Padua, day 2

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Padua, day 2

We got up and had breakfast, which was quite good. We’re shipping home dirty clothes and some other things to lighten our load for the next two train trips; it wasn’t cheap but it shrank and lightened our load. Got cleaned up and headed out – our first really cloudy day with a chance of showers.

They take siesta seriously in the north – between noon and 12:30P almost everything closes until 3P or later. So planning is critical. We got out late, around 11A, so we took a cab over to Santa Giustina; we stopped first at the Baptistry which is fully frescoed and beautiful. It closed at noon so they kicked us out. The Oratorio also closed at noon, so we missed that one. We walked over to the main church which is lovely inside. Justina of Padua is the patron saint of Padova.

We then walked through pouring rain to the Basilica di Sant’Antonio da Padova. Aviva was stopped by a friar to put on a top – she’d been wearing sleeveless tops this whole trip without incident, but this guy was quite determined and rude – I guess that forgiveness thing never got through is head. Aviva donned her long sleeve top. We failed to find the sacristy.

We were both hungry so we walked across the piazza to Ristorante S Antonio – the food was so-so.

We then strolled over to Santa Sofie, which opened at 4P (that siesta thing). So we sat in a cafe for an hour – at 4P the church didn’t open so we figured maybe it’s closed on Mondays. So to kill more time before our appointment to see the Giotto frescoes at Cappella degli Scrovegni, we walked around the main shopping area and then waited in a cafe (again).

If you come to Padova you must visit the Cappella degli Scrovegni which was completely painted by Giotto at his prime. You must purchase tickets at least a day in advance – we ordered ours before the trip on the web. You drop off your bags at the museum (see yesterday’s entry) – we were early and they let us join the 6:15P group (our reservation was for 6:45). You wait 10 minutes watching a video while the temperature and humidity stabilizes, and then you enter the chapel.

It’s beautiful! There are two cycles of frescoes on the side walls and a wonderful Last Judgement on the end wall. Giotto envisioned columns on the right side of the chapel, splitting the frescoes into equal sized cartoons.

Chiesa degli Eremitani is next door, and today it was open – again, very nice inside with some nice sculptures and frescoes. The bells happened to be ringing as we approached.

We walked back towards the hotel to hunt down dinner – we ended up at Ristorante Gigi Bar. The owner came over to translate and we had a nice conversation. It turns out he’s been to the US before and wants to open a bar in Los Angeles. We talked about how expensive it is to live in Europe, or rather the choices to raise taxes to deliver services to everyone or to make individuals pay for services.

Then back to the hotel – we’re shipping some dirty clothes and books we’ve bought here back home via DHL and the hotel boxed it all up for us. That should make our next two train trips easier (we hope), lightening our load. It’s important, if you plan to train around Europe, to travel light; you’ll be hauling your luggage up steps and down narrow aisles in trains. And we slept.

Location:Corso Milano,Padua,Italy

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