Padova Off The Beaten Path

  • Scrovegni Chapel  in the park.
    Scrovegni Chapel in the park.
    by Jerelis
  • The amazing amphitheatre.
    The amazing amphitheatre.
    by Jerelis
  • So much to see at the Giardina dell'Arena.
    So much to see at the Giardina...
    by Jerelis

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Padova

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    Giardina dell'Arena - Full of history.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 2, 2013
    Overview at Giardina dell'Arena.
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    While planting and land form in much of the park appear natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped. The park contains several natural-looking lakes and ponds that have been created artificially. The park is made up of several parts. At the entrance to the park, to road Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi you will find the statue of Garibaldi, the Italian general. A bit further of course you can admire the remains of the Arena, the ancient Roman amphitheatre of Padua, built around 70 AD. But most of all don’t forget to visit the Scrovegni Chapel. This amazing chapel is built between 1303 and 1305 and is decorated with some splendid frescoes by Giotto, a must see!

    The Giardina dell’Arena is one of the most visited landmarks in Padua and that truly is not a shame. I loved and probably will always cherish the Giardina dell’Arena, it is a little oasis in the middle of the daily madness of the city. It is full of history, stunning plants and quacking ducks, on a fine day (few and far between!) thronged with lots of tourists and some office workers. So I can honestly state that it is a real melting pot in the middle of this beautiful city.

    Address: Piazza Eremitani, 35121 Padua.
    Directions: You will find the Giardina dell’Arena at the north east tip of the old ancient city of Padua.

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    Giardina dell'Arena - Garden of the Arena.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 2, 2013
    So much to see at the Giardina dell'Arena.
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    The Giardina dell’Arena was built at the beginning of the Roman era. The construction of the park was made possible by the presence of the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena. This, of course, is what has given the name of the beautiful park. The Giardina dell’Arena is a huge area of open space and is provided for recreational use. It is completely owned and maintained by the local government. Maybe you need some fantasy, but this park resembles a savannah or even open woodlands, both the types of landscape that people find most relaxing. The grass is typically kept short to discourage insect pests and to allow for the enjoyment of picnics and sporting activities. There are a lot of trees and they are chosen for their beauty and to provide shade on a beautiful sunny day.

    One of the most typical spots to visit are the Roman remains and the amazing amphitheatre. This Arena is smaller and less impressive than those in Verona or Rome, but well-located in the lovely and well-maintained park. About three quarters of the Arena walls remain and the rest were removed to make way for the Scrovegni Chapel and Scrovegni Palace (the latter now long gone). In the summertime, open-air movies are shown in the Arena.

    Address: Piazza Eremitani, 35121 Padua.
    Directions: You will find the Giardina dell’Arena at the north east tip of the old ancient city of Padua.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Giardina dell'Arena - So much to explore.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 2, 2013
    Sam near a statue at the entrance of the park.
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    At some point of being a VT member it always amazes me that there are such a beautiful public parks or gardens right in the middle of huge cities. This fact always fascinates me and in Padua it was not different. Right here we hiked our way up to the public park “Giardina dell’Arena (Garden of the Arena). We made quite some footsteps in this particular park as there was so much to explore. At that time I immediately said to myself “I must write some tips about this beautiful park for Virtual Tourist.” And finally today (as you can read) I took time to actually do it!

    Around the world the first parks were deer parks, land set aside for hunting by royalty and the aristocracy in medieval times. They had walls or thick hedges around them to keep game in and people out. As cities became crowded, the private hunting grounds became places for the public. With the Industrial revolution parks took on a new meaning as areas set aside to preserve a sense of nature in the cities and towns. Sporting activity came to be a major use for these urban parks. Padua kept on growing, but the park Giardina dell’Arena remained and that for sure is very good thing. You will find the Giardina dell’Arena at the north east tip of the old ancient city and is actually located between the main road Via Trieste and the old historical center.

    Address: Piazza Eremitani, 35121 Padua.
    Directions: You will find the Giardina dell’Arena at the north east tip of the old ancient city of Padua.

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    Piazza Capitaniato - Historical buildings.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 9, 2013
    Having something to drink at the piazza.

