Historic city full of life that will surprise you even for the time of a one-day trip: all the info from the main attractions to the aperitif.
Padova it attracts, Padua eventually attracts people from all over the world it will be for the Saint, it will be for the Prato, it will be for the cuisine, the city is always full of tourists and university students as the University of the city is one of the oldest in the world .
But what to do in the city of the Saint if you only have a handful of hours available? Ahh before starting, know that it will not be a post full of information that is too historical and studied, so young people don't stop here!
Well one day is little time for a city that although not huge has a lot to offer and to see, so let's start from the beginning, we have so much time and so little to see ahn no wait it was the opposite ...
Getting around on foot from the station
If you arrive from the train station, ah I advise you to move on foot or by public transport which offers advantageous prices on family size and day tickets, go straight to Eremitani area where you can visit the Scrovegni Chapel created by Giotto - by booking in advance on the site - and Eremitani Civic Museums with the adjacent Church of the Eremitani family frescoed by Mantegna.
The center of Padua and its three squares
From here you can head to the city centre passing through Piazza Garibaldi and having a coffee at Pedrocchi, a prestigious venue in Padua and then continue towards the squares: there are three, adjacent to each other, with the Palazzo della Ragione in the center.
Let's start with Piazza delle Erbe, every morning from Monday to Friday and Saturday for the whole day, one of the city's markets is held here: the square is filled with about seventy stalls among fruit and vegetables, while, near the fountain you will find the florists.
Through the great arch you get to Fruit Square where you can find the fruit and vegetable market, spices, various cereals.
To divide these two squares there is the Palazzo della Ragione: an important city symbol. Popularly called the Salone, represents one of the largest covered spaces of Italian architecture, it can in fact be considered the first "Shopping Center" in history, yes in short, nothing to do with modern ones, today the Salone is accessible to all, enter it as well at least that is one of the many conferences that are held within it. On the ground floor, under the hall so to speak, there are still shops selling delicious foodstuffs: from cheese shops to cured meats, from butchers to fishmongers, all with a long Paduan tradition. The right opportunity to bring home something original to friends and perished without spending too much "schei" (money in Paduan dialect).
Continuing from Piazza della Frutta, to the left you arrive at Piazza dei Signori where arcaded houses overlook, with wrought iron terraces. On the ends of the square, to delimit it, we find the Church of San Clemente e Palazzo del Capitanio, with the famous Clock tower: through its arch leads to Capitaniato Square, where stood the Carraresi Castle and where now there is the Palazzo Liviano, seat of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, stuff to be studied in short.
Where to eat
Maybe lunchtime has come, well I suggest you go through the "shady" streets even if they have very little shady, to end up in the ghetto, passing through the Padua Cathedral (enter if it is open), here there are a lot of bars and taverns not too touristy where you can stop and eat something of the local culinary tradition: Bigoli all'anitra, rich Paduan risotto and the famous Paduan hen just to name a few.
Prato della Valle and the Basilica of Santa Giustina
After lunch, move to "Prato della Valle", One of the largest squares in Europe: the eighty statues you see, 78 to be precise, represent famous people born or lived in Padua, first of all Antenor, it is said that he is in fact the founder of the city. Stop for half an hour sitting on the lawn among the young university students, because, joking aside: culture never hurts too much.
From here you can see the Basilica of Santa Giustina overlooking the square and see the famous domes of the Saint, if you can in fact you could visit both churches, unless there is a celebration or you find too many people.
Shopping and aperitif
Well we arrived around four in the afternoon, go towards Via Roma, the main "street" of the city where there are many shops, get lost in shopping and around 5 sit among the students for a typical Venetian aperitif: Spritz, accompanied by tasty sandwiches and traditional ones spuncioni (finger food for the most studied and modern people).
After the aperitif continue along via Roma stopping at Palazzo del Bo, the historic university site, yes I know I will surely have tired you with this UniPd but what should I do if students from all over the world come to study here? After via Roma you will come out in front of Town Hall, you will probably recognize the area, it is the starting point, in fact the tour in the city of the Saint ends here, the station is only 5 minutes from Piazza Eremitani!
So I leave you "Whoever has seen Padua no poe forget it anymore".
Municipality site of Padua:
What to do in the city: