Padua is one of the major Italian art cities with an artistic and cultural heritage worth to be discovered. It is affectionately called the “City of the Saint” by its residents and hosts an important univeristy famous all over the world.
How to get there
Padua is located approximately 110 km from Eraclea Mare. From Eraclea Mare, take the highway at Noventa di Piave towards Mestre. In Mestre take the highway towards Milan and exit at Padova Est.
Things to see…
Padua is known as the “city of St. Anthony” and is one of Italy’s most famous cities of art:
- The remains of the old Roman arena enclose the Scrovegni Chapel, frescoed byGiotto and one of the most important examples of figurative art of all times.
- The Eremitani Museums and the adjacent Church with the same name.
- The Palazzo della Ragione, built in 1218 used to be the city’s law court.
- Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti, picturesque locations for the lively daily markets.
- The Cathedral, which was partly designed by Michelangelo and the Baptistery.
- The University, built in 1222 and the large building complex known as Palazzo del Bo.
- Caffé Pedrocchi, a neo-classical building built in 1831.
- The Basilica of Sant’Antonio: the construction of this grand building in Romanic-gothic style commenced immediately after the saint’s death in 1231. Next to the Basilica is the Oratory of San Giorgio and the Museum dedicated to St. Anthony.
- The Botanic Garden, with its important collection of rare plants;
- The Prato della Valle, which used to be a Roman theatre; the Basilica of Santa Giustina; the city wall and the numerous city gates.
NEARBY PLACES OF INTEREST…
Itinerary 1. The Brenta Plain: from Padua to Limena, (once an important river junction, with the ancient “colmelloni” (locks to regulate the water), to Piazzola sul Brenta (where visitors can admire the majestic and remarkable Villa Contarini), Isola di Carturo (now called Isola Mantegna as a tribute to the great Maestro who was born there in 1431) and the many villas along the way. Continue to Cittadella (with its battlemented walls), Galliera Veneta (the Empress’ Villa), San Giorgio in Bosco (Villa Bembo), Piombino Dese (Villa Cornaro del Palladio) and Levada (Villa Marcello).
Itinerary 2. St. Anthony’s Way: as a tribute to the Saint, the former Via Aurelia is now known as the Saint’s route. The itinerary, which is about 19 km long, starts from Camposampiero (with its Franciscan monastery where St. Anthony had his vision and the little Santuario del Noce) and ends in Padua (St. Anthony’s sanctuary, where the Saint’s body lies at rest). This route follows the steps of the saint’s last preachings and as a result many churches have been built along the way.
Itinerary 3. The Walled Cities and the Colli Euganei (Euganei Hills): Leaving Padua and heading towards Monselice we come to the fortress-castle “Il Catajo”, which dates back to 1570. We then come to Monselice (a medieval city with its splendid villas such as villa Pisani, thought to have been designed by Palladio, villa Contarini, the nineteenth century Town Hall and the Castle) and Este (with its picturesque walls of the Castello Carrarese, dating back to 1339) and Montagnana (with its city walls, Castle of St. Zeno and Palladio’s Palazzo Pisani). From here we can continue towards the Colli Euganei and their enchanting charming landscapes.
Itinerary 4. Literary places: This itinerary starts from Abano Terme (a well known and well organized spa town), that was famous back in Roman times for the therapeutic properties of its water and muds (where Ugo Foscolo stayed and where he drafted “Jacopo Ortis”). The itinerary continues to the Abbey of Praglia (which is described in one of Fogazzaro’s books), the little town of Luvigliano (with the striking villa dei Vescovi), Galzignano Terme (Villa Barbarico, the beautiful medieval town of Arquà (which houses the tomb of Petrarch who spent the last years of his life here) and Este (once a European cultural crossroad whose guests included the English poets Byron and Shelley).