Astro-Visits to Padova

Visiting Padova - Last Updated on 01 June 2010

NB : the poorly-formatted miscellaneous information below was gathered over the years but *not* regularly updated. Please drop me a line if you run into trouble and/or want to report a broken link or an error/update. Likewise, please feel free to point me to useful web sites you should discover!

Mattia Vaccari
+39 348 2541209 (Mobile)
+39 049 8278251 (Office)

Most astronomical research in Padova is carried out at either the Department of Astronomy of the University of Padova (DoA/UniPd) or at the Astronomical Observatory of Padova of the National Institute of Astrophysics (OAPd/INAF), conveniently located next door to each other (and hereafter jointly referred to as the Institute).

Please note that when crossing the bridge leading to the Observatory Tower the "Department" is on your left and the "Observatory" is on your right.

Browse for "vicolo osservatorio, padova" on Google Maps or click here

Mattia's Padova Google Map (Including Pointers to Several Places Mentioned Here)

Mattia's Padova Links


Even a very basic command of the local language will be invaluable in getting around Padova (or most of Italy, for that matter). Otherwise, the swiss army knife "Parla Inglese?" ("Do you speak English?") should get you some English speaker.

Wikitravel's Italian Phrasebook

Italian for Beginners

How do I get there?

Here you can find some info on how to reach Padova and the Institute. Distances refer to distances travelled by car when using the quickest toll highways. Car rentals are available at all airports and can be booked following the main airport links given below.

Venice Airport

The nearest international airport is Venice "Marco Polo" Airport (link), Italy's third largest airport, which is served my most major international airlines and is located some 40 km from Padova.

To reach Padova from Venice airport airport there are a number of options:

- taxi : you'll find the taxi stand on your left as you get out of the arrivals' hall. The ride is charged by the meter and the total fare is typically about 80 Euros (and more like 100 Euros if taken at night and/or on a public holiday) - shared van (*recommended*) : there is a shared van ride service operated by Padova Radio Taxi Air Service with a collective minibus at the cost of ~ 30 euro/person one way (discounts for second passenger or groups). This is extremely convenient since the minibus will take you to (or from, on the way back) your hotel in Padova or the Institute. Bookings must be made by mid-day the day before traveling at the latest. You *should* be able to book online or on the phone with no command or the Italian language, but please get in touch with me (including your travel details) if you run into trouble and I'll book it for you.

- coach : a coach service runs from Venice airport to Padova coach station (located in piazzale Boschetti). The bus goes every 30min during the day and every 60min in the late evening, it takes 1 hour and costs 3.60. Please check out the online timetable and select TESSERA AEROPORTO (Airport) as departure (Fermate di Partenza) and PADOVA AUTOSTAZIONE (bus station) as arrival (Fermate di Arrivo), select the travel day (Data di viaggio) and then click on CORSE DI ANDATA.

- bus + train : reach the Mestre-Venice railway station using the ATVO Fly Bus or the ACTV Bus #15 from AEROPORTO (Airport) to STAZIONE FS (Railway station), feriale (weekday) or festivo (holiday). Take a train to Padova (Trenitalia). The trip is around 30 + 20 minutes.

Other Airports (Treviso, Verona, Bologna, Bergamo)

Although farther away, there are four smaller airports in the area, served by major airlines as well as (if not mostly) by budget airlines, which can be convenient for those flying in from (or out to) somewhere in Europe. Bus, train and (expensive) taxi services are available at all of these, although an extra amount of traveler's savvy is recommended if you want to pursue one of these options without a moderate grasp of the native language.

- Treviso "Antonio Canova" Airport (link), AKA Venice Treviso airport (60 km)

- Verona "Valerio Catullo" Airport (link) (100 km)

- Bologna "Guglielmo Marconi" Airport (link) (120 km)

- Bergamo Airport (link), AKA as Milan Bergamo Airport and/or Orio al Serio Airport (200 km)

Getting around by train : Italian national railways (link) provide a cheap and reasonably reliable way to travel throughout Italy as well as nearby foreign regions to its North. They are also arguably the most convenient way to set out on a day trips to nearby cities (Venezia, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso, Ferrara, Bologna...)

NB : italian web sites are particularly volatile, but the main airport sites will hopefully list up-to-date links to all sorts of ground transportation sites.

Where do I stay?


Unfortunately we don't have a guest house, but downtown Padova is easily walkable from the Institute and from most hotels (a hotel is "un albergo" in Italian). Note that driving into the innermost parts of town is often fraught with danger (if only of being fined), so when in doubt you're advised to err on the cautious side.

Here's a short list of mid-range hotels in downtown Padova not too far from the Institute and city centre (The "Piazze"). In my experience, prices (taken from their web sites) are indicative at most and sometimes vary by a factor or two for the "same" kind of room. When in doubt, try and use your best Italian (Spanish occasionally works as well) and don't be afraid to ask twice. It's not uncommon to be asked to send your credit card info over e-mail. Of course, you may decide to simply book through instead.

Hotel Methis **** (Riviera Paleocapa, 70 - tel +39 049 8725555 - fax +39 049 8725135 - : this hotel is at just 50 m from the Institute. It has special prices for our guests: ~100/night for single, ~130/night for double room. Breakfast and car parking included. Remember to specify that you are visiting the Institute to have the special rates (although it admittedly remains to be seen whether one cannot get a better deal by booking somewhere else on the internet).

Several other hotels are available near the Saint Anthony Cathedral, ~10 mins walking from the Institute. Prices below are for a single room (occasionally higher prices refer to single occupancy of a double room) with an ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is generally about 10/day.

Hotel Al Fagiano** (Via Locatelli, 45 - tel. +39 049 8750073 - : 50-60/night, breakfast not included

Hotel Al Giardinetto*** (Prato della Valle, 54 - tel. +39 049 656766 - fax +39 049 656972 - 50-70/night, breakfast included

Hotel Al Santo*** (Via del Santo 147, tel. +39 049 8752131 fax +39 049 8788076 - : 55-100/night, breakfast included

Nearer to the city centre you'll find

Hotel Sant'Antonio*** (Via San Fermo, 118 - tel. +39 049 8751393 - : 63-67/night, breakfast not included

Albergo Verdi*** (Via Dondi dall'Orologio, 7 - tel. +39 049 8364163 - : 40-100/night, breakfast included


For longer-term stays and/or a cosier family-like experience, you might want to look up The Tibetan House B&B and The Koko Nor B&B Association

Where do I eat out?

The following cosy well-established places (Trattorie/Osterie) in the "Piazze" Area mostly seat a few tens of people and booking is thus always recommended:
NB : Mattia's Padova Google Map points to most places below

Osteria Dei Fabbri - Via Fabbri 13 - +39 049 650336 - google maps link (Closed on Sunday)

Osteria Dal Capo - Via Obizzi 2 - +39 049 663105 - google maps link (Closed on Sunday)

Trattoria San Pietro - Via San Pietro 95 - +39 049 8760330 - google maps link (Closed on Sunday)

Osteria Re Porco - Via San Pietro 47 - +39 049 8761289 - google maps link (Closed on Monday)

Somewhat larger joints reported below only recommend booking when a largish (10+) party is involved:

Pizzeria Mandrillo - Via Santa Lucia 59 - +39 049 8765857 - google maps link (Open every day)

Pizzeria Rosso Pomodoro - Via Santa Lucia 68 - +39 049 8751645 - google maps link (Open every day)

Highlander Pub - Via Santi Martino e Solferino 69 - +39 049 9819838 - google maps link (Open every day)

Ristorante Zairo - Prato della Valle 51 - +39 049 663803 - google maps link (Closed on Monday)