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The nearest airport is the "Marco Polo" Airport in Venezia (Venice), 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Padova; it is the third in importance in Italy, and conveniently linked with all major European airports. Other airports near Padova are in Verona and Bologna; but the transfer from there to Padova is not an easy one.
Coming from overseas, look for a connecting flight reaching Venezia from Roma (Rome) or some other convenient European airport, like e.g. London Heathrow, Frankfurt am Main or Paris Charles De Gaulle. On the contrary, avoid flying to Milano (Milan): from Milano, you have a bus ride of about 1 hour after the customs in order to reach the railway station; and then a 2 or 3 hours ride by train to Padova.
From the Venezia airport you can have: The Limousine Service. You can book it (at least 24 hours in advance) which will pick up at the airport and take you directly in Padova. The company is called "Landomas Service" (phone:+39-49-8601426, fax: +39-49-8601462), the cost is 39,000 Italian Lire person. The train. frequent buses to the Venezia-Mestre railroad station (20 minutes ride; tickets should to be bought before boarding the bus). All the trains going to Milano or Roma, plus several local trains, do stop in Padova (the ride time is 30 minutes). Padova is both on the Venezia-Milano and on the Venezia-Roma railways; many trains are available. The typical ride time from Milano is 2 to 3 hours, and 4 to 6 hours from Roma, according to the category of the selected train.
First and second class are available; for fast trains a supplement is required, and in some cases a seat reservation is mandatory: so, specify which train you are going to board when asking for a ticket.
All tickets (both round-trip and one way) have a validity of 2 months; before boarding the train, it is mandatory to validate them by using the yellow machines located on the platforms and throughout the station: penalties are applied to the infringers (ITL 40.000).
Padova is linked by highways with Venezia, Milano and Bologna;
The typical ride time from downtown Roma to downtown Padova (about 600 kilometers, or 375 miles) is of the order of 6-7 hours, but has a large variation according to weather, peak hours, and works on the highway. All the highways in Northern Italy require a toll, paid when exiting; a ticket automatically issued to the driver when entering the highway is required for payment.
If you are not familiar with the competitive European (and, in particular, Italian) way of driving, avoid long travels by car; it is quite different to travel 200 or 300 miles in Italy or in the United States, and in particular it is difficult to estimate the required time.
Car rental fees depend from the car type and the length of the rental period; and may increase if the car is returned to a different location. Their order of magnitude is of ITL 100.000 per day; inquire locally at your favorite international car rental company for more information.
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The Department of Physics is in Via F. Marzolo, 8; referring to the map is in the square D-2, within walking distance (10-15 minutes) from the railroad station.