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City Life, Country Life, Suburban Life: Trip Report from Emilia Romagna and the Veneto

City Life, Country Life, Suburban Life: Trip Report from Emilia Romagna and the Veneto

Oct 14th, 2005, 04:05 PM
  #1  
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City Life, Country Life, Suburban Life: Trip Report from Emilia Romagna and the Veneto

In five previous trips, we've been to the Big 3 (Rome, Florence, Venice), spent a lot of time in Tuscan and Umbrian hill towns, and most recently several days on the Amalfi Coast. So where next, to continue our love affair with Italy? Reading Grisham's "The Broker" got us interested in Bologna, and the more we researched the area, the more we found to intrigue us.

Here's how our itinerary finally played out:

The City Part - Emilia Romagna
Bologna was our base for 6 nights with day trips by train to Parma, Ravenna, Ferrara, and Modena.

The Country Part - The Veneto
Agriturismo Villa Mocenigo in Mirano was a real working farm. We had a car there and made day trips to Padua, two Palladian villas, Treviso, Vicenza, and Verona.

In the Suburbs of Venice
Marghera, at least the area where we stayed, was surprisingly pleasant, and a good base for Venice if you come with a car. From here we also visited the Villa Barbaro, Bassano del Grappa, and Asolo.

I haven't yet finished this report, but thought I'd get started with the first places we went. Also, I do have photos of the trip at:
http://www.rozault.com/Italy2005

My DH also got into blogging on this trip, and his observations are at:
http://rozault.blogspot.com/
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Bologna: Brimming with Energy

When we arrived here, "The Broker" had just been published in Italian, so big stacks of the novel filled the bookstore windows. And of course an enterprising soul was offering "Broker" tours of the city (no, we didn't take one, but we did scope out on our own a few of the places we'd read about in the book).

Since we visited so many cities on this trip, I started playing a game of picking a word to sum up my reaction to each one. My word for Bologna was "energy." The city had a vibrant pulse, and no matter where we went, there was that sense of something happening, activity and involvement. The Piazza Maggiore was always filled with people conversing and gesticulating, or taking a break with their dogs (lots and lots of dogs everywhere in Bologna). And the porticos made Bologna a great walking city, with or without a dog. I loved being able to walk everywhere on the wide sidewalks, under shelter and shade, and not having to worry about being run down by scooters competing for space with pedestrians.

Fortunately our hotel was on a quiet street, and I am very glad I heeded the advice of people on the Slow Trav forum who told me not to stay in the university area. We aren't young enough to appreciate the raucousness of the hyper-revved energy level we found in that quarter! We stayed at Hotel Paradise
http://www.hotelparadisebologna.it/eng/index.htm
where we had a good-sized apartment for only 93 € a night (including breakfast at the hotel). It was basically one large room, but had a sitting area with two small couches, a kitchenette and dining table. My only objection to the room was that it was kind of dark, and had no view, but it was nice to be able to spread out, and the hotel staff was very friendly and helpful.

The food in Bologna, as predicted and expected, was outstanding. I'm going to post a separate list of all the restaurants where we ate, but at this point I'll just mention that the gelato, especially the intense chocolate flavors, was out of this world. Both Moline (via delle Moline 13) and Stefino (via Galiera 49) had fantastic rich dark chocolate, with Stefino the most creative in its combinations (chocolate with rum, almond, cherry, or even hot pepper!). We didn't find any fruit flavors (particularly my favorite mirtillo; i.e., blueberry) that were up to my all-time favorite, Giolitti's in Rome, but we didn't have a chance to get to what is supposed to be the best of the bunch, La Sorbetteria (via Castiglione 44).

My most memorable experience in Bologna (apart from the food highs) was Sunday morning at San Luca, the sanctuary at the top of the only hill in the area. (If you read The Broker, this is where Francesca sprained her ankle.) We opted for a bus ride up, rather than walking the 4 kilometers of porticos, but we saw plenty of people who were much more energetic (there's that word again!) than we were. Lots of families on morning outings (even pushing strollers up the steps ascending to the summit), joggers getting a week's worth of aerobic exercise, and many faithful for whom the Sunday outing seemed to be a pilgrimage. There was one group of worshippers led by a chanting priest with a wireless mike, and an assistant bringing up the rear holding a large speaker. Then there were others who stopped to sing hymns at various vantage points along the way. Since Mass was going on in the church, we couldn't see much of the interior with its Black Madonna, but we did stand in the back long enough to see that some people who had walked their dogs up the hill even brought them in to church!

