Padua in northern Italy is one of those great old cities with a beautifully preserved historic center. The pedestrian zone has got arcades and shops, bars and cafés, cobblestone and broad piazzas, and lots of people out having a good time. We say "Padua," Italians say "Padova." In this episode we are going to focus more on people and the street life rather than historic sites like churches or museums. We will be showing you some great old buildings and suggesting a nice walking route that will get you right around through the historic center of Padua and will take you into the university district. Padua makes a very convenient day trip from nearby Venice, which is just 24 miles away – it's about a half hour train ride. We visit the main piazzas and Via Roma, a wonderful walking street. It really is the main pedestrian lane of Padua, and while it's not a piazza it functions as one because there are no cars allowed, so it's long and narrow as a street but filled with people.
The town has a wonderful historic center with pedestrian lanes and the loggia, with all of these arcades and columns. It's very pedestrian-friendly and bicycle-friendly. People are pedaling all over the place here, and there's lots of cafés, naturally, sidewalk cafés, people eating and drinking in the evening especially the young people, who come out about 6 o'clock to 7 o'clock and have a spritz, or a beer, have a wine at the café.
he grand Palazzo della Ragione is surrounded by three primary piazzas - delle Erbe, dei Fruit and dei Signori. This is the heart of Padua.
We found some sort of a street party going on. Turns out they are celebrating graduation day at the Padua medical school. It's the oldest medical school in the world, first founded with the University in the year 1222. And this being Italy they know how to celebrate in the streets. Amazing to think this ritual has been going on annually for about 800 years. And Padua still has one of the best medical schools in the world. The University has been associated with a large number of important intellectuals such as Copernicus, Galileo, Stendhal and William Harvey, who developed his system of blood circulation here. The university medical school has the oldest anatomy lab in the world and the university also hosts the oldest botanical garden in the world, which was used as a garden of curative herbs attached to the medical school. When done with your visit to Padua you can catch the tram right back to the train station.