Motor scooters drive me crazy. They are a motorized machine, are licensed for the road, yet travel on sidewalks, on pedestrian crossings, drive on the solid white line around curves, pull up in front of all vehicles at stop lights and proceed to make illegal left turns, zip past the open doors of buses who are letting passengers off, and so on.
Part of the problem, in 'my' opinion, is the bikes are going too fast for the driver to safely read the speed limit signs, therefore the city of Padova should install motorized signs which would have the capability of keeping pace with the scooter. This would increase driver awareness of the posted speed limits, allowing time to make excuses in case of mishap.
I have been brushed countless times by these things, and they scare the h-ll out of me. Maybe this is normal for Italy, but I must warn every visitor from North America, please BEWARE !!! We are not used to these things nipping at our heels. Give me a vicious dog anytime.
They are licensed for the road, they should remain on the road. And that's my story.....
Maria and I decided early Saturday night, that we wanted pasta for Sunday dinner. We had just exited the theatre (see my other tips) after viewing 'The Last Samurai', and the markets were due to close any minute.
It was pouring rain, visibility was down to three feet at most, and we desparately searched for a butcher shop for some fresh stewing beef for the spaghetti sauce.
Two blocks later, soaked to the skin, we spotted a Marcelleria (butcher shop). As we stood in line, we selected some beautiful looking stew meat, and gave our order to the man wearing the apron.
He began cubing our order, and asked where we were from, recognizing Maria's Calabrese accent, and upon hearing we were Canadian, clapped his hands together, proudly pointed to pictures of horses on the shop wall, and exclaimed "My best horses come from Canada". We assumed that he raised horses, or some such thing, until the penny finally dropped. Maria shrieked "That's not horse, is it", pointing to the freshly bundled stew meat. The butcher said "Of course it is". "I can't, I can't, no, no, take it away, I'll pay, I'll pay, but I can't eat horse", Maria said, rather revolted by the whole idea.
To his credit, the butcher slid Maria's money back across the counter, and very politely said, "That's ok".
We apologized over and over, and slunk out of his shop. Back into the rain.
The moral of our story is, "Be careful when purchasing meat in Italy, you could be buying a chunk of Mr. Ed.
Never assume, and always read the shop signs. Horse meat is 'Cavallo' in Italian. (also seen as Equino).
We walk all over Padova, and we have never felt any danger of any sort. We exercise common sense, and pay attention to the 'tingle' you get when something is not quite right. I can't stress it enough, just use the brains God gave you, and you should be fine.
I felt relatively safe in Padova. This city is not very big, and there are a lot of friendly people walking the narrow, ancient streets. Since it's also a college town (University of Padova), there are probably also a lot of educated people. It can get pretty crowded in the market and shopping areas during the day. Like any city, you're not 100% safe, so watch your belongings and use common sense.
Never underestimate the size of crowds which invade Padova during weekends! Pilgrims are coming from everywhere, and take up all affordable accommodation facilities in the city. The two of us did just that - i.e. underestimated crowds - and made no bookings before going. We started with a hostel (Via Aleardo Aleardi 32) which was what else but completo. Then we got the full list of accommodation from the tourist office and started making phonecalls. It looked there had to be some room available with all those hotels, but the first (=cheapest) we could get was in the above-mentioned Europa. We were at the point of simply going home, but finally decided to take the offer. Careful planning could save us at least half the sum! So please do some research before going (Internet is great for that) and spare money, and what's even more important, nerve!
The "Vox populi" on this window somwhere in the old core of the town says; yes we are against the smog and polution.