PHD School - Further Information


The City

Padua, a city of ancient origins, is situated in the centre of the Venetian plane, between the lagoon, the hills and the foothills of the Alps, embraced by the Brenta and the Bacchiglione rivers which give rise to dense network of internal cannels. The main monuments present in Padua are described by traditional dialect as a meadow without grass, a saint without a name and a café without the doors.

The meadow without grass is Prato della Valle, one of the largest squares in Europe. The current configuration of Prato della Valle dates from 1775 when a marshy area was reclaimed. At the centre is a large elliptical island surrounding by a moat and decorated with 78 statues of famous people associated with Padua. People go there to practise sports and on Saturday it is transformed into a evocative market.

The saint without a name refers to the basilica dedicated to Saint Anthony, know by the inhabitants simply as “il Santo” (the Saint). Built in the 13th century, it contains numerous works of inestimable artistic value. Its silhouette, with oriental style bell towers, stands out majestically against the sky, a characteristic feature of the city’s horizon.
The café without the doors is the Caffe Pedrocchi, built in 1826 to a design by Jappelli, it represents a “refuge” ever ready to welcome travellers and intellectuals. As a place to meet and talk, it is animated by concerts, exhibitions and conference. But the city goes on and on, is squares and corners which tells is history buildings which reveal its art, in streets which year after year welcome students and accompany them during their studies.
Padua is also famous for the Scrovegni Chapel, built at the beginning of 14th century, the Palazzo del Bo, the original University building where new graduates celebrate their graduation, the Palazzo della Ragione, built in 1218, known by the inhabitants of Padua as “il Salone”, and the market street that takes place every day in Piazza dei Signori, Piazza della Frutta and Piazza delle Erbe.
Padua can be reached by train (the railway station is 10 minutes walk from the centre), by car from the A4 Venice – Milan motorway and the A13 Bologna Padua motorway) and by air (Venice, Treviso, Bergamo, Verona, Milan and Bologna airports are well linked with Padova).
The University      
The University of Padova traces its origins back to 1222 when a groups of law students migrated spontaneously from Bologna to Padova, forming a free association organized into nations according to their geographic origins. The motto “Univarsa Universis Patavina Libertas” – “a complete liberty for all the University of Padova” – underlines the total freedom of thought that the university has always granted its teachers and its students alike. This same freedom of thought attracted illustrious scientist to Padua. In the field of medicine, Gian Battista De Monte was the first in Europe to teach clinical medicine at the patient’s bedside and William Hervey discovered the secret of blood circulation. In the field of astronomy, figures of note include Copernicus, father of our present understanding of universe, and Galileo Galiei, who worked at Padua from 1592 to 1610 and found here the ideal conditions for his observation. The University of Padua has also distinguished itself in the area of equal opportunity: the first woman in the world to obtain a degree, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Priscopia, studied and graduated here in 1678.
The University has successfully maintained a healthy relationship with the figure of its past, not only by valuing its heritage of art and museum, but also by striving constantly to improve the quality of its teaching method, establishing decentralised structures and organizing initiatives aimed at achieving didactic excellence.

Nowadays the University of  Padua has 66000 students, more than 30% of the town population. The University consists of 13 faculties offering 104 first cycle degree courses (Bachelor level), 79second cycle degree courses (Master of science level) 71 Short specialization schools (mostly medical one) and a school of excellence (The Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori). Moreover, the research departments host over 76 different doctorial programs grouped into 34 doctoral schools and 4 doctorate courses.
Seventy –six percent of Padua graduates find work within one year, and over 91% within three years. Over 2000 million books are available in the libraries, which not only document the history of the University over the centuries, but also accompany its journey in the future, Easy accesses to reading rooms and a complete online catalogue (containing 8,00 electronic magazines) prove the efficiency of the University library system.
University life goes on in: 64 depts., 50 libraries, 45 research and service centres, 1 general hospital and an experimental farm. The University employs 2358 professors and researchers and 2,279 technicians and administrative personnel.
For the last five year, the University of Padua has achieved first place in the ranking tables published by Cencis – the independent national institute for socioeconomic research- for the quality of its teaching and students services.
For more details about the history of the University of Padova visit the web site.



Short stay:
    University guestrooms are open from October to late July and are ideal for students, professors, researchers, or even tourists in Padua for a short stay. Bookings: send an email to including your personal details, plus arrival and departure dates.

    Other suggestion:

    Youth Hostel (Ostello della Gioventù)
    Via Aleardi 30
    Facilities: rooms sleeping 4 to 10 people
    Phone: +39049 8752219
    Fax:     +39049 654210

    Casa a Colori
    Via del Commissario 44
    Phone: +39049 680332

    Bed and breakfast
    Padua also has a range of bed and breakfast or room rental. A full list is available at

Long Stay

    ESU halls of residence
    ESU provides 1700 places in its 14 halls of residence, which have a range of facilities including gyms and laundries. Places are allocated by competition and prices vary according to merit and financial situation.

    Private colleges
    Private university colleges are normally run by the clergy and are divided into men’s and women’s accommodation. Prices vary according to facilities (e.g. board). A complete list is available

    Room or house hunting
    Student rooms and flats are widely available in Padua and cover a broad range of types and prices (starting from € 180 a month per person). Notice boards in Faculties, libraries and refectories are useful places to look, as are the internet, local papers (e.g. Portobello and Aladino), and estate agents.
    Students on international mobility schemes should contact the ESU Accommodation Service for assistance, addresses and handy advice. ESU runs a free information service that helps students weigh up the pros and cons of their future lodgings before they sign a contract in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

    ESU Accommodation Service
    Via Ospedale, 19
    Phone: +39049 8235602
    Fax: +39049 8235701
    web :

Useful Links       

    ESU Accommodation Service
    via Tiepolo 48 - 35129 Padova
    phone: + 39049.8941160
    fax: + 39 049.7800187
    e-mail: accommodation
    e-mail :
    Mon – Fri 9 am - 1 pm and 3 pm - 6 pm

    Public healthcare
    ULSS 16 Ufficio Rapporti Internazionali
    via degli Scrovegni 12
    phone : + 39049.8214024-69
    fax : + 39049.8214160
    Mon – Fri 8.30 am - 12 pm
    Mon and Thu also 2.30 pm - 4.30 pm