Freiburg and its partners all over the world
Padua is the capital of a province of the same name in the region of Veneto at the edge of the Po valley. Situated 90 km east of Lake Garda and 30 km west of Venice it is counted among the most beautiful cities of Italy and can be seen as a special outing tip for the country's north: it is not the tourists who dominate the city's life and atmosphere but its inhabitants and many students. As early as the 13th century (1221) one of Europe's first university's was founded in Padua with Galileo Galilei as one of its most famous teachers.
Padua's roots date back 3000 years. Patavium - according to the legend founded by the Trojan hero Antenores - emerged in the 10th century BC as a simple fishing village. During the third century BC, at the time of the great Gall wars, closer ties developed between the Venetians and the Romans. The time of the Romans was one of great economic wealth for Padua. In the 11th century, it became a free city state under the Guelphs. An important break in the history of Padua was marked by the overthrow of the Langobardians through Charlemagne and the bishop's return to the city. In 1337 the house of Da Carrara took over power in Padua, and with this Padua's role as a city state with its own political history came to an end. After the decline of the republic of Venice, Padua fell under French rule for a short time, then became part of the Habsburg Empire and finally of Italy in 1866.
Concerts, Folklore and theatrical performances take place all the year round in Padua. Various museums and other sights provide visitors with an impression of the city's rich and varied history. The association of trade, tourism and service pursues the aim of promoting Padua's history and culture as a means to attract tourists. In autumn, the region sees a range of fiestas and fairs devoted to the typical products of Padua and the region around it – an experience for tourists and gourmets.
Economy and Tourism
Padua's economical structure is well-balanced with a variety of businesses ranging from agriculture, trade and service to banks, finance and tourism. Centuries of agricultural experience combined with scientific research guarantee the oustanding quality of characteristic and competitive products such as fruit and vegetables, rice, high quality wines, the sweet Montagnana ham and the different kinds of sausages so typical for the Po valley.
Padua is a significant centre of business and finance in which all the well-known Italian banks can be found, three of which have their head office in the city. There are some important infrastructural institutions as well as excellent traffic connections.
The varied history of Padua has left behind a multitude of historical monuments. The ruins of the Arena date back to Roman times.
The Prato della Valle, which was a square with a great stage under the Romans, has since mediaeval times been used as a market place and for folklore events. Pilgrims from all continents travel to the grave of Saint Anthony in the basilica dedicated to the saint. The Palazzo della Ragione was built between 1213 and -19, and has since the middle ages become the seat of the lawcourt and the market, thus forming the centre of city life. The chapel of the family of Scrovegni, designed in straight architectural lines from the outside, contains the world-famous frescos by Giotto. Outside of Padua lie the Euganeic hills which have been renowned for their thermal springs since antiquity.
Knowledge and Learning
The university of Padua is Italy's second oldest university and one of the oldest and most respected in Europe. The first professors and students came from Bologna which could not offer the same academic freedom as the prospering and independent Padua. Today, more than 60 00 students from Italy and other countries study at Padua University. The subjects that are taught include agriculture, law, pharmaceutics, engineering science political science, philosophy, veterinary medicine as well as economic disciplines.