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    Padua: cultured city, but with rural flavors

    A path that tells of the delicacies of these territories and that will not fail to make your mouth water.

    In Padua you can breathe the air of a university city of ancient tradition (the studium was founded in 1222) and modern importance: you can admire Giotto  in the Scrovegni Chapel , the young Titian and Donatello , stroll through the large Prato della Valle and visit the Basilica of S. Antonio . We move between the animation of the markets around the Palazzo della Ragione and the silence of the botanical garden , but a stop at the "Pedrocchi" , a neoclassical coffee with a great cultural tradition (since 1831), all stucco and mirrors, is a must.

    In the markets there is a  province of clear physiognomy : a low plain crossed by Brenta, Bacchiglione and Adige, which converge towards the Venice lagoon, Adige also marking a good part of the provincial border to the south; only jolt, the Euganean Hills within a stone's throw of the city.

    In terms of typical products and gastronomy, the geography of the Paduan area translates into a  large peasant base  of court animals, geese, chickens and ducks above all, of good vegetables cooked simply , of pigs (from which comes the  Berico-Euganeo Venetian ham Dop ), of remarkable wines from the Euganei. Padua by itself puts us in the role of a showcase of gastronomy, not only provincial, with a series of addresses where you can experience all the great Venetian cuisine. Specifically citizens are dishes such as chicken risotto , the rich risotto Padua and rice and peas co goose in onto (or goose stored in its own fat, which is eaten in spring). The desserts are surprisingly rich in variety , closely linked to the patron saint .

    In Padua you eat well, but you also drink well. Since the aperitif, the now famous " spritz " that was invented here in its form that has become internationally popular. The spritz requires good sparkling dry white wine, such as the one that arrives in the DOC production areas of the province, some water and a generous splash of alcoholic aperitif, such as the one specially invented by Barbieri in its Stanga plants, on the occasion of the first trade fair of 1919.

    Some "spuncione" , small tavern preparations skewered on toothpicks (the "spuncioni" in fact), such as half-stuffed eggs, small sandwiches, sandwiches, the traditional "nervetti" (boiled and seasoned beef cartilage), meatballs, morsels of local cheese or what your imagination suggests, and you can go to dinner, accompanied by local wines.
    In addition to whites, Padua has an important production of reds that go well with its often meat-based menus. Since Roman times in Padua they have been able to drink  fine wines, the result of the rich agricultural production of the nearby Euganean Hills, which, thanks to the volcanic conformation and the warm waters that run through the subsoil, manage to have an ideal climate and chemical composition of the soil.

    With winemaking, the production of  spirits and liqueurs also increased , first of all  grappa , closely linked to wine production and the tradition of the territory. The productions, often handcrafted, that use fruit and herbs are also highly appreciated, proposing recipes that have their roots in the medieval botanical experience that allowed here the creation of the first "Giardino dei Semplici" (Botanical Garden) in Europe.

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    Erica Callegaro
    Michele Nicoletti

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