    We sat down on a bench and had a good look at the amazing building surrounding the Piazza Capitaniato. On the east side of the square we saw the back side of the famous clock tower Torre dell'Orologio and the Carrara Palace, which now is home of the municipal offices. On the south side we overlooked the headquarters of the Department of Education and Training, a great building. Finally we saw the Palazzo Liviano that incorporates the Sala dei Giganti with frescoes dating from the 16th century.

    For us the Piazza Capitaniato was a very well hidden gem. A nice oasis in the busy life of the metropolis Padua. Maybe this was the reason that we stayed a bit longer at the Piazza Capitaniato than we would have thought in advance. We just had a nice drink we brought our own, looked around and relaxed for a while. After that it was time for us to move on under the Arch Clock Torre dell’Orologio towards the Piazza dei Signori.

    Address: Piazza Capitaniato, Padua.
    Directions: At the old ancient city center of Padua passing the Piazza dei Signori under the Arch Clock.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Piazza Capitaniato - Courtyard of a palace.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 9, 2013
    We loved this well hidden little square.
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    The Piazza Capitaniato was originally a courtyard of the Carrara Palace. This palace used to be a complex of buildings that Carrara (the lords of Padua) had built inside the old medieval city as their residence. They started to built it in the fourteenth century and was completed in 1343. Unlucky enough there are only a few remnants left. The only visible thing we noticed was the “Giant’s Hall” a well preserved part of it which is attached to the palace. We learned that it used to be a courtroom.

    But anyway, the current Piazza Capitaniato was the former parade ground of this royal Carrara Palace. Being at this particular spot doesn’t give you that feeling, but it is always good knowing these kind of historical facts once you’re there. It was a great place just to relax, the huge trees giving some cool shades and a way to escape from the burning sun. We read that these trees are some of the oldest ones in Padua, the first one planted in 1861. Sitting on the bench and just letting the world pass you by is fun as well.

    Address: Piazza Capitaniato, Padua.
    Directions: At the old ancient city center of Padua passing the Piazza dei Signori under the Arch Clock.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Piazza Capitaniato - Being in Paris?

    by Jerelis Written Nov 9, 2013
    Our entrance to the Piazza Capitaniato.

    The heart of the old ancient of Padua lies in its squares. The most important are probably the ones situated around the beautiful Palazzo della Ragione. To explore Padua the right way it is good to know that there is a ‘classic town route’ which offers the opportunity to visit the most interesting monuments and places in just one day. This route will take you from piazza to piazza, or in other words, from square to square. Right at these public squares the true Italian life is what you’ll see and feel. Every square has its own historical buildings surrounding it and a particular vibe as well.

    We arrived at the Piazza Capitaniato via another square, how surprisingly is that? LOL We walked our way from the Piazza dell Duoma through some nice arcades and small inner court and ended up at the Piazza Capitaniato with its huge trees. Because of these large and green trees, baroque style newspaper stalls, benches to sit down on we had the idea we were on a small square in the city of Paris. Quite an amazing vibe we felt and we loved it.

    Address: Piazza Capitaniato, Padua.
    Directions: At the old ancient city center of Padua passing the Piazza dei Signori under the Arch Clock.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Le Mura di Padova - We loved it!

    by Jerelis Written Oct 21, 2013
    How the walls were built.
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    For the most part Sam and I focused on the remains of the defensive walls near the park Giardini dell’Arena. These walls were built partly during the ancient Roman era, the only traces to survive are those incorporated into the foundations of certain palazzi. The route of this wall corresponded to a meander of the river Medoacus (now the Brenta River) in which developed Padua's first urban centre. For us it was quite simple, because we just walked around, looked at the walls and definitely loved what we saw.

    A good tip is, whenever you have some more time on your hands, to continu the hike along the walls and passing the Piccolo bastion, the route enters the park of the Arena with its bastion, and reaches the navigation lock and the little church of the Contarine locks (1723), an old interchange of river traffic. Its bridge and the one near the Grade del Carmine marked the point where waters leave town, and once these too were closed by metal sluice-gates. So much to see indeed!

