A couple of weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of cruising the Brenta Canal from Padua to Venice. I will be posting about that day soon. In the meantime: spoiler’s alert! In this post I chronicle our sailing out of the Canal and into the Venetian Lagoon.
I can promise you that everything changes immediately: the scale, the weather, our speed, the traffic, the feeling.
The brochure tells the story. I couldn’t make this stuff up!
I had to go back to Padua to see the masterpiece of Medieval fresco painting and I’m so happy I did. One, two, even three times in a lifetime is not enough. I’m now at 4 times and counting.
Tuscan sculptor, Giovanni Pisano, is also well-represented in the chapel.
The brochure for the Chapel tells us this about the Scrovegni Chapel: “In 1300, the rich nobleman Enrico Scrovegni acquired the area of the Roman Arena [in Padova], on which he intended to build a fine town house. Next to it, he had a chapel built and dedicated to the Holy Virgin, for the soul of his father Reginaldo, the usurer mentioned in the 17th canto of Dante’s ‘Inferno.’ Scrovegni commissioned Giotto to decorate the chapel with frescoes which, according to most reliable information, was done between 1303-05. The frescoes cover the interior walls and ceiling of the building completely. The lower part of the blue star-spangled vaulted ceiling depicts the prophets and the important episodes in the lives of the Holy Virgin and Jesus Christ. Above the main door is ‘The Last Judgment:’ Christ, as judge, is surrounded by the angels and the apostles; below him, to the right, are the Blessed; to the left, the Damned are depicted as suffering eternal punishment, according to medieval tradition.”
Lovers of the ottocento and of old Florence will love the current exhibition at the Palazzo Antinori. Entitled “The Florence of Giovanni and Telemaco Signorini” (father and son), the show runs through 10 November 2019. For people like me, it is a delightful experience to not only see the show, but to also have a look at the piano nobile of the Antinori Palace.
The exhibition also includes a few paintings by contemporaries of the Signorini father/son painters. It includes: Ruggero Panerai, Luigi Gioli, Francesco Gioli, Giorgio Mignaty, Adolfo Tommasi, and Antonio Puccinelli. There is also a sculpted bust of Telemaco Signorini by Giovanni Dupre.
Here’s what the brochure announces about this exhibition:
Regarding the beautiful palazzo itself:
Allora, now that I am done being a voyeur for the palazzo itself, let us look at some of the paintings in the exhibition: First up, a few paintings by Giovanni Signorini
Above, Giovanni Signorini, Veduta dell’ Arno da Ponte alla Carraia, 1846
And now, for some paintings by Telemaco Signorini
Above: Telemaco Signorini, Mercato Vecchio, 1882-83
Above: Telemaco Signorini, Il ponte Vecchio a Firenze, 1880
Last weekend I returned to Padua for another opportunity to see the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel. Since the visits are only 20 minutes long, it takes me more than one trip to Padua to really see the frescoes as I want to see them.
But, I also wanted to return to Padua to enjoy more of the city, now that I have discovered it fully. I went armed with my new fancy smartphone and its powerful camera. Some of the pictures below are of pretty Padova and some are just experiments with my camera.
I love any city with a street named for one of my favorite sculptors, Donatello.
The Botanic Garden of Padua dates back to 1545 and is regarded as the most ancient university garden in the world. Founded to foster the growth of medicinal plants, in Italian called semplice, since the remedies were obtained directly from nature without any manipulation. The garden was named Hortus Simplicium. The first keeper of the garden was Luigi Squalermo called Anguillara.
Below, fall blooming crocus:
More water lilies:
Random plant life:
Nature with a background of Italian church bells:
Gigantic lily pads:
The horticultural complex in Padua is very impressive and state of the art.
Reminders of the influence of Venice on Padua are everywhere in this city:
Padova is surrounded by water. The canals make lovely views. I love to think back to the times when people and goods moved here by gondole, burci and mascarete, all typical boats, along internal canals, following the waterways and floating under bridges.
Padua has a lot of beautiful architecture. I want to make another trip there to enjoy and photograph all the great sculptural embellishments on the palazzi.
In early October, I had the good fortune to spend a lovely evening at La Società Canottieri on the banks of the Arno in Florence. The evening was spectacular enough, getting to visit this special place and watch afternoon fade into evening. I’ve posted about it here and here.
But, then, somebody somewhere flipped a switch the the Ponte Vecchio was illuminated in purple. We were all surprised and there were audible gasps of delight as we took in the bright lights on the old bridge.
Have you seen this series of videos? I just discovered them through the one on Monet and I loved it!