Wednesday, October 28, 2009

P is for Padova

Basilica of Sant Antonio

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.

astrological clock in the Piazza dei Signori

Piazza dei Signori- Reminds me of Verona

Zucca Risotto

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.

Prato della Valle

Looking down on one of the canals

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.

A jug of hot cocoa, what more do you need in life?

Inside Cafe Pedrocchi

Easily on a sugar high and well caffeinated, we continued to wander our way over to the Roman arena area. But we were left a little disappointed (or maybe we missed it). Instead of Roman coliseum like arena, there was a beautiful garden so we sat and did what we do best, people watched.
Walking around the park

The beautiful pond and people watching spot

Chestnut roaster

Saying goodbye to Padova with some local Prosecco

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


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos!! A little Italian escape from my day. I love your blog, it's one of my favorites. I check in often. My sister and I visited Italy and Bologna September of 2008, Bologna was my favorite city that we visited!! Got some fabulous shoes there too and the best meal I had in all of Italia. Anyway, thanks for sharing via your blog... I'll be back often. ciao ciao, Valorie

Madeline said...

thanks for the shout-out, great blog and love the photos!

Em and GC said...

@Valorie- Thanks!! We love Bologna too.. it's such a great little city!

Em and GC said...

@Madeline- You're blog is one of my favorites for things in and around Italy!!

Q, La, and Gooner said...

I so enjoy stopping by! I can't imagine what could be better than a jug of THICK hot cocoa in Italy...


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