Hawkwood won the Battle of Castagnaro for Padova, against Giovanni Ordelaffi, for Verona.

The Carraresi period finally came to an end as power of the Visconti and of Venice grew in importance.

Venetian rule

Padua passed under Venetian rule in 1405, and so mostly remained until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797.

There was just a brief period when the city changed hands (in 1509) during the wars of the League of Cambray. On 10 December 1508, representatives of the Papacy, France, the Holy Roman Empire, and Ferdinand I of Spain concluded the League of Cambrai against the Republic. The agreement provided for the complete dismemberment of Venice's territory in Italy and for its partition among the signatories: Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of the Habsburg, was to receive Padua in addition to Verona and other territories. In 1509 Padua was taken for just a few weeks by Imperial supporters. Venetian troops quickly recovered it and successfully defended Padua during siege by Imperial troops. (Siege of Padua (1509)). The city was governed by two Venetian nobles, a podestà for civil and a captain for military affairs. Each was elected for sixteen months. Under these governors, the great and small councils continued to discharge municipal business and to administer the Paduan law, contained in the statutes of 1276 and 1362. The treasury was managed by two chamberlains; and every five years the Paduans sent one of their nobles to reside as nuncio in Venice, and to watch the interests of his native town.

Venice fortified Padua with new walls, built between 1507 and 1544, with a series of monumental gates.

Austrian rule

In 1797 the Venetian Republic was wiped off the map by the Treaty of Campo Formio, and Padua was ceded to the Austrian Empire. After the fall of Napoleon, in 1814, the city became part of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

The Austrians were unpopular with progressive circles in northern Italy. In Padua, the year of revolutions of 1848 saw a student revolt which on February 8 turned the University and the Caffè Pedrocchi into battlegrounds in which students and ordinary Paduans fought side by side.

Under Austrian rule, Padua began its industrial development; one of the first Italian rail tracks, Padua-Venice, was built in 1845.

In 1866 the battle of Koniggratz gave Italy the opportunity to push the Austrians out of the old Venetian republic as Padua and the rest of the Veneto were annexed to the recently united Kingdom of Italy.

Italian rule

Annexed to Italy during 1866, Padua was at the centre of the poorest area of Northern Italy, as Veneto was until 1960s. Despite this, the city flourished in the following decades both economically and socially, developing its industry, being an important agricultural market and having a very important cultural and technological centre as the University. The city hosted also a major military command and many regiments.

The 20th century

When Italy entered the Great War on 24 May 1915, Padua was chosen as the main command of the Italian Army. The king, Vittorio Emanuele III, and the commander in chief Cadorna went to live in Padua for the war period. After the defeat of Italy in the battle of Caporetto in autumn 1917, the front line was situated on the river Piave. This was just 50–60 km from Padua, and the city was now in range from the Austrian artillery. However the Italian military command did not withdraw. The city was bombed several times (about 100 civilian deaths). A memorable feat was Gabriele D'Annunzio's flight to Vienna from the nearby San Pelagio Castle air field.

A year later, the danger to Padua was removed. In late October 1918, the Italian Army won the decisive battle of Vittorio Veneto (exactly a year after Caporetto), and the Austrian forces collapsed. The armistice was signed in Padua, at Villa Giusti, on 3 November 1918, with Austria-Hungary surrendering to Italy.

During the war, industry progressed strongly, and this gave Padua a base for further post-war development. In the years immediately following the Great War, Padua developed outside the historical town, enlarging and growing in population. even if labor and social strife was rampant at the time.

As in many other areas in Italy and abroad, Padua experienced great social turmoil in the years immediately following the Great War. The city was swept by strikes and clashes, factories and fields were subject to occupation, and war veterans struggled to re-enter civilian life. Many supported a new political way: Fascism. As in other parts of Italy, the fascist party in Padua soon came to be seen as the defender of property and order against revolution. The city was also the site of one of the largest fascist mass rallies, with some 300,000 people reportedly attending one Mussolini speech.

