If you have never been to northeastern Italy, then Venice is a must-see city. If you have extra time and would like to see an Italian city in the region without all of the tourists, Padova is a great 1-day trip. It is also very close to Verona, which we went to afterward.
When we arrived in Padova, I felt refreshed, relieved of the tourists and crowds we saw in Venice. Padova looked beautiful, and it was almost as if we had it to ourselves. It was Good Friday, so that might have something to do with the quietness. Regardless, it was a great city for slow strolling and eating. You won’t find hordes of tourist shops, but you will see more local Italians.
Padova is Italy’s second-oldest university town, and we toured one of the university buildings. There was a memorial for World War II, and one of the names on the tablet was the same as my mom’s maiden name.
St. Anthony’s Basilica was quite impressive for the size of the town and holds relics of St. Anthony’s tongue and jaw.
My favorite part of the city (well, besides the gelato from Grom) was the Prato della Valle, an outdoor area with statues, a moat, and bridges. I read that it is the largest square in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.
The weather was beautiful, and it was so nice to sit in the area like many of the students. We spent time there before dinner sitting on the edge of the canal and relaxing in true European-city style.