Lobster risotto at one of the Padua restaurants near the market piazza.

Lobster risotto at one of the Padua restaurants near the market piazza.

Padua is a city in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua’s population is 214,000. The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia) and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of circa 1,600,000.

Risotto heaven

Risotto heaven

Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 kilometres west of Venice and 29 km southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Venetian Plain (Pianura Veneta). To the city’s south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.

The Bapistry attached to the Duomo is ablaze with frescoes

The Bapistry attached to the Duomo is ablaze with frescoes

It hosts the renowned University of Padua, almost 800 years old, and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers.

The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazzas, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.

Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

Padua has a lovely covered  market and is well patronised by the locals.

Padua has a lovely covered market and is well patronised by the locals.

 

Cheeses, cheeses

Cheeses, cheeses

 

The city is an ideal base for exploring the region, without the expense of staying in Venice. There is a large, modern railway station with easy links throughout Italy.

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We stayed in the Best Western Premier Hotel Galileo which was a revelation. Modern, clean, really inexpensive and apart from conventional bedrooms, they have an apartment block (we stayed there). And, to cap it all, Madame declared that the bar coffee was the best north of Melbourne. That’s saying something!

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