Veneto, Italy

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About Padua

Padua (/ ˈpædjuə /; Italian: Padua (listen); Venetian: Pàdova) is a city and comune in the Veneto region, in northern Italy. Padua is located on the Bacchiglione river, west of Venice. It is the capital of the province of Padua. It is also the economic and communications center of the area. Padua has a population of 214,000 (as of 2011 ). The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venice) and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice metropolitan area (PATREVE) which has a population of around 2,600,000.

Padua is located on the Bacchiglione River, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Venice and 29 kilometers (18 miles) south-east of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once crossed the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural environment is the Venetian plain (Pianura Veneta). To the southwest of the city are the Euganean Hills, praised by Lucano and Marziale, Petrarca, Ugo Foscolo and Shelley.

It houses the University of Padua, founded in 1222, where Galileo Galilei was later a professor between 1592 and 1610.

The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arched streets that open into large common squares and many bridges that cross the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.

Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. There is a comedy by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde entitled The Duchess of Padua.

The city is also known for being the city where Saint Anthony, a Portuguese Franciscan (Antonio di Padova, also known as Antonio di Lisboa - the city where he was born in 1195), spent part of his life and died in 1231.


The original meaning of the Roman name Patavium (Venetian: Padoa, German Padua) is uncertain. It could be connected with the ancient name of the river Po, (Padus). Furthermore, the root pat-, in the Indo-European language, can refer to a plain wide open with respect to the nearby hills. (In Latin this root is present in the word patera which means "plate" and the verb patere means "to open".) The suffix -av (also found in the name of rivers such as Timavus and Tiliaventum is probably of Venetic origin, indicating precisely the presence of a river, which in the case of Padua is the Brenta. The ending -ium indicates the presence of villages that have joined together.



Padua claims to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to a tradition dating back at least to the time of Virgil's Aeneid and Livy's Abbe Condita, Padua was founded in 1183 BC. about by the Trojan Prince Antenor. After the fall of Troy, Antenor led a group of Trojans and their Paplagonese allies, the Eneti or Veneti, who lost King King Pylaemen to settle in the Euganean plain in Italy. Thus, when a large ancient stone sarcophagus was exhumed in the year 1274, officials of the medieval municipality declared that the remains inside were those of Antenor. An inscription by the native humanist scholar Lovato dei Lovati placed near the tomb reads:

However, more recent tests suggest that the dates of the sepulcher are between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

However, the archaeological remains confirm an initial date for the foundation of the city center between the 11th and 10th century BC. In the fifth century BC, Padua stood on the banks of the Brenta river, which in Roman times was called Medoacus Maior and probably until 589 AD. followed the path of the present Bacchiglione (Retrone). Padua was one of the main centers of the Venetians.

The Roman historian Livy records an attempted invasion by the Spartan king Cleonimos around 302 BC. The Spartans went up on the river but were defeated by the Venetians in a naval battle and renounced the idea of conquest. Even later, the Venetians of Padua successfully repelled the invasions of the Etruscans and Gauls. According to Livy and Silio Italico, the Venetians, including those of Padua, formed an alliance with the Romans in 226 BC. against their common enemies, first the Gauls and then the Carthaginians. Paduan men fought and died alongside the Romans in Cannae.

Source: Wikipedia
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