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With its medieval majesty, filigreed facades and vibrant youthful vibe, Padua couldn’t be more distinct from its Venetian neighbour. A diverse and dazzling cityscape confirms Italy’s imitable nature, and Padua, though less known than many of the boot’s tourism monarchs, offers visitors an alluring array of art and ancient architecture. Although a centre of fascist control during the Second World War, Padua has risen from it turbulent historical ashes like a phoenix and now glimmers with the shine of the prosperous present.
Hailed as Padua’s answer the Rome’s sublime Sistine Chapel, Capella degli Scrovegni is a veritable feast of venerated majesty. The Renaissance gem swirls with magnificent frescoes, all of which depict biblical figures in various states of address and were painted by artistic pioneer Enrico Scrovengi.
In typical Italian style, Padua’s principal church is truly breath taking; sharp turrets, portly domes and military statues combine in this architectural amalgamation that dates back to the 12th century. Nestled in the dazzling depths of the Treasury Chapel within is the revered tomb of St. Antony, a religious relic that attracts thousands of worshippers.
One of Padua’s most eclectic and enthralling cultural offerings is the Museum Labaratorio, an eclectic collection of scientific memorabilia that has been assembled by a retired professor. The teacher gives guided tours of this intriguing workshop.
For a more conventional collection, visit the Civic Museum in the city’s historical heart. A significant selection of important Italian and international artists are assembled in an artfully lit display.
Combine culture with cuisine by dining at the superb Zaramella Restaurant, an exquisite eatery in which regional culinary traditional is kept very much alive. An alluring atmosphere encompasses diners with its delightful aromas and ambient lighting, offering signature specialities such as hand rolled pasts and tender grilled steaks. (Largo Europa 9 35137 Padova, Italy)