Thursday, January 7, 2010

Padova Field Trip

Okay, I'm done apologizing for my long gaps in posting on my blog. It has finally hit me that since I've known my time here is not permanent or even that long, I SHOULD be out enjoying my days, staring at fascinating architecture, getting lost in cappuccinos, and in general soaking in all of my time and opportunities while they last. That being said, I'm still very glad to share my finds with you and I appreciate you taking the time to follow me through my journeys. So I'll go back to where I left off...

Winter is not quite as dreamy as the incredible summer Italy has-not as much juicy produce, enchanting warm evenings with late dinners outside, laughing and enjoying moments with friends. But in its own way, it is still romantic. I mean, it IS still Italy. The buildings seem to stand with proud endurance, taking the cold of winter as just another moment in the world they silently witness. Italian fashion certainly does not lack, with adorable coats, plenty of warm scarves and hats, and tons of lights everywhere, not just for Christmas but also New Years and La Befana. The hot chocolate is to die for, and the winter cuisine just as quick to make your mouth water. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I went to Padova early in December. Already though, the decorations and markets for Christmas were blooming, and even for a non-celebrator, it's charming. The markets are very popular for Christmas; in many ways similar to the weekly markets in every community, but more of them and more variety of goods to buy. I still favor the natural settings and the architectural charm of the cities, as my pictures show, but the markets bring the streets to life even in the cold weather, and feel so inviting. This field trip was solo, which always leaves me to ponder my surroundings a bit more intently. I've decided I'll take Italy any way I can have it (though I really would like to wander the streets with my friends in the warm summer evenings).

The terrible thing I must confess is, despite having been here for months, I still have done very little research of reading on the history of many of the places I visit. But here is what I do know about Padova: Padova is famous for Cappella degli Scrovegni, a chapel with frescoes by Giotto. It also boasts the largest piazza in all of Italy-always a popular place for meeting and socializing. With a tourist's eye, after a while each town can begin to be the same. But when you learn the history, taste the unique culture in each region-sometimes even each village (one word: dialect. Yikes!)-each place you go is a completely new experience. I'm enjoying it so much I don't want it to end...
PS-The photo with the strange monument with a piece of metal in it is a tribute to 9-11. The metal is a piece of the World Trade Center structure.

Here is Padova:
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