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  • Day70

    Padua-Back in Italy

    August 26, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    After leaving Bohinj we had the most amazing and beautiful drive through the Alps and villages on our way back into Italy. Apart from the wonderful scenery Al did an amazing drive up and down narrow mountain roads with hair pin turns all the way for a few hours, but what a view! We overnighted in Padua before driving on to drop the car in Milan and then to catch the train to Venice. Padua is certainly a city of many, many massive churches.Read more

  • Day296


    April 18, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Montagnana had a small car park solely for the use of vans. It was free to stay in and provided free services, including electricity. An overgrown grass verge separated the parking from a foot and cycle track, trees provided a sense of nature and it was a decent way away from any through road, so a quiet spot to spend a few days.

    Although there are still plenty of Italian Wall Lizards around, they are less common here than down south, but Spring has sprung and we watched blackbird chicks that were larger than their fathers, hopping around being fed and learning to find their own food.

    The town itself was surrounded completely by castellated walls of red brick. They rose above a wide but dry and grassy moat and allowed entry through any one of four gates. We always like to repay our free stays, so topped up on veg at a little grocers and bought a loaf of delicious mais bread at the bakers.

    The town centre was very well presented, it's porticoed streets litter free and in a good state of repair. Painted patterns adorned the underside of arched corridors and the spacious central square was overlooked by cafes and restaurants. All in all it was a very pleasant place to be. We were glad for the people who lived here that they had so much, but couldn't help contrasting it with the dearth of facilities and poor living conditions of others in poorer parts of the country.

    By day 2 Will had found a cycle track just half a kilometer from the van. It was a short route that led alongside a stream and and had a few ponds and outdoor gym off to the side. It wasn't stunning scenery but it was really good to just have a ride as we might have along the canals back in the UK. We sat and shared a punnet of strawberries by a pond and saw a hare and pheasant on the way back. We had a try of the fitness equipment but it just proved to us how unfit we are: the photos are a lot more complimentary than a video would have been!
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  • Day6


    September 12, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Still fighting for coming home... some troubles with the new front-tire (loosing air and hyper temperated). One more hour lost at the closed highway between Sirmione / Lago di Garda and Verona).

  • Day17

    The Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua

    September 15, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    In my research of things to experience and see in Italy I came across the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova, Padua. It looked amazing and so close to Venice that it was worth a trip to see it.

    The Cappella degli Scrovegni, the Scrovegni Chapel (also known as the Arena Chapel), is a small church, adjacent to the Augustinian monastery, the Monastero degli Eremitani in Padua. The chapel and monastery are now part of the complex of the Museo Civico of Padua. The chapel contains a fresco cycle by Giotto, completed about 1305 and considered to be an important masterpiece of Western art.

    The chapel was built in 1305 by wealthy Italian banker Enrico Scrovegni. The young Scrovegni’s father had been a notorious userer, or purveyor of bad loans, charging so much interest as to crush those that owed him money. At the time this practice was considered so vile as to end someone’s soul in hell. Scrovegni’s father was so well-known for his illegal interest that he is even name-checked in Dante’s Divine Comedy as one of the souls in the Seventh Circle of Hell.

    The Scrovegni Chapel was built as a measure to atone for his father’s sins, and while the building itself is architecturally unremarkable, Scrovegni was able to retain the services of one of the most renowned artists of the time to decorate the interior. And the result is truly breathtaking. The largest element is extensive cycles showing the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin. The wall at the rear of the church, through which the chapel is entered, has a large Last Judgement. There are also panels in grisaille (monochrome) showing the Vices and Virtues.

    Like the Last Supper in Milan, the Scrovegni Chapel can only be visited under strict guidelines in order to protect this amazing work of art. We were unaware that we needed to prebook and were lucky enough to show up when there was a place available.

