I notice little things are changing for me. Like I say Padova, which is the Italian instead of the English, Padua. And I don’t push the light switches the wrong way–they’re totally counter intuitive for Americans–down is on; up is off. I automatically push the doors going inside instead of doing the little pull/push dance I was doing a few weeks ago. I’m really getting comfortable here.
Anyway….We set this day up with a reservation for the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova. Painted by Giotto in 1305, the frescoed walls are a masterpiece, which marked the beginning of the Renaissance. (One simple sentence doesn’t really make a good explanation.)
Our train was leaving Venice at 11:12 so we had plenty of time to stop for coffee at the always crowded Torrefazione on Strada Nuova. Their coffee really is great. Arriving a bit early, we walked over the Scalzi bridge to take in the clear morning view:
The train ride was less than 30 minutes and I was able to practice my Italian with a young woman who sat across from us. We walked straight into town from the station and turned left into the park, and out of the park. We realized we had somehow missed the chapel. Google maps to the rescue and we were there in 2 minutes. We had to wait for a while for our time slot, so we sat outside and looked at the modern sculpture garden there.
Before you can enter, in groups of no more than 25 people, you must sit in a room to wait and watch a short video while they “acclimatize the space,” which is part of the preservation efforts for the work. The frescoes are stunning, especially in historical context. I really noticed the fake (painted) marble panels and small work framing the story panels. We both wished we knew the new testament better in order to follow the story.
For lunch we chose L’Anforna where we had gone 6 years ago and enjoyed. The scene there was still great–all dark and Greenwich Village like with jazz references all over the walls. But the food was not so great. I had pork and Ken had Amatriciana, both a C+, but the exciting thing was the vegetable with the pork. It was scorzonero, black salsify. I had never eaten it before. It looks like a thin white carrot but the flavor is totally unique and earthy. Worth eating the other average stuff just to taste this!
We walked back to the train station really rushing by so many interesting sights. It was cold.
But it was cold and windy so walking fast kept us warm.
By 5:00, we were back in the apartment and neither of us wanted to go out again. The sunset light was so warm, visually, from our windows. We ate the last of the polenta and sauce and I cooked some zucchini and onions. I fell asleep super early, my feet aching, feeling a bit worn out.