One place we spent a fair amount of time in Bologna was the Happynet Internet point, via Oberdan 17b. Very reasonable rates; we could connect our laptop to the Internet there for only 3 € per hour, pro-rated if we spent less time online, and the connection was very fast. They also had lots of computers for people who didn't bring their own. Be aware that if you are going to use the Internet in Italy now you have to show your passport -- apparently a new security law.
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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Bologna: Foodie Town

Fred Plotkin, author of Italy for the Gourmet Traveler says that Bologna is a food-lover's paradise. We did eat very well in Bologna, although actually I can't say that we had our most memorable meals there. But that probably has as much to do with our choices as anything else, since we were generally eating our major meals of the day at lunch during day trips. Here are the restaurants we sampled:

Teresina's, via Oberdan 4. Our first lunch in Bologna. Excellent tortellini in brodo (the speciality of Bologna) and salad of grilled vegetables with tomino (a soft cheese of the region). 45 euro, with house wine.

Cantina Bentivoglio, via Mascarella 4. A Slow Food osteria. The food was outstanding, but the service left a lot to be desired. We ordered one plate of bruschetta and two pasta dishes. Our expectation was that they would bring the bruschetta for us to share, then the pastas. Instead they brought first the bruschetta and Mike's tagliatelli con ragu. I then had at least a 30-minute wait for my tortellini con burro e salvia (butter and sage). The food was excellent, but I wouldn't go back there after that experience. Dinner, with an 18-euro bottle of wine, was 42 euro. They have live jazz, and we were not in the jazz section, but I think basically they are more interested in offering a music experience than in the quality of the dining.

Victoria's, Via A. Righi. We had pizza there in a pleasant outdoor setting. The pizza was just okay, not great.

Nicola's Pizzeria, Piazza San Martino 9. Better pizza than Victoria, but I don't think Bologna is really known for its pizzas. We tried to recapture a favorite Paris experience by ordering a pizza with gorgonzola and arugula, but the one at Mezza Luna on the Left Bank was a whole lot better. 28.50 € with house wine.

Trattoria Rosso, via A. Righi. Another Slow Food osteria with pretty good food but so-so service. We finally realized that the university area, with mostly student waitstaff and probably not a highly demanding clientele, was not the best choice for dining. Either pick a place with professional waiters, or a small family-run establishment if you want good attention to detail. We ate fairly early, but the kitchen was already out of the prosciutto and melon antipasto we had wanted. Lasagna and grilled veggies were good, but not particularly memorable. 28 € with house wine.

Caminetto d'Oro, via de Falegnami 4. This place, also recommended by Slow Food, gave us our best meal in Bologna. My salad of mixed greens with pecorino and paper-thin slices of apple was one of the best of my life. The Italians have a genius for that perfect mixing and counterplay of flavors. My papardelle con funghi was also just exactly right, the pasta itself infused with overtones of the mushrooms that comprised the sauce. Mike said his tortellini in brodo and spinach tortini were also fabulous. And there were excellent home-made breads plus a very tasty complimentary starter of creamed baccala.

The only minor complaint was that the place had just reopened after major renovations and still seemed to be getting up to speed in their new quarters. They didn't have their coffee machine running for example -- and I really would have liked a nice cup of espresso to finish off the meal. Total for dinner with a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo was 72 euro.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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Parma: A City with Style

Our first train trip from Bologna was to Parma, a city with lots of style. Of course, Italians have plenty of style on their own, but somehow the French influence in Parma gave it a certain special je ne sais quoi. This was especially evident in the "Oltratorrente", Parma's "Left Bank," where Marie Louise (Napoleon's castoff Empress who settled here) left a very Frenchified Ducal Park. Other highlights of Parma were the beautiful Baptistry and Duomo, and for a whimsical change of pace, the Piazza Garibaldi decked out with free-standing life-size color photographs of donkeys. Why donkeys? I have no idea, but it was a lot of fun to see all the people posing there for photo-ops with the donkeys (of course, we joined in).

Parma's tourist information office was the first one we visited on this trip, and it set a standard that none of the others ever matched. We had failed to check the return train schedule before we left the station, and the woman in the tourist office not only looked up trains for us, but printed out a schedule from her computer. This was a lot more than the office right in the Padua station would do for us later in the week. Also, the Parma tourist office was the only one we visited that had a public restroom.

