Past few weeks! Ca’Foscari, Basilica di San Marco, Fun times with friends. #Venice
So we went to Padua almost a week ago so I figured I should blog about it soon.
Padua is a the university town west of Venice about 45 minutes away! We started the day taking the regional train from the Venezia Santa Lucia Stazione to Padua! When we arrived walked about five or six blocks from the train station to the heart of the city. The bustling portion of Padua bans vehicles from operating within the tiny streets therefore it’s great for walking! We got to see a number of things including the amazing Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel (we had to watch a move in a cooling chamber to lower our body temperature before we entered the chapel because the body heat causes humidity that can ruin the frescos. :O that’s so crazy).
One of my fellow DIV-ers (Duke in Venice-ers for you slow folk), Christian (Kerr, not Kreb) called me a hipster because i wore a hat and had headphones. He also was really aiming for a blog shoutout…so there it is. Here’s a shortlist of interesting things that happened to me while I was in Padua
Overall Padua was amazing and less touristy than Venice, which was something I absolutely loved about the city.
You know what spending an entire three or four days without internet on San Servolo means? Insanity…sheer madness. The running joke is that we’re living on Shutter Island and not having internet in our rooms only made us feel even worse! So…Let’s start from Day 4 and move on from there!
Day 4: Palaces, Cappucinos and Bridges
Our fourth day in Venice was jampacked and of course I didn’t sleep at ALL the night before! Victoria and I woke up extremely early and got dressed up for class in summer dresses for our first day of fabulous weather in Venice. After a mini-photoshoot (duh, do you know who we are?) and cappuccinos over chocolate croissants we headed to class. Our 1.5 hour long class went by relatively fast and then we headed over tot he mainland for lunch. Brandon, Victoria and I headed to Dorsoduro to Campo Santa Margherita for a quick bite before heading to Ca’Rezzonico. After breakfast, I ended up too full to eat anything and stumbled upon my NEW favorite beer (at least while I’m in Italy) Naturo Azzuro…so delicious! After our lunch, we met up with the rest of the DIV group at the San Zaccaria boat stop and walked over to Ca’Rezzonico. So just a lil background info: Ca’Rezzonico is an amazing palazzo on the Grand Canal (one of the main rivers in Venice) dedicated to the memorialization of 18th century Venice and what their homes looked like. First off the property was huge and extreemly beautiful! The homes feature 4 floors: the entrance to the estate/gardens, etc, the living quarters of the family, the living quarters of the relatives/brothers of the head of the house and at the highest floor the slave lodges. Each floor has decreasingly lower ceilings and the height of the ceilings were a determinant of status of the homeowners. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos in the Palace, but I have a few that I snapped illegally (which everyone seems to do here even though there are a million and one signs that say not to!
We had a terrible microwaved pasta dinner at a small cafe after visiting the Palazzo, however the company seemed to mediate this terrible dinner! We met a wonderful couple and their grandson, James from New Zealand. James was such a little heartbreaker (half white, half Tongan) and they were such wooonnderful people…can’t exaggerate that anymore than I have. After dinner, it was back to San Servolo and straight to bed. My knees and feet were aching from a day full of walking!
The next day we were in Padua, however I’ll leave that for a post in and of it’s own because Padua has to be my favorite place in Italy thus far…yes even moreso than Venice. Padua is great in the sense that there are almost no tourists, Venice sucks in the sense that it is almost ALL tourists.
As for the rest of the weekend, here’s a snapshot:
Saturday: Slept all day (until 9 PM to be exact) and then went out to find dinner (such a struggle after 10:30 PM) ended up having an amazing dinner of fried calamari and a polenta cake! yum
Sunday: Explored Venice with Christian Kreb, Markia and Tammy! Had lunch at a fabulous place called Majer! I ate a grilled veggie croissant and an arancine ( fried ball of rice with prosciutto and cheese!) and topped it off with gelato…duh! Did some homework and relaxed on Shutter Island
Today we had class, where we discussed in depth the relationship between Byzantium/Constantinople/Zara and Venice and the influences the conquests of these lands had on Venetian architecture and culture. Afterwards we had the opportunity to visit the San Marco Basilica as a group and saw the amazing and ornate church in all it’s glory. The ceiling on the inside of the church is decorated with mosaics made of real gold that shimmer when the light hits them just right! Also we got an opportunity to see Pala D’Oro which there literally are no words for (Pala D’Oro means Golden Altarpiece). I apologize for the lack of photos but my camera conveniently died right as we were leaving the Basilica and I have yet to upload the photos!
After a lackluster dinner, I made a solo trip to one of the supermarkets Coop. I love walking around Venice alone because it gives me the opportunity to truly feel a part of the culture, the people and the city itself. I walked through Dorsoduro, Santa Croce and found my way to the grocery store along the Grand Canal! There I bought some snacks, lunch for tomorrow and of course Naturo Azzuro! I’m truly enjoying my time navigating the ferry boats and having people mistakenly speak to me in ONLY italian because my accent allows me to pass for a true Italiana! I honestly could see myself living in this country and can’t wait for what the rest of the summer has in store!