Our Trip to Padua in the rain – When we visited Union Lido with Eurocamp we woke to rain on our first day. Rather than write the day off we decided to jump in the car and drive an hour and a half to Padua. When we did it, we had no idea what we were going to find. But what we did find was an old town steeped in traditional Italian charm. With plenty to see and do. We even saw a tour bus driving round at one point.
We arrived late morning so only spent around five hours in the city. Parking in the centre we decided to head straight to the Musei Civici to visit the Scrovegni Chapel. I have a big of thing for Italian churches and had seen pictures of this one online. During peak season it is recommended to book in advance. However we did not realise this and got lucky. You can buy a combined ticket with the rest of the museum or a ticket only for the Chapel, which is what we opted to do. The kids were one 1€ each and we were 8€. You are not allowed to take bags into the Chapel. But there is a free cloakroom which will give you a clear plastic bag to put your valuables in.
Before going into the chapel itself you sit and watch a video for fifteen minutes. Its all in Italian so keeping the kids entertained was a little bit of a challenge. However once inside its beautiful. Since numbers are limited per session you can get photos easily and see everything you want. You are only in the chapel itself for around 15 minutes and once you are in you can’t leave until everyone else does. There are some nice gardens surrounding the chapel but since it was still raining heavily we decided to give it a miss.
We decided to head back into the city to go to an Astronomy Museum. On route we found the largest sweet shop I think we had ever seen. One thing I really like about Italy is that where ever you turn there is always something interesting to look at. On our walk down we came across the University of Padua. Monkey was fascinated by all the shields that hung on the walls around the courtyard. If we had, had more time we would have gone instead. As it is well known for its oval auditorium.
Despite the sweets everyone was getting a little peckish. So we decided to walk to the Prato della Valle and have something to nibble on. In the middle of the Prato della Valle is a park with a winding canal through it. Its is flanked at various points with white marble statues and the bridges remind me a little of the ones you see in Venice. Despite having traffic around the outside its very peaceful. Along the outside there are a number of bars and restaurants too choose from. Many of them are under cover which is exactly what we needed. Plus the buildings are extremely pretty. All painted in various hues of terracotta, yellow and cream.
After our refreshments the kids busied themselves by running around the grass area and over the bridges. There is no railings and the wall is quite low in places. So there were a couple of times when I had to encourage Kipper in the other direction. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the heavens opened again so we decided to call it a day. Walking back towards the car park via Basilica di’ Sant’Antonio. The bells were chiming as we walked past with our Gelatos. Only in Italy can you eat Gelato in the rain and not mind.
Padua is a great city to explore and one we only scraped the surface of. On our way back we passed a food market which was shutting up for the day. Along with many inviting restaurants and bars. A lot of the back streets are covered in archways she of which are very ornate. This does mean you can walk along and stay relatively dry. In all the Italian towns and cities we have been lucky enough to visit I have not seen anything like it before. I am sure there is probably a story behind it. Hopefully one day we will get a chance to return and find out more about them.