Venice/Padua, Day 5 Italy

We read up on Padua as we took our 30 minute, 2.50 euro train ride in the early morning. We bought one-way bus tickets to St. Anthony’s Basilica where Donatello created the bronze cross and crucifixion and the six bronze statues of the other six patron saints of Padua. St. Anthony’s is a major pilgrimage site with over three million people visiting it each year, and it was quite crowded this day, too. The building of the church began in 1232.

We enjoyed the cloisters and then took an enjoyable stroll back up Via del Santo which took us back to the city center. We peered in at the University of Padua and Caffe Pedrocchi where the university’s intellectuals used to gather. What really surprised me were the many, many upscale designer shops—Cartier, Prada, etc., in juxtaposition with the ancient architecture. It was sort of a Beverly Hills of the Middle Ages. And we were also surprised by how busy it was with tourists.

Upon returning to Venice, we found a new, cozy place to eat, Da Carletto. Lots of brick on the inside walls and wooden beams on top. One thing we noticed, everywhere we went, is that the focus with any pasta dish is on the pasta and not on having a thick sauce such as we have. And the bread here was perfecto.

This was our last day in Venice. We had decided that we wanted a balance of seeing sites and just wandering and discovering, and that is what we had. We still have lots of sites to see in Venice and the cities close to Venice, so she may call us back.

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