New buildings, in typical fascist architecture, sprang up in the city. Examples can be found today in the buildings surrounding Piazza Spalato (today Piazza Insurrezione), the railway station, the new part of City Hall, and part of the Bo Palace hosting the University.

Following Italy's defeat in the Second World War on 8 September 1943, Padua became part of the Italian Social Republic, i.e., the puppet state of the Nazi occupiers. The city hosted the Ministry of Public Instruction of the new state, as well as military and militia commands and a military airport. The Resistenza, the Italian partisans, was very active against both the new fascist rule and the Nazis. One of the main leaders was the University vice-chancellor Concetto Marchesi.

Padua was bombed several times by Allied planes. The worst hit areas were the railway station and the northern district of Arcella. During one of these bombings, the beautiful Eremitani church, with Mantegna frescoes, was destroyed (considered by some art historians to be Italy's biggest wartime cultural loss).

The city was finally liberated by partisans and New Zealand troops on 28 April 1945. A small Commonwealth War Cemetery is in the west part of the city, to remember the sacrifice of these troops.

After the war, the city developed rapidly, reflecting Veneto's rise from being the poorest region in northern Italy to one of the richest and most active regions of modern Italy.



Padua experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) characteristic of Northern Italy.

Climate data for Padua
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.7
Average low °C (°F) -1.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 71.1
Source: Intellicast[1] 2009-09-25

Main sights

Last Judgment by Giotto, part of the Scrovegni Chapel.
Palazzo della Ragione.
  • The Scrovegni Chapel (Italian: Cappella degli Scrovegni) is Padua's most famous sight. It houses a remarkable cycle of frescoes completed in 1305 by Giotto.[2] It was commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni, a wealthy banker, as a private chapel once attached to his family's palazzo. It is also called the "Arena Chapel" because it stands on the site of a Roman-era arena. The fresco cycle details the life of the Virgin Mary and has been acknowledged by many to be one of the most important fresco cycles in the world. Entrance to the chapel is an elaborate ordeal, as it involves spending 15 minutes prior to entrance in a climate-controlled, airlocked vault, used to stabilize the temperature between the outside world and the inside of the chapel. This is to improve preservation. Book ahead if planning a visit.
  • The Palazzo della Ragione, with its great hall on the upper floor, is reputed to have the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe; the hall is nearly rectangular, its length 81.5 m (267.39 ft), its breadth 27 m (88.58 ft), and its height 24 m (78.74 ft); the walls are covered with allegorical frescoes; the building stands upon arches, and the upper storey is surrounded by an open loggia, not unlike that which surrounds the basilica of Vicenza. The Palazzo was begun in 1172 and finished in 1219. In 1306, Fra Giovanni, an Augustinian friar, covered the whole with one roof. Originally there were three roofs, spanning the three chambers into which the hall was at first divided; the internal partition walls remained till the fire of 1420, when the Venetian architects who undertook the restoration removed them, throwing all three spaces into one and forming the present great hall, the Salone. The new space was refrescoed by Nicolo' Miretto and Stefano da Ferrara, working from 1425 to 1440. Beneath the great hall, there is a centuries-old market.
  • In the Piazza dei Signori is the beautiful loggia called the Gran Guardia, (1493–1526), and close by is the Palazzo del Capitanio, the residence of the Venetian governors, with its great door, the work of Giovanni Maria Falconetto, the Veronese architect-sculptor who introduced Renaissance architecture to Padua and who completed the door in 1532. Falconetto was the architect of Alvise Cornaro's garden loggia, (Loggia Cornaro), the first fully Renaissance building in Padua.[3] Nearby, the Cathedral, remodelled in 1552 after a design of Michelangelo. It contains works by Nicolò Semitecolo, Francesco Bassano and Giorgio Schiavone. The nearby Baptistry, consecrated in 1281, houses the most important frescoes cycle by Giusto de' Menabuoi.
