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.
The city is also known for being the city where Saint Anthony, a Portuguese Franciscan (Anthony of Padua, also known as Anthony of Lisbon - city where he was born in 1195), spent part of his life and died in 1231.
The original significance of the Roman name Patavium (Venetian: Padoa, GermanPadua) is uncertain. It may be connected with the ancient name of the River Po, (Padus). Additionally, the root pat-, in the Indo-European language may refer to a wide open plain as opposed to nearby hills. (In Latin this root is present in the word patera which means "plate" and the verb patere means "to open".) The suffix -av (also found in the name of the rivers such as the Timavus and Tiliaventum is likely of Venetic origin, precisely indicating the presence of a river, which in the case of Padua is the Brenta. The ending -ium, signifies the presence of villages that have united themselves together.