One-day trip to Padua

…though I would insist on calling it Padova as it is called in Italian, which is more accurate : )

Well, hey there! I’m back again, ready to update on my recent (absolutely amazing) one-day trip and I can’t wait to share with you more details.

We’ve been planning a trip with my theatre friends for a while and as soon as the weather was nice and we were successful to cooperate (more or less) our schedules to get together on a weekend, there we were, at 8am at Bologna train station – sleepy, but excited :D

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Padova (yes, I’ll keep calling it like this) is another student city in the Northern Italy, famous for Italian second oldest university. So it’s natural that, as well as here in Bologna, you’re likely to see many young people and hear a dozen of languages while walking around the city. And I  like it so much

If you arrive to Padova by train, start off your day with a walk at Giardini dell’Arena – the gardens are quite small, but really worth it. Just next to the gardens you’ll find a famous Capella degli Scrovegni, which is simply stunning inside, all decorated with Giotto’s frescoes. Beware here: the entrance ticket for the chapel is not cheap – 13 euros – as it grants you an access to two other museums. I can’t say we were happy with it as we were not planning the visits to other two places, yet this is a sad reality. In general, I find Padova much more expensive than Bologna, but on that later.

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Giardini dell’Arena
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Capella degli Scrovegni from outside

As soon as you’re in the centre – enjoy! Padova is beautiful, I’ll repeat it again, so take your camera and play tourist for a day as it’s totally worth it! There two famous squares – Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta – the historical marketplaces, literally translated as “Herbs Place” and “Fruits Place”. Take the narrow streets to feel the medieval atmosphere of the city or follow down one of the channels – explore and wander, as this is how you should get to know Padova.

Of course, I can’t skip mentioning that Padova is a rest place of Saint Anthony (Sant’Antonio di Padova) one of the most celebrated saints of Catholic church and, among other things, a Patron Saint of the lost things, lost people and lost souls. Isn’t it wonderful? The gorgeous Basilica di Sant’Antonio is not very far from the actual city centre and is a must-see place when you’re in Padova – even for non-Catholics, to admire the impressive architecture and dimensions.

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Basilica di Sant’Antonio (also in the headline image)

After the basilica, proceed to one of the most stunning places in the city – Prato della Valle. A large elliptical square (the largest in Italy, according to some sources), surrounded by 78 statues and a small channel, with a green isle in the middle. Locals get there when the weather is nice to hang out, have picnic and enjoy the scenery. The only warning: try to avoid market days as on these days the square is surrounded by temporary market with horrible tents that will spoil you all the beauty. I’ve seen this place on normal days, but the last time (unfortunately) we got there exactly on time for the market : (

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Prato della Valle – a perfect place for a picnic in Padova!

The last point of interest I’d love to tell you about is the botanical garden of Padova, founded in 1545. It is renowned for its special collections and indeed, the garden is beautiful (especially during this time). But pricey, as everything is in Padova: full entrance ticket will cost you 10 euros.

But good news here: even though Padova is quite expensive, it is possible to find some great places to eat, drink and relax without spending a fortune. We were lucky to have a friend who know precisely how to look for cheaper places and I’s sharing this knowledge with you. In particular, if you fancy a good lunch or dinner, don’t be lazy to walk a few extra miles. We had a wonderful, three-course lunch at the place called Trattoria Da Pippo for 11 euros each only. There are many places across Italy (and Padova is no different) that set a fixed price for usually big, home-cooking meal that will leave you full and totally satisfied. And it’s actually a good idea to walk a little before/after such a meal! As for little break for aperol spritz (because you’re in Italy, what else would you order to drink?!) we’ve stopped right in the city centre, in a small and cozy place called Hendrix.

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Local pasta speciality – bigoli
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Baccalà – a fish typical for Italy, here served with polenta
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And in case if you fancy some meat instead, opt for saltimbocca alla romana

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Shall I say how tired we were by the end of the day? My Samsung Health app kept congratulating me on walking 20kms those day and we all (almost all) passed out on the train back! Even though the day was exhausting, it was absolutely worth it. A wonderful day spent in wonderful city with wonderful people <3

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Thanks to a stranger who snapped a pic of us – even though we’re somewhat footless here :D

Have you been to Padova or planning to visit this city any time soon? Share your thoughts in comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe through the form so you don’t miss the updates and follow my Twitter to stay tuned!

Love,

Valérie  

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