Padua (or Padova in Italian) is not recognized on the World Heritage list as a city in its entirety or for any of its architecture. Its entry on the list is the Botanical Gardens which, dating from mid-16th century, are considered to be the oldest in the world and the template for many imitations.
The gardens are relatively small – less than 6 acres – and infinitely fascinating. There is a bit of a wooded area outside of the central garden “ring”, but no vast meadows or formal manicured gardens customary for the modern incarnations of such attractions. Just a dozen sections densely packed with various species of flora, in a cosy and serene setting.
Here are a few perspectives.
We came for the gardens, but explored Padua center a bit and liked it quite a lot. It is a lively and agreeable university town, definitely worth more time that we could devote to it.
This is Piazza del Santo with Basilica San Antonio on the right. Quite a few people were going into it on the Saturday that we were in town.
Next is the market on Piazza delle Erbe, overseen by Palazzo Ragioni.
And here is street fronting the University of Padua, whose buildings are on the right.
Depending on your inclinations towards botany, you may need as little as one hour to as long as three or four to enjoy the gardens. Additional couple of hours should be sufficient to get acquainted with the city, but I have a feeling it should easily support a day-long and overnight stays. Padua is on the Milan – Verona – Venice motorway, and also easily reachable from direction of Bologna.
These and other pictures of Padua can be found in my Flickr photostream.