Have you lost something or someone? If you’re a Christian, you would probably pray to St. Anthony de Padua, the patron saint of lost things, to help you find it.
As a Filipino, I was brought up Catholic, and I remember St. Anthony from my childhood prayers. When we mention the saint’s name, it is always with “de Padua” (of Padua). When I found myself in Padua, Italy, therefore, I really made it a point to visit the church of St. Anthony where his bones lie buried.
My stay in Padua was not planned; I was actually planning to stay in Venice. However, it’s highly touristy there and finding a Couchsurfing host is almost impossible. So I looked for hosts in nearby cities, and found one in Padova which is just an hour’s train ride away.
My CS host was a Pakistani PhD student in astrophysics who liked the spicy sardine spaghetti I cooked for him and his housemates at 2am. (I found a local brand, Ligo, in Brussels and brought it with me to Italy.) For the first time, I got to use an air mattress for a bed, and all I can say is that it was a bit of an experience. 🙂
Padua (or Padova in Italian) is a small city in Northern Italy. It was even considered the oldest one. I walked around A LOT there, and I was really surprised at how quiet and rural the city is. I arrived at the Basilica around 5pm, so it was already closed. (Too bad, I would have wanted to go inside!) When I began walking back to my Pakistani hosts’ place at 7pm, the streets were already deserted.
I only had two days in Padua, but I already met some Filipino students there who were also studying for their PhD. When I apply for a scholarship someday, I’d probably choose Padova too. Its serenity—and at the same time its proximity to major cities like Venice—make it a perfect place for learning.
How about you? Would you have liked to live in Padua?
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@ Ayan: Yeah it’s nice to walk around here. No people that you can see but it’s quite safe 🙂
sarap naman maglakad dyan. deeeym
@ Marisol: I remember being taken aback when I arrived there. Coming from Florence where there were so many people, Padua really seemed provincial. And yet, it’s a lively city too, especially in the areas near the universities. Hope to be back there to spend more than 2 days. I don’t think I did Padova justice.
Hi Aleah, I visited the Basilica of St Anthony de Padua the first time I went to Italy. St. Anthony was my late father’s patron saint and I made a pilgrimage to the Basilica for him. It was a very touching moment. The energy in the basilica seemed to powerful. Like you, I found the city very laid back. I also found the people very friendly. An old women who I asked direction ended up walking me and my friend from the train station to the basilica to make sure we wouldn’t get lost. It was one of my best memory of the trip.