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Published: June 24th 2011
Actually, in the English name for the city is "Padua". But 'Padova' is cooler.
Ok... it wasn't really a surprise trip. I just didn't know we were going until maybe an hour before we left. I think I didn't know because, well, I don't speak Italian that well... or they just didn't tell me. Nonetheless, I was glad to have the chance to go! We saw some pretty awesome things there... but we'll get to that in.. oh, a paragraph.
Regular morning/early-afternoon routine: nothing much. TV, House, The Jungle, Super Smash Brothers with Claudia, shower, etc.... However, I did do one new thing today- It's my sister Brianna's birthday today, so I sent her a message to wish her a good one! (I hope she got it...). So Happy Birthday/Buon Compleanne Brino! 😊
Paolo and Nico had to go to the bank so Paolo could get his credit card for when he comes to America on Wednesday (I can't believe it's only 5 days away! Kind of sad still...). Elena told me that once he comes back, we're going to go to Padova. "Today?" I asked. "Yes, today!"
Well that was news to me.
So I took a shower so I would look presentable and to not have crazy hair
Not as neat as Venice, this canal-type-thing, but it still is pretty!
like Rod Stewart in his younger days, and eventually, Elena and I took Claudia into Rovigo, dropped her off, then came back to the house to pick up Paolo. Our plans changed a little, as you can tell. So we took off for Padova and with it being about 25 miles away (don't worry, I did the kilometer-to-mile conversion) it didn't take us very long to get there.
Now you may remember back to the Lido di Venezia day, when we went to the beach at Lido, and on our way back we stopped in Padova. Well, now we had the chance to stay there longer and look around in more detail. We drove straight through into the downtown of Padova (by the way, the call the downtown area the "centro", like "center". But it sounds weird saying we went to the "center" of Padova). We parked in a parking garage--ok, that's not totally weird, right? Well, this had to be one of the coolest parking garages ever--completely modernized. There were the completely electronic ticket dispensers when you drove in, and money-takers when you drove out. Ever square inch of the floors were painted with acrylic, making it look
The anatomy paintings!
I couldn't take my eyes off of these paintings when I was in the University!
really fancy-shmancy, and then it blew my mind when I looked at the ceiling and there were little lightbulbs above every parking space that indicated whether or not that spot was taken... so that took out the tedious and bothersome chore of driving up and down aisles wrenching your neck around looking for an open spot before somebody takes it. I know I'm making a big deal out of this, but hey, we don't have this in America as far as I know, and I can write about whatever I want. You could always skip this paragraph. Although it's a bit too late for that.
We (being Elena, Paolo and I) began walking deeper into the downtown of Padova. There, we saw hundred of ancient buildings (no surprise there) that all looked marvelous, as you would expect from and Italian city.
But suddenly Elena turned us into a sort of courtyard, that was surrounded on three sides by another ancient building with two stories, but with porticos on each floor. Hung on the walls of the buildings under the porticos were hundreds of stone tablets, and painted on the ceilings were what looked like family shields. Elena then
The Anatomy Theatre
Ok, this is actually a model of the theatre. I couldn't get a decent picture of the actual one. But still really neat, huh?
proceeded to tell me that this was the "Università degli Studi di Padova"--one of the oldest universities in the world! I was stunned, as you can understand, because unknowingly I had just walked into one of the oldest universities in the world- and it was still in operation! It was said to have been started around 1222, so it's fascinating that 789 years later, students are still taking classes in the same place!
We, by pure luck, got there just in time to join the last tour group of the day, so we actually got the chance to see inside of the university! There was good news and bad news though. The bad news was that there were some classes going on, so we couldn't visit a whole lot in the other side of the university. The good news? Well, my luck! The place that we DID get to see was the medicine part of the university! We first walked into a room where there a ton of paintings of the old medicine teachers (including Bartholemew Eustachia, who discovered the Eustachian tubes!), about 8 or 9 skulls that were hundreds of years old (like everything else), and life-sized paintings
Basilica di Sant'Antonio
I felt bad taking pictures, but one of the ones I did take was of the three displays in the Chapel of Obelisks. The tongue and jaw of Saint Anthony are in the middle display
on the walls of the human muscular and skeletal systems! (I guess there was some nervous system stuff in there too). This may not be all too exciting for all of you, but hey, it was to a guy whose dream is to go into medicine, capisci?
Next we went into the "Anatomy Theatre"--the first one in the world. This, as you might assume, is a room where students (and the public) would observe the professor doing demonstrations on a human cadaver (that was usually stolen or dug up from a grave). The room was not that big, but it was shaped like a funnel, with concentric circles of levels where the observers would stand and look down at the professor in center at the very bottom of the room, doing his work by candlelight. Wouldn't that be just awesome?!?!? I wish I could have had that chance!
Also, the tomb of Galileo Galilei is in that University (I unfortunately didn't have a chance to see it) as he was a chair of mathematics there for 18 years (1592-1610). Additionally, Nicolas Copernicus (famed astronomer) and the first woman who EVER graduated from a university in the world, Elena
Prato della Valle
The canal that runs through the piazza flanked by an army of statues.
Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, attended and graduated from this school. Pretty neat, eh?
We then walked to a piazza and sat down to have a piece of torta (cake... but not really cake as we know it. More like slices of different desserts). Then we proceeded to the Basilica di Sant'Antonio. If you remember, I have been here before, but only on the outside. Well, as you may expect, the inside was even more breathtaking! With huge ceilings, paintings and sculptures everywhere, prayer chapels, there was so much to take in! One other amazing thing was that the saint himself, Saint Anthony, lays at rest here, and you can walk around it and even touch the tomb with your hands! Paolo told me to touch the tomb because it was good luck... but it took me a while to do it because, hey! I had to prepare myself to actually touch the tomb of a saint! There was also a chapel of obelisks, which had a bunch of spectacular objects of Sant'Antonio. Two of the most bizarre things that I actually saw on display was the tongue and jaw of Saint Anthony. A little gross, but at the same time,
The parking garage
Lame picture to put in this entry, I know. But you have to see that lights on the ceiling!
a wonder to see.
After we left the basilica, we walked to the Prato della Valla, which, as I've said before, is one of the largest piazzas in Europe. There are a great number of statues and a little canal that runs around the piazza. Also quite spectacular.
We decided that we had seen enough and that we were all exhausted, so we walked back to the awesome parking garage and drove back to Rovigo (after stopping by a outdoor gear store called "Decathlon". Not that interesting). And so here we are... I'm actually typing this before midnight because we didn't go out again once we got back for once! (Besides... we think Paolo is beginning to feel that same virus coming on... hope not! 😞 )
I realize this was a long entry, but that's because it's been so long that I've had something I was really excited to write about! (and hopefully you enjoyed it too!) But this paragraph marks the last! So, take a deep breath, relax, and "Buonanotte!"
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