Lunch was at Lazzaro Trattoria, Borgo XX Marzo 14. We had first tried for a place called I Due Brasi, which was recommended both by someone I "met" online who lived near Parma, and by Cadogan. But it has apparently closed, because there was a restaurant with another name at its address (5 di Piazzale Cervi). We definitely could not complain about our "second" choice, though. We started with melon and prosciutto that flooded our tastebuds with a fantastic counterpoint of flavors. Then I had the house special "piatto vegetariano" -- grilled vegetables with assorted cheeses and a risotto salad with vegetables, cheese and olives mixed in. Each of the vegetables on the plate had been prepared to distill the absolute essence of its flavor. I felt as if I had never really tasted carrots or potatoes before. My DH had spaghetti all'arrabiato -- cooked perfectly al dente, with a spiciness that just kept on coming.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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Ravenna: The word is Design

Beautiful design is what I most recall from Ravenna, and that tradition started back in the years with only three digits. We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the mosaics, and not just in the most famous Basilica of San Vitale. We also loved the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the church of S. Apollinaire Nuovo, the Arian baptistry, and San Giovanni Evangelista. Each one had its own distinct style, and all were a feast for the eyes. One of our guidebooks pointed out that Ravenna was a place where church design got started -- when they were first building churches in Ravenna nobody really knew what a church was supposed to look like.

We were also impressed by the modern-day touches of design -- the way the pedestrian streets had smooth light center pathways for bikes, flanked by cobblestone walkways. And then there were the carabinieri on Segway scooters!

Even our lunch at Ca de Ven was more memorable for the ambience of the building than the food. We tried piadina, the flat-bread grilled sandwich that is supposedly the specialty of the region, but it didn't particularly impress us. They really hadn't toasted it well enough, and the cheese was actually a bit cold in the center. It was a great-looking building though, with lots of cool stuff like old tools and weapons on the walls.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 05:30 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi nonna,

Thanks for your report.

I've saved it for my files.

I surprised my Lady wife with a visit to Moline. She thought it would be another church.

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Oct 15th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Thanks, Ira,

I still have a lot more to write, but I figured if I didn't start posting it in installments, I'd never get it done!

If anyone is heading for any of those places soon and has questions, please let me know and I'll answer whatever I can!
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 15th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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I saved your report also, thanks for the insights and details. I have been on a whirlwind trip through the area, so fast that I can't remember now which place was which. Now with your lovely photos and the report I can make plans to visit again, thanks.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Oct 15th, 2005, 07:52 AM
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Thanks Nonna Felice for your wonderful report. We too really enjoyed Bologna but I was experiencing a lot of hip pain at the time of our trip and we didn't do half as much as we had originally intended and trips to other towns were left for another visit. Your report makes me want to book that visit right now!

I look forward to the next installment!
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Oct 15th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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Nonna, great report. I am heading to Bologna Oct 27. I will not have a car. I will fly into Milan and take the train. I hope to spend time in Ravenna, Parma and Modena. I have given myself 5 days there and than on to Milan and Rome. I hear it is easy to get around Bologna. Did you take any food tours; ie cheese, procuiotto or Balsamic? Any other suggustions and or recommendations would be great. I am staying at the Hotel Regina.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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vhayes, yes it is very easy to get around in Bologna, and also very easy to take the train to all those other places. Since Bologna is a central hub, there are trains about every half hour or so to the major nearby towns.

Unfortunately we did not take any food tours, Most of the places we read about seemed hard to get to without a car. Sometime it would be nice to come back and stay out in the countryside so we could do that. Or maybe there are some options for tours that include a driver, but I would imagine they would be rather expensive.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Ferrara: Town of Tranquillity

It was funny about Ferrara. We really expected to like the city more than we did. It wasn't that we didn't like it; it just didn't seem to have a whole lot that we could relate to, and it was definitely lower-key than any other place we visited in Emilia Romagna. The Cadogan guide called it "tranquil," so this is not an original observation, but it is one I would definitely agree with. We did enjoy our tour of the Castello d'Este, but there wasn't much to see inside it except the dungeons in the basement and the ceilings in the apartments. They did have a very clever way of letting you view the ceilings on huge angled mirrors in every room. I'd never seen that done before and it was very effective.

