Fun things to do in Padova

  • The stall of shame
    The stall of shame
    by oriettaIT
  • Situated at the square Piazza Duomo.
    Situated at the square Piazza Duomo.
    by Jerelis
  • The tower of the Duomo.
    The tower of the Duomo.
    by Jerelis

Most Viewed Things to Do in Padova

  • traveloturc's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Saint Anthony

    by traveloturc Updated Jan 16, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most famous church is the basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, simply known as "Il Santo".
    The bones of the Saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them of Sansovino and Falconetto; the basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century; tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano; it is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal. it is an imposing construction in Romanesque-Gothic style.St. Anthony is the object of pilgrimages from all over the world.
    Among the works of art it keeps, one must point out the frescoes by Altichiero and Giusto de' Menabuoi (end of the 14th century); the Crucifix, the statues and the bronze reliefs of the High Altar, superlative work by Donatello (1444-1448); the Altar of the Saint and the Treasure Chapel. Near the Basilica rise the St. George Oratory, holding a great cycle of frescoes by Altichiero (1379-1384) and the School of the Saint, that keeps three famous frescoes by Titian (1511).

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Duomo di Padova - Simple indeed.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 11, 2013

    We travel far and wide to see good art and we're happy to pay for the privilege. The Baptistery of the Duomo di Padova charged us 2,80 Euros per person which felt a bit rich for what we saw. Granted, every inch of the circular room, including the ceiling, was covered with frescos but if you've been in Italy for any length of time, you've seen kilometers of frescos. Our tip: spend more time at Saint Anthony's or any of the other churches in Padua and drop your 2,80 Euro in their collection boxes.

    The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was the work of Andrea della Valle and Agostino Righetto, but for sure it was one of the most simple cathedrals that we have visited in Italy so far. There are a number of statutes around the church, the décor is simple but the atmosphere quite serene and peaceful. There is a marble altar where the pulpits are held by marbled sculptures - one had a golden face encased in the marble figure and is spectacular! Although not as elaborate as the other Churches in Padua, it is still a beautiful place of worship.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Duomo di Padova - Lighting a candle.

    by Jerelis Written Dec 11, 2013

    Okay, we did decide to return to the Duomo di Padavo at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Although we were quite early when we arrived at the Duomo di Padova we were already allowed to enter it. A huge advantage of our early arrival was the fact that there were almost no tourists yet. Don’t expect busses loaded with tourists here anyway. Whenever we visit a church the kids always want to burn a candle, it has become a bit of a tradition. The sight of burning votive candles - real or electronic - is common in most Catholic cathedrals. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?

    According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights. Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed. So for us lighting a candle is a way of extending our prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf our prayer is offered.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Duomo di Padova - Only open at 4 o'clock!

    by Jerelis Written Dec 11, 2013

    In advance we were told that this cathedral by the name of Duomo di Padova was a must see. The official name is the “Basilica Cattedrale di S. Maria Assunta”, but better known as the Duomo di Padova. We knew that we would walk by it once we were hiking the old ancient city of Padua. We left the market at the Piazza dell Erbe via the Via Daniellle Manin and ended up at the beautiful situated square Piazza Duomo. Once at this square you simply can’t miss out the amazing cathedral Duomo di Padova.

    At first we were quite disappointed, because we were not able to enter it. We were there around 11 o’clock and read at a sign that it would open at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, what a shame. By that time we decided that we would make the decision whether we wanted to go in by the time it would be 4 o’clock in the afternoon, if we still felt we wanted to see the inside of the cathedral. We still walked around it and had a good look at its façade. Be aware that it is the third edifice built on the particular spot. The first one was already erected in 313 and destroyed by an earthquake. It was rebuilt by the Romans later on.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Roman amphitheatre - Imagine it.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    The following fact we learned from a book and a sign which was located at the site: “The Roman amphitheatre of Padua had an elliptical shape of 134,26 meters on its major axis and 97,31 meters on its minor axis. The building leaned on massive foundations and, on its façade, it had an external porch with 80 arches on two different levels. On the basis of the most accepted reconstruction hypothesis, the decoration was of Tuscan order and it was made of trachyte. The pavements were in red marble from Verona, and particularly the stairs, the podium and the radial rooms.”

