10 Reasons to visit Padova

1. Enjoy the genius of Giotto

Visit the Scrovegni Chapel to admire Giotto’s frescoes, completed around 1305. These are a breath-taking piece of Italian history and priceless world heritage.

2. University of Padua: Palazzo Bo and Anatomical Theatre

Padova is home to one of the world’s oldest universities. The Palazzo Bo and Aula Magna (Great Hall) are worth marvelling at, as they are covered in family crests, portraits and diplomas. The world’s first permanent anatomical theatre is also located in the Palazzo. Step back in time and imagine one of the first public autopsies, if you dare!

3. Explore a World Heritage Garden

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Botanical Garden of Padua was established in 1545 and is one of the oldest in the world. Their Biodiversity Garden exhibition boasts more than 1300 species of plant and flower.

4. Strategic location

Padova is close to many of Italy’s tourist magnets such a Venice and Verona. This means that Padova remains mostly off the beaten track and it’s a pleasure to explore without having to crawl through large crowds and coach parties.
It has so many unmissable sights that you can easily fill up your stay here with wonderful things to do: discover the city and the nearby walled towns, such as Cittadella, Monselice, Este and Montagnana or explore Euganean Hills, a naturastic oasis in the heart of the Po Valley with ideal scenaries and environment for those who love moving themselves in the nature.

5. A city of digital and technology innovation

Padova has traditionally been home to many multinational IT companies and global telecommunications players. The University of Padova, successful entrepreneurs, young innovators and big players alike have all shared their knowledge to make Padova a smart city. Today, Padova hosts a thriving community of digital innovation managers and professionals with high technical and business specializations.

6. Historic markets

For visitors to major cities in Italy, authentic experiences can be hard to find. Luckily, Padova has managed to keep many of its traditions alive, especially in its daily markets! If you visit the Piazza della Frutta and the Piazza delle Erbe before 2pm, you can explore these centuries-old experiences for yourself. These squares in the heart of the city offer a wide range of seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The numerous covered stalls all full of butchers, fishmongers, bakeries and cheese shops, perfect for cobbling together an inexpensive lunch.

7. The city of the “three withouts”

The central café, “Caffé Pedrocchi,” was called “the cafe without doors.” Until 1916 it was open day and night for intellectuals, students, academics and politicians.
The city’s patron saint, Saint Anthony, is usually called simply “the Saint,” making him a “saint without a name”. The Saint still works miracles from within the inner sanctum of the Basilica.
Padova’s main square is called Prato della Valle (the Valley’s Lawn) and is also called, “the meadow without grass”. This is because it was once just a marshy area. It is one of the biggest squares in Europe.

8. A gelato or a spritz?

Padova is the birthplace of “spritz”, a popular aperitif in northern Italy. It is made from prosecco, Aperol or Campari, with soda and a slice of orange. Local people and university students love spending their evenings and nights in the old city centre when they leave the office to enjoy a spritz in one of the many outdoor cafes and historic squares. You can also indulge in the excellent local gelato at one of the local gelaterias.

9. Street artists

Padova is known for its world-class street artists. Finding their murals and painted walls is like a real treasure hunt! Unlike other cities, Padova’s best works are often hard to find, located in hidden corners, narrow streets, canal walls and under arcades.

10. Thermal baths

Located just a short distance from Padova, Abano and Montegrotto Terme are places of wellness, wellbeing and peace. These spas are known for thermal water and mud therapies, massages and water pools. Discover their ancient thermal traditions, the reinvigorating green Euganean Hills and the authenticity of the excellent local cuisine and wine.