Padua is one of the most charming and dynamic towns in Italy. The historical centre boasts a wealth of medieval, renaissance and modern architecture; here a fascinating mix of historic and new, of centuries-old traditions and metropolitan rhythms creates a unique atmosphere. The medieval palaces, churches and cobbled streets emanate a sense of history and culture, the shops, markets and locals, a sparkling vitality and vibrant modern life.
The city center is full of students and night life! There are young people coming from all over Italy and many countries of the world. It's not very big and most people move on foot or on bike, there is a bike sharing service you can use.
The main hospital is Policlinico Universitario Giustinianeo, it's in via giustiniani, 2 at a walking distance from the city center, dormitories or host family's houses are reachable by bike or by bus
The bathroom is shared between 2 people and the kitchen between 4 people or the whole floor.
By car, there are 3 motorways (autostrade in Italian): A4 Brescia-Padova, connecting it to Verona (then to Brenner Pass, Innsbruck and Bavaria) and Milan (then Switzerland,Turin and France); A4 Padova-Venezia, to Venice then Belluno (for Dolomites holiday resorts like Cortina) Trieste and Tarvisio (for Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Eastern Europe); A13 Bologna-Padova, to Ferrara and Bologna (then Central and South Italy). A toll must be paid in order to use most of the Italian motorways. Roads connect Padua with all the large and small centers of the region. A motorway with more than 20 exits surrounds the city, connecting districts and the small towns of the surrounding region.
The station is Stazione di Padova, has 11 platforms and is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Padova Centrale"; it is one of the biggest stations in Italy. More than 450 trains per day leave Padova. The station is used by over 20 million passengers per year. From Padova, high speed trains connect to Milan, Rome, Bologna, Florence and Venice; one can reach Milan in 1h and 51 min, Rome in 3 hours an 0 min and Venice in 20 min.
Padua is relatively close to airports at Venice, Verona, Treviso and Bologna. Venice and Treviso can be reached by direct buses (check timetables to see if they are available at night- Treviso often isn't). From Bologna and Verona, you have to take a shuttle to the main station and then a train to Padova.
If you land in Milano you can take a bus to the main station and a train or flixbus to Padova, also there is a direct Flixbus from Milano-orio al serio to Padova.
If you land in Rome take a bus/train to the main station- roma termini and then a train to Padova (fast or slow trains are available and can be booked online or at the station)
Venice, approximately 50 km (31 mi) away, is the nearest seaport.
The city centre is partly closed to vehicles, except for residents and permitted vehicles. There are some car parks surrounding the district. In this area, as well, there are some streets and squares restricted to pedestrian and bicycle use only.
Padua has approximately 40 bus lines, which are served by new buses, (purchased in 2008-9), with a television that displays the route line, the next stop, the most important monuments and the connection line and the expected waiting time for each line. Each tram/bus is equipped with security cameras and controlled by GPS.
The Scrovegni Chapel (Italian: Cappella degli Scrovegni) is Padua's most famous sight. It houses a remarkable cycle of frescoes completed in 1305 by Giotto.
The Palazzo della Ragione, with its great hall on the upper floor, is reputed to have the largest roof unsupported by columns in Europe; the hall is nearly rectangular, its length 81.5 m (267.39 ft), its breadth 27 m (88.58 ft), and its height 24 m (78.74 ft); the walls are covered with allegorical frescoes; the building stands upon arches, and the upper storey is surrounded by an open loggia, not unlike that which surrounds the basilica of Vicenza. The Palazzo was begun in 1172 and finished in 1219.
In the Piazza dei Signori is the beautiful loggia called the Gran Guardia, (1493–1526), and close by is the Palazzo del Capitanio, the residence of the Venetian governors. Nearby, the Cathedral, remodelled in 1552 after a design of Michelangelo. It contains works by Nicolò Semitecolo, Francesco Bassano and Giorgio Schiavone. The nearby Baptistry, consecrated in 1281, houses the most important frescoes cycle by Giusto de' Menabuoi.
The most famous of the Paduan churches is the Basilica di Sant'Antonio da Padova, locally simply known as "Il Santo". The bones of the saint rest in a chapel richly ornamented with carved marbles, the work of various artists, among them Sansovino and Falconetto. The basilica was begun about the year 1230 and completed in the following century. Tradition says that the building was designed by Nicola Pisano. It is covered by seven cupolas, two of them pyramidal. There are also four beautiful cloisters to visit.
