Holiday in Padua

Padua is a city with many faces that all express the same great history.

Refined, noble and industrious, it's the city of Giotto, who designed its greatest masterpiece, the Scrovegni Chapel. A holiday in Padua means immersing yourself in the culture and atmosphere well-known by the young people who for centuries have flocked here to attend the same university where Copernicus studied and Galileo Galilei taught. Padua boasts over three thousand years of history, which has left a goldmine of valuable artistic and historic monuments. This multifaceted city offers visitors a chance to explore arts, religion, gastronomy and culture, at your fingertips thanks to the numerous holiday promotions for Padua.

A classic itinerary that covers all of these themes starts in Piazza Eremitani, where you can admire the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto's greatest masterpiece. Next to the chapel stands the Eremitani City Museum, with an archaeological section and an art gallery that houses works from the 1300-1700s, and the Church of the Eremitani, with frescoes by Guariento, Giusto de' Menabuoi and Andrea Mantegna. There, too, stands Palazzo Zuckermann, home of the Museum of Applied and Decorative Arts and the Bottacin Collection. Keep walking towards the heart of the city. After passing the medieval Porta Altinate, you'll reach Caffè Pedrocchi, one of the most famous historic cafés in Italy. Opposite stands the il Bo' University, one of the oldest in Europe, with the famous Anatomical Theatre and the Cathedral of Galileo Galilei. Your visit continues with the splendid Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Frutti and Piazza dei Signori, site of a lively and historic daily market under the shadow of Palazzo della Ragione.

From the elegant Piazza dei Signori, characterised by the candid Palazzo del Capitanio, in a few minutes you'll reach the Duomo Cathedral, where the precious Baptistry houses beautiful frescoes by Giusto de' Menabuoi. You must visit the Diocesan Museum, inside the Bishop's Palace, which houses precious paintings, sculptures, jewellery and a large part of the rich Cathedral Treasury. The visit includes the Chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli, with frescoes from the late 1400s and the magnificent Salone dei Vescovi. Heading down Via del Santo, you'll reach the place of worship and marvellous work of art, Basilica del Santo, where millions of pilgrims and tourists flock annually. Around the Basilica stand other spectacular monuments and architecture like the Statue of Gattamelata by Donatello, the Oratorio of S.Giorgio, the Antoniani Museums and the monumental Loggia and Odeo Cornaro, splendid examples of Padua's Renaissance architecture.

Continuing on from the Piazza del Santo, you'll reach the Botanical Gardens, the oldest university botanical gardens in Europe. Nearby is Prato della Valle, a grand elliptical square, site of many historic buildings like the Palazzo Angeli, which houses the Pre-cinema Museum. Basilica of San Giustina, one of Europe's biggest, is at the southern end of the square.

As an immense cradle of art and history, Padua has had to defend its treasures. The Renaissance city wall from the mid-1500s is almost entirely preserved along an 11-km tract including 20 ramparts and 6 gates. Porta Altinate, Porta Ponte Molino and Torre di Ezzelino are amongst the oldest. La Specola Astronomical Observatory is built on one of the medieval castle's towers, Torlonga.

A city like Padua is rich in flavour as well as tradition. Padua's gastronomic tradition is rich in products from orchards, vegetable gardens, and vineyards and in specialty sausages. Olive oil production in Colli Euganei has gone one since pre-Roman times up to the present day. Angelo Rasi Restaurant is a gastronomic best-bet. Only open in the evenings, it offers delicious food as well as a truly high-level selection of wines. Another dinner option is Vecchia Enoteca, serving a menu that perfectly blends tradition and creativity and a wide selection of high-quality wines. Located in the old Jewish ghetto, after dinner you'll have the chance to participate in one of the cultural events organised in the historic Grand Synagogue. A great lunch spot is Antico Brolo, where you can enjoy essential, fine food in a 16th-century atmosphere. A classy place to stop for a coffee is the over two hundred-year-old Caffè Pedrocchi. There are plenty of last-minute holiday promotions for Padua, just like the city's sightseeing options and the hospitality that has made it famous.

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