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Padova is a provincial capital in the North East part of Italy, in Veneto region, it has 210,000 inhabitants ca. and about 400,000 with the suburbs. It is sometimes called "The city of the three withouts".
Padova is surrounded by Euganei Hills and crossed by several waterways. Padova unites the historical and cultural tradition with the evolution of the economic and services sectors. Art town, with a rich architectonic and museum heritage, visited every year by 800,000 tourists. Its squares, arcades and old paved roads are narrating the richness and the beauty of extraordinary Middle Ages for the art and the culture. The central location in the region enables to get very easily to Abano and Montegrotto, Venice and nearby towns, Dolomites and Garda Lake. About.com in one of its articles mentioned Padova in the top ten Italian cities to visit!
In October 2009 there are more than 391 CouchSurfers. Padova is the seventh Couchsurfing city of Italy, after Rome, Milano, Bologna, Torino, Florence, Naples, despite being the 14th biggest city of Italy. Padova is home to a quite active hospitality exchange community (CS and HC) that hosts, organizes meetings and activities, takes care of this wiki page and of the related resources.
We prepared a Padova for Couchsurfers map with the main monuments to see, places where to eat or drink, etc...
Local meetings are usually held informally once or more times a week in presence of guests of the local members. Typical activities include meeting in the central squares to drink spritz, the local cocktail and talk, pizza meetings or dinners at hosts' houses. Other CS/HC events include tours of the nearby cities with lunch/pic nics or attending at big and not big events in the Veneto area (such as for White nights, free concerts and exhibitions).
Ask to your host to keep you updated about local meetings through the local Yahoo! Group  or joining the local CS groups (Veneto, Padova). You can also check the CS Veneto Google Calendar: the local community keeps it updated with all the upcoming events! Also, it might be a good idea to contact one or two active members through CS to know if there is anything going on.
An almost regular meeting has been established on every Thursday at 19:30. The location varies from time to time, but it's always set in the center of Padova. Currently the meeting point is set at the fountain in Piazza delle Erbe. Check the Padova group to be sure!
Italian Adriatic Surfing Network
Padova is a member city of the Adriatic Surfing Network, a network of CS members and cities located on the eastern cost of Italy with the aim to help and host those travellers who want to discover the eastern part of Italy and foster cooperation between the local communities.
You can contact Tiziano if you find yourself in an emergency situation like your planned host is not reacheable, the hostel is full, or other similar situations (and not because you can't find a host ahead of time!). In that case, despite not being always available for hosting, he will try to help you finding an alternative solution. Please mention the fact that you have read this wiki page!
For a similar purpose, there is a group available for all the Veneto Region here.
Padova CS bike sharing project
From an idea of Milano CS, in order to promote urban cycling and the use of this wonderful way of transportation, some local couchsurfers would be glad to lend you their bikes during your stay in Padova. Just contact them and find an agreement, in case they don't need them, about when and where you could meet and take the bike. Hey, of course, everything is for free!:)
Here are the bicycle tracks in Padova:
Here is a list of some Padova couchsurfers that you could contact, in case you wanna know more about cycling around in Padova (and we also write the area where they live, in case you wanna pick up the bikes):
Giuseppe can gladly give you some tips about cycling in Padova
Getting to Padova
Padova is an important railway crossing and it has one Central Station where all long-distance and commuter trains stop. The main lines are the Torino-Milano-Verona-Venice-Trieste, the Venice-Padova-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples, as well as minor routes like Padova-Castelfranco-Feltre-Belluno-Calalzo or the Padova-Cittadella-Bassano del Grappa-Trento that lead to the north of the region till the mountains. Several international trains from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France stop by in Padova and some in Venezia Mestre (20 minutes from Padova) from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Russia. Look at the Italy page for more information about the railway system in Italy.
Exploring other towns
Padova is very well connected with Venice through regional, interregional, and fast trains, running all the day from 5 till 24, every half hour usually. It takes from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the train and the cheapest costs only 2.90€. Usually, if your host lives in the Padova city area, it will take no longer than 50 minutes - 1 hour totally to reach Venice.
Padova itself has a very small airport (IATA code: QPA; ICAO code: LIPU), without any scheduled flights, where you can fly from for short panoramic flights over the city. The nearest and most important airports are Venice Tessera Marco Polo Airport (IATA code: VCE; ICAO code: LIPZ) and Treviso Sant'Angelo Canova Airport (IATA code: TSF; ICAO code: LIPH), both located at around 50km from Padova. VCE is mainly used by normal airlines, but as well as by some low cost airlines like EasyJet, TUIFly, while TSF is could be defined as the Ryanair Airport of Venice.
