Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 22, 2016

Top tips for Padova

One of the highlights of my time in Italy last autumn was my visit to Padova, or Padua as it is known outside Italy. I stayed for a few days and covered a fair bit of the lovely city.

Padova is a university city, which means it is lively and fun. There is nothing like lots of students to liven a place up. The city is ancient. Padova was known for its art with the Etruscans and the Greeks of Taranto before the time of the Romans. It is still a city of art and culture.

My first tip is to visit the Scrovegni Chapel to see Giotto’s magnificent frescoes. You can see more on this here. Giotto’s frescoes would be a good enough reason alone to visit Padova.


While in the area, go next door to the Church of the Eremitani. It was begun in 1276 and completed in the early years of the 14th century. The wooden ceiling is constructed with multiple arches in the style known as the “ship’s keel”. There are beautiful marble tombs and restored frescoes…take the time to wander slowly.


Prato delle Valle was once the site of a Roman theatre. Excavations revealed a semicircular orchestra pit with a radius of 15.52 metres. Now it is a huge green space. Isola Memmia, the centrepiece, is surrounded by a circular canal with stone balustrades and four quaint bridges. 87 white stone statues border the canal on either side. See more here.


Take time to wander in the Botanical Garden begun in 1545, the first of its kind in  Europe. See my visit here.


Palazzo Bo is the heart of the university. Poke you head into the entrance to see the lovely staircase and the magnificent doors, where the students who died in WWII are remembered. Go inside to see the Anatomy Theatre or the modest wooden podium from which Galileo Galilei lectured in physics from 1592 to 1610.

Walk past Casa Olzignani, in Via Umberto I, with its Gothic facade. The house was built in 1466 by P Lombardi and is considered one of the finest works of 15th century Paduan architecture.

Go to Caffe Pedrocchi (see another post here) and try their very special coffee. It is also an excellent spot for aperitivo.


Piazza dei Signori has a magnificent clock tower installed in 1344. I can’t show you, it was covered in scaffolding for repairs when I was there. I did see the Lion of St Mark standing on an ancient Roman column and a very lovely old building.



Not to be missed is the magnificent Palazzo della Ragionethe Municipal Palace built between 1218 and 1219. The squares on either side are often filled with market stalls and there are several inviting place to stop for lunch or a snack. Don’t miss the huge upstairs room with the giant wooden horse…see here for more photos.



I stayed in the Hotel Casa del Pelligrino, opposite the stunning Basilica of Saint Anthony with its towers and cupolas. Photos are not allowed inside so I can’t show you the Ark of St Anthony or the 9 marble high reliefs from 1521, that made me want to reach out and touch them, or the other incredible things that kept me enthralled for ages.

I can show you the exterior and the bronze monument to Gattamelata (Honeyed Cat), real name Erasmo da Narni. It is by Donatello.


Of course there is much more to Padova than these recommendations, but these, at least, are not to be missed.

Here are a few more random moments from my time in Padova.




  1. What a city! Beautiful buildings and gardens.

    • It is a beautiful city…I will be back.

  2. What an amazing town

  3. Always book on line ahead for the scrovegni chapel to avoid disappointment. We were OK – see

    As for the church next door a terrible disaster happened to it in the last war – see my post at

    Also if you keep on loosing things don’t forget to go here in Padua:

    • Yes, I know about the booking ahead bit, and I saw the photos of the ruined building. They have done an amazing job of rebuilding it.

  4. Beautiful photographs dear Debra, I love to see Italy from your eyes, Thank you dear, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Padova is a beautiful city. It is easy to take lovey photos.

  5. Glorious cities Italy has. Another lovely one, Debra.

    • There are too many to visit in one lifetime.

  6. Padova is such a jewel! But then, there are so many magnificent towns and cities in Italy, that it is hard to choose a favourite one. Your photos are great, Debra, we are totally spoiled…

    • I am always caught between going back to favourite places and discovering new ones…a bit of both is good.

  7. Great feature photo!

  8. Beauty after beauty … outstanding! … and I imagine the locals eat well.

    • Padova is full of gorgeous things. The frescoes alone, and not just those in the Scrovegni, would be enough reason to visit the city.

  9. Wow, I never would have known Padova was that beautiful, it is a must see. Thanks for sharing!

    • It has lots of wonderful things to see and do. I hope you go soon.

      • Me too!

  10. Last time you did a post on Padova I was so impressed and thought I must go there next time I am in Italy and now seeing it again and more wonderful photos I so want to go visit. You are such great photographer – I have said that before.

    • Thank you, Padova makes a great subject.

  11. It’s so awesome and so beautiful.

    • Padova is fascinating…and gorgeous.

  12. I adore Padova. I have cousins who live there so visit fairly regularly. I am so happy to see that Nino Borsellino is still there – I did not notice him there when I went to Padova in December. He had the best delicatessen! Lovely photos

    • I took these photos in September 2015. I am not surprised you visit regularly. I hope to do so too.

  13. For Giotto alone this beautiful city has been on my must visit list for a long time now. It looks like a wonderful place!

    • There are beautiful frescoes in many other buildings too. Unfortunately photos are not allowed in most of them.

  14. What a beautiful city you have visited! I have studied the Scrovegni Chapel, and hope to visit the marvelous art of Giotto some day. I enjoyed reading this accompanied by your photos.

  15. I hope you visit Padova and the Giotto frescoes. You will love the city and all it has to offer,

  16. Love Padova –

  17. It sounds like it has a great atmosphere from the uni but also beautiful historical parts too! 😀

  18. I was there many years ago and still have such fond memories.

  19. We are going in March! I will refer back to this post 🙂 Thank you!

  20. We loved Padua. And a great place to hop over to Venice or Verona. Caffe Pedrocchi was visited a number of times.

    • I loved the town too. I will definitely be going back.

  21. […] чрез Топ съвети за Падуа – Бани ди Лука и Отвъд […]

  22. […] Padova, Verona and Ferrara are also nearby and great towns to explore. […]

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