Just One Night in Padova, Italy

Padova, Italy

At the end of our most recent Italy trip, we needed to find somewhere close to the Venice airport and thought we’d explore a town we had not yet been to. Insert: Padova. My mom had been before and told me it was beautiful so this was the perfect opportunity for us to pop in for an afternoon of exploring before our flight the next morning. Little did we know that we would be driving around the same three blocks for one hour, going back and forth and round and round navigating through different one-way streets just trying to find our hotel! You would not believe how ridiculous- almost to a point of comedy- it was that the roads were so hard to get around by car. The GPS wasn’t doing us any favors as every three turns it directed us were down streets where we weren’t permitted. Nobody was having fun…

Finally, after multiple calls to the hotel concierge and stopping strangers in the street for directions, we arrived at Hotel Majestic Toscanelli. The receptionist who had been guiding us toward the hotel was very helpful and gave us a warm welcome when we finally arrived. Fortunately, the hotel had valet, so we were able to unload the car and then send it on it’s way. This was definitely a city we that we wanted to walk.

Of our whole stay in Italy, Padova was the one city on our itinerary where I really did minimal research beforehand. Sure, I looked into the hotels thoroughly, as I always do before deciding where we are going to stay, but other than that, it would all be a surprise! Back during our joy ride, I had noticed a beautiful astronomical clock with a midnight blue “face.” We made a point to find that, see it up close, and of course, get some pictures. On our way toward Piazza dei Signori, which was only a short distance from our hotel, we bumped into a local man who was on his way home from work. As usual, my dad struck up a conversation with him in Italian and the man, who’s name, we learned, was Roberto, asked if we all wanted to get a drink with him so that he could work on his English. We obliged (anything for a new friend and a spritz!) and chatted with Roberto and some local acquaintances of his outside in the piazza, while the kids had fun with two little dogs that someone had brought out to the bar…Gotta love Italy!

Afterwards, we made our way toward the astronomical clock- the “Torre de Orologico” (which translates to “Clock Tower”), and it really was gorgeous. Roberto told me to make sure we went to see it while it was still light out, and then again after dark. I made sure that we did both and I can see why he suggested it. In the daylight, the rich blue color against the gold is so stunning and impressive, much like that of the astronomical clock in Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square.

After dinner, we went back to give it another look in a different light (or lack there of), and just as Roberto said, it was a whole new, magical perspective. Many of the other buildings were also so pretty, especially at night as the lights glowed from within them. Lots of the architecture reminded me of that from Venice, especially all of the wonderful archways, which makes sense, seeing as though we were just forty-five minutes away.

Granted we wasted a bit of time circling around the town by car earlier in the day, I still don’t think one night was enough for me to get a true feel for the city. I know that we liked what we saw, but I think that unless a town or a city that you are visiting is very small, I think you need a minimum of two solid nights to really feel like you truly got a taste for the place. Two things we COMPLETELY missed: the famous frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel and the vast 13th-century Basilica of St. Anthony… Total bonehead move on my part. (See, this is what happens when I try to “fly by the seat of my pants” and plan less!) However, it’s not the worst thing- it just means we will have to go back soon!

A traveler since childhood, Juliana Fraioli Wilson has always had a love for exploring. She is a published writer and an accomplished business owner with a background in music and art. Join Juliana, her husband Ryan, and their two kids in Wanderland! Follow along as they share tips, tricks, recipes and reviews from some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.

Wilsons in Wanderland
Posted in

Wilsons in Wanderland

A traveler since childhood, Juliana Fraioli Wilson has always had a love for exploring. She is a published writer and an accomplished business owner with a background in music and art. Join Juliana, her husband Ryan, and their two kids in Wanderland! Follow along as they share tips, tricks, recipes and reviews, from some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.

Leave a Comment