Padova, and Venezia, two jewels, in a rich, popular region of the name Veneto are cities that resides on the north east of the Italian peninsula. This irresistible region, with its vast range of culture is an ancient focal point for the humanities. Also being one of the most popular regions of Italy as a vacation destination, its cultural identity remains intact despite of the many business locales for tourisim like fastfood, and so forth. As read, legends says that the Venetians seem to be linked far back to the the Fall of Troy, also connecting their far past to Anatolia, or like other historians believe, even to the Celts. They, the Venetians, where called “People of The Wind”, which is not much of a suprise as this region is situated on the fascinating Mar Adriactico (an area of Mare Nostrum). Venice, in particular was one of the richest maritime republics in the world. An important point of exchange, even today with it’s many tourists you can still feel a residue of the past.
The heartfelt trip, started with its first stop in the city of Padua. Padova, as written in Italian, was, and still is a spectator of important artistical influences. The Tuscan, Giotto at the Cappella degli Scrovegni, with his elevated art of the 13th century, and the various mix between gothic, Romanic/Byzantine, influences of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, they are just few of the many evidences of such history. My hotel in an ideal spot was right beside of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio. I had the chance to spend much time observing the sacred works that belonged to the Basilica of the Saint from Lisbon. The majestic reliquies, the green interior gardens, and the many symbols on the walls where fascinating. After having spent the rest of that quick stay, roaming the streets of Padova’s center eating ice cream at Venchi, and having a glass of Gewurztraminer (Alto Adige Doc) at the well known, elegant Caffè Pedrocchi. I headed down to what is said to be the second largest piazza of Europe called Prato della Valle where a festival was being held that night to celebrate Ferie Augustae. Being another very important place, the delightful location, had 78 statues of important men of various sciences along with obélisques that held high along with the much adored statue of Dante.
Not expecting that Padova was such a short trip by train to Venice. It amazed me to find myself so arriving so quickly. Everything ancient, and luxurious it was also very welcoming with it’s old mannerisims. Right as I took foot, I wanted to stay. Many tourists flooded the steets, dragging each other along full of excitement. The city bursting with liveliness, one could not help feel as if there was a gigantic celebration taking place. I was staying at a hostel, in the area of Giudecca. Perfect for someone like myself who prefers silent, and intimate places without too many people around. Giudecca, being one of the eight minute islands. Just residing at the south of Venice, without much proof, it was hypothesised that it’s name derived from two Sinagoghes that currently do not exist as they where destroyed durring the 16th century. With another theory stating that it’s name derives from past activities of “concia”, which is the tanning of leather. Who knows the truth? The historians may. All I can tell you that now it is a suggestive residential neighborhood.
It was easy to get lost in Venice. I enjoyed wandering around without a map just allowing myself to be there. With such a little stay, time fleeted, and as I walked around gazing at awe what needed to be seen. I passed by San Marco Square reminding me of “Crooner” the first story part of Ishiguro’s Nocturnes a recent read of mine. Prefering, to eat berries at the dock, chatting to the locals with the company of cappucino, and snacking on little yellow lupini while walking down alleys to see the sights. I found much peace. My best moment was taking a two hour boat-ferry at night while listening to waves, and the cooling air around the islands. That being said, it was a wonderful trip, and if there is still so much to learn about Antonio Canova, Giovanni Bellini, and many other masters that had influenced this grand city. I have learned alot durring the way.