Other airports are within a reasonable distance from Padova like:
- Verona Villafranca (VRN) - 95 km
- Bologna Borgo Panigale (BLQ) - 120 km
- Brescia Montichiari (VBS) - 140 km
- Bergamo Orio Al Serio (BGY) - 190 km
Most of them are served by several lowcost airlines.
From Venice Airport to Padova
When exiting from the Arrivals, continue crossing the first lane. On the second one, search the exact stop turning on your right, the Padova stop is the last one at the right. The ticket costs 8,00€ (now it's the cheapest option to reach Padova from VCE), either at the automatic ticket machine or onboard. You can select the ticket for Padova selecting other destinations in the menu.
There is a bus every hour between 8.40 and 21.40 and it takes about 1 hour 5 minutes to get to Padova bus station (Autostazione), which is located nearby the railway station. You can find the timetables here. Instructions: under “fermate di Partenza” write “VENEZIA AEROPORTO MARCO POLO TESSERA” and you will see the stop selected in the box below, under “fermate di Arrivo” write “Padova Autostazione”. On “Data di Viaggio” select the day of choice, on “Orario di Partenza” select “Intera Giornata” to see the complete timetable of the day. Then click on “Corse di Andata” to show the timetables.
You will arrive in Padova Bus station, from there you can reach the railway station on foot and then follow to your final destination by city bus or tram(for the centre take the Tramway). The city buses stop in front of the train station. Here you can have an overview of the area and the various means of transport.
Bus + train
From the Airport take one of the buses to Mestre Train Station, there is ACTV (6€ one way) or ATVO (6€ one way). When in Mestre train station take one of the trains - better regional, they are cheaper (2,85€) - to Padova with direction Padova, Vicenza, Verona, Bologna, Milano. When you are in Padova train station follow to your final destination. This solution is nor direct nor cheaper and requires a change, but it could be somewhat better if you have to wait a lot for the SITA direct bus or there are no more (as in the evening after 21.40).
From Treviso Airport
When outside the airport building, cross the national road and seek for the bus stop. There is a bus every 30 minutes and it takes about 1 hour to get to Padova bus station (Autostazione – Piazzale Boschetti) You can find the timetables here. Instructions: under “fermate di Partenza” write “Treviso Aeroporto” and you will see the stop selected in the box below, under “fermate di Arrivo” write “Padova Autostazione”. On “Data di Viaggio” select the day of choice, on “Orario di Partenza” select “Intera Giornata” to see the complete timetable of the day. Then click on “Corse di Andata” to show the timetables.
When outside the airport building, turn on your right till you'll find, after 100mt, the city bus stop along the national road. The city bus to take is line 6 (timetables here), that connects to the terminus, the train station, in 15-20 minutes, every 15 minutes. Once there, cross the road to reach the station. Going to Padova requires a change in Venezia Mestre. You can catch all the trains going to Venice - better cheaper Regional ones. When in Mestre change train and catch one - again better Regional - to Padova with direction Padova, Vicenza, Verona, Bologna, Milano. When you are in Padova train station follow to your final destination. This option requires two changes and it's convenient arriving at evenings, when the direct bus to Padova is not running (after 20:30).
Going around Padova
To reach your host, you might need either to walk or take a bus.
By tramway and bus
Padova public transportation system (run by APS-Mobilità is based on one tramway line northbound-southbound (frequency 4 minutes - temporarily every 8 minutes, that is way faster than buses on that route) and several bus lines that usually run from 7 till 20, only a few run until midnight. A ticket for 75 minutes and unlimited changes for tram and bus costs 1€ (1,50€ if taken onboard). A daily ticket costs 2,70€. A weekly ticket is 9€ (reduced for students 6€), but you need an ID photo.
To reach your CouchSurf host, this map could be useful.
When touring the city, using the bus is not a must, because distances are short and you can see better the city on foot or by bike. A convenient option is to use the bike, the most favorite mean of transport among Padova's students and not only. Some hosts have more than one bike and they might lend it to you (check the Padova#Padova CS bike sharing project). You can find a map of the bike lanes in the center here and in the whole city here.
At the moment Padova doesn't have a bike sharing service (yet), but at the bike parking in Piazzale Stazione (railway station, right side) you can rent bikes for some hours or even days. You have to give a deposit of 50€ and the fares are:
- 1 hour: 3 €
- each additional hour: 1 €
- 1 day: 6 €
- each additional day: 3 €
Padova Card holders have a 20% off discount on the fares. The lock will be provided together with the bike. For any information you can call +39 049 8759608 or check here (in Italian).
