Stage 14 – Piazzola-Padova – Interesting stage for the naturalistic value of the Brenta and the territory crossed. The last kilometers are inside Padua, rich in history and religion linked to the “Saint”: Anthony of Padua (native of Portugal and also known as “from Forlì”, where he began his evangelization).
Having crossed the whole square in front of the villa, you go towards the Ostiglia cycle path, which follows the old railway. We return to the Brenta, which is skirted; then continue up to Vaccarino Tremignon. At the traffic light, cross the very busy SP 47 which leads from Curtarolo to Limena. Then take the cart track parallel to the state road up to Limena, crossing a canal. To visit the Punta Speron Park: a very beautiful park on the banks of the Brenta. Walk along the river bank and cross the bridge over the Brenta. Go along the left bank of the Brenta and enjoy the park in all its splendor for 7km. Near Vigodarzere you go under the railway, go up the bridge that takes you to Padua; you cross it. You meet the sign of the path of S. Antonio. You pass under the A4 Venice-Turin and the ring road in succession. We then arrive at the Sanctuary of Arcella. Then you take the overpass passing the station platforms. Then you pass near the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, you pass over one of Padua’s canals on the Ponte Molino. Soon you reach the Basilica of Sant’Antonio di Padova.
14- Points of Interest
Padua – Legend has it that Padua was founded in 1132 B.C. by Antenore, a Trojan prince who had escaped the destruction of Troy; but it is well known that this legend originated from a false history by Tito Livio, who tried to relate his city to Rome. From 49 B.C. it became a Roman municipium, and in the Augustan age it became part of Regio X, in which it constituted one of the most important centres. During the imperial age, the city became very rich thanks to the processing of wool from the pastures of the Asiago Plateau. Many roads passed through (or started from) the city, connecting it with the most important Roman cities of the time: the Via Annia connected it with Adria and Aquileia, the Via Medoaci led to Valsugana and the Asiago Plateau, the Via Astacus connected it with Vicenza, and the Via Aponense connected it with the thermal spa towns in the Euganean Hills. Today it is known for being the “City of the Saint”. It boasts twelve kilometres of porticos that accompany the pilgrim-tourist. You can visit the Scrovegni Chapel, which houses a very famous cycle of frescoes by Giotto. It was built in the area of the ancient Roman arena. The Eremitani Civic Museums are located in the same complex as the Scrovegni Chapel, and are divided into the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art. They house artefacts dating back to the Paleovenetian, pre-Roman and Roman periods, artefacts from ancient Egypt, works by Canova, Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiepolo, and many others. Prato della Valle is the largest piazza in Padua, and in Italy. In the middle there is a green island, known as Memmia Island, surrounded by a canal adorned with statues depicting famous people of the past. The Basilica of St. Anthony, known as “del Santo” (of the Saint), is a destination for millions of pilgrims. It was built starting in 1232, to house the remains of St. Anthony. In the Biodiversity Garden, established in 2014, the different climate zones on Earth (tropical rainforest, humid subtropical forest, temperate areas, Mediterranean areas and arid zones) have been reproduced. It is wonderful to admire all the species present, first from below and then from above, then going down, and then up again, looking closely at the colours and smelling the scents that nature provides us with. Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta have been the commercial centre of the city for centuries, and still today are its main market places. Piazza dei Signori, where the Reggia dei Carraresi once stood, is now the city’s meeting place, an area full of bars where you can meet for an aperitif. Also worth a visit is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or Padua Cathedral, designed by Michelangelo in 1551.