    Of the amphitheatre of Padua we can see parts of the elliptical middle wall, with the 2 meters large openings and several disconnected fragments. This means that it is even larger as what we could see and it extends into the current Giardini dell’Arena park fences. Therefore it is quite difficult to imagine that there used to be an entrance / gate that gave access to those taking part in the show. On the side of the Scrovegni chapel there used be another gate through which the dead gladiators were transported out of the arena. So the current site leaves much to imagine, but still gives a nice idea of the history of the Roman city of Padua. I say … it still is a must see!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Roman amphitheatre - The Arena.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    The city of Padua was a Roman municipium since 45 BC and used to have the name Patavium at that time. Unlucky enough the city was stormed and burned by enemies in the year 601 AD and very seriously damaged by that war. Therefore the some bridge foundations and the remains of the amphitheatre (the Arena) are all that remains of Roman Padua today, such a shame.

    Lucky enough some of the remains of the Roman amphitheater are still visible. To be honest, at first it is very difficult to discover an amphitheater in the walls. That’s the main reason why we thought that it had to be old defensive walls. The stand or stages are all gone and the outside walls is all that is left. Once inside these walls we were able to discover an elliptical shape, which gave vision to the fact that is once was an arena. The amphitheater was identified in the 17th century and the excavated between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. With reference to the old Roman city it was situated in its northern outskirts. We walked our way along the walls and saw a drawing on a sign how the amphitheater must have looked like.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Roman amphitheatre - Surpise ... ?

    by Jerelis Written Nov 11, 2013

    To me this is one of the most funniest tip to write I guess. Let me tell you why. By the time we arrived in Padua we walked our way up from our parking spot towards the old ancient city center of Padua. We kind of passed the park of Giardini dell’Arena by and saw some beautiful Roman remains of which we were convinced that these were the old city walls of Padua. We first decided to go to the centre and have a closer look at the roman remains later that day by the time we would go back to the car. By the end of the day I was very excited to have a look at these city walls and arrived at the Giardini dell’Arena. Having a look around and reading some signs made me realize that the old walls were not the defensive walls, but the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. How about that?

    As you can read above we were a bit disappointed not to have found the old defensive walls, but on the other hand we were about to visit another highlight of Padua. This is what we read on a sign and therefore found out. The Roman amphitheatre of Padua, which located inside the park “Giardini dell’Arena”, dates back to Augustan times (30 BC – 14 AD) and it is only partially conserved. Particularly, it is possible to see the remains of the elliptical middle wall, still visible for some parts. Time for us to explore it indeed!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Piazza del Duomo - L'Arc Vallaresso.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 4, 2013

    After our visit to the Duomo di Padova we once stepped outside and had another good look at the Piazza del Duomo. Besides the cathedral another beautiful building does catch the eye. At the north side of the square you will see the L’Arc Vallaresso, a beautiful white building with amazing and rather huge arcades. This palace was built in 1632 in honor of Alvise Vallaresso, a captain in Padua. In the back court we were able to visit some surviving walls of the ancient Palace Carrara.

    After all this historical notice it is good to know that the Piazza del Duomo also contains a number of lovely little bars and restaurants. We enjoyed good weather during our stay at the Piazza del Duomo and it truly is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the sun. In summer many tables are facing the Duomo di Padova and you can enjoy its view at it and do some relaxing. We also notice that compared to other bars in Padua there were more young people here. Maybe a coincidence, but we did notice.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Piazza del Duomo - Duomo di Padova.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 4, 2013

    We travel far and wide to see good art and we're happy to pay for the privilege. The Baptistery of the Duomo di Padova charged us 2,80 Euros per person which felt a bit rich for what we saw. Granted, every inch of the circular room, including the ceiling, was covered with frescos but if you've been in Italy for any length of time, you've seen kilometers of frescos. Our tip: spend more time at Saint Anthony's or any of the other churches in Padua and drop your 2,80 Euro in their collection boxes.

    The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was the work of Andrea della Valle and Agostino Righetto, but for sure it was one of the most simple cathedrals that we have visited in Italy so far. There are a number of statutes around the church, the décor is simple but the atmosphere quite serene and peaceful. There is a marble altar where the pulpits are held by marbled sculptures - one had a golden face encased in the marble figure and is spectacular! Although not as elaborate as the other Churches in Padua, it is still a beautiful place of worship.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jerelis's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Piazza del Duomo - Lovely little square.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 4, 2013

    Most of all Italians towns have a piazza (square) in the center of the old town and also at each important or historical point in the city. A piazza is a central place for the public live of the local people. I can tell you that Padua is not different, because also in Padua there are many large and small squares everywhere. All of those squares are a must visit as each piazza has historical buildings surrounding it and a nice and unique atmosphere to enjoy.