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Le Mura di Padova - 4 phases.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 21, 2013
    Soma amzing walls left.
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    Unlike a decade ago, the historic centre is much quieter and livable, thanks to the active traffic regulation policy pursued by the municipality. Because of this it was rather easy for Sam and I to move around by foot. Before even seeing an old wall we already read in the travel book that the defensive walls were built in 4 phases:

    · Roman Walls;

    · Mura Duecentesche (13th century walls);

    · Mura Carraresi (14the century walls);

    · Mura Cinquecentesche (16th century wall).

    You won’t find much evidence or remains of the Roman walls as they are demolished for the most of it. Only some minor remains are to be found in the Riviera Tito Livio and also the north gate named Porta Molino. We hiked our way up to the 14th and 16th century walls. It’s easy to see these walls at the same time as the 16th century walls did follow the route of the earlier built 14th century walls. Still a closer look at the 14th century is rare as almost everything was demolished during the War of the League of Cambria. But anyway, we were still amazed by the beauty of the 16th century walls and did enjoy the environment and vibe and just imagine what ever did take place right here.

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Le Mura di Padova - Walls of Padua.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 21, 2013
    Amazing Roman remains.
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    Le Muria di Padova, better known as the Walls of Padua are a complex of defensive works around the ancient city of Padua, designed to defend it from hostile attacks. Before setting this tip out about these defensive walls you must know that Padua is a very ancient town, which became a Roman municipium since 45 BC, turning soon into one of the most flourishing centers of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately just a few of the roman remains are left in this days and age: the walls of the ancient arena, along with some bridges and parts of the defensive walls. Therefore it was sometimes difficult to find the walls and it was easier to have a look at the impressive gates, which once were part of this defensive wall structure.

    During our visit the city of Padua at some point Paulien and the two girl decided they had enough of sightseeing and wanted to do some window shopping. For the men (Sam and I) a good opportunity to have a search for the defensive walls and take some nice pictures of it and feel the vibe of ancient Padua. So off we went …

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    Venice - Our 'game plan' strategy.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 13, 2013
    A painter making art in Venice.
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    Most people try to rush Venice on a budget so they end up missing some of the highlights in a whirlwind. The key to seeing Venice properly is a game plan, you must know what you want to see before setting out. For example: we wanted to see the Squeoro di San Trovaso (the most picturesque gondola workshop of Venice) and planned our hike in the sestiere of Dorsoduro around it. Starting at the eastern part at the Santa Maria della Salute, hiking our way via the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and the Ponte dell' Accademia towards it. Once we passed the gondola shop we simply wondered off via Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Lungo (where we had lunch), Calle Avogaria (visited Chiesa San Sebastiano) and met the locals at Campo Santa Margherita.

    By this 'game plan' structure we walked through the sestiere of Castello where we saw the famous Arsenale and hiked all the way up to the small island of S. Helena for the amazing San Pietro di Castello. For every sestiere we had our 'wanted to see' highlights and had lots of fun in planning the hikes in advance. Venice is simply a perfect place to walk for hours and pretending to know where you are. For the sake of the children we took the Vaporetto back to the San Marco Square. This definitely was a day well spent!

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Venice - Picturesque corners of labyrinthine city.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 13, 2013
    One big happy family :)
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    To be honest, I was quite thrilled to show the amazing city of Venice to Paulien and mostly to my children. It is probably a must see location if you like to travel, Venice is unique and you must have been there once in your lifetime at least! For Venice, the canals have always been the natural means of getting around. I knew for instance that in the past centuries, there were fewer streets and boats were the only means for reaching some parts of the town. Over the past few centuries more and more canals have been filled in and today Venice is really a pedestrian city. Venetian life may be on the water, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to move around by boat. In fact some of the most picturesque corners in the labyrinthine streets of the city can only be reached on foot.

    Take time to meander - losing yourself in the maze of canals and lanes is one of Venice's principal pleasures. The cluster of sights around the Piazza San Marco are heart-clutchingly beautiful, but the more secret pleasures of the hushed backstreets are just entrancing. Maybe this is easy for us to say as I knew my way around very well and not like most of the tourists who kept on following the signs. But even when your stay is rather short, do try to get away from the crowds and just have a 'look around'. All this may seem very though as finding your way in Venice might be difficult, but in really distances are short and the signs to the main areas (San Marco and Rialto) will help you in getting around in Venice. I really loved to take my loved ones to the lesser know areas indeed.

