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About Padua

Padua, or Padova in Italian, is an ancient city tucked away in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Known as the City of the Saint, after Saint Anthony who is buried here, Padua is also famous for its prestigious university, vibrant squares, and fresco-filled chapels.

Interesting Facts

Padua is home to one of the world's oldest universities, the University of Padua, established in 1222. This historic institution boasts notable alumni including Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei.

In the heart of the city, the Palazzo della Ragione, which has the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe, used to be the law court in the Middle Ages.

Padua is known for its 14th-century frescoes by Giotto, housed in the Scrovegni Chapel, which significantly influenced the course of western art.

Top Places to Visit

The Basilica of Saint Anthony is a major attraction, where the namesake saint is entombed. It's a significant pilgrimage site, filled with magnificent artworks.

Prato della Valle, Italy's largest square, is a must-visit. Encircled by a canal and dotted with statues, it's a beautiful place for a leisurely walk or picnic.

The Scrovegni Chapel houses one of the world’s most remarkable cycle of frescoes completed by Giotto, depicting scenes from the lives of Mary and Jesus.

Hidden Gems

The Botanical Garden of Padua, founded in 1545, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's the world's oldest academic botanical garden and still retains its original layout—a circular central plot, symbolizing the world, surrounded by a ring of water.

The Jewish Ghetto, one of the best-preserved ghettos in Europe, is a tranquil place of winding lanes, tall houses, and history etched into its walls.

La Specola, the old observatory of the University of Padua, offers an off-the-beaten-path experience. Climbing up its narrow stairways reveals panoramic views over the city.

In Padua’s outskirts, the monumental complex of Villa Contarini, a stunning example of a Venetian villa, is worth a visit for art and architecture enthusiasts.

Padua’s charm lies in its blend of illustrious history, spiritual magnetism, and cultural heritage. Whether it's the peace found in the shadow of the Basilica, the bustling university atmosphere, or the city's cultural richness, Padua invites its visitors to step into a story that unfolds around every corner, offering a unique Italian experience that is both timeless and inspiring.