Sunday, Sept 18, 2016 Padua, Italy Scrovegni Chapel
It was back to the Verona train station for a trip to Padua and a visit to the Scrovegni Chapel, adorned with fresco after fresco painted by Giotti in 1305. The chapel was built out of guilt by the son who wanted to redeem his father who was a notorious practicer of usury. Usury was condemned by the Catholic Church. Whether or not this edifice brought redemption to the family, is questionable, but the resulting structure is a tourist attraction. Visits are tightly controlled with only fifteen minutes allowed each group of 25 who file through the hallowed hall.
Padua is nearly all the way back to Venice. The train is the fastest way to get there. Besides, we needed to case out the station and find the elevator to the tracks so we would not need to bump our suitcases up the stairs. When we got to Padua, we discovered the tram - an electrically powered, single track, rubber tired conveyance that took you from one part of Padua to the other, with the Scrovegni Chapel along the way. Since it was Sunday, the town was nearly deserted with nothing like the traffic in Verona. Boarding the tram, it was only a few stops and we were at the Scrovegni Chapel. However, we took a wrong entrance and walked in such a way that the entrance to the chapel was through a fence! Retracing our steps, we finally found the entrance and still had time to tour the surrounding museum buildings before our appointed visit at 1PM came around. There was a fifteen minute introductory video and then we were admitted to the chapel. The frescos that adorn the walls and ceiling are the main attraction. Completed in only two years, they are depictions of the lives of Mary and Jesus. Some are in good repair, but many are in ruin from moisture and the effect of the ages.
After the visit, we found a place to eat and devoured a pizza. We debated going on to the other “must see" in Padua and as a tram loomed into sight we said, “Go for it!” and headed to the church of Saint Anthony on the other end of the city. The debate revolved over catching a train back to Verona and we decided to keep the Saint Anthony visit short to make a reasonable train back “home.” Still, we were able to file by and touch the tomb of Saint Anthony and snap a few surreptituous pictures inside the cathedral.
We returned to Verona and after a rest, headed out to find a place to eat. We did not want to go back to the ostentatious restaurant of the first night, so we went back to Osteria Dal Cavaliere, just around the corner from our hotel. One of the fun things in Italy is finding a restaurant where the locals eat.