We did, however, have our best meal so far of the trip in Ferrara. It would have been worth the trip there just to have lunch at L'Oca Giuliva (via Boccanale di S. Stefano 38). Slow Food strikes again, and hit a home run with this place. The lunch started with complimentary prosecco and smoked salmon with delicious cream cheese. I don't actually know what kind of cheese it was, and I probably shouldn't say cream cheese because it had absolutely nothing in common with Kraft! Here we also had the best breads of the trip. In most Italian restaurants the coperto is just an excuse to charge you a few extra euros for a boring basket of plain white bread. But L'Oca Giuliva gave us some fantastically tasty sesame breadsticks plus sliced bread studded with bits of bacon (I guess it was actually what they call pancetta). Anyway, it's a good thing we didn't have to wait too long for our main meal or we would have completely filled up on the bread!

We each ordered a specialty of Ferrara. Mine was cappellacci pasta (the Ferrara version of tortelloni) con sugo (meat sauce) and stuffed with zucca (pumpkin), just a fantastic combination of flavors. Mike had salama con pure -- Ferrara's special sausage with dollops of mashed potato. Sounds kind of boring, but he said it was amazing. Then we split Ferrara's special dessert -- pampapate, an incredibly dense chocolate cake with candied fruit. Everything was perfectly prepared, the service was impeccable, and the outdoor terrace was a beautiful setting. The price for this marvelous experience was only 49 euro, with wine.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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Modena: Bursting with Brio

If you're only spending one day in a city, the day you choose for your visit is going to have a big effect on your impression. It may have been because we hit Modena on a Saturday when a lot was going on, but we loved that town and found it full of brio -- completely living up to the definition of "active, spirited, alive, and vigorous." The town itself, the richest in Italy, is elegant and clean. Our walk from the train station took us past many cadets from the military academy there, each in his immaculate white uniform, and holding a little golden sword.

We expended a lot of camera pixels on the highly photogenic Duomo and Ghirlandina (Modena's leaning tower), then enjoyed walking through the colorful Mercato Coperto (with lots of opportunities to buy Modena's famous balsamic vinegar). The market was quite near the luncheon spot we settled on, a Slow Food trattoria called Aldina, which was full of a lively crowd of Italians enjoying the simple but very good fare. I had canneloni with a spinach and ricotta filling, and Mike enjoyed tortelloni in sugo. With salad, wine, and coffee, the bill was only 23.60 euro.

Before lunch the highlight of our visit was happening upon "Gli Oltri Anni" a little festival for those of "The Later Years." A band in brilliant blue uniforms was playing toe-tapping marches, and you could sample some kind of fizzy bitter (but very tasty) soda along with chunks of parmagiano reggiano cheese drizzled with Modena's aceto balsamico. Yum! We enjoyed wandering among the many stalls of the church ladies "of a certain age" selling their crafts.

Going back, on our last train ride while in Bologna, we happened to get on an IC (InterCity) Plus and discovered what we'd been missing all these days by taking the IR (InterRegional) ones. If you're going to a smaller town, you may not have a choice, but the IC trains are definitely MUCH more luxurious and comfortable, and don't cost any more for unreserved seats.

Next: On to the Veneto
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 15th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Into the country: Villa Mocenigo

After six days in the city, even a city we liked as much as Bologna, we were ready for a change of pace, so we picked up a rental car in Bologna and headed north. My poor DH was very sad not to get the Alfa he was hoping for from AutoEurope. The rental form had said "Alfa Romeo or similar," and a boring Ford station wagon did not fit his definition of similar! I had convinced him we should rent through AutoEurope UK to save over $100 as opposed to the AE US rental price. But when we had gone through the US office, he had always gotten his much-loved Alfa. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences with AE UK, or is it just the luck of the draw? Anyway, that was his major complaint about my micro-management of the trip. With apologies to Fodorite Sharon who coined the term, I am known as the "trip Nazi" in our travel circle. Usually other people are happy to have me doing most of the planning, but in this case, I took a lot of flak for trying to save us some money!

