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Is Padua a good base for the Veneto with no car?

Is Padua a good base for the Veneto with no car?

Sep 14th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Is Padua a good base for the Veneto with no car?

Hi, I'd better start by saying we've been to Venice twice. We're interested in art, history, architecture, classical music. We're thinking of not having a car here. The questions are: would Padua be a good base? Is it a pleasant town to wander around in the evening for a meal, a glass of wine and "people watching"? We thought we'd do day trips: Venice, Verona, Vicenza. Would each of these be a separate day trip? We don't like rushing madly - like to potter and absorb the ambience (not into shopping really). How many nights in Padua then? (we will be coming by train from Ravenna). And finally - any suggestions for a b and b type of accommodation in a convenient part of the town (for getting a meal, getting to the train station) - we are good walkers. Like to find something under Euro 100 per night, or less. Many thanks in anticipation. VickyO
VickyO is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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We did something similar in 2007. We stayed in Verona and did
day trips to Padua, Vicenza, and Trento from Verona. I recommend the idea. It is easy to unpack once and the trains are reasonable and frequent. The tourist office in Vicenza is
particularly helpful. There are a couple estates outside of Vicenza designed by Palladio that are reachable by bus. There
is at least one walking tour a day that leaves from the tourist office. It is a most interesting tour. Have a great time.
wanttogo is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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I liked Padua alot, but I think as a base I might prefer Verona or even Vicenza. Once u get past the Romeo and Juliet vibe in Verona its a very charming little town and very pretty. I didn't stay in Vicenza so can't speak to actually using that as a base. We did a couple day trips there and it was also a very charming town, more charming then Padua. Trento is nice too, but don't think it's location is as ideally situated to do day trips from. Verona, Vicenza and Padua would be easier to day trip from. All that said Padua and Trento are probably least touristed of the lot. Good luck deciding.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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I stayed in Vicenza for a week and liked it. I was visiting someone affiliated with the US military base there so I stayed at a hotel near the base, a little out of the downtown, but it was very easy to take the bus right to the train station and the train elsewhere so I imagine staying more centrally would be even better. It is a nice, very untouristy town, with good restaurants and great shopping (should the mood strike you). Even though it is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe the restaurant prices were very reasonable. I took the train to Venice several times and also Padua and Verona. Sounds like a good trip.
Sally30 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 09:10 PM
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Thanks so much for these comments! I just can't decide between Padua and Vicenza (they make more sense than Verona, if we want to do a day trip back to Venice), I guess. Some comments I've read say the Vicenza is very "dead" in the evening (we are, however, an older couple - but like to wander around at night, mabe have a glass of wine at a cafe etc, so not looking for nightclubs!) whilst other commentators say Padua, being a university town, is more vibrant. Any other comments on this please? I like Wanttogo's suggestion of the walking tour in Vicenza - we wll do that. And I hadn't thought about Trento - so will look into that town too as a day trip. Many thanks again. Look forward to more comments, thank you.
VickyO is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 11:38 PM
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We stayed in Vicenza for a week at the Hotel Due Mori, not at all expensive and in a quiet pedestrian area (actually that describes most of Vicenza)just off the main piazza. There is a wonderful pasticceria for your morning coffee around the corner near the statue of Palladio in the piazza. Vicenza is lovely, like walking through a Piranesi architectural print, and surprisingly untouristed. Not much nightlife though if that is your thing. Apart from one day when we hired a car (hire firms at the station) to see some of the country villas, we went everywhere, very easily, by train.
tarquin is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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Hi Vicky - I think Vicenza or Padova are good choices - either make a convenient base.

If you are looking for other day-trip options, consider Bassano del Grappa, Treviso, Asolo, Marostica, Lake Garda ...
Lots of possibities ...

