Padova, I was SO excited to come and visit! We stayed in a hotel here for a couple of nights. Firstly because it was a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel in Venice and secondly because I really wanted to see the city. Some people go to Verona, I wanted to go to Padua. I am so glad that I did! Padova is certainly overlooked as a city to visit in Italy. I chose to visit for a few reasons. First is because it has the University of Padua, one of the oldest Universities in Europe and the second oldest in all of Italy. It is also famous because the University had a huge freedom of thought compared to other universities of the time. The Roman Catholic church was a great authority and could restrict teachings of many universities, and Padua had the protection of Venice and was thus allowed to have more freedom in this respect. It was also a University which Galileo, Copernicus, Tasso, and even Casanova either taught at, graduated from or both! I had hoped to see the world renown anatomy theatre, but I didn’t get the chance seeing as we were too late in trying to get reservations, imagine that! The University has a sprawling campus and it was a joy to look around. The town lends itself to being a college town, if anyone has been to Ithaca, NY it is a bit like that in its feel. It was a nice feeling to have after being in huge cities and popular tourist towns. Padua also heralds the great Basilica of St. Anthony, the second largest pilgrimage site in all of Italy, following the Vatican itself. It was actually really funny, we were looking for the Basilica and we were a little lost, but we went down a random side street and found the old apartment that Galileo lived in while he was a professor! The Basilica (also known as Il Santo) was beautiful, and I enjoyed visiting the cloisters as well. However, outside the Basilica, because it is such a popular site, was filled with really cheap souvenirs. We ate at a restaurant right near the Basilica for lunch. It looked like it was stuck in the 70s and reminded me of Perkins, but the food was good and it was also cheap. It was really interesting though because while there were old couples and families, there were also a higher number of Ordered persons because of the restaurant being in the vicinity of the Basilica. My dad paid for the meal of a couple of Italian monks, which I thought was a very nice gesture. We also got to see the Scuola di San Antonio which had wonderful frescos by Giotto. We had to go through a humidity chamber and everything. Reservations are truly necessary for this experience as well. You only get a designated amount of time and you watch a video as well before you go inside. There are also some neat museums to check out after you’re done with the tour.