We have driven lots of times in Italy, and we still always manage to get lost when we get too far off the autostrada. I think you need Italian blood to figure out the road system here. We did have a printout from Via Michelin, but it didn't keep us from going around in a lot of circles before we finally found our little agriturismo on a country road near Mirano (about 20 miles west of Venice): http://www.villamocenigo.com/english.htm

Here's where I really got to put all those weeks of chanting along with the Pimsleur Italian CDs to the test. Mamma, the boss-lady in charge at Villa Mocenigo, was a real dynamo of energy, built like a fireplug, and always in motion. She ran a great little place, but it was definitely her way or the highway, and one thing she had decided she was not going to do was speak English. I never heard a single word of English cross her lips in the 4 days we spent there. Her daughter Maria Stella (about whom, more later) was the English speaker, but she wasn't around except at night. Mamma was very patient and cheerful about my halting attempts in her language though, and we managed to communicate the basics. This was actually a great experience for me, because I tend to take the lazy way out after an initial "buon giorno" and lapse back into English if the option is available. But this was a "sink or swim" experience, and it definitely boosted my confidence and willingness to flounder along in Italian.

Our room at the villa was part of a converted stable (there are a couple of pictures on my web site). The room was pretty basic, but everything was spotlessly clean, and we certainly could not complain about the price -- only 52 euro a night. But the really amazing deal was the food. There was an option for dinner, so we decided to try it the first night. We didn't ask about the price, just told Mamma we'd be there. Here's what we had: Wonderful homemade gnocchi, radicchio and carrot salad, roast chicken (which I'm sure was running around on the farm no later than yesterday), grilled eggplant, and a sort of not-too-sweet cheesecake type pastry. Plus red wine with dinner, white wine with dessert, and with the coffee a generous serving of grappa so that we could "correct" it to our taste. This was such a fantastic meal that we got a bit nervous about not inquiring the price beforehand.

The next morning I got to practice my Italian again when an English-speaking-only couple were leaving and couldn't figure out how to tell Mamma they needed their bill. When talking to them, I asked if they knew how much Mamma charged for the meals. We were completely floored to hear that it was only 13 euro per person! At that point we knew we'd be there every night, especially when Mamma told me that tonight's menu featured "tagliatelle fatte in casa" (homemade tagliatelle pasta). So we were paying 78 euro a night for a comfortable, quiet room and home-grown and home-cooked dinners for two! (Breakfast with home-made breads and jams was also part of the deal.)

Villa Mocenigo was a perfect base for the day trips we took to Padua, Vicenzo, Treviso, Verona, and two of the Palladian country villas. I wouldn't really recommend it as a base for visiting Venice, however, which some of our fellow guests did. There is a bus about 1/2 mile up the road that goes to Venice, which is supposed to take about 20 minutes. However, we heard that traffic usually made the trip take an hour or more. We later moved to a much better base for getting to Venice.

One other thing that so impressed us about Villa Mocenigo was the family ambience. The first night we got to chatting with Maria Stella, the English-speaking daughter who was helping out in the kitchen and waiting on table. Wearing jeans and appearing to be in her early 20s, she looked like a student. But she told us she was actually a lawyer, and had tried her first four criminal cases that day! How many young American women can you imagine working all day in a law office or trial court and then coming home to help Mamma serve the guests at the family B&B? Oh, and Mamma even did our laundry (two big loads) and then refused to charge us for it!
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 15th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Easy now, no need to be a travel nazi AND a report nazi. Real nice so far. Looking for more.
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Oct 15th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Oh, please tell us about the Palladian villas. I have always wanted to visit them after seeing Bob Villa's TV special.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 09:04 AM
  #17  
ira
 
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Hi Nonna,

Loving your report.

Re the car rental: You get what is available at the time you pick up the car. Autoeurope only arranges for you to get a car. They can't guarantee what you get.

ira is offline  
Oct 16th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Thanks for the report and photos. I'm saving a copy. We're contemplating a similar trip (although it will probably be a couple of years from now ).
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Oct 17th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Padua: Too many Annoyances

The day we got to Villa Mocenigo, we had made reservations for the Scrovegni Chapel with the Giotto frescoes in Padua in the late afternoon. We debated about whether to drive or take the train, but after getting so lost finding the agriturismo, we thought the train would be less hassle, since it was only a short ride, and we weren't sure about parking in Padua. I knew that there was a train station in Mirano, a few miles from the inn, but thought it would probably be too small to have a ticket office. So in my halting Italian I managed to ask Mamma where we could buy tickets, and she assured me that there was a tobacco shop selling them near the station. Well, we finally found our way to the station -- no easy feat because the roads were torn up, and in the best Italian tradition, there was one sign pointing to the station about 2 km away, but as you approached closer, you were on your own and had to navigate by luck. Once there, we didn't see anything like a tabaccheria, and the ticket machine in the station was "fuori servizio" -- i.e., busted. So we decided our only option was to hope that no inspectors were on the train, and if so, just to play dumb tourist. Fortunately, we made it to Padua with no ill effects except a guilty conscience -- and hunger pangs, since it was approaching 2 pm and we hadn't had lunch.

