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Padua for meetings and events

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

An excellent destination for organizing meetings and events, Padua is a well-connected city with well-equipped meeting facilities.

It is full of interesting ideas and curiosities, both for motivational events and incentive trips and for the social program of a congress or annual corporate event.

The nearest airport is the "Marco Polo" international airport of Venice, located about 50 km from the city. Padua is also well connected with a dense network of trains, including high-speed ones, and with the motorway arteries of the Northeast. This means that Padua can hosts international events with participants from different cities.

Padua is also a valuable destination in terms of costs and can offer excellent value for money for those who decide to organize their events here.


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Top attractions in Padua for event planners

Let's start our tour of Padua with the eye of an event planner.

The choice of things to see is vast. So, we have selected three unmissable places to be included in the social program of a meeting or the team-building activities of a corporate event, and we evaluate them for your future events.

The first not-to-be-missed place and probably the best renowned is undoubtedly the most famous Scrovegni Chapel with the magnificent frescoes by Giotto. Here we give you some tips for organizing a tour of the chapel with large groups.

In the heart of the center of Padua, we find the Palazzo della Ragione which rises between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta, a short distance from the historic Caffè Pedrocchi.

Also, a not to be missed location is the Botanical Garden with its splendid garden.

The Scrovegni Chapel

An absolute jewel of Padua, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Scrovegni Chapel is Giotto's masterpiece with its perfectly preserved frescoes.

Commissioned at the beginning of the fourteenth century by Enrico Scrovegni, the chapel was completed in just two years, in 1305.

The cycle of religious-themed frescoes is fascinating because, for the first time in the painting of the time, human figures are represented with very different natural features compared to Byzantine paintings.

Entering the Scrovegni Chapel is an incredible thrill, even for those not particularly fond of art and painting, and the guests of a corporate event will undoubtedly perceive the importance of the place.

Consider a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel as part of the program of your corporate event and plan it well in advance. Visiting rounds must always be booked in time, especially when you expect many participants.

In fact, the frescoes are delicate, and to protect them, it is necessary to limit entry to a maximum of 25 people in shifts of half an hour each. If the number of guests is higher, it is possible to plan an itinerary divided into shifts to allow more groups to visit the chapel at slightly different times.

Another possible alternative we have adopted several times is to set up the spaces of the nearby Eremitani Museum with a catering service with a welcome cocktail. This way, while some guests can start their 15-minute wait followed by 15-minute more for the chapel tour, all the others can enjoy the cocktail.

We usually keep alternating groups until all the participants finish the visit and then conclude the evening with dinner right inside the cloisters.

Palazzo della Ragione

The Palazzo della Ragione, literally Palace of Reason, is one of the city’s symbols and dates back to 1200, the era of the Municipalities. It is a special place, full of art, history, and curiosities. Since 2021 it has been included by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

This can be a unique and thrilling visit for the participants if well conducted. For this reason, it is advisable to choose experienced guides with story-telling skills to guide your guests on this tour. A good guide, in fact, will render the fascinating story of everyday life inside this building.

The palace was built with the dual purpose of giving order to the market stalls and, simultaneously, of having a place to administer justice.

Even today, entering the palace, you see the market with the food shops that occupy the ground floor, just as it did in ancient times.

On the first floor, instead, you find a huge room known as the Salone, the seat of the city court. This monumental room measures 82 meters in length by 27 in width, this is 269 feet in length by 88 feet in width. Nowadays, the Salone is a location used to host exhibitions and events.

The walls are covered with hundreds of frescoes that mix sacred and profane themes and astrological and religious symbols.

The Palazzo della Ragione is also a gold mine of ideas for a hunt for curiosities. For this reason, it can be an exciting stop you could include in a corporate treasure hunt in Padua or an urban safari.

Among the unusual things you should not miss:

  • A Foucault pendulum, consisting of a large swinging sphere tied to a long steel cable. The pendulum is in a corner of the Hall.

  • The Vituperio stone, used to punish insolvent debtors who had to sit here wearing breeches only. This punishment probably generated the popular Italian "restare in braghe di tela” meaning to be so totally broke that you only own a pair of short pants!

  • The basement of the Palazzo della Ragione has been restored and is now open on certain days of the week for private visits by appointment. The basement’s architectural superimpositions of medieval and Roman times are visible.

  • The Paduan measurement units engraved on the Palazzo's facade overlooking Piazza della Frutta. The aim was to establish clear parameters for the exchange of goods in the squares and avoid scams by traders. Merchants caught intentionally misusing the units of measurement were struck with ropes in what is now a corner called the Volto della Corda.

The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden of the University of Padua is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was the first botanical garden in the world.

Furthermore, it was the first case in which nature was related to science with systematic studies. This botanical garden was established in 1545 with a specific purpose: to show medical students medicinal plants in real life rather than dangerously relying on drawings seen in books.

In fact, at that time, those who procured the healing plants often exchanged one plant for another by mistake or intentionally. The doctors who were unable to notice the difference caused significant harm to patients.

The Botanical Garden is, therefore, a truly fascinating tour of nature and past history.

Good to know for event planners: in addition to the splendid garden, the location also includes an Auditorium and some surrounding spaces that can be used to organize dinners and cocktails.

Gastronomic experiences to do in Padua

The organization of events in Padua should definitely include gastronomic experiences linked to the traditions of the area. In the city, you will find plenty of shops, trattorias, and cafes with a very long history that can become part of your itinerary to discover the city.

We first stop for a morning coffee and a slice of cake, or for a lunch as well, at the must-see historic Caffè Pedrocchi. The restaurant dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century and is known as "the café without doors" because, until 1916, it was open day and night. The location has several rooms available to accommodate events of different sizes.

Do not miss the experience of sipping a Spritz, the symbolic aperitif of Padua that now has reached international popularity.

You will find many more bars between the arcades and squares of the historic center where you can order Spritz. Although classic chips and olives are often used to accompany it, many places offer a more articulated aperitif with the addition of Cicchetti, pizza, or meatballs.

One of the most traditional Paduan dishes is bigoli, sort of spaghetti seasoned with white sauces or proper ragout. Beware of guests who may find it difficult roll them around the fork as Italian do!

Also worth tasting are the mixed boiled meat dish, the Paduan “imbriaga” chicken cooked with wine, codfish and the folpetti - the musky octopus.

Padua will surprise you with all its history, culture, science, and culinary traditions, just perfect to inspire thematic itineraries and host meetings and corporate events.


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