The Basilica of St. Giustina, facing the great piazza of Prato della Valle.
  • The most famous of the Paduan churches is the Basilica di Sant'Antonio da Padova, locally simply known as "Il Santo". The bones of the saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them Sansovino and Falconetto. The basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century. Tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano. It is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal. There are also four beautiful cloisters to visit. Since the Lateran Pacts of 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, Sant'Antonio is treated as Vatican territory.
  • Not far from the Gattamelata statue are the St. George Oratory (13th century), with frescoes by Altichiero, and the Scuola di S. Antonio (16th century), with frescoes by Tiziano (Titian).
  • One of the best known symbols of Padua is the Prato della Valle, a 90,000 m2 (968,751.94 sq ft) elliptical square. This is believed to be the biggest in Europe, after Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux. In the centre is a wide garden surrounded by a ditch, which is lined by 78 statues portraying famous citizens. It was created by Andrea Memmo in the late eighteenth-century. Memmo once resided in the monumental fifteenth-century Palazzo Angeli, which now houses the Museum of Precinema.
  • The abbey and the basilica of Santa Giustina. In the 15th century, it became one of the most important monasteries in the area, until it was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810. In 1919 it was reopened. The tombs of several saints are housed in the interior, including those of Justine, St. Prosdocimus, St. Maximus, St. Urius, St. Felicita, St. Julianus, as well as relics of the Apostle St. Matthias and the Evangelist St. Luke. This is home to some art, including the Martyrdom of St. Justine by Paolo Veronese. The complex was founded in the 5th century on the tomb of the namesake saint, Justine of Padua.
  • The Church of the Eremitani is an Augustinian church of the 13th century, containing the tombs of Jacopo (1324) and Ubertinello (1345) da Carrara, lords of Padua, and for the chapel of SS James and Christopher, formerly illustrated by Mantegna's frescoes. This was largely destroyed by the Allies in World War II, because it was next to the Nazi headquarters. The old monastery of the church now houses the municipal art gallery.
  • Santa Sofia is probably Padova's most ancient church. The crypt was begun in the late 10th century by Venetian craftsmen. It has a basilica plan with Romanesque-Gothic interior and Byzantine elements. The apse was built in the 12th century. The edifice appears to be tilting slightly due to the soft terrain.
  • The church of San Gaetano (1574–1586) was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, on an unusual octagonal plan. The interior, decorated with polychrome marbles, houses a precious Madonna and Child by Andrea Briosco, in Nanto stone.
  • At the centre of the historical city, the buildings of Palazzo del Bò, the centre of the University
  • The City Hall, called Palazzo Moroni, the wall of which is covered by the names of the Paduan dead in the different wars of Italy and which is attached to Palazzo della Ragione;
  • The city centre is surrounded by the 11 km-long city walls, built during the early sixteenth century, by architects that included Michele Sanmicheli. There are only a few ruins left, together with two gates, of the smaller and inner thirteenth-century walls. There is also a castle, the Castello. Its main tower was transformed between 1767 and 1777 into an astronomical observatory known as Specola. However the other buildings were used as prisons during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They are now being restored.