Now I grant that Monday is probably not the best day to visit any town, especially in the afternoon, as so many things are closed. But even so, the only word I could use to describe our over-all experience in Padua is "annoying." The streets were dirtier and scruffier than any place we'd been so far. We knew a lot of restaurants were closed on Monday, but we had a guidebook that pointed us to a highly recommended wine bar that was supposedly open all day. But when we got there, we found it locked up tight -- even though the hours posted on the door indicated that it should have been open. We walked around for a while, and ended up at a place on Piazza Frutta, which looked like a real tourist trap, but at least was serving sandwiches. Actually, the sandwiches were better than I expected even though the view was mostly of garbage from the fruit market that had recently ended and didn't do a great job of cleaning up the unsold produce.

Here's where I first encountered one of the least pleasant surprises of this trip -- a Turkish toilet. I don't know why the Veneto, which seems to be a fairly wealthy part of Italy, seems to have the most primitive toilets, but they turned up in practically every restaurant we went into and many of the public WCs. I really don't recall encountering bathrooms a la Turc more than a few times in other parts of Italy, but they seemed to be the norm in this area. Those things are most definitely not designed for women wearing slacks!

I wasn't quite that desperate yet, so after lunch I sought out the tourist information office around the corner from the restaurant. There wasn't a restroom there, but they told me where to find the public WC. What they neglected to tell me though was that even the public toilets close down for the lunch hour, and it wouldn't be open again till 4 pm!

Since we had a little time before our reservation at the Scrovegni, we headed over to St Anthony's cathedral. I must admit I don't remember too much about it, since I had another problem on my mind. All I can tell you is that it didn't seem photogenic enough to make me want to get out my camera, and there were a lot of people inside apparently praying for the saint to help them find their lost things.

Then we headed back across town to the Scrovegni Chapel, where at least they did have a bathroom and it wasn't Turkish. We were early for our reservation, but they did let us in 15 minutes before the time on our ticket, since they weren't sold out. However, that didn't mean they would let us stay inside longer than the 15-minute-per-visit limit. The Giotto frescoes, although not the most beautiful I've seen in Italy, were worth visiting, but I didn't enjoy them as much as I might have if I hadn't had to spend the whole time worrying about gauging my viewing so I didn't run out of time. I really do think that they could be more flexible in the time allowed, especially when it's off season and they aren't mobbed with visitors.

Then we went back to the train station where we had trouble figuring out the posted schedule (partly because its glass covering was so scratched it was almost impossible to read). When we went into the tourist information office inside the station to ask for help, we were told that they only had information about tourist things in Padua, not about the train schedules. So Padua for me was just one annoying thing after another. If someone has nicer things to say about Padua, please share them, because I couldn't find anything that would ever make me want to go back there.

SeaUrchin, I promise I will get to the Palladian villas in the next installment!
nonnafelice is offline  
Oct 17th, 2005, 08:16 PM
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Oh nonnafeclice, I am so sorry you didn't enjoy Padua! I love this city. But perhaps the difference is that a friend of mine and I go there, she went to the university in Padua and so knows it inside and out. That can make quite a difference. And Basilica San Antonio leaves me breathless, I love it so much, but again, isn't it interesting how we all relate differently to different places and areas.

Now about those Turkish Toilets in the region of Veneto!! Oh yes, I have to agree with you 100%. Such a wealthy area, but the Turkish Toilets do not work well if you are wear trousers. Probably, well not probably but for sure, why I tend to wear dresses or skirts when in Veneto. BTW, Veneto was not always a wealthy area. This is something new for Veneto so to speak. I can only imagine the residents are so use to the Turkish Toilets they don't think anything about them, LOL.

I am so enjoying your trip report and as I said before your photos and your husband Blog was a joy! Best wishes.
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