Tag Archives: Padova

On This Day – Padova in Northern Italy

Even though travel restrictions are easing I am not yet minded to risk it so I still have no new stories to post so I continue to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 25th October 2012 I was travelling to Northern Italy to visit Venice, Verona and Padova.  Instead of reading a travel guide in preparation I read a book about William Shakespeare and the Italian connection.

I’ll see you later in the Colosseum…

Read The Full Story Here…

Italy, My Grand Tour

Italy Visited

Upon my return from Naples I thought I might update my map of places that I have visited in Italy.

Click on an image to scroll through the picture gallery…

Entrance Tickets – Palazzo della Ragione, Padova

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On a visit to Padova it is impossible to avoid the magnificent medieval market hall, the Palazzo Della Ragioni, which is a huge building that dominates the centre of the city and separates the two sections of the daily market.  At ground level there are food stall, butchers, bakers, fishmongers and purveyors of dairy produce and the assault on the senses from the competing cacophony of sights and smells was wonderful, eye-popping and a true sensory symphony.

It was here that I decided that the next time I visit Italy, or France or Spain or anywhere else for that matter, I will find some self catering accommodation so that I can enjoy shopping in places like this, selecting the ingredients for myself, cooking simple food and eating and enjoying my own interpretation of local recipes.

Padova 2

It was with some difficulty that we located the entrance to the upper floors but after circumnavigating the building we found the steps and paid the modest entrance fee.  The two-story loggia-lined “Palace of Reason” is topped with a distinctive sloped wooden roof that resembles the upturned hull of a ship and is said to be the largest of its kind in the world. It was built in 1219 as the seat of the Parliament of Padua and was used as an assembly hall, courthouse, and administrative centre to celebrate Padua’s independence as a republican city.

The magnificent hall is eighty-one metres long and is considered to be a masterpiece of civil medieval architecture and today is a must-visit site for both its floor-to-ceiling fifteenth century frescoes that are similar in style and astrological theme to those that had been painted by Giotto in the nearby Scrovegni Chapel and a wooden sculpture of a horse attributed to Donatello which is massive but simply dwarfed by the interior scale of the building.

Padova_Palazzo_della_Ragione_BW_3

I stayed in Padova in preference to nearby Venice, it is a lot cheaper, not nearly so crowded and has a fast and reliable train service to its more famous neighbour.

If you are thinking of going to Venice then I recommend doing the same.

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

Juliet's House and Balcony Verona Italy

Juliet’s House in Verona

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.”

Visiting the Italian city of Verona considered it essential that we find and see Juliet’s house in a cobbled courtyard tucked away in a side street.

Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful love-locks to the fences and the railings.  This is a problem of course so there are attendants on duty to make sure visitors only do this in one specially designated spot because if there wasn’t some control the courtyard would be quickly covered in untidy graffiti and more ironmongery than an average Home Depot store!

Although the courtyard has become a major destination for tourist pilgrimage the house of course has no connection at all with the bard’s fictional characters and although it is old and looks authentic enough, the balcony was actually added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s house” by the city authorities in a blatant attempt to cash in on the Shakespeare connection and to attract more tourists.

The balcony overlooks a tiny courtyard containing a dainty bronze statue of a graceful Juliet and people were waiting impatiently for their turn to be photographed with the heroine and to touch her right breast which is supposed to bring good fortune but I was worried that public groping was ever so slightly inappropriate so I steered clear, chose to do without the good luck boost and on the way out decided not to waste my money on a lottery ticket next weekend.

Have you been to Verona?  Have you been to Juliet’s house?

Juliet's House Verona

“Ever a shadow, he disappears, all but utterly, from 1585 to 1592….There is not a more tempting void in literary history, nor more eager hands to fill it”  –  Bill Bryson on Shakespeare.

It is an interesting fact that thirteen of the thirty-seven plays of William Shakespeare were set either completely or partly in Italy and if we rule out the ten English history plays (which naturally have to be set in England) then half of the remainder of the major works are set in the Italian states and no one knows for sure just why.

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William Shakespeare Verona Italy

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall of Love Letters

Juliet's House Verona

In Verona we considered it essential that we find and see Juliet’s house in a cobbled courtyard tucked away in a side street.  Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful lovelocks to the fences and the railings.

A wall in the courtyard is provided for people to leave their messages but all around there are strategically placed attendants keeping a careful watch to make sure no one touches the precious walls of the building itself.

Read the full story…

 

More Garibaldi – Giuseppe in Venice

Garibaldi Venice

“Let us unite, let us love one another,
For union and love
Reveal to the people
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear to set free
The land of our birth:
United, for God,
Who can overcome us?”

Italy National Anthem

As we walked further east we arrived at Via Giuseppe Garibaldi and in the Giardini pubblici di Venezia we came across the inevitable statue of the greatest of all Italian romantic heroes.

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More Garibaldi – Giuseppe in Padova

“Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?”

Italy National Anthem

So we carried on into the familiar sounding Corso Garibaldi and came across the inevitable statue of the hero of Italian unification.  After the creation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 the state worked hard at making sure Garibaldi would be remembered and the number of streets, piazzas and statues named after him makes him probably the most commemorated secular figure in history.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Juliet's House and Balcony Verona Italy

Romeo and Juliet – Verona

Supposedly the location of the famous balcony scene from Shakespeare’s love story, Juliet’s house is a popular romantic shrine and tourist honey-trap where lovers leave messages to each other on the walls and attach the dreadful lovelocks to the fences and the railings.  

Although the house has become a major destination for tourist pilgrimage the house of course has no connection at all with the bard’s fictional characters and although it is old and looks authentic enough, the balcony was actually added in 1936 and declared to be “Juliet’s house” by the city authorities in a blatant attempt to cash in on the Shakespeare connection and to attract tourists.

Read the full story…

Venice, Verona and Padova

Venive, Verona and Padua

The holiday club all wanted to visit Venice of course so the plans began with an expectation that we would be spending four days in the famous waterlogged city but during the search for suitable accommodation it soon became clear that the price of hotels was some way beyond our normal hotel room budget so I started to look for alternatives and very soon found something suitable in nearby Padova – the Hotel Grand Italia right next to the train station.

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Padova, Too Much to See, Too Little Time

Padova Italy

A narrow graffitied lane led from Piazza del Doumo to Piazza Della Erbe where to my horror there were even more market stalls but this was principally a food market with all manner of colourful items on display and I was particularly captivated by the fungi – especially coming from a country where we only eat about four different varieties of equally tasteless mushrooms and think that chestnuts are especially adventurous – because the woodland produce on display here was colourful, pungent, mysterious, dangerous, misshapen and a whole lot more interesting than our ubiquitous tasteless varieties.

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