Read more about the article Padua – Italy
Padua - Italy

Padua – Italy

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Home to the world’s first botanical gardens

On our second part of this day, after visiting the city of Vicenza, we complete it with Padua, really next door. It’s only 40 kilometres to the east of the former, just 17 minutes by train, a bit more by car or bus, but easy to manage without any rush in the same day. Vicenza is too small, and while Padua has a bigger historic town, it is also very compact and easy to navigate through in a nice sightseeing pace. Include here there is a sight that is not architecture nor monument; it’s a botanical garden. To be precise, the world’s first of its kind, and so beautiful and historic that it made its way to be listed an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Padua is home to the second oldest university in Italy, founded in 1222, where Galileo Galilei was a lecturer in the 16th century. It’s also setting for most of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew. And to complete with a further fact where this city has been showcased, there is the play by writer Oscar Wilde, The Duchess Of Padua. Much earlier in its history, the importance, development and power was such that during the 1st century BC it was the wealthiest city in the Italian peninsula only after Rome. Yet since the fall of the Roman Empire, the city succumbed to numerous invasions and rulings,periods of war, destruction and recovery. By when in 1866 it was annexed to Italy, it was the poorest region, only to be hit once again during WWI, WWII and through the fascist era.

So while you might expect from what was one of the important cities in Roman times some nice archaeological remains, scattered through the city, it’s not the case. A lot of of the classical and medieval fabric disappeared, however most of it has been rebuilt, together with the new fascist style buildings from the era; still, it’s an incredible beautiful and pleasant city to visit, and a strong tourist pole. After the fall of the fascist era, the city has boomed in every sense becoming once again one of the wealthiest in Italy. (more…)

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Read more about the article Vicenza – Italy
Vicenza - Italy

Vicenza – Italy

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The city of Palladio

Another return to Italy, and once again to the north just after few weeks since the last trip. Somehow, there is always somewhere else to go and visit, non-stop anywhere you go in Italy, and we are happy with every return. Also in few week’s time, there will be more Italian weekend trips to come! For now, let’s fly once again to Verona, but not for revisiting, instead for making it our base airport to reach Vicenza, Padua, Mantua and Sabbioneta. Sounds a lot for just 2 days, however, these are all small cities and visiting 2 each day worked perfectly.

Vicenza, same as all the other places we will visit this weekend, are inscribed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. No surprise! In the country with the most WHS in the world you are never far from one, and for people like us that on top of visiting as much of the world as we can, we are obsessed in being at the most WHS we can, this trips are tick after tick. I can hardly coop with creating the travel guides for every city and place we go yet I try my best, especially after receiving such a good feedback not only from my friends and colleges, but also from 3rd parties as hotels we stay, restaurants we go and other people we engage and we share it with.

Now back to the city, what’s the peculiarity then for being listed UNESCO, and ranking high among the tourists and tour operators who offer continuously day trips from Verona and Venice? Well, it really lies in the middle of both, barely 1 hour distance from any of them, but it’s architecture is the key. Do not expect here Roman ruins or impressive Venetian palaces, but instead, the finest neoclassical architecture of the whole of Italy. You can say such style was born here, and received a name, the Palladian architecture. Not because the resemblance to palaces and as such, palatial architecture; but for the name of its architect, Andrea Palladio. (more…)

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