Donatello's magnificent equestrian statue of the Venetian general Gattamelata (Erasmo da Narni) can be found on the piazza in front of the Basilica di Sant'Antonio da Padova. It was cast in 1453, and was the first full-size equestrian bronze cast since antiquity. It was inspired by the Marcus Aurelius equestrian sculpture at the Capitoline Hill in Rome.
One of the best known symbols of Padua is the Prato della Valle, a 90,000 m2 (968,751.94 sq ft) elliptical square. This is believed to be the biggest in Europe, after Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux. In the centre is a wide garden surrounded by a ditch, which is lined by 78 statues portraying famous citizens. It was created by Andrea Memmo in the late eighteenth-century. Memmo once resided in the monumental fifteenth-century Palazzo Angeli, which now houses the Museum of Precinema.
The abbey and the basilica of Santa Giustina. In the 15th century, it became one of the most important monasteries in the area, until it was suppressed by Napoleon in 1810. In 1919 it was reopened. The tombs of several saints are housed in the interior, including those of Justine, St. Prosdocimus, St. Maximus, St. Urius, St. Felicita, St. Julianus, as well as relics of the Apostle St. Matthias and the Evangelist St. Luke. This is home to some art, including the Martyrdom of St. Justine by Paolo Veronese. The complex was founded in the 5th century on the tomb of the namesake saint, Justine of Padua.
The Church of the Eremitani is an Augustinian church of the 13th century, containing the tombs of Jacopo (1324) and Ubertinello (1345) da Carrara, lords of Padua, and for the chapel of SS James and Christopher, formerly illustrated by Mantegna's frescoes. This was largely destroyed by the Allies in World War II, because it was next to the Nazi headquarters. The old monastery of the church now houses the municipal art gallery.
Santa Sofia is probably Padova's most ancient church. The crypt was begun in the late 10th century by Venetian craftsmen. It has a basilica plan with Romanesque-Gothic interior and Byzantine elements. The apse was built in the 12th century. The edifice appears to be tilting slightly due to the soft terrain.
At the centre of the historical city, the buildings of Palazzo del Bò, the centre of the University
The Caffé Pedrocchi, built in 1831 by architect Giuseppe Jappelli in neoclassical style with Egyptian influence. This is a little jewel of history and art for a café open for almost two centuries. The city centre is surrounded by the 11 km-long city walls, built during the early sixteenth century, by architects that included Michele Sanmicheli.
Padua has long been famous for its university, founded in 1222. Under the rule of Venice the university was governed by a board of three patricians, called the Riformatori dello Studio di Padova. The list of professors and alumni is long and illustrious, containing, among others, the names of Bembo, Sperone Speroni, the anatomist Vesalius, Copernicus, Fallopius, Fabrizio d'Acquapendente, Galileo Galilei, Pietro Pomponazzi, Reginald, later Cardinal Pole, Scaliger, Tasso and Sobieski. It is also where, in 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman in the world to graduate. The university hosts the oldest anatomy theatre, built in 1594.
The university also hosts the oldest botanical garden (1545) in the world. The botanical garden Orto Botanico di Padova was founded as the garden of curative herbs attached to the University's faculty of medicine. It still contains an important collection of rare plants.
The place of Padua in the history of art is nearly as important as its place in the history of learning. The presence of the university attracted many distinguished artists, such as Giotto, Fra Filippo Lippi and Donatello; and for native art there was the school of Francesco Squarcione, whence issued the great Mantegna.
Padua is also the birth place of the famous architect Andrea Palladio, whose XVIth century "ville" (country-houses) in the area of Padua, Venice, Vicenza and Treviso are among the most beautiful of Italy and they were often copied during the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries; and of Giovanni Battista Belzoni, adventure-man, engineer and egyptologist.
The famous sculptor Antonio Canova produced his first work in Padua, one of which is among the statues of Prato della Valle (presently a copy is displayed in the open air, while the original is in the Musei Civici, Civic Museums).
One the most relevant places in the life of the city has certainly been The Antonianum. Settled among Prato della Valle, the Saint Anthony church and the Botanic Garden it was built in 1897 by the Jesuit fathers and kept alive until 2002. During WWII, under the leadership of P. Messori Roncaglia SJ, it became the center of the resistance movement against the Nazis. Indeed, it briefly survived P. Messori's death and was sold by the Jesuits in 2004. Some sites are trying to collect what can still be found of the college: (1) a non-profit pixel site is collecting links to whatever is available on the web; (2) a student association created in the college is still operating and connecting Alumni.
If none of the department you chose is available, you'll attend general surgery or internal medicine.