Affordable options for traveling the Veneto region.
Oh, the land of pizzas, dreamy pasta, and gelato. Where else could I possibly be referring to other than la vita Italia? Italy has much to offer, but often bigger players like Venice, Rome, and Milan steal the show. Though I’m convinced some of Italy’s smaller cities are just as (if not more) impressive as their formidable neighbors. Next to its affordability, pleasant weather and plethora of historical attractions, be sure to keep some of these tips in mind for your next trip to Padova, Italy.
Padova- The City of Arches
Less than a 30-minute ride on the highspeed train from Venice lies Padova, a secluded Venetian haven teeming with history. One can easily get lost in time (quite literally) while exploring the sites of many historical monuments. Founded in 1183 BC, Padova has much to offer in the arena of historical relevance. Sites such as St. Anthony’s Basilica, Prato della Valle, the Scrovegni Chapel, the monastery of San Antonio and the University of Padova are worth a visit.
Since most of Padova’s main attractions are centralized, the city is best explored by foot. Rain or shine, the dense network of arcaded streets make carrying an umbrella virtually unnecessary. While it’s impossible to cover over 835 years of history in just a few days, one good place to start is Palazzo della Ragione. I was immediately smitten by Palazzo della Ragione. It is a massive building that once functioned as both a town hall and tribunal during the Middle Ages, where many important decisions deciding the fate of the city were made. The building stands on tiered arches and divides Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, where daily fruit and vegetable markets take place during the day. There are also many cafes and bars where you can pick up a quick homemade panini or freshly baked cannoli. We suggest Pedrocchi Cafe for a quick bite before or a relaxed lunch in the city center. Later in the evening, the piazza fills up with barhopping crowds.
On the topic of going out, be sure to take part in an Italian pre-dinner ritual with an Aperol Spritz (an aperitif home to Padova) at cocktail bar Barcode, which comes with impressive views of Piazza dei Signori. If you’re not a fan of Spritz, the Veneto region has an incredible selection of local wine offerings.
Slowly make your way around the square to find historical hallmarks on every corner, such as the world-famous lunar clock (Torre dell’Orologio). Considered to have once been the oldest in the world, this 24-hour clock shows the position of the sun in the zodiac and positions itself to the current phase of the moon.
Padova is a wondrous place full of life, culture, and history and is sure to impress even the most economical travelers. If you ever find yourself traveling the Veneto region, put Padova on the very top of your list! Question for you guys: which is more romantic, a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or an evening dinner along the canals of Venice? Let us know in the comments!