A Tale of Two Cities

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Standing in Piazza San Marco

A few weeks ago Evon, Jacob and I decided to take a trip out to Venice. It was suggested that we stayed outside of Venice, and I highly suggest it as well. We decided to stay in a city called Padova, a recommendation of our program director Giulia Munday. We had a great time in both cities, it was a wonderful opportunity to see another side of Italy and relax for a few days.

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The Basilica di San’ Antonio da Padova

The city of Padova, in northern Italy is absolutely picturesque. It has amazing arcaded streets with tons of boutiques, restaurants, and other businesses. The city is home to a tons of beautiful chapels, basilicas, and cathedrals, some of which include; the Scrovegni Chapel by Giotto and the Basilica di San’ Antonio da Padova supposedly done by Nicola Pisano. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the Scrovegni Chapel because it was sold out. We tried to pull the “I’m an aspiring architect and I need to see this” card, but unfortunately, it didn’t work. We were able to see many other churches the city was speckled with, including the Basilica di San’ Antonio da Padova. For those of you who do not know, St. Anthony is the saint you pray to when you loose something. Unfortunately, we were not able to take picture inside, but it was definitely worth the visit! Especially because as we walked out I found my cell phone that I didn’t realize was missing! We also ended up finding our lost bed and breakfast, which we thought was 30 minutes outside of Padova and was actually just down the road from the Basilica.

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The Basilica di San Marco

Padova sits a short bus ride from the city of Venice. We decided to visit Venice on a Sunday so we could go to mass at the Basilica di San Marco. San Marco’s was a must see for me while studying in Italy. I knew the minute Joe Odoerfer showed the section in class, that one day I would have to witness it in person. Again we were not able to take pictures, but look at the facade, you can only imagine how amazing the inside was. The current basilica is believed to be built in 1063 influenced by both Italian and Byzantine art and spoils of war (remember talking about spolia and Pisa?). The basilica is based on a Greek cross plan with the main and largest dome above the crossing and four more smaller domes surrounding it. These domes seem to bleed down from the domes highest point to the surrounding interior walls with golden mosaics covering a total area of 8000 square meters.

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A View of Venice From one of the Many Bridges

Beyond the stunning Piazza San Marco we explored many narrow roads and sat on the bridges as the gondolas toured around the city of Venice, ate some delicious sea food and headed back to our bed and breakfast.  The trip was great, thank for the recomendation Giulia!

Checkout more pictures from our stay below: