By simply listening to the word “Padua,” I get drifted away by nostalgic sirens that remind me one of the most wonderful periods of my life. I was fortunate enough during my studies to attend an exchange program for four months in Padua, just 30 minutes away from Venice. Maybe being so near to Venice has shaded its popularity. If you studied a bit of Shakespeare, allow me to remind you that The Taming of the Shrew took place in Padua. If you are not into poetry or Shakespeare that much, it’s well worth knowing that Padua is considered the city of spritz!
Let’s take a tour and name few of the things you should live and taste in Padua:
Spritz is an alcoholic beverage made of white sparkling wine, Prosecco, and bitter liqueur, most often Aperol or Campari. Every afternoon at about 6 PM, the cafés along the streets and piazzas are filled with students drinking spritz, so if you want to do as Paduans do, dress stylishly and drink some spritz!
At least, I consider it the best seafood pasta dish I have ever tried. In the very central square of Padua, Prato della Valle, which is actually one of the biggest squares in the world, there is an elegant restaurant with relatively good prices: Zairo. You must really try the mozzarella made of buffalo milk and, of course, the seafood pasta, which should be ordered by a minimum of two people. It’s a plate with all the tastiness of the Adriatic Sea that you will never forget!
Relax and enjoy a walk in the central square, which on Saturdays and Sundays is turned into a market selling literally everything from shoes, clothes, and flowers to street food.
Yes, that’s right; in the province of Padua, you‘ll find “Le Calandre,” a Michelin-starred restaurant that is ranked among the best in the world. Well, after I mentioned it is a Michelin-starred restaurant, you can guess the food prices as well, but if you are a real foodie, it’s definitely worth the experience.
I cannot stress enough the fact that ice cream anywhere else in the world is not the same as anywhere in Italy. The secret to taste the best Italian gelato is to spot those gelaterias (ice cream shops) where you cannot actually see the gelato exposed in front of you! Why? Because quality gelaterias nowadays store ice cream in closed, stainless steel buckets that allow gelato to be stored safely without the use of preservatives and colorants that make it look brighter and more eye-catching. Exceptions always exist, of course, but in order to spot a good gelato, head in a gelateria where ice cream is sealed in those buckets and you‘ll experience the taste of heaven! One such gelateria in Padua, which is definitely worth the visit, is La Romana. My favorite is pistachio!