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    Venice - To roam the narrow streets and piazzas.

    by Jerelis Written Oct 13, 2013
    Arriving at Venice per boat.
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    Before we visited the city of Venice I could say that I was already been to this beautiful city twice. Therefore I already knew that the best way to explore the city of Venice is by foot and the second best way is also by foot! Besides giving you the opportunity to roam the narrow streets and piazzas, it is the quickest way too. If you really want to, you can cross the city in approximately one hour. Remember that sometimes it might be quicker to take a short-cut across the water instead of following the bends of bridges and alleys.

    Paulien and I already decided that we wanted to visit Venice during our stay in Cavallino in the summer of 2013. The journey from Cavallino to Venice was only a boat ride of 35 minutes, arriving close to the San Marco Square. We both had a good look at the internet to book the correct tickets in advance. As we are from The Netherlands we are used to doing a lot by foot and we were glad that my knowledge was that Venice is a city in which everybody walks and you're truly able to explore all the sights by foot. Once we arrived in Venice our two feet were our best friends and therefore we were able to enjoy all the fascinating scenery Venice had to offer. While most tour guides don't recommend getting lost in the majority of cities, Venice is the place to get hopelessly lost for a day. We wondered off through mysterious alleyways leading us away from the crowds. We ended up in endless mazes of backstreets and deserted squares, the 'real' Venice!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Nice place for a quiet people-watch

    by leics Updated Aug 18, 2013

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    Sit and enjoy.....Piazza Capitaniato
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    Piazza di Capitaniato is accessed through the arch under the Torre dell'Orologico in Piazza dei Signori...and it is lovely.

    It's quite a large square, but a very peaceful one. There are a couple of interesting historical buildings on the left as you walk under the arch...the Palazzo del Capitanio (the headquarters if the military commander in the 1500s) and the fourteenth-century Liviano, part of Padova university's Arts faculty (a more modern building is joined to the Medieval one).

    At the far end of the square are two bar/cafes, both with tables outside o the cobbles. We thoroughly enjoyed our beers in the sunshine, sitting with Padovans meeting friends for a late-morning coffee/drink, chatting, admiring babies, playing chess.

    Well worth seeking out this peaceful piazza for your mid-morning restorative, or for a snack lunch.

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    Palazzo del Comune or Palazzo Moroni

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 27, 2013

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    Palazzo del Comune
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    Palazzo del Comune, or Palazzo Moroni, is constituted of several buildings: the 16th century Palazzo Moroni (coloquial name for the entire complex), which overlooking Piazza delle Erbe, the Medieval Palazzo del Consiglio and Palazzo degli Anziani and by Palazzo Moretti-Scarpari.
    This majestic Renaissance building contains courtyard on the first floor, reachable from the covered stairway located almost at the entrance of Via del Municipio, or from the staircase that connects the building to the upper floors of the medieval palaces and the Palazzo della Ragione. The sides of the palace overlooking Piazza delle Erbe are made of white marble and are decorated with emblems and symbols of different Podesta throughout the history of the town.

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    Palazzo del Podesta

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 27, 2013

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    Palazzo della Podesta
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    Right across from the university Palazzo Bo, stands the Palazzo del Comune of Padova, which is also called Palazzo del Podesta but locals usually call it Palazzo Moroni. The former Palazzo del Podesta was completely renovated in the 16th century by the architect Andrea Moroni (from whom it is now named), and represents one of the most remarkable building in whole of Veneto.
    In the Middle Ages, when it was introduced the figure of the Podesta, this role had deadlines and strict rules. Unlike the Council of Elders, whose members were elected and were part of the local community, the Podesta must compulsorily be a stranger. In exchange for housing, for himself and the family, and a fair remuneration (about 80 times salary of an unskilled worker), the Podesta had to support and pay all expensies for a group of 35 employees, including four judges of the criminal court and three for the soldiers, all strangers aswell, who moved to the city with their families for the period of the mandate. Nobody, not even family members, could in any way receive gifts, donations, or get credit or buy a property and land from any Padovano, even couldnt accept an invitation to lunch!
    The truncated Torre bianca del Comune (white tower of the Commune) stands here between the two palaces. This formed the twin of the Torre rossa (red tower) overlooking the Volto della Codra.
    The palace looks very attractive in the twilight.

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