Believed to be one of Italy’s oldest cities, Padova is located in the north eastern portion of the country and is home to over 200,000 inhabitants. The city boasts a rich cultural and historical heritage, which is made evident through its magnificent architecture and abundance of ancient landmarks and sites. The renowned higher education institution, the University of Padova, plays a significant role in the city. Regarded to be Italy’s most prestigious university, it is widely known for its high calibre of alumni and professors, including astronomer Galileo Galilei. Today, the university helps to give the city an injection of youth, as evident in its bars and clubs.
The historical centre of the city, where most of the sights are to be found, is relatively compact and therefore easily travelled around on foot. Otherwise, an economy vehicle will be your best bet for coping with high volumes of traffic and narrow streets.
Driving in Padova
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Padova is a city prone to traffic congestion, particularly at peak times. Making use of public transport or travelling on foot is advisable during these busy period.
Zone where traffic is restricted between 8am and 8pm, with cameras in place at the entry and exit points.
The city is connected to the rest of the country via two major highways, the A13 heading south and the A4 running from east to west.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Piazza dei Signori is the most popular of Padova’s many squares and is surrounded by some of the most impressive buildings that the city has to offer. Here you’ll find an array of bars, cafés and ice cream parlours (gelaterias), allowing you to both cool down and recharge your batteries while watching the world go by.
Undoubtedly one of Padova’s most sought after attractions, The Scrovegni Chapel is situated close to the riverbank. A fresco by Renaissance artist Giotto can be found inside the church, drawing in visitors from far and wide. Booking in advance is highly recommended to ensure that you don’t miss out on witnessing this great work of art.
Just outside of the city in a small municipality known as Montegrotte Terme, you’ll find the Butterfly Arc. This attraction is the ideal place to take young children, thanks to its wide variety of species of brightly-coloured butterflies, as well as other more peculiar species such as chameleons and salamanders.
While Padova does not have an airport offering commercial flights, it is within close proximity to three international airports: Venezia Marco Polo, Treviso and Verona Valerio Catullo.
The former is closest at just 50km away from the city and is serviced by a number of airlines, both budget and standard. By car, the Venezia Marco Polo airport is best reached from Padova via the A4 motorway, heading east out of the city.