Buongiorno! Sorry I haven’t posted an update in a while, but life gets pretty hectic here sometimes. This post will be about our trip to Padova and Venice a couple of weekends ago during Carnivale!
Our first day was spent in Padova, a college town that’s home to a nearly 800-year-old university that has served as home to famous lawyers and scientists, including Galileo. We toured the university he taught at and viewed the world’s first anatomy theatre, where autopsies were performed for an audience of medical students.
Padova is also home to Scrovegni chapel, which contains frescos by Giotto and is considered to be one of the most important pieces of art in Western history. It was very surreal to be standing in a room looking at frescos painted hundreds of years ago by a man whom I had learned about in elementary school. The images were stunning, and the spiritual significance behind them made the moment even more unbelievable.
We had the rest of the weekend free, so that night we went shopping for a while before touring the Duomo of Padova, which contained relics from St. Anthony. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice dinner and then headed back to the hotel to get some rest.
The next morning, after checking into a new hotel, a group of three other girls and I hopped on an extremely crowded train to Venice. The train was standing room only, and everyone was dressed up in costumes and masks. Carnivale in Venice is world-famous and is celebrated in the two weeks before Ash Wednesday.
We stepped out of the train station, and my breath was taken away. I WAS IN VENICE. It was so surreal–every time I see something that I’ve only before seen in pictures I have to take a moment to soak it all in. It looked just like I’d pictured it, complete with beautiful buildings, gondolas, canals, and thousands of people dressed up to celebrate.
The highlight of the day was visiting St. Mark’s square. There were so many people dressed in ornate costumes that I didn’t have enough time to see them all, but the ones I did see were incredibly detailed and had been painstakingly put together for the celebration.
We were only in Venice for one day, but it was enough to have a wonderful experience. I was exhausted, of course, but I had seen something I had wanted to see since my elementary school art teacher, Mrs. Ambrose, had told me about a city where the roads are water and instead of driving in cars they ride in boats. I got to experience a city unlike any other, and I am so so grateful to have an opportunity like this. Here’s to three more months in this magical country!