Padua

Seeing the sun rise in the mountains is always nice, even on the Autobahn up to the Brenner. From Munich, Padua is a five-hour drive away. In order to arrive right on time for having breakfast in the sun, we started our weekend getaway early at 4:30 am. Arriving in Padua feels great, as parking in the center is easy and even free with the Padova Card, which also grants access to many cultural highlights, such as the Scrovegni Chapel, which contains the famous fresco cycle by Giotto, one of the most important masterpieces of Western art.

Saturday market on Prato della Valle
Saturday market on Prato della Valle
Market chat
Market chat

We arrived at market time and first strolled around Prato della Valle, Padua’s famous elliptical square surrounded by a canal and decorated with two rings of statues. From there, everything can easily be reached by walking.

Gallery
Gallery
Canal houses (I)
Canal houses (I)
Canal houses (II)
Canal houses (II)

Padua’s university is one of the oldest in Italy — Galileo Galilei gave lectures here — and in 1545 the university founded the Orto Botanico di Padova, the world’s oldest botanical garden still remaining in its original position.

We tried mint coffee at Caffè Pedrocchi, a famous cafe from the 18th century, and seafood at La Folperia on Piazza della Frutta, before we had dinner, right at the Basilica of Saint Anthony.

Polpo from La Folperia, Spritz
Polpo from La Folperia, Spritz
Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua
Basilica of Saint Anthony

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On sunday, we visited Arquà Petrarca, a village in the Euganean Hills where Petrarch spent the last years of his life and whose house now is a museum. To escape the heat and complete the proper holiday package, we then went to the beach at Chioggia.

On Monday, after a short morning walk, we left Padua for Sirmione, to swim at the Jamaican beach. On the way, we shortly stopped in Verona and filled our car with Pasta and Lemon Soda at Esselunga.