Sunday, February 13, 2011

Venezia e Vicenza

This weekend was my first chance to venture out of the city and see some of the surrounding area. First stop: Venice! Venice is only a half hour train ride from Padova, and costs less than 3 euro. Super easy. I went with three other girls from my program. We arrived there around lunch time, so we first went to a restaurant to sample some Venetian cuisine. As we walked there (after getting lost several times, which is inevitable in Venice), I couldn't get over how beautiful the city was! It is literally built on the water, and really can never be replicated. There are no cars, only little tiny streets and bridges everywhere. This is also Carnevale, so there were tons of masks in storefronts too. Some examples:

We eventually got to the restaurant, but I was too scared to get octopus or pasta with squid ink! Instead, I opted for some good, old fashioned pasta. From there, we mostly just wandered around for the rest of the day. We got to see the Palazzo di San Marco and went inside the church. The ceilings are painted gold, so when the light hits them they shimmer. Beautiful. After getting some traditional fritelli (a Carnevale dessert, basically fried dough filled with cream), we headed back to Padova.

The next day three of us headed to the other side of Padova, to a small city called Vicenza. In the city center, it looks similar to Padova, but once you head up into the hills, there are some amazing views, two villas, and a spectacular Basilica. It was surprisingly easy to find all these things, and we spent most of the day taking tons of pictures and asking each other, Can you believe how beautiful this is?

Teatro Olimpico

We went into the gardens of the Villa Rotonda, and we had the entire place to ourselves. It was like a beautiful little oasis. See for yourself:

Then the church. This had to be one of the most ornate churches I've seen so far, and I think my favorite too! We couldn't stay long because a Mass was starting, but I was able to get a few pictures:

After a gelato from an amazing-smelling store, we headed back home. And so the traveling begins!

Learn Italian
giardino - garden
biglietto - ticket
fragola - strawberry (and a really good flavor of gelato!)

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