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Noted for academic and artistic achievement

Noted for academic and artistic achievement

Perhaps you’ve been in Venice for a few days, seen the sights, cruised down canals. Hoards of tourists have descended on the weekend and you want a respite. Someplace with a youthful and intellectual exuberance. Where to go ?

Approximately 30 minutes away by train you’ll find picturesque Padua (or "Padova" as it’s known locally). It sits on the Bacchiglione river near the Euganaean Hills. A small yet lively spot, it’s famous for its university and for being home to art masters such as Giotto, Donatello and Canova. You can either take the high-speed Italo or Trenitalia to Padua on your way to Rome, or make Padua your destination. You can choose train tickets for either Italo or Trenitalia. Or of course, for extensive travel, a Eurail Italy Pass will be the bigger budget-stretcher.

The university, founded in 1222, became a European academic superpower. Copernicus and Dante hit the books here and Galileo was a teacher in the 1500s. That’s a lot for current students to live up to. No wonder they hit up the piazzas for a "spritz" – or apertif come early evening. Join them at the Prato della Valle, the biggest square in Europe and probably one of the most beautiful in the world. Historically a Roman theater and later a fairground, it was redone in 1775 to the present layout : a large central grassy area surrounded by a statue-lined canal. Sit up against one and watch the world go by.

Before you settle in for an evening spritz, take the day to see the sights of Padua. Saint Anthony’s Basilica is the best-known tourist site. Built immediately after the saint’s death in the 1231, it houses his tomb and notable relics. The statues and crucifix on the main altar are by Donatello, as is the horse statue Gattamelata (or "the honeyed cat").

To see artistic techniques which were way ahead of its time, head to Scrovegni’s Chapel. With walls and ceilings covered in frescos by Giotto in the early 14th century, the chapel has been extremely well preserved. This is a must-see for art and art history fans.

The first Botanic Garden in the world is also in Padua, and operated by the school. A UNESCO World Heritage site, you won’t find a bounty of blooms, but rather a beautifully laid out design that gives the impression of solitude even when crowded.

If only Venice were that way. Get your Eurail Italy Pass today and explore !

About Italy

Padua station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Padua.

Padua city guide

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From our travel community

Planning on purchasing tix from rome italy to munich germany..can you get off and on the train when it (...) want to know if you can get off and on the trains at different stops

Evelyn Evie Hazlett Delsardo | 18 February 2018 complete | 2 Comments
Is 20 minutes enough time to change trains at the padova station? We are traveling to Roma Termini from Terme Euganee-Abano-Montegrotto. We only have 21 minutes from Regionale 20770 to Frecciangeto 9403. We each have a bag of luggage- is it likely we'll have to run down steps to find monitor and then find (...)

Linda Davis | 15 August 2019 complete | 5 Comments
I will be travelling in italy and france, what trains can i travel on with a 2-day europe rail select (...) I noticed in some of the documentation it said that a Rail Pass was not valid on Italo Rail lines. I thought Rail passes let you travel on all rail lines.

David Glenda Baker | 16 July 2011 complete | 1 Comments
Italo trains in italy. what is the difference between eurorail and the italo trains? Hello, What is the difference between the Eurorail and the Italo Trains?

Marian Van Egas | 16 June 2015 complete | 3 Comments
How is the transfer from rome termini on italo train to rome airport on trenitalia? How is the transfer from Rome Termini on Italo train to Rome Airport on Trenitalia? Thank you in advance.

Liza | 15 September 2003 complete | 5 Comments

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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Magnificent Experience |
    "It was a life time experience to travel by train from Italy to Munich. Although the journey seems quite long (6 hours) but the scenic route between the mountains, hills and rivers was enough to give you the best experience ever. For sure, I'd like to repeat this experience again. "

  • Value for money
    Lovely staff :)  |
    "I had a lovely pleasant journey on the frecciarossa train to milano. The staff were very nice and friendly. I had a first class ticket. But was sitting in second class. The ticket inspector kindly told me I was in the wrong section and told me to go ahead to first class. Would definitely use this train again and again. :) thank you "

  • Value for money
    TVA |
    "Train stations are not anywhere near as 'friendly' as airports. Directions to your train/plane should be equally clear. Any transfers should be articulated by the agents when purchasing tickets. Finding the WC, should be quick and easy. The few representative that were near the platforms were generally helpful. I assume that most people who asked questions of those representatives are un-accustom to riding the trains, as we are. Therefore, we travelers experience a lot of stress at the stations. "

  • Value for money
    L.Wheeler : Paddington/Taunton |
    "The train was very quiet despite its speed and my seat was comfortable. I didn't have the need to get any refreshments from the facility available. The train (as far as Taunton) was reasonably empty which made the journey nice and peaceful. "

  • Value for money
    smooth trip good service |
    "The train from Padova to Plorence was clean and organizrd, very pleasant rip. I wish ther could be a way of knowing whether the seat faces forward or back when the reservation is made. I can not ride facing back "

  • Comfort
    Value for money
    Overcharged  |
    "Rail Europe charged me 41 euros for his ticket but I discovered that buying in on the day should have cost more like 12 euros "

  • Comfort
    Value for money
    A bit late but fine |
    "The train was fine, but looking at how much it should have cost if I'd bought it from the train company it was overpriced, the toilet was broken on one end of the carriage and had no paper in the other, and somehow lost time in the last few stops so instead to having 15min to get from this to my connecting train I ran and only just made it onto my next train as the doors closed behind me. So it wasn't ideal. "