Padua 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. Padua's population is 212,500 (as of 2008). The city is sometimes included, with Venice (Italian Venezia), in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area, having a population of c. 1,600,000.
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 the Euganaean Hills, praised by Lucan and Martial, Petrarch, Ugo Foscolo, and Shelley.
It hosts the renowned Universita' di Padova, almost 800 years old and famous 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.
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