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glossary:padua

Padua

Snippet from Wikipedia: Padua

Padua ( PAD-ew-ə; Italian: Padova [ˈpaːdova] ; Venetian: Pàdova, Pàdoa or Pàoa) is a city and commune in Veneto, northern Italy. Padua is on the river Bacchiglione, west of Venice. It is the capital of the province of Padua. It is also the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 214,000 (as of 2011). The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia) and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) which has a population of around 2,600,000.

Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Venice and 29 km (18 miles) southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Venetian Plain (Pianura Veneta). To the city's south west lies the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.

Padua appears twice in the UNESCO World Heritage List: for its Botanical Garden, the most ancient of the world, and the 14th-century Frescoes, situated in different buildings of the city centre. (An example is the Scrovegni Chapel painted by Giotto at the beginning of 1300.)

The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.

Saint Anthony, the patron saint of the city, was a Portuguese Franciscan who spent part of his life in the city and died there in 1231.

Padua is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Padua, founded in 1222 and where figures such as Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus have taught or studied. Today, the university has around 65,000 students and has a profound impact on the city's recreational, artistic and economic activities.

Galileo observed the moons of Jupiter on January 7, 1610 through a homemade telescope in Padua: his observations of the satellites of Jupiter caused a revolution in astronomy.

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

Its inhabitants sometimes call Padua "the city of the three withouts," because it is home to the "cafe without doors" (the Pedrocchi Café, which traditionally never closed), "the meadow without grass" (the Prato della Valle, a former bog that has been converted into one of the largest squares in Europe), and the "saint without a name" (because Paduans traditionally refer to Saint Anthony of Padua simply as "the Saint").

glossary/padua.txt · Last modified: 2011/01/09 23:29 by selfthinker