    The vivid colours, the stories told in the frescos, the beauty and depth of the “heavenly” combined with the “hellish” pieces, the contrasts, even the feeling whilst standing in the Chapel, all of it really made an impact on me. It was definitely worth the trip and is a place I will always remember.
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  • Day11

    Montagnana Padova northern Italy

    May 21, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We had a nice day which started cool but warned as we came down from the mountains we had another puncture. Then we came around lake Garda stopping for lunch at a lovely lake side restaurant. Then continued south.
    Mandy found this beautiful walled town and a b&b just outside the wall however when we got there it was closed so we ended up in a really posh hotel called Aldo Moro inside the wall. When I came in wearing jeans and carrying back packs the maitre d was very sniffy when he returned from seeing the car he couldn't do enough for us.
    We were luck to arrive on the very night the town celebrated the festival of ham as this area is know for many producers of that lovely thin sliced prosciutto so we bought tickets and joined in the fun. Tasting different hams and local wine.
    I will add more tonight as it is time to be on the road.
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  • Day4

    St. Anthony and Friends

    November 4, 2014 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Took bus to Padua. Visited Church of St. Anthony and the University of Padua. It claims to be the oldest university in Europe. We enjoyed military band outside the Pedrocchi Coffee Shop in commemoration of the armistice ending World War I. All the Italians say, “We got on the wrong side in World War II, but got it right in World War I.” So they celebrate the Armistice more than VE Day. We enjoyed coffee at Cafe Pedrocchi, the finest coffee shop in the world. It also boast several bullet holes in the walls, inflicted during one of Italy's revolutionary outbreaks in the nineteenth century.Read more

  • Day17

    Eremitani Museum, Padua

    September 15, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    We aren't huge fans of museums and they are not on the top of our "Things to See" list, but the Eremitani Museum was included with our ticket to see the Cappella degli Scrovegni (Scrovegni Chapel) so we decided to have a wander around before we left. And I must say I was glad we did.

    The Museum is a complex of museums and historic sites, centered around the former convent of the Eremitani and its famous Cappella degli Scrovegni. Not only does it include the chapel, it has nineteen rooms filled with objects dating back to 6th Century BC, a lapidary displaying architectural finds, and a sculpture park filled with contemporary art.

    I am still amazed at the age of the items they have on display and the history surrounding them. History was not one of my favourite subjects at school but my interest has certainly be piqued over here. The museum was very well laid out and very informative. From glass bottles, pottery, gems, funerary outfits, some Egyptian finds, mosaics, small bronze statues to larger statues, funerary steles and cult inspired pieces, this museum has so many items of interest. I think the most fascinating of all to me was the skeleton of a man buried with his horse and learning of the importance of this. It was very interesting.

    Of course one of my favourite areas was the courtyard featuring the contemporary sculpture art. I was missing Swell at home and this was a great replacement. The contrast from the historical items inside to the modern outside was a great juxtaposition.
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  • Day207

    Day 208: Vicenza via Padua

    September 10, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Packed up and hit the road, heading eastwards again on the last phase of our road trip across northern Italy. First destination was the small city of Padua (or Padova in Italian), where they have the world's oldest botanic garden, founded in 1545. Found a park with a bit of difficulty (lots of one-way streets and trams to worry about), then headed over to the gardens.

    Quite interesting, as the intention was to categorise the entire plant kingdom. They'd done this by category, eg medicinal plants, herbs, poisonous plants etc. I think the attempts pre-date later taxonomy work that we're more familiar with. There was also a palm tree from the 1580s that had inspired Goethe in some of his scientific work (related to the structure of leaves and how they were basically structured in the same way regardless of plant, so they must have a common ancestor). Something a bit different for a UNESCO site, but it was fairly small and the weather wasn't great so we didn't stay too long.

    By now it was around 2pm and raining fairly heavily, so we didn't particularly feel like searching for somewhere specific to eat, particularly since we weren't in the centre of town and didn't really need to stay in Padua anyway. So in the end we opted for Maccas. Annoyingly the restaurant we went to didn't have self-service touchscreens for ordering (a first on this trip!), and the menu didn't have any special localised options either unlike basically everywhere else, so it was regular menu items all the way down. After the pantomime of ordering, of course.

    Back in the car where we drove north-west to Vicenza, where we'll spend the next two nights. Our apartment was available from 3pm so we checked in basically at that time. It's a single-bedroom apartment, obviously someone's home and so it feels very cluttered. Kitchen stinks as well, because there's two mouldy sponges sitting in the sink and soaking wet. Plus the dregs of coffee in the filter machine - gross. At least it was cheap!

    We spent the rest of the day staying in and working, as it'll be another busy one tomorrow.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia di Padova, Padua, Padoue, Padova, Pádua

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