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.

Why Visit Padua?

Well known as the city of Sant’Antonio (St Anthony), Padua - Padova in Italian - is also one of the most important centres for art in Italy and is home to the country’s second oldest university.
The Basilica del Santo
The enormous Basilica del Santo was built in the 13th century to preserve the mortal remains of Sant’Antonio, a Franciscan monk who became famous for his miracles. The magnificent church attracts pilgrims from all over the world and is rich with works of art by masters such as Titian and Tiepolo.
Padua has become acknowledged as the birthplace of modern art because it is home to the Scrovegni Chapel, the inside of which is covered with frescoes by Giotto, a genius who was the first to paint people with realistic facial expressions showing emotion. His scenes depicting the lives of Mary and Joseph, painted between 1303 and 1305, are acknowledged as his greatest achievement and one of the world’s most important works of art.
At Bo, Padua’s university founded in 1222, you can still see the original lectern where Galileo held his lessons and the world’s first anatomy theatre where dissections were secretly carried out from 1594.
Visitors are always fascinated by the extensive range of food stalls and shops in the Piazza delle Erbe and the Piazza delle Frutta and enjoy eating cucina padovana at the high quality restaurants for which Padua has become renowned.
Market stalls in Piazza delle Erbe
The spa towns of Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme at the foot of the Euganean Hills and the pretty village of Arqua Petrarca, the birthplace of the great Italian poet Petrarch, are all within easy reach of the city.
Notable Venetian villas in the province of Padua include Villa Contarini, Villa Cornaro and Villa Marcello at Piazzola sul Brento, Villa Emo Capodilista in Selvazzano and Villa dei Vescovi in Luvigliano.
Cittadella, Monselice and Este are just a few of the medieval walled towns that are also well worth visiting nearby.

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