Padua Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Padua

Planning a short break to Padua? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Padua. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Padua. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Basilica di Sant'Antonio

Piazza del Santo 11, Padua. This 13th century basilica which is dedicated to St Anthony of Padua, whose body is buried therein, has a blend of many styles. Romanesque and Gothic are however, its main features and the bell tower and tall slender minaret give it an Eastern look. Inside the visitor will find it richly ornamented with wall paintings and decorated with a renaissance masterpiece of the saint’s tomb, in the Saints Chapel. There is also the unusual relic of St Anthony’s tongue, which is 7 centuries old and still unaffected. At the altar the visitor will find some marvellous bronzes by Donatello, who was a master for detail. In front of the basilica is a large statue from 1453, which honours the Venetian military hero Gattamelata (Spotted Cat), which surprising enough, has a marked resembles to the late Laurence Olivier. The basilica is open daily from 6.30am – noon and 3pm – 7pm. Take buses 8, 12, 18, 22, M or T, to reach the basilica. Admission is free.

Palace of Law (Palazzo della Ragione)

Via VIII Febbraio, Padua. This is probably one of the most remarkable buildings of northern Italy. It was built in the 13th century and is situated in the marketplace. It is surrounded by terraces, with a roof shaped like the bottom of a sailing ship. Upstairs is the extravagant “Salone” assembly hall. This room is 82m long and contains a huge 15th century wooden horse. In 1420 the wall paintings of Giotto and his assistants were destroyed by fire and have since been replaced with rich frescoes of symbolic paintings. The Palace is open Tues – Sun from 9am – 7pm and bus 8 or “A” will take you to the Palace of Law. Admission is $6

Civic Museum (Museo Civico di Padova)

Piazza Eremitani 8, Padua. This gallery is full of lesser important works done by major Venetian artists. There are some that date back to the 14th century, plus a wooden Crucifix made by Giotto and two miniatures by Giorgione. The “Portrait of a Young Man” by Giovanni Bellini and a miniature by Jacopo Bellini: “Descent into Limbo” can also be seen in the museum. The visitor will also find one of the finest paintings in the gallery the “Crucifixion” by Tintoretto plus his “Supper in Simone’s House” as well as a 15th century “Arras Tapestry”. There are many other paintings that are sure to enthral the avid art lover. The gallery is open daily from 9am – 7pm and buses 3, 8, 12 or 18 will get you to the gallery. Admission is $9.

Chiesa degli Eremitani

Piazza Eremitani 9, Padua. On March 11, 1944 this church was completely destroyed by allied bombs and with it 15th century wall paintings, which unfortunately cannot be replaced. The church was home to one of Italy’s greatest treasures, the Ovetari Chapel (Cappella Ovetari) before it was destroyed. The church has since been rebuilt and only fragments of the original frescoes are on display. When visiting the church you will be able to see a very interesting fragment, which is situated right of the altar and describes the dragging of St Christopher’s body. There are more wall paintings in the chancel chapel which have been credited to Guarineto, who was a student of Giotto. The church is open Mon-Sat 8am -12pm and 4-7pm – Sun and religious holidays 9.30am – noon and 4-6pm. You will be able to take bus 3, 8, 12 or 18 to the church. Admission is free, however donations are welcomed.

Chapel of the Scrovegni (Cappella degli Scroveg

Piazza Eremitani 8, Padua. To miss this modest chapel when you visit Padua would be equal to missing a visit to the Acropolis in Greece. Here you will find some of Giotto’s most noteworthy frescoes. During 1305 and 1306 he did more than 35 wall paintings of biblical scenes. These frescoes together with those at Assisi formed the basis of his claim to fame. Here you will find paintings of Judas kissing Christ; “Last Judgement”; “Vices and Virtues”, and a panel which is the most dramatic, that of Lazarus rising from the dead. On the altar the visitor will see a sculpture of the “Virgin” this was done by Giovanni Pisano. The chapel is open daily from 9am – 10pm. Bus 3,8,12 or 18 will get you to the chapel which is off Corso Garibaldi. Admission is $14 for adults and $5 for children 6-18. This price includes entry to the Civil Museum and the Palace of Law.

Grand’Italia

Corso del Popolo 81, Padua. Perhaps not in everyone’s price range but definitely a hotel not to be overlooked especially for its typical Art Nouveau style, which can still be seen by its terraces, verandas and balconies. This four star hotel is Padua’s finest hotel, even outshining the Hotel Plaza and is situated in the heart of the town, in a restored building. Originally built in 1909 as a palazzo, it was brought back to its original radiance by the Cinel family who have succeeded in making it into a first class hotel. The reception hall is elegant and sets the tone for the rest of the hotel. On the second floor are two living rooms decorated with stucco and gilt, these imitate the Deco style of two rooms in the Louvre in Paris. The bedrooms are decorated in a lovely modern style and are spacious. The no 18 bus will take you to the Grand’Italia.

More info go to: www.hotelgranditalia.it

Antico Brolo

Corso Milano 22, Padua. This is Padua’s best restaurant and is located directly opposite the Civic Museum. It has a beautiful 16th century dining room which brings to mind the Renaissance. However, many diners sit outside in the garden, where there are candlelit tables set on the terrace. The cuisine is typically Italian, especially the delicious graganelli with garlic sauce, which is made on the premises. There is also onion soup baked in a crust, grilled fish and many more mouth-watering dishes. They serve a perfect dessert which is zuppa inglese (a type of zabaglione). The restaurant is open Tues – Sun 12.30 – 2.30pm and 7.30 to midnight and reservations are recommended. It is closed from Aug 10 -20. Bus 5, 7, or 10 will get you to the restaurant.

Per Bacco

Piazzale Ponte Corvo 10, Padua. Per Bacco is an inviting Italian restaurant where you will find unusual dishes made with market fresh ingredients. They have a huge wine list of over 1,000 labels. Try the tagliatelle alla Norcina (pasta with black truffles and Tuscan sausage) which is delicious as is, the composizione Per Bacco (a platter of three different meats cooked together). The restaurant is open Tues – Sun noon – 2.30pm and 7.30 – 11pm, but is closed the 3rd week of August. As this is a popular restaurant reservations are recommended.

Bars & Pubs

Not much happens in Padua at night and unless you are interested in hanging out with the college crowd, a quiet walk through the town or a drink in one of the beer or wine bars is the order of the evening.

Enoteca da Severino – 44 Via del Santo, Padua. This is the oldest wine bar in Padua and is also the most popular.

Victoria – Via Savonarola 149, Padua. This beer tavern has live jazz music on Thursday and is generally a good night-time hangout if you enjoy beer. The tavern stays open Tues – Sun 7pm – 2am. They also serve pizza and plates of food at a cost of between $7 -$10.

Shopping

Padua is a town of elegance and has a rich university life. It has a stable industrial support with an economy which is diverse and therefore does not have to rely on tourism. Here you will find less souvenirs and handcrafts but more upmarket and luxury items.

The Galleria Borghese – off Via San Fermo, Padua. Here the visitor will find a huge assortment of shops with different items that can be purchased.

Roberto Callegari – 8 via Davila, Padua. This is Padua’s leading jewellery store and next door is L’Antiquario Gemmologo, which trades in antique silver and a wonderful collection of jewellery.

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