In the neighbourhood of Padua are numerous noble villas. These include:

  • Villa Molin, in the Mandria fraction, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1597.
  • Villa Mandiriola, (17th century), at Albignasego
  • 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.
  • Villa Contarini, at Piazzola sul Brenta, built in 1546 by Palladio and enlarged in the following centuries, is the most important.



Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Botanical Garden of Padova today; in the background, the Basilica of Sant'Antonio.
State Party  Italy
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii
Reference 824
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1997  (21st Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Padua has long been famous for its university, founded in 1222. Under the rule of Venice the university was governed by a board of three patricians, called the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova. The list of professors and alumni is long and illustrious, containing, among others, the names of Bembo, Sperone Speroni, the anatomist Vesalius, Copernicus, Fallopius, Fabrizio d'Acquapendente, Galileo Galilei, Pietro Pomponazzi, Reginald, later Cardinal Pole, Scaliger, Tasso and Sobieski. The university hosts the oldest anatomy theatre (built in 1594)

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

The place of Padua in the history of art is nearly as important as its place in the history of learning. The presence of the university attracted many distinguished artists, such as Giotto, Fra Filippo Lippi and Donatello; and for native art there was the school of Francesco Squarcione, whence issued the great Mantegna.

Padua is also the birth place of the famous architect Andrea Palladio, whose XVIth century "ville" (country-houses) in the area of Padua, Venice, Vicenza and Treviso are among the most beautiful of Italy and they were often copied during the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries; and of Giovanni Battista Belzoni, adventure-man, engineer and egyptologist.

The famous sculptor Antonio Canova produced his first work in Padua, one of which is among the statues of Prato della Valle (presently a copy is displayed in the open air, while the original is in the Musei Civici, Civic Museums).

One the most relevant places in the life of the city has certainly been The Antonianum. Settled among Prato della Valle, the Saint Anthony church and the Botanic Garden it was built in 1897 by the Jesuit fathers and kept alive until 2002. During WWII, under the leadership of P. Messori Roncaglia SJ, it became the center of the resistance movement against the Nazis. Indeed, it briefly survived P. Messori's death and was sold by the Jesuits in 2004. Some sites are trying to collect what can still be found of the college: (1) a non-profit pixel site is collecting links to whatever is available on the web; (2) a student association created in the college is still operating and connecting Alumni.


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1871 64,862
1881 70,753 9.1%
1901 81,242 14.8%
1911 96,118 18.3%
1921 108,912 13.3%
1931 126,843 16.5%
1936 138,709 9.4%
1951 167,672 20.9%
1961 197,680 17.9%
1971 231,599 17.2%
1981 234,678 1.3%
1991 215,137 −8.3%
2001 204,870 −4.8%
2009 (Est.) 213,151 4.0%
Source: ISTAT 2001

In 2007, there were 210,301 people residing in Padua, located in the province of Padua, Veneto, of whom 47.1% were male and 52.9% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 14.87 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 23.72 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Padua residents is 45 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Padua grew by 2.21 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.85 percent.[4] The current birth rate of Padua is 8.49 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.

As of 2006, 90.66% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group comes from other European nations (the largest being Romanians, Moldovans, and Albanians): 5.14%, sub-saharan Africa 1.08%, and East Asia: 1.04%. Currently 1 in 5 babies born in Padua has a foreign parent. The city is predominantly Roman Catholic, but due to immigration now has some Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Hindu followers.[5][6]


In Padua are located the consulates of: Canada, Croatia, Côte d'Ivoire, Peru, Poland, Switzerland and Uruguay. The South Korean consulate is to be opened soon.


The industrial area of Padova was created in 1946, in the eastern part of the city; now it is one of the biggest industrial zones in Europe, having an area of 11 million sqm. Here there are the main offices of 1300 industries employing 50,000 people. From each part of Europe goods arrive in Padua, where they are sent all over the world, especially to Asia. In the industrial zone there are two train stations, one fluvial port, three truck terminals, two highway exits and a lot of connected services, hotels, post offices and directional centres.


By car

By car, there are 3 motorways (autostrade in Italian): A4 Brescia-Padova, connecting it to Verona (then to Brenner Pass, Innsbruck and Bavaria) and Milan (then Switzerland, Turin and France); A4 Padova-Venezia, to Venice then Belluno (for Dolomites holiday resorts like Cortina) Trieste and Tarvisio (for Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Eastern Europe); A13 Bologna-Padova, to Ferrara and Bologna (then Central and South Italy). You have to pay a toll to use most of the Italian motorways. Roads connect Padua with all the large and small centers of the region. A freeway with more than 20 exits surrounds the city, connecting districts and the small towns of the surrounding region.

By train

Padua has two train stations opened to the passenger service, named after the city. The station has 11 platforms and sometimes is referred to as "Padova Centrale"; it is one of the biggest stations in Italy. More than 450 trains per day leave Padova. The station is used by over 20 millions passengers per year. Other train stations are Padova Ponte di Brenta (soon to be closed), Padova San Lazzaro (planned), Padova Campo Marte, once used as a freight station which will shortly become one of the stations of the "Servizio Ferroviario Metropolitano Regionale". From Padova, high speed trains connect to Milan, Rome, Bologna, Florence and Venice; one can reach Milan in 1h and 51 min, Rome in 3 hours and 20 min and Venice in 20 min.