    We arrived at the Piazza del Duomo after we visited the hive of activity of the daily market at the Piazza dell’Erbe. We walked the streets in the Jewish Ghetto and ended up at the square via the street Via Monte di Pieta. The Piazza Duomo fulfilled our expectations completely, because we did not expect too much. The first thing we noticed was that there were no stalls, therefore less crowded and a great place to relax. After we walked our way up the center of the square we immediately had a great view at the Cathedral Duomo di Padova.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Chiesa Maria dei Servi

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Aug 19, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located right off Via Roma, the Chiesa Maria dei Servi does not look like a church from the outside because of its location sandwiched between other structures in the very heart of downtown Padova.

    The Gothic church was built in the late 13th century, It is oriented parallel to Via Roma. Opposite of the main entrance door there is a very striking Addolorata Baroque altar (see picture below.) The inside is impressive with three richly adorned chapels. Some of the red marble columns were actually brought over from the Basilica of St. Anthony in the 15th century. There is an impressive crucifix that was designed in keeping with the principles of the Donatello school.

    There was no charge to walk into the church briefly and take a few pictures.

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Explore the markets

    by leics Updated Aug 18, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are lucky, there will be markets in the appropriately-named Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti, probably spreading into Piazza dei Signori as well.

    We visited on a Tuesday and there were markets in all three squares...the Pizza Erbe for fruit and vegetables, the other two squares filled with stalls of all kinds, with some excellent clothing deals to be found!

    Cheeses and meats are indoors, in the arched corridor of the Palazzo della Ragione which divides Piazza dei Frutti and Piazza Erbe.

    We spent a long time exploring these markets and were hugely impressed not only by the variety of goods on offer but also by their quality and their prices. There's a big difference between markets in a hugely tourist-popular location and those in an ordinary working town, especially one which has a university (and thus thousands of hard-up students!).

    These markets are open every day except Sunday. On Saturdays the vast Prato della Valle also becomes a market.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Palazzo della Ragione

    by leics Updated Aug 18, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We didn't actually manage to get inside this magnificent building, although it is supposed to be open from 9am until 6 or 7pm from Tuesday until Sunday. Dating from 1210, it is a vast structure which at the time of its construction included the largest room ever built on top of another storey.

    The palazza was originally decorated with frescoes by Giotto, but these were destroyed by a fire in 1420. Others from the same era, by Miretto, still survive.

    I'd have liked to go inside, not just to see the frescoes but also to see the 'Stone of Insults (a bankrupt could discharge some of his debts by sitting on it with naked buttocks 3 times during a public assembly) and the huge wooden horse made for a joust in 1466.

    But I didn't, and had to content myself with just a glimpse of the frescoes in the loggias which look out onto Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Frutti, and a glimpse of the exterior emerging from behind the market stalls.

    The building is now used as an exhibition space and the assembly hall for the city council.

    Next time I'll visit properly. I suggest you make a point of doing so! :-)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Chapel of the Black Madonna- Il Santo

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Aug 9, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Chapel of the Black Madonna, or sometimes called the Chapel of the Black Virign, is the only part of the first church on the site, St. Maria Mater Domini, that remains today. It is a small chapel that contains a striking figure of the Madonna. It has been called the Black Madonna by local residents for centuries because of the general dark complexion of the statue. The statue was created by Rainaldino di Puy-l'Evéque, a local artist in 1396. There is also a large empty sarcophagus that is to the side of the chapel.

    Was this review helpful?

  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Central Nave of the Basilica de San Antonio

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Aug 9, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While not impressive on the exterior, the Basilica de San Antonio is absolutely stunning inside. Beginning with the central nave you see a gorgeous gothic design. To the left and right are separate chapels with great funerary remains. The transept is completely covered by restored frescoes. There is a balcony above the transept. However the balcony is closed off from the public.

    One of the more stunning frescoes is of St. Anthony delivering his words from the walnut tree. The painting was completed in 1985 by Pietro Annigoni,

    There was no charge to enter the main basilica area or any of the chapels inside. Hours that the church is open were not clearly visible.

    Was this review helpful?

Padova Hotels

See all 65 Hotels in Padova

Latest Padova Hotel Reviews

Holiday Inn Padova
114 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 2, 2014
Ibis Padova
69 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 25, 2014
Hotel Sereno
3 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 22, 2012
Hotel Alla Fiera
32 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 15, 2014
Donatello
29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 2, 2013
Igea
25 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 4, 2014
Grand Italia
69 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 6, 2014
Europa Zaramella Padova
29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 21, 2013
Hotel Al Cason
130 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 14, 2013
Casa a Colori
9 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 28, 2014
Belludi 37
385 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Hotel Galileo Padova
85 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 11, 2014
Al Fagiano
76 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 16, 2014
Majestic Toscanelli
82 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 23, 2014

Instant Answers: Padova

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

88 travelers online now

Comments

Padova Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Padova locals.
Map of Padova