I decided to write this post after receiving a lot of e-mails and private messages of people asking me tips and advice for their next visit to Padua: what to see in Padua, where to eat in Padua, etc. I can’t surely write everything about it, but I thought to collect some highlights and to answer some interesting and also some quirk questions.
But, before proceeding, you have to know two things: Padua is my city and I love her very much. So I can’t but be biased when I talk about her. Second thing, you surely noticed I used the feminine pronoun. Well, cities are feminine in Italian. So from now on I will call Padua her or she. Cause I can’t say it, it’s too weird and impersonal for me. She is a she. No further discussions. 😉
Padua what to see, where to eat, facts and info
Facts & Info
Where is Padua?
Padua is located in the Veneto region, in the north-east of Italy. The town has about 210.000 inhabitants. While the entire province about 936.000. I love the fact that, if you look at a map, Padua’s province shape is similar to the whole Veneto’s shape.
Are Padua and Padova the same place?
Yes, unless you’re looking for Padua, Ohio (USA). In Italian, the name is Padova.
What province/district is Padua in?
Is Saint Anthony Padua’s patron saint?
Yes and no. Her patron saints are four: Prosdocimo, Giustina, Daniele and Saint Anthony of course. The Saint day is only one, though, on June 13, day of Saint Anthony’s death.
How to pronounce Padua?
As I said, Padua in Italian is Padova. Correct pronunciation [PAH-doh-vah] and not [Pah-DOH-vah]. You can hear the pronunciation of Padua, Venice and the other Veneto cities in my post How to pronounce Venice.
What does Padua mean
The Roman name was Patavium, maybe (cause it’s not certain) union of three parts: pat = plain, av= presence of a river and ium= villages united together.
When was Padua founded?
According to tradition, she was founded in 1183 BC by the Trojan prince Antenor, who settled here after the Fall of Troy. In the centre of the city, there’s a sarcophagus that we call Antenor’s tomb, even if it turned out to be a more recent sepulcher (OK, not that recent… 4th century BC).
What timezone is Padua?
It’s on the CET, Central European Time zone = UTC +1. From the end of March to the end of October: CEST, Central European Summer Time = UTC +2.
Which are Padua’s sister cities?
Nancy (France), Freiburg (Germany), Boston (USA), Handan (China), Iași (Romania), Beira (Mozambique), Coimbra (Portugal), Cagliari (Italy), Zara (Croatia).
What about Padua weather?
Unfortunately, Padua’s weather is her big flaw. The winter is not too cold. But it’s very humid. And that’s a problem especially during the hot season. The hotness can reach unbearable levels, so I suggest you to come here on Fall or Spring.
Padua What to see
What is Padua famous for?
Well, Padua is famous for
- the University (the second most ancient in Italy)
- the frescoes in the Scrovegni chapel (remember to book in advance!)
- Saint Anthony Basilica, visited by millions of pilgrims
- Shakespeare’s Taming of the shrew is set in Padua. Also, in Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick is from Padua.
- the oldest botanical Garden in the world (1545)
- Prato della Valle, the third largest square in Europe, where people go to relax, to ride the bike, to skate… unless it’s Saturday, when there’s the market until 6pm
Who painted Padua and Assisi?
Painter Giotto, considered the father of Renaissance painting.
Padua points of interest
Apart from the above listed places, I strongly suggest a passeggiata around and about the three main piazze: Piazza della Frutta, Piazza delle Erbe e Piazza dei Signori. At the center of the piazze there’s the former law court, il palazzo della Ragione. On the upper floor, you can see the 1400s frescoes. On the ground floor, the city market.
Near there you can visit other landmarks:
- Battistero del Duomo, a little gem with extraordinary frescoes.
- The tiny ghetto (ghetto in Italy means the area of the city where the Jews once lived) with its lovely cobbled streets, quaint shops and cafés.
- Caffé Pedrocchi, a 1700s café with its elegant halls.
A little detached from the center, but just 15 minutes by foot, the ancient astronomical observatory of the city, called La Specola. I suggest it as a romantic or photo shooting corner.
Padua where to eat
Utterly important. Before the blog, I used to eat at home a lot, and to avoid the city center (because I live there), when I felt like eating out. I preferably reached out for the hills area. I’m starting now to test Padua’s rastaurants and trattorie. I have a few names, but I will have more in the future. Just consult the page Where to eat.
- Near the Duomo: Pizzeria Duomo via San Gregorio Barbarigo 18
- 10 minutes from Scrovegni Chapel: Savonarola via Savonarola 38
- Close to the train station: Pavana, via Trieste 2
- Near Saint Anthony Basilica: Pago Pago via Galileo Galilei 59
- Arcella neighborhood: la Mafaldina, Via dei Vivarini, 22
Rivoluzione Pizza, Via Chopin, 6
- Near Pedrocchi Café: Dalla Zita panini via Gorizia 12
- In the Piazze Area: La Folperia Piazza della Frutta from 5pm to 8pm (but the sooner you arrive the better)
- Near Prato della Valle: Bigoi, fresh bigoli to go, with a choice of different sauces, in via Umberto I, 6 and
- Orsucci (tiny pizza to go only from 5pm) in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 18.
- Other street food in Padua here.
- 2′ from Piazza delle Erbe: L’Anfora Via Soncin, 13 or
- Osteria al Capo, Via Obizzi, 2
- To try out dishes from different Italian regions: Sì Streetitalian Food, Via Dante Alighieri, 42 (5′ from Piazza dei Signori)
- In the piazze area: Mami gelato al Volo (Sotto il Salone, 59)
- In Prato della Valle: E’ gelato da Ruggero (tiny green kiosk, next to the tram stop).
- Other places (all good): best gelato in Padua.
- In Piazza della Frutta: at the number40, Pasticceria Graziati (millefoglie and pazientina or hot chocolate in winter)
- Not too far from Saint Anthony: Biasetto, winner of a world cup of pastry, in via Facciolati 12 (setteveli cake and other minicakes or mini pastries are delicious)
- Near Pedrocchi Café: Racca in via Calvi, 8 (mini pastries).
- All the best bakeries in Padua here.
Distances: How far is Padua from Venice? Verona? etc
- How far is Padua from Venice? 25 minutes by fast regional train, 45 minutes by car
- How far is Padua from Verona? 42 minutes by train and 1 hour and 10′ by car.
- How far is Padua from Milan? 2 hours by freccia rossa train, 2 h 45′ by car.
- How far is Padua from Florence? 1h 40′ by train, 2h 40′ by car.
- How far is Padua from Rome? 3 hours by train, 5 hours by car.
- How far is Padua from Vicenza? About 18 minutes by train, 35 minutes by car.
- How far is Padua from Bologna? 1 hour by train, 1 hour 30 by car.
I hope this post helped you out a bit. I will update it from time to time to add possible useful info or new places where to eat. If it helped, please like my Facebook Page and/or my Instagram profile. Grazie mille.