Steve_James is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:13 AM
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Both the centers of Verona and Padua are quite a walking distance from the train station.
kleeblatt is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 01:31 AM
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Thanks for all this. Tarquin - no - we're not looking for night life, as such. More we enjoy being able to go and find an moderately priced place for a meal and a glass of wine! Or find a cafe to sit at and "people watch" with a coffee etc. I am going to check out Hotel due Mori right now. steve_James - are those places good day trips from either Padua or Vicenza? Maybe we should hire a car for a day and do a trip to visit some of the outlying Palladian villas. So would 4 nights be too long in one of these towns, do you think? I am most appreciative of these suggestions, thank you.
VickyO is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 04:08 AM
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We stayed 2 days in Padua last year and wished we had longer, just to see the town itself. The Padua Card gives you free (mostly - sometimes discounted) entry to many more interesting-sounding attractions than we could fit in, including some out of town like some of the Palladian villas. And there was a wonderful leaflet entitled someting like 'Padua - city of frescos' which had dozens of places listed : we only did a few but saw some fantastic ones. It's also good to be there in the evening so you can book a double-length visit to the Scrovegni Chapel.

Haven't bben to Vicenza properly yet so can't really compare it; but we passed through it last year (in by bus, out by train) and from that limited experience I got the impression it had more of a big-city and less of a historic feel.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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We spent a couple evenings in Vicena (didnt sleep in the town proper) and thought it was quite nice for strolling about in the evening. Lots of people out and about and u could sit in a cafe or bar and watch the world. No shortage of restaurants.

Padua defintely was a bit livelier at night due to the University -- same for Trento. But we are not students so didn't partake of the bars etc. I agree to book a double turn (2 20 minute viewings) for the Scrovegni Chapel and u need to reserve in advance. A nice small hotel right across from St Anthony's is Hotel Belludi 37 -- wonderful owners.

I second the suggestion to hire a car for one day. Asolo is a lovely hill town which we have both visited for the day from Vicenza area and stayed a couple nights in. Checking out some of the Palladian villas is also a interesting thing to do. I think both of those and Bassano del Grappa are more easily reached from Padua, but really it's not a huge difference. There are Palladium villas nearer to Vicenza 2. I don't think u will go wrong in any of the cities. As u can see by the responses, everyone has a different pro for each destination.

The train in Verona and Padua have good bus and or tram service that takes u into the main area. Fast and inexpensive.

What time of year are u planning this trip for?
yestravel is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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On our car hire day, we went to Asolo, Bassano del Grappa (see the distillery near the Palladio bridge,) Villa Maser and Villa Emo (Ripley's Game was filmed here.) All were fabulous, especially the villas. Vicenza is not at all a big city, the pedestrianised area is extensive and the station is a walk through a park, not via busy roads as in Padua. ..beginning to think I must work for the Vicenza tourist office ...
tarquin is offline  
Sep 16th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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Fantastic responses, thank you all. Could we just arrange to rent a hire car for a day, when we get to (either) Padua or Vicenza? I think it might be 4 full days now - what do you think? Then we could do 1 day to Venice, 1 day to Verona, 1 day Vicenza (and if with a car, visit some of the villas). One day enjoying Padua (if that is our base - or vice versa if we stay in Vicenza). Thanks for all the wonderful comments
VickyO is offline  
Sep 17th, 2009, 02:38 AM
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I did almost exactly what you are proposing in July 08. I spent 7 nights in Padua and loved it. I think it's a better base than Vicenza which seemed smaller and quieter than Padua.

Here's my trip report - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...d-budapest.cfm
isabel is online now  
Sep 17th, 2009, 04:53 AM
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That would work fine -- my only suggestion would be to spend more than 1 day in Padua or Vicenza whichever u choose as your base. I think it would make for a nicer paced trip since you will be daytripping back and forth from other cities. I think staying a couple days and nights give one a different feel for a city.

Also someone commented that from the train/bus Vicenza seemed more of a big city and less of a historic feel. The center has a historic and almost elegant feel to it with some very interesting houses and sites to see. U can visit the Teatro Olimpico and see many other Palladian structures. Right off the main piazza there are by two of Vicenza's more striking landmarks, the Basilica Palladiana, the town's medieval law courts, with a facade by Palladio, and the adjacent Torre di Piazza, a tall and skinny tower. Architecturally it is very interesting. The outskirts seem just like any suburbs anywhere. I would same the same for Padua.
yestravel is offline  
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