Places to see
Some of the places you can visit:
- Cappella degli Scrovegni (by Giotto)
- Botanic Garden (oldest in the World: 1545)
- Basilica del Santo (Saint Anthony)
- Palazzo della Ragione
- Prato della Valle (biggest square in Europe)
- Eremitani Civic Museum Palazzo Zuckermann Contemporary Art Museum
- Astronomic Observatory
- University Old Building ("Bo'" - 2nd oldest in the world)
- the Jewish Ghetto and the sinagogue
- the historic city centre and the old city walls
- have a "spritz" (local drink) in Piazza delle Erbe in the evening
- Euganean Hills Natural Park nearby
- As Couchsurfing Wiki is not a Travel Guide, check Wikivoyage for a complete and detailed list of places to see.
Most of the museums, monuments, buildings which require an enter fee can be visited purchasing the Padova Card, cost 14€, that will enable you to enter for free in these places.
Tiziano is an active CouchSurfer who, if not too busy with other activities, will be glad to show you around the city for a bit, have a pizza or a spritz.
Places (eat, drink, etc...)
..::work in progress::..
Padova City Council has activated an experimental wireless network in two hotspots in the city centre located:
- at 'Informagiovani', vicolo Ponte Molino, 7, Padova whose SSID is PROGETTOGIOVANI.
- in Piazza dei Signori, whose SSID is COMUNEPDGRANGUARDIA.
To use them you need to register at:
- Informagiovani, vicolo Ponte Molino, 7, Padova, phone: +39 049 654328
- Urp (Public Relations Office of the City Council of Padova) - Palazzo Moroni, inside the City Hall: via del Municipio, 1, Padova or (other entrance): Via Oberdan, 1, Padova, phone: +39 049 8205572.
Just address to the desk and show a valid ID/passport. You will get an id and a password to connect to the wireless hotspots in the City of Padova. Apparently with the same account it is possible to access for free also the wifi hotspots located at the stops along the tramway line (that are usually accessible only with a pay-for-use contract), but this info has to be verified.
The Tourist Information Council of Padova located in Galleria Pedrocchi offers free internet access for 15 minutes sessions.
The Padova City Council offers also some fixed Internet kiosks to surf for free that are located in:
- Informagiovani, vicolo Ponte Molino, 7, Padova, phone: +39 049 654328. Opening times - Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00-13:00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 15:00-18:00.
- Urp (Public Relations Office of the City Council of Padova) - Palazzo Moroni, inside the City Hall: via del Municipio, 1, Padova or (other entrance): Via Oberdan, 1, Padova, phone: +39 049 8205572. Opening times: Monday-Saturday 8:45-13:00, Tuesday also 15:00-17:00, Thursday only 10:00-15:00.
- Mediateca Arcella, via Curzola, 15, Padova, phone: +39 049 616501. Opening times: Monday-Saturday 9:00-13:00; Monday-Thursday 15:30-18:30.
- Emeroteca, via D'Acquapendente, 50/a, Padova, phone: +39 049 680366. Opening times: Monday-Saturday 9:00-13:00 15:30-19:30; Tuesday-Friday 21:00-23:30; Sunday 9:00-13:00.
- Punto Giovani Toselli, Piazza Pietro Toselli / Caduti della Resistenza, 7, Padova, phone: +39 049 8722657. Opening times: Monday-Friday 17:00-19:15; Monday, Wednesday 21:00-23:15; Tuesday 11:00-13:15.
The kiosks can be usually booked by phone or on place for limited amounts of time. More infos here.
You can also use the computers located in some of the City Libraries, but in this case, you will probably be asked to register to the library (for free).
Padova and its province are filled with many restaurants, trattorie, osterie which serve delicious traditional Italian and local dishes.
If you are willing to eat fish, you can try these affordable restaurants:
- Trattoria da Checchi - Via Bosco Rignano 8, Padova - tel. +39 049 750553 - bus n° 16 or 19 direction Ponte San Nicolò/Roncaglia, stop Voltabarozzo, after the bridge on the canale Scaricatore
- Trattoria da Primo - Via Regia 43, Vigonza (PD) - tel. +39 049 8936255 - bus n° 18 direction Ponte di Brenta, get off at the terminus before the bridge and after walk onto the bridge and at the traffic lights turn right following signs to Venezia and Riviera del Brenta, after a few hundred meters, you will see the Trattoria on the left side of the street.
..::Work in progress::..
If you are unable to find a Couchsurfing Host, we suggest you to check the availability of the only Padova City Hostel, located in Via Aleardo Aleardi 30, near Prato della Valle. It has beds with prices starting from 16.50€ and it's quite close to everything.
In Case of Emergency
- Police Station: 112 (nationwide) - +39 049 833111 (Questura - main police station in Padova)
- Health Urgency: 118 (nationwide)
- Hospital: +39 049 8211111 (hospital) - +39 049 8808325 (duty doctor)
- Fireman Station: 115 (nationwide)
- Embassy: Consulates in Padova
- Emergency Doctor: 118 (nationwide) - +39 049 8808325 (duty doctor)