Last week, we went to Padova with my class for the day. Padova is about a thirty minute train ride from Venice, and if you ever have the opportunity to visit it, it is well worth doing so.
Padova is an important city in Italy! The second university in the country was founded there, and it has a long-standing history of proto-humanist studies, as well as a historical affinity and involvement with the Roman empire. This is very different from the history of Venice, because Venice is not characterized by this same Roman influence!
We had a packed day ahead of us, but it was so wonderfully busy that I didn’t notice how tired I was feeling until the end. Not to mention how overloaded my mind was with information.
First, we saw the Scrovegni Chapel. This is one of the most well-known sites in the city, I think. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, which is quite a shame, but here is a glimpse into its unique beauty. It features groundbreaking frescoes by Giotto, and is one of the most important fresco cycles in Italian Renaissance art.
After that, we saw the Church of the Eremitani, another source of beautiful frescoes. The apse was frescoed by Guariento, working in Giotto’s style, only developing it further. Again, no pictures were allowed here. In the same church, we saw the Ovetari Chapel. This part was virtually destroyed during World War II by bombings, but there is quite an elaborate and accurate digital reconstruction there, along with fragments of the original damaged frescoes. I couldn’t find any pictures online that do it justice, really.
We went on to see the Basilica di Sant’Antonio. It is indescribable! Its sheer size is awe-inspiring, and it is one of the most majestic churches I have ever seen.
The interior is even more sumptuous!
Onward we went to the Oratory of St. George! Another frescoed masterpiece.
Last, but certainly not least, was the Baptistery of the Padova Cathedral. It is the most stunning baptistery ceiling I have ever seen, and it ended the day on a spectacular note. I could never get tired of looking at it!