We made a day trip from Venice with a 30 minute train ride to Padua. It’s a beautiful city with miles of covered walkways and a very large and active university. We walked from the train station to our first stop the Scrovegni Chapel built by a son hoping to get his dead father-a money lender with high interest rates forebidden by the church-into heaven in 1303. It has damage from various things though the years and one of them is from the presence of too many people breathing in the closed space so you only have 15 minutes to look. It’s incredible.

A great barrel shape. It was painted by Giotto by the way. He was considered the artist to bring painting into the Renaissance.

One wall at the end of the room. Christ is in the middle surrounded by the rainbow light with the condeemed being sent to hell on the right and the righteous going to heaven on the left. Very dramatic. Giotto was a friend of Dante and this painting illustrates Dante’s Inferno very well.

Giotto’s version of the Last Supper.

Christ after he was taken down from the cross. Note the folds in the clothing-this was new as was the look of «real »people.

The side of a building there in the Art Deco style.

Cocktail Hour in Milan

I was expecting Milan to have a lot of places like Venice, and maybe it does, but I didn’t see any, serving the little appetizers called cicheti. I was puzzled at first when we kept seeing signs about Happy Hour with prices like ten euros and thought that wasn’t much of a deal. Somewhere along the line I discovered that plates of appetizers were offered with a drink. We went to an area with canals lined with all sorts of bars and restaurants and joined in with this tradition.

One of the canals at night. At one time canals went right into the heart of Milan from two rivers and then the sea and unloaded tons of marble for building Milan. Leonardo, who was very productive while living in Milan, had much to do with modernizing the canals and lock systems.

Where I finally got my clue about happy hour.

We went into this place mainly because the interior looked so great to me.

What was served with our spritz cocktails.

Another place.

I saw quite a few of these seating areas outside of restaurants. I think it was for meals, not happy hour.


While in Milan we didn’t get to any museums but we did find a really charming church called San Maurizio. It’s a small church and what makes it special are the frescos by Luini, a follower of Leonardo and a contemporary of Michaelangelo. The paintings are wonderful. The church is divided in two with one part being the church and one part a ninth century convent. The nuns used to look through a metal grate into the church during mass.

The church section. Look at all of those paintings!

On the nun’s side.

Noah’s arc with the animals two by two. Isn’t it sweet?

And look! Unicorns! What ever happened to them?

Adam and Eve and that old snake,Satan.

Isn’t she lovely?


Of course we visited the famous Duomo, a huge cathedral in Milan. It was worked on for six centuries and Napoleon was even crowned King of Italy there. It’s enormous and very elaborate. We visited it some years ago with my son and his family when they lived in Switzerland.

A view at night.

One of the most beautiful floors I have ever seen.

We went to the top where you can get a closeup look at statues on top of columns.

In the back of the cathedral you