In a recent email Signora Jo from Dave's workplace wrote ...
'Have you been the St.Antonio Di Padova church yet.
My mother prays to St.Anthony.... (her favourite St. if that makes sense...)'
Well, the Basilica of Sant'Antonio da Padova was certainly on my agenda, for one thing, I had to do it for the namesake of Tony in our Italian class. Also given that it rates so highly on the things to see in Padova list. As the international shrine dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, it is visited by more than 5 million pilgrims every year. St. Anthony of Padua, a disciple of St. Francis of Assisi, a famous preacher and worker of miracles in his own day, and the patron saint of lost and stolen articles.
I wasn't sure when or how I would get myself to the right part of Padova in order to make a visit. Last week, when I was commuting from Vicenza and walking from Padova Station to school each day, I often came across street signs pointing the way. But this week has seen me traverse another route.
Today however, I was off on an adventure. I threw caution to the winds and simply followed either my camera's instincts for beauty or intrigue, or my body's desire for food of one sort or another. Talking of which, along the way I had a very close encounter of the GROM kind, and this deserves an entire update of its own. I also came across a place to buy an easy lunch, a kind of sandwich which here is called a tramezzina. I purchased two and stowed them in my bag for later. Meanwhile I zigged and I zagged, up alleys, across lanes. I allowed myself to be lured by shop windows and street signs. I found myself repeatedly in ancient Padova University buildings - they seem to permeate the place. And everywhere - students, bicycles, motor bikes, building restoration. And of course, the plural of portico - absolutely everywhere. And that's not all. (yet another story to come)
Although it was quite hot, and I was lugging my school bag and my computer, I was quite content to stay on the scent of an unknown something. I had the feeling that no matter how far I walked, I was not lost, and with a hint of a whim I could about face or cross country towards my home in Via Ognissanti. In one moment my eyes shifted from the shops and the road signs and I could hardly believe what I saw. There further down the street and amongst the backdrop of your everyday kind of buildings were unmistakable signs of something big. Was this St Anthony's - if not, then what?
My camera developed a mind of its own as I continued my approach from this side street. And by now I was in no doubt at all. What a building! What a monument! Wow, or as we sometimes say in Italian - evviva!