Dec 312010

Back On Land

Only thirty minutes away from

Venice, by train, lies the university

town of Padua.  School was out, but

the town was buzzing with people

enjoying an afternoon walk or hot


Before leaving, we asked Matteo ( the owner of our hotel ) what we should do in Padova?  Much to our surprise, he lived there for ten years, earning a degree in dentistry at the university.  He explained how the school was the oldest university in the world and that the Italian constitution was written in a cafe, on one of the three main squares.  I thought “Of course the constitution was written in a cafe, where else?!”  His advice, often delivered in Dantean prose, was to enjoy the pace of life, walk the streets, have some lunch, and explore the market.  It sounded like no matter where we went, we should expect to have a good time.

Covered walk ways and domes are part of the visual culture of Northern Italy. Just like wine and pasta, everyone has their own versions and this was Padova's.

Hand gestures in Italy are like screaming cab drivers in New York. The stereotypes barely give justice to the real thing. These women were in agreement that the market was not as good today as it was yesterday.

Markets are loaded up at 5:00 am, but we had not arrived until about 11am. Most action was over at that point, but there were a few guys still preparing vegetables. After taking this picture, one of the other guys said he was an illegal. Apparently ball busting is universal.

With no plans and no agenda, I found myself spacing out. Walking around a new city, with no real purpose is like getting a brain massage. Completely relaxed, I found myself spacing out on simple things, like how the light bounced off of the granite pavers.

Can you tell I was zoning out inside the church too? Interesting fact that M.C. Escher spent his formative drawing years in Italy. See any connection? Art is much less mysterious when you know what an artist did in their youth.

As the Father rushed through the photo, his ghostly presence looks like it was lifted from the floor.

There were a few more smiles than these folks. The reminded me of a New Year's we spent in Portugal.

These two asked if I could take their picture on a small point and shoot. Afterwards, I asked if I could take their picture. I think they were just happy to hug each other again.

After the market closes the flower vendors opened up and sold bouquets well into the evening. Not sure if this was a holiday thing or a just another day. Sometimes its fun to go through a place and have no idea why anything is happening.

Mother Mary watching over sunset.

After all the wandering, we boarded our train back to Venice, just in time for dinner. We ended up at a place called Barababao. It means the Boogey Man.

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