The station was opened in 1842 when the service started on the first part of the Venice-Milan line (the "Imperial Regia Ferrovia Ferdinandea") built from Padua to Marghera through Mestre. Porta Marghera is a major port of the Venetian area.

Railways enthusiasts can visit the Signal Box A (Cabina A), preserved by the "Veneto Railway Society"("Società Veneta Ferrovie") association.

By plane

Padua is relatively close to airports at Venice, Verona, Treviso and Bologna. The Padua airport, the "Gino Allegri" or Aeroporto civile di Padova "Gino Allegri", or Aeroporto di Padova, is no longer served by regularly scheduled flights. Padua is, however, the home of one of Italy's four Area Control Centers.

Venice, approximately 50 km away, is the nearest seaport.

Public transport

Translohr in Padua

Urban public transport includes public buses together with a new Translohr guided tramway (connecting Albignasego, in the south of Padua, with the Fornace, in the north of the city, thanks to the new line built in 2009) and private taxis. There's also a CitySightseeing tour Hop on Hop Off.

The city center is partly closed to vehicles, except for residents and permitted vehicles. There are some car parks surrounding the district. In this area, as well, there are some streets and squares restricted to pedestrian and bicycle use only.

Padua has approximately 40 bus lines, which are served by new buses, (purchased in 2008-9), with a television that displays the route line, the next stop, the most important monuments and the connection line and the expected waiting time for each line. Each tram/bus is equipped with security cameras and controlled by GPS.

The Veneto Region is building in Padua, a metro line around the city with 15 new stations, the name will be SFMR and includes the province of Venice.


Padua is the home of Calcio Padova, a football team that plays in Italy's Serie B, and who played 16 Serie A championships (last 2 in 1995 and 1996, but the previous 14 between 1929 and 1962); the Petrarca Padova rugby union team, winner of 11 national championships (all between 1970 and 1987) and 2 national cups, and now plays in the Super 10 league; and the Sempre Volley volleyball club, once also called Petrarca Padova, which plays in the Italian first division and who won a CEV cup in 1994. Basketball, cycling (Padua has been for several years home of the famous Giro del Veneto), rowing (two teams among the best ones in Italy, Canottieri Padova and Padova Canottaggio), horseback-riding and swimming are popular sports too.

The venues of these teams are: Stadio Euganeo for football and athletic, about 32,000 seats; Stadio Plebiscito for rugby union, about 9,000 seats; Palazzetto dello Sport San Lazzaro for volleyball and basketball, about 5,000 seats, and will be soonly restored; Ippodromo Breda - Le Padovanelle for horse races. The old and glorious Stadio Appiani, which hosted up to 21,000 people, presently reduced to 10,000 for security reasons twenty years ago, and near to Prato della Valle in the city central area, is almost abandoned and is to be restored. A small ice stadium for skating and maybe hockey is to be built.

The F1 racing driver Riccardo Patrese (runner-up 1992, 3rd place in 1989 and 1991; held the world record for having started the most Formula One races, beaten by Rubens Barrichello during the 2008 season) was born and lives in Padova; the racing driver Alex Zanardi also lives in Padova.

The Bergamasco brothers were also born in Padova, as well as Bortolami, Marcato and Leonardo Ghiraldini, of the Italian Rugby national team. All of them started their careers in Petrarca Padova.

Famous footballers from Padua were Francesco Toldo, who was born here, and Alessandro Del Piero, who started his professional career in the Calcio Padova.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Padua is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ "Padua historic weather averages". Intellicast. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Earth, Moon, and Planets (Springer Netherlands). 1999. 
  3. ^ "Loggia Cornaro". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  5. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  7. ^ "Boston Sister Cities". The City of Boston. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Acordos de Geminação" (in Portugese). © 2009 Câmara Municipal de Coimbra - Praça 8 de Maio - 3000-300 Coimbra. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

A view of Padova
A view of Padova

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.

Get in

By train

Padova is a central railway node in the Veneto area. Many lines converge into the city central station, notably from:

All kinds of trains pass through Padova: Eurostar, InterCity, EuroCity, InterRegionale, Regionale, InterCityNight, EuroNight, Espresso. More info is available on the Trenitalia website [1].

