Padua 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 214,000 (as of 2011). The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of c. 1,600,000.
To the city’s south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.
It hosts the renowned University of Padua, almost 820 years old and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers and it is also where, in 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman in the world to graduate. The university hosts the oldest anatomy theatre, built in 1594.
The city center is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing various canals, 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.
Newcomers to the town may visit these sites to find out more about Padova: Local Council, Province of Padua, and APS (Public Transport). They provide a range of information, including how to get around with maps and guides, as well as advice on finding accommodation and students’ canteens
|The Cappella degli Scrovegniis Padua’s most famous sight. It houses a remarkable cycle of frescoes completed in 1305 by Giotto. It also includes one of the world earliest representation of a kiss in the history of art (Meeting at the Golden Gate, 1305).|
|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. 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 Capitaniato, 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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|The botanical garden Orto Botanico di Padova (1545) 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 Caffé Pedrocchi, built in 1831 by architect Giuseppe Jappelli in neoclassical style with Egyptian influence. This is a little jewel of history and art for a café open for almost two centuries. It hosts the Risorgimento museum, and the near building of the Pedrocchino (“little Pedrocchi”) in neogothic style.|