Padova or Padua located in the north of Italy in the Veneto region embodies the ideal college town. Padova is famous due to its university being one of the oldest universities in the world and second oldest in Italy.

While I was in Padova some students were graduating and I was able to observe the unique graduation ritual. Apparently when you graduate in Padova your friends wake you up early in the morning, dress you up in an absurd costume, bring you to the center of town and read a story that they crafted about your life in detail (they always enhance the worst parts). While you read this story out loud in front of your friends and family they pour random things on you such as chocolate, maple syrup, and flour. If you didn’t think it gets any worse, just wait. You also must drink a disgusting alcoholic concoction created by your friends on command at any point while they sing a vulgar song. Nothing says welcome to the real world quite like public humiliation.

Surprisingly Padova is also home to the second largest public square next to Red Square in Moscow. While I was there I was lucky enough to see the entire public square turned into an open concert surrounded with beer tents.

The city of Padova supplies every college student with the atmosphere they need to thrive. A history enriched atmosphere, A large student population, and of course a fantastic bar and nightlife scene.