By plane

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) [2], 50km, lot of destinations throughout Europe.
    • by bus: direct and frequent connections to Padova, 1h [3]
    • by train: bus to Venezia Mestre station, then train. [4]
  • Treviso (TSF) [5], 42km, low-cost airport with Ryanair and other carriers. Destinations: Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Bruxelles, Barcelona, Paris
    • by bus: direct and frequent connections to Padova, 1h10 - see SITA website [6] - 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) [7], 88km, many domestic flights and some international destinations (also low-cost)
    • by train + bus

Other options further afield include:

  • Brescia Gabriele D'Annunzio (VBS) [8], 130km
  • Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGA) [9], 190km, many low-cost flights
  • Bologna Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ) [10], 120km

By car

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

Get around

On foot

Discovering the city on foot is very easy. The historic center is not very big, so you can go around in the narrow streets.

By bicycle

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.

By tramway

APS Mobilità [11] (ex-ACAP, call center: +39 049 20111) runs the only tramway line of the city, based on the rubber-tired TransLohr vehicle.

The line SIR1, entered service with passengers on March, 24th 2007. The route is Stazione F.S. (Piazzale Stazione) - Trieste - Eremitani - Ponti Romani - Tito Livio - Santo - Prato della Valle - Cavalletto DX - Diaz - Santa Croce - Cavallotti - Bassanello - Sacchetti/Assunta - Cuoco - Guizza - Capolinea Sud.

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. (The stops for each of these are in bold above.)

The line is northbound-southbound, travel time 22 minutes from terminus to terminus. The tram runs every 8 minutes during weekdays daytime, 10 at early evening, 30 at late evening, every 20-15 minutes on Sundays from 7.07 till 0.20.

By bus

APS Mobilità [12] (ex-ACAP, call center: +39 049 20111) 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.


  • 75 minutes urban ticket € 1,00
  • 75 minutes urban tickets carnet (x12) € 10,00
  • family urban ticket € 2,00
  • 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 € 1,00
  • 2 zone extra-urban ticket € 1,30
  • 3 zone extra-urban ticket € 1,90

By car

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 [13] 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 [14] or on the park areas on the streets, then take a bus or walk from there. More info can be found (in italian) on [15] website.


The Padua Card allows you to visit most churches and all museums as well as to use the public transport for 15 Euros.

  • 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 <>),[16]. 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 entrance.
  • The Oratorio de San Giorgio on the south side of the piazza next to the Basilica di Sant'Antonio is a beautiful, frescoed hall, and generally empty. The paintings were done by two of Giotto's students, and though they are not as magnificent as those in the Capella degli Scrovegni, you can sit down and gaze at them undisturbed for as long as you like. Admission €2.50.
  • 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. € 12.00 full price, € 5,00 student price (including Eremitani Civic Museum and Contemporary Art Museum). 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.
    • Warning: 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 subjected to a mind numbingly trite and in places inaccurate filmed documentary in the antechamber, then allowed thirteen minutes, precisely, to look at the frescoes.
  • 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
    Prato della Valle and Saint Giustina Basilica
    Prato della Valle and Saint 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.
  • 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 Giotto.
  • 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 (, [17]. Sat-Sun 11.00-16.00 (18.00 May-Oct)
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Botanic Garden - 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 €4-5 for everyone else.
  • 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 Antonio della Pace, the large brick church a few minutes' walk away. 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-Laboratio di Antichi Strumenti Scientifici, Via Speroni Sperone, 39/41, 35139 Padova (PD), +37 49 655157 (), [18]. 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
  • Eremitani Civic Museum - is 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.
  • Contemporary Art Museum
Saint Anthony basilica
Saint Anthony basilica
  • A pleasant local tradition is the spritz or aperitif in one of the central piazzas (Piazza delle Erbe or Piazza della Frutta), 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.


Padova has two major markets. The older, much larger market fills the Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti, 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.

