Padova (Padua) is quiet by comparison with Venice, but it is still a big, bustling city, with its own tram line. Parking is easiest out on the edge of the old town - it's not cheap, but there are several safe, covered car garages near the station. Beware of the complicated one-way system, however - SatNavs nearly go demented trying to send users down streets that don't exist or have recently become one-way.

The best, far and away, are the frescoes in the Scrovegni chapel, This is technically part of the museum but, unlike the other main museums, the chapel is open on Mondays, and it is relatively easy to get tickets and go straight in, without a wait. You sit in a cool room for a quarter of an hour, with a video to watch, then you have only 15 minutes to see the frescoes. It's not enough for these amazing "strip cartoons" of Bible stories, but definitely worth the money. There were some quite young children there - looked about 7/8 - and they enjoyed it too. The park around the Chapel has a lot of modern art statues and such in it, which were entertaining, if sometimes odd, and the park itself would be a good place to let children run around, have a family picnic, sit in the shade or sunbathe.

It is not possible to see the rest of the museum on a Monday, but there's still plenty in town of interest. There is an extremely swish shopping area, full of designer names, but beyond that are places more suited to mortals with more moderate incomes. There are good bars/cafes right next to the Palazzo Della Ragione (which looks fabulous; even on a non-market day don't miss the food shops in the arcade underneath.)

The Baptistery of the Duomo is being restored, but is still fascinating for a moderate fee. The frescoes are odd but interesting. After one day in Padova  it was clear there was more than enough for a return visit. That's the trouble with Italy - far, far too much to see!