Green Logistics Expo, an encounter with beauty. What to do outside the Expo.
Padua boasts great cycles of wall paintings, earning it the title “City of Frescoes”. Just a short walk from the Expo Center is the famous Cappella degli Scrovegni (1303-1305), a superlative masterpiece of Giotto and painting as a whole, scene of the west’s greatest artistic revolution (Possibility of guided tours. Booking required).
Just 800 m from the Expo Center is Padua’s “System of Piazzas”, with, at the centre, the monumental Palazzo della Ragione, former seat of the city’s tribunals. The Salone on the first floor is the world’s largest raised hall, covering 2,200 m², with a height of almost 40 m, a thrilling discovery with its walls completely frescoed with two separate cycles of paintings. The most important of these portrays the astrological theories of the 13th century in 333 paintings. For the last thousand years or so, the “Sottosalone” on the ground floor has been occupied by a throng of small top quality delicatessens.
Just a few minutes walk from the Palazzo della Ragione in Piazza Duomo is Padua’s third greatest masterpiece, the Baptistery, frescoed at the end of the 14th century by Giusto de’ Menabuoi. The frescoes include one of the most famous Paradises ever painted, together with one of the most beautiful Annunciations, both dating from the 1300s.
Art and devotion to the Saint (the Sant’Antonio Basilica), destination for about five million visitors every year. Devotion first and foremost, but also great art, from the architecture with its strong Oriental influences (bell towers or minarets?) to works by great artists from Giotto to Altichiero da Zevio, Giusto de’ Menabuoi and Donatello, to name but a few.
Padua is also a City of Science, celebrated here by monuments, places and museums. These include the oldest university Botanical Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, founded in 1545 in support of the Faculty of Medicine, with its centuries-old plants and 7,000 species. An extraordinary journey through 20,000 m², extended in 2014 with the further 14,000 m² of the “New Botanical Garden”, dedicated to biodiversity where the Earth’s climates, from the coldest to the hottest, are reproduced in five large glasshouses.
ARCHITECTURE AND TOWN PLANNING
Here are just two of the numerous possibilities:
– Prato della Valle, Europe’s largest square after Red Square in Moscow, is surrounded by 78 statues, each portraying a famous person associated with the city. At the centre of the great triangle is the island of Memia, a work from the Venetian Settecento. Here you breathe the playful atmosphere of the Serenissima and as you cross it, you can almost imagine the notes of Vivaldi and the pages of Casanova.
– The Caffè Pedrocchi, in the heart of the historic city centre is a “café without a door”, a meeting place during the Risorgimento for the bourgeoisie and progressive aristocracy associated with the nearby University. In a neoclassical building designed by the Venetian architect Giuseppe Jappelli, “il gran fatto padovano del sec. XIX”, the Pedrocchi is one of Italy’s great historic cafés and now houses the Museum of the Risorgimento and Contemporary Age. It is also an opportunity to taste the mint coffee which bears the name of this extraordinary and emblematic place.
JUST OUTSIDE PADUA: BRENTA RIVIERA
If you want to discover the city by water, or go as far as the nearby Brenta Riviera with its Veneto Villas, a tour on board the Burchiello is the perfect solution, romantic mini-cruises through art, nature and culture along the waterways which once took the Venetian aristocracy to their country villas.
TERME EUGANEE AND EUGANEAN HILLS
Relaxation and a refreshing pause in the wellness centres of the nearby Terme Euganee spas. The spa hotels offer ad hoc packages (accommodation, wellness and beauty farm with spa pools and curative muds) and they are surrounded by the Euganean Hills. The hills, of volcanic origin, offer pleasant hiking, biking and driving and the experience of tasting the excellent wine production.
A tour not to be missed to discover one of the Italian wine sector’s excellences and its landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate. In the Prosecco hills stretching from Valdobbiadene to Vittorio Veneto in the Veneto province of Treviso, you can visit one of the best-known wineries to taste one of Italy’s most widely exported wines and enjoy the local cuisine in restaurants and typical trattorias.
AND FINALLY VENICE
Venice! Neither the end, not the beginning: another world. About 40 km from Padua, 25 minutes by train, the “world’s most beautiful city” offers its treasures. There are numerous special packages available for those attending Green Logistics Expo: from guided tours of the city to exclusive itineraries through the art of yesterday and today (historical museums, foundations linked to international capitals of art), together with a dream gala dinner, glass and lace. Impossible to describe the immense treasures of Venice in just a few lines: the only way is to surrender to its atmospheres, or undertake more demanding but highly satisfying itineraries.
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