  • Pizzeria Medina - there was no such place when visited on 14 Dec 2009, some construction works were going at this address - (Via S.G. Barbarigo 18, midday and evenings, closed Tuesday) is just down the street from the Duomo (cathedral). They offer great-tasting pizzas that are enormous even by Italian standards. Quality is high, prices are low (pizza and wine 10-15 EUR), and the atmosphere is great. For something different, try one of their "green" pizzas.
  • Pago Pago (Via Galileo Galilei 59) is near the Basilica - one block over and around the corner. 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 EUR).
  • Cucina Chef Chadi (Via S. Francesco 214, closed 2-4.30 pm and after 8 pm) is right behind the basilica: keep the building to your right and walk until the corner at the end of the street. If you want to avoid junk food and taste some genuine italian flavours, choose something from this clean and healthy take-away: freshly cooked vegetables, meat, fish and pasta are displayed everyday, and served by the cook himself. Try his paella or just let him suggest the speciality of the day. A convenient place to stop by if you want to have a wide choice, or you are travelling with your children. Good service and convenient prices (lunch menu 6-15 EUR).
  • 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 EUR).
  • Oktoberfest, Via del Santo 80 (100m from Basillica di Sant' Antonio). A salad, two very big pizzas and half a litre of prosseco for 28 EUR (10 Dec 2009). Spacious and full of locals (and graduating students singing "Dottore, dottore...") 15 EUR.  edit.
  • La Lanterna, Piazza dei Signori 39, [19]. 12:00-14:30, 18:00-24:00. Pizza is baked on wooden kiln. Salata mista, two pizzas and half litre prosseco = 28 EUR (Dec 2009). 15 EUR.  edit
  • For a light lunch, stop into any cafe for tramezzini - small sandwiches that come with a variety of fillings.
  • Pedrocchi Café.  edit
  • The Highlander, Via Ss. Martino E Solferino,69. 35122 Padova, (+39) 049659977.  edit
  • Ristorante la Finestra, Via Dei Tadi 15 (10 minutes from the DUOMO), 049650313. 19,30-22,30. The Restaurant is located in one most beautiful streets of the historical centre of Padova a few steps from the Duomo. The menu changes frequently according to the change of season and availability of fresh produce ,check out the section "food stuff" to see some of our most famous dishes. Resaurant owners Carlo & Helene Have over 20 Years experience in the restaurant business : Carlo as chef and Helene as floor manager , in Italy ,Europe and USA. 35-60 euro.  edit
  • Ostello della Gioventù. [20] Located within the city center, near La Specola and an easy walk to Prato della Valle and Basilica Saint Antonio.
  • Casa a Colori, [21], Inspired by ethical values and social solidarity offers a cheap accommodation in Padua for any type of traveler: pilgrims, students, workers and immigrants.
  • Casa del Pellegrino, Via M.Cesarotti 21 35123 PD (across the square from the Basilica di Sant'Antonio), +39 0498239711 (, fax: +39 0498239780), [22]. 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 Eliseo, [23]. Hotel Eliseo, a modern wellness center in the heart of Terme Euganee at Montegrotto on the slopes of the Euganei Hills. The hotel combines the traditional therapeutic aspects of curative thermal waters with a modern wellness center for a rejuvenating vacation to get back in shape. Prices are from €57 (for a single) and €108 (for a double) on, depending on the season.
  • Hotel Abano Terme Grandtorino, [24]. The Hotel Grand Torino has been 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 Maccaroni (Hotel Maccaroni), Via Liguria 1 - 35030 Sarmeola di Rubano (Padova), +39 049 635200. 3 star hotel with 34 rooms, 5 kilometers away from Padua city center. Inside the hotel you may find the prestigious gourmet restaurant "Le Calandre"." €40-€120.  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 busses. It's valid for 48 hours from the time you buy it. At 14 EUR, it's worth having even if you only use it for Scrovegni's Chapel and one or two other sites or bus rides.

Cyber Cafe

Internet Point, Via Altinate 145 Website: [25]

  • 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.
  • Arqua 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).
  • 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!).
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Padova f.

  1. Padua
  2. The letter P in the Italian phonetic alphabet

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