I first heard of the city last year from a friend who often went to the city for work. I never thought much of it, other than it being another Italian town. I then read this blog post about the rather large city that lies 20 minutes from Venice. One look at a picture of the big duomo and I was hooked. It is a cheap and easy day trip from Bologna (minus all the tourists that are headed to Venice). We set out early Sunday morning, picnic lunch packed and bottle of wine in hand. A speedy hour and a half later we arrived and made our way to the center of the city. Walking down the portici, I immediately saw the cities of Venice, Bologna and Verona all mixed together in one city. It was beautiful.
Piazza dei Signori- Reminds me of Verona
Of course to our shock and amazement, the center of town was holding a zucca or pumpkin festival. Only shocked and amazed that we didn't even plan on going to the city for the festival (as we normally do). Even though we had our picnic, we decided we couldn't pass up trying some zucca risotto. Quite possibly one of the best dishes for Fall, along with Truffles. The next few hours consisted of eating, drinking and wandering around the city till we found ourselves down at the highlight of the city, the Pratto della Valle.
We made our way but up to the center of town to visit Padova's (Padua) number one landmark, Cafe Pedrocchi, which has been open for 200 years, and I'm sure the ciocolata calda (hot chocolate) probably hasn't changed much either.
Padova is truly an undiscovered treasure. You won't find anyone speaking English or massively big tour groups, they've already found their way to Venice. What you will find is a quiet, beautiful city where the locals proudly serve you their zucca risotto and local wine, where when the clock strikes 4 o'clock, everyone walks up and down the streets in the Sunday best, and where they serve you hot cocoa in a jug. What more is there left to say!?
For more photos, click here