Elegant Padova -- known in English as Padua -- is home to an ancient university, a Basilica that is an important centre for pilgrims and a chapel containing one of the world’s greatest art treasures. Use this website to help you plan a visit to this fascinating northern Italian city and find your way to the other beautiful towns and villages in the Veneto that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feast your eyes on Padova’s famous market squares

Bar under the porticos of Palazzo della Ragione
Foodies will love exploring the two squares on either side of Padova’s  Palazzo della Ragione, which are the sites for large markets selling fruit, vegetables and other goods.
The Piazza della Frutta and the Piazza delle Erbe have been at the heart of the commercial centre of Padova since the 13th century.
If you can’t find what you are looking for on any of the hundreds of market stalls that fill both squares, there are shops selling meat, cheese, fish and specialist ingredients for cooking under the porticos on either side of the Palazzo.
It is pleasant to sit at one of the bars and have a drink and a snack while observing the lively scenes taking place in the squares or you can buy food to eat on the move from some of the stalls or vans that have come to do business there.
Stall in Piazza delle Erbe
The huge Palazzo della Ragione was built to serve as Padova’s law court and council chamber in 1218 and the markets quickly became established on both sides of the building.
From Via 8 Febbraio you can reach the Piazza della Frutta by turning down Via Oberdan or to get to Piazza delle Erbe go down Via Municipio.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What to eat and drink in Padova

Free guide to restaurants in Padova

There are many good restaurants in Padova serving fine Italian food and visitors will have no difficulty finding places to eat.
The tourist offices in the city give out the publication Gustare Padova, a free guide to recommended restaurants, if requested.
While in Padova there is a unique opportunity to try some of the local specialities rather than just sticking to tried and trusted favourite dishes.
Cucina padovana (Padovan cooking) is similar to that of Venice but with a few traditions all of its own.
Look out for risotto ricco alla padovana which is served with duck and chicken and risotto with radicchio, a vegetable grown locally.
Popular pasta dishes include tortelli di zucca dolce (sweet pumpkin stuffed ravioli) and bigoli con ragu d’anatra (little strings of pasta with a duck sauce).
Various cuts of chicken and duck, served with a variety of different sauces and vegetable accompaniments, feature strongly among secondi piatti in most restaurants.  
It is good to sample the wines produced in the area and in Padova you will see Pinot Bianco and Soave among the white wines on many menus.
If you like red wine you will be spoilt for choice as Merlot, Bardolino and Valpolicella are all produced in the Veneto .
And if you fancy something sparkling make sure you sample some light, refreshing Prosecco while in Padova.
Not far from the city is the so called strada del Prosecco, the road between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, which is lined with wineries producing Prosecco DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata), the stamp of quality given to the best Italian wines.