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Padua or Padova


Italy facts & history in brief

Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Padua, Italy, (Italian Padova is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, the economic and communications hub of the region.
The capital of omonymous province, it stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 km west of Venice and 29km southeast of Vicenza, with a population of 211,985 (2004).
The city is included, with Venice (Italian Venezia), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, population 1,600,000.
Its agricultural setting is the Pianura Padovana, the "Paduan plain," edged by the Euganaean Hills praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.
The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.

Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

Padua claims to be the oldest city in north Italy; the early medieval commune justified itself by a fabled founder in the Trojan Antenor, whose relics the commune recognized in a large stone sarcophagus exhumed in the year 1274.

Patavium, as Padua was known by the Romans, was inhabited by (Adriatic) Veneti, who thrived thanks to its excellent breed of horses and the wool of its sheep.
Its men fought for the Romans at Cannae, and the city became so powerful that it was reported able to raise two hundred thousand fighting men.

The area was Christianised by Saint Prosdocimus, who is venerated as the first bishop of the city.

Padua, in common with north-eastern Italy, suffered severely from the invasion of the Huns under Attila (452).
It then passed under the Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric the Great, but during the Gothic War it made submission to the Greeks in 540.
The city was seized again by the Goths under Totila, but was restored to the Eastern Empire by Narses in 568.

The history of Padua after Late Antiquity follows the course of events common to most cities of north-eastern Italy.
Under the Lombards the city of Padua rose in revolt (601) against Agilulf, the Lombard king, and after suffering a long and bloody siege was stormed and burned by him.
The Padua of Antiquity was annihilated: the remains of an amphitheater (the Arena) and some bridge foundations are all that remain of Roman Padua today.

Later the Franks succeeded the Lombards as masters of north Italy.

The Frankish and episcopal supremacy followed.

The city was sacked by the Magyars in 899.
Padua subsequently needed many years to recover from that ravage.

In the 11th century and later the citizens were engaged in wars with Venice and Vicenza.
Padua changed hands many times over the next centuries until 1866, when the battle of Koniggratz gave Italy the opportunity to push the Austrians out of the old Venetian republic as Padua and the rest of the Veneto were annexed to the recently united Kingdom of Italy.

Padua has many interesting and great sights;
  • The Palazzo della Ragione, with its great hall.
  • The Gran Guardia the beautiful loggia in the Piazza dei Signori
  • The Palazzo del Capitanio, the residence of the Venetian governors
  • Alvise Cornaro's garden loggia
  • The Cathedral, designed by Michelangelo
  • The Basilica di Sant'Antonio da Padova, locally known as "Il Santo".
  • The statue of Venetian general Gattamelata (Erasmo da Narni) on the piazza
  • St. George Oratory (13th century)
  • Prato della Valle, a 90,000 m² elliptical square believed to be the biggest in Europe, after Red Square in Moscow. In the centre is a wide garden surrounded by a ditch, which is lined by 78 statues portraying famous citizens.
  • Abbey and the basilica of Santa Giustina, with the tombs of several saints are housed in the interior, including those of Justine, St. Prosdocimus, St. Maximus, St. Urius, St. Felicita, St. Julianus, as well as relics of the Apostle St. Matthias and the Evangelist St. Luke.
  • Church of the Eremitani is an Augustinian church of the 13th century
  • Roman arena, with the small Scrovegni Chapel, Padua's most eminent attraction, with paintings by Giotto.
  • Santa Sofia is probably Padova's most ancient church. The edifice appears to be tilting slightly due to the soft terrain.

External links

For a more information about Padova see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padova) February 2007.
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

About Wikipedia

This information was correct in February 2007. E. & O.E.

Sarolta, my daughter and I visited Padua in 1978 and I will scan and put up the photos, hopefully soon.

We did enjoy the many interesting sights in and around Padua.

In 2006, Hui Chin and I had another opportunity to visit Padua.

Here I will have a few words about a couple of Padua's gems.

Padua's local Saint, (see Wikipedia) Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the best known saint to Catholics the world over, but especially in Hungary and Europe.

Saint Anthony of Padua


Another very interesting I found in Padua on this, our last visit was the "Translohr" tram system they installed and trailled in Padua in the last few years.

It is like a tram system crossed with a guided bus system. see Wikipedia link and brief quote;
Translohr is a guided bus system manufactured by Lohr Industrie of France. It is used in Clermont-Ferrand and Tianjin, under construction in Padua, L'Aquila, and the mainland Mestre district of Venice in Italy.
It is similar to, but incompatible with, the Guided Light Transit system developed by Bombardier Transportation.
Unlike Bombardier's GLT vehicles, the Translohr vehicles are bidirectional.

Translohr in Padua

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.


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