Friday 17th April. Took breakfast at the Queen Vic then on to do the tourist bit. Apart from any specific buildings the city has an impressive range of medieval and renaissance buildings many in the venetian style. The Cathedral with seven domes appeared fairly basic but extremely large initially but on walking through the amazing frescoes and sculptures came to life. The reliquary had dozens of gold and jewel encrusted items on show where a constant column of the faithful were passing by. The building complex was huge with at least three sets of cloisters and enclosed gardens and many areas where priests were taking confessions and selling something I did not understand (it was in Italian).
Leaving the cathedral we crossed to the Prato della Valle said to be the second biggest square in Europe. In the centre is an island some 100 metres diameter surrounded by an ornamental canal with two avenues crossing at right angles and crossing the canals. On both sides of these canals stand twice life size statues of 78 famous men in history. Then to emphasise the lack of space the outside of the square is a massive car park except of course for the obligatory market almost lost in the corner. The whole is very impressive. Padua is certainly a city we would like to revisit.
At midday we decided that we would take another few days off so aimed for Lido di Jesolo where we took Sarah for her first foreign holiday 39 years ago. The route Nora calculated was anything but boring as it threaded its way between the rivers, canals and villages around Venice. At one point we came into a village where space had been created to build and admire a series of beautiful pallazos each more impressive than the last until the grandest of them all appeared, Villa Pisani. On parking we found it was now a national museum (free entry) so off we went. The building obeys the Palladian principles and has an imposing frontage, originally designed in 1735 to front a 100 room building but modified to contain less. The house has a large area in the centre for offloading coaches in the dry and a superb suite of rooms to support a fabulous ballroom. In the garden the rectangular lake runs the full length with statues of what appear to be bodies lying in the water at random positions. At the end of the lake there appears to be another similar palace but it just denotes the end of the property and once housed the greenhouses and gardeners implements. Other points of interest in the garden include a maze and several folly’s. The property at one time was bought by Napoleon and given to his stepson.
Eventually we reached Jesolo and found that our original hotel was now a tower block so have booked two nights at the hotel Bristol, adorned with blue elephants.