I like Padova (Padua) Italy
05.14.2017 - 05.19.2017
We arrived in Padua this past Saturday. It is a University city with the historic Padovana University being the 2nd oldest university in Italy. It has had the reputation for centuries of being a liberal city which is why the University was formed here as an outgrowth of the University in Bologna, Itay. A group of wealthy students (for only the aristocratic sect went to University) feeling their study was being oppressed by the Roman Catholic Church in the early 1300's they started a school in Padova. It has flourished to this very day.
This is Galileo's "chair" which is very confusing. It looks like a podium and there is no chair. So we were looking for a chair for several days until we discovered this. Galileo was extremely popular at Padovana University and the auditorium was packed full of students. This allowed all to see and hear him
The Jewish population flourished in Padova as well being allowed to work and practice their religion freely. Jews were allowed to attend the Padovana University which was a big drawing card for Jewish wealthy families and ultimately a great source of intellect for the University. At one time there were 3 synagogues in Padova, the largest being quite an impressive structure until it was largely destroyed by a fire set by Nazi supporters in 1943. Obviously, the city of Padua had become much less "liberal".
Bimah and Ark in the only remaining synagogue in Padua.
Padova is not very touristy. Certainly not as much as Firenze and this is the reason why I like Padova so much. The city does not feel crowded. It is fairly inexpensive. Lots of twisty narrow streets to get lost in.
The world's oldest and very impressive botanical garden.
Photo depicting animals in danger of extinction. Of course, there are churches.
Padova is located west of Venice, just a boat ride a way and in the day that was the way commerce, travel, etc proceeded. The roads were poorly formed and dangerous with "bandits". Padova became a satellite city of Veneto beginning in the 1700's. It was protected and fortified by the wealthier citizens of Veneto. Padova flourished in education, textile manufacturing, and as a vacation resort for the aristocratic Venetians. Large elaborate Palazzos remain in the countryside surrounding Padova.