Prato della Valle
This area of Padova was my favourite with the reflctions of the statues and buildings in the canals. This had been a former site for fairs and entertainments and was reclaimed in 1775 by Domenico Cerato, by order of Andrea Memmo. The "square" is very picturesque with its canal crossed by four bridges and lined by 78 statues of famous men.
Can't remeber exactly where this was or what it is but the style of this building seemed Moorish to me and I loved its rustic colour.
P.S. - many thanks to Maurizioago for telling me that this building is the renowned Cafè Pedrocchi :-))
So, you don't speak Italian....
My wife speaks Italian fluently, albeit with a southern dialect, and people often comment how well she speaks Italian (for a Canadian).
On the other hand, I've been married to an Italian for 37 years, ate Sunday dinner in an Italian household every weekend for as long as I can remember, listened to countless arguments (discussions), but can't remember phrases when unexpectedly asked. I understand lots, but butcher this beautiful language horribly.
I smile a lot, nod a lot, look dumb a lot and hope a lot, but get by. However, the important thing is, I try, and besides getting a laugh, I get respect. The Italian people appreciate your attempts at communicating in 'their' language, in 'their' country.
If all else fails, shrug, look goofy, then point. Works for me. Oh yes, I carry a language book with me at all times with pictures of food, animals, and other necessary things. It looks impressive sitting beside your plate in a restaurant, and you are automatically forgiven for screw-ups.
Padova essentials....bring a 'good' attitude
Cobblestones are hard on luggage with wheels...carry a backpack whenever possible, regardless of your age. We are in our mid fifties, and a year ago wouldn't be caught dead with one. Now, our suitcases are in storage, and we each possess a back pack good for two-five day trips, expandable for two week trips, plus a day pack. If you must use the other, bring something with real good wheels, but be prepared for an uneven ride.
Practice pack at home, lay everything out on the bed that you think you'll need, then eliminate half of it. Trust me, you won't miss it. You've got lots of stairs to climb, in train stations and hotels, plus down the corridors of moving trains. Another tip, if you have a hard time lifting your pack above your head, you've got too much. Trains have overhead racks for storage, and they're already stuffed. Less is better... Guide books will tell you not to wear running shoes, because they are not generally worn in Italy. Untrue, untrue, untrue. Bring the most comfortable shoes you own, and if you purchase new ones prior to your trip, break them in first. We have yet to find really good walking socks in Italy, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, we're getting older and age has it's disadvantages. Shorts are not generally worn, but suggest you buy the lightweight pants with zip-off legs. Shorts are becoming more and more popular however, and they are not as uncommon as two years ago.
It is hot and humid in summer, fantastic in the fall, and we had only two days of winter weather this year, so dress accordingly. Layer your clothes, regardless of the season.
Umbrellas are a must in the early fall, but easy to find and cheap to purchase. Wait, and buy one here if necessary. (approx. 10 euro) Carry toilet paper with you, or the travel packs of tissue (Italian tissues are great, much thicker and larger than North American ones), Advil (not available), but otherwise Italy has everything else you may need. You may have difficulty recognizing certain off-the-shelf medications, so bring what you may need immediately. We had, and still have difficulty finding Pharmacists who understand English? Doctors usually do however.
We have recently noticed that the bandaids available here do not stick very well. Be advised to bring some with you. You'll need them for your heels if you haven't worn broken-in shoes. Best to bring moleskin for your heels and apply before you develope blisters. Readily available, as are many One Hour Developing shops. I always have a set of prints and a disc made for me, and prices range dramatically from 10 euro (with Fun Disc) up to 22 euro (regular disc). If you just want a disc made fom a digital camera, most places will do it immediately for 5 euro, except in Venice where they charge unsuspecting tourists 9 euro. Worth it if your memory card is full however. Charging units, including a spare set of batteries are readily available for approx. 15 euro. In regards to back packs, shop carefully before you buy. You don't need the rugged mountain climbing types with a place for your ice picks. You need a lightweight pack, with a strong handle and good adjustable straps, with an expandable storage area (when you pack, don't expand this section), an outside pocket with real easy access to hold your train tickets, another outside pocket for your map and guide book. Waterproof is nice, but if it rains, stop for an espresso.
Buy a day pack, and leave the larger pack in the hotel (seal the pockets with lockable plastic tabs to prevent 'maid related' thefts).
The day pack will carry your camera, a bottle of water, aspirins, spare film, euro coinage, travel guide, maps, and bus/train tickets (for short excursions). You'll find the day pack very helpful, but buy a good one. Don't get cheap here, you will carry it everywhere. Keep the size to a minimum. Buy an expandable one. I own a Berghaus. It is intended for bike users, and is 'Bladdered'. Cheap sweat shirts are very difficult to find, plus the sizing in Italy is odd (to us). I wear XL shirts, and XL that I find here is too tight, but occasionally find an XXL that fits. Beware when purchasing gifts (buy larger than requested for clothing). Find the European equivalent of your shoe size prior to entering a shoe store, and learn how to pronounce the correct size in Italian, or print it on a piece of paper.
If you ladies were packing your hair dryer, and have been busy trying to locate a voltage converter, forget it. Buy a cheap dryer here, costs much less than buying the converter, plus you don't have to pack it. Then, leave it behind for the chambermaid when you leave.
You will thank me for that tip.
Men, use disposable razors, and bar soap.
Treviso Fish Market
Located on the Cagnan canal crossing to the river Sile, it is open until midday and the local fishman (from somewhere) bring the catch to sell. The bridge is called bridge of the impossible because of the difficulty in constructing it. The name comes from Aligheri Dante in 1865. The water is very green and swift, and looks cold.