Padua (Italian: Padova) is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area.
Padua stands on the Bacchiglione River, 40 km west of Venice and 29 km southeast of Vicenza. The Brenta River, which once ran through the city, still touches the northern districts. Its agricultural setting is the Pianura Veneta. To the city's south west lies theEuganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.
It hosts the renowned University of Padua, almost 800 years old and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers.
The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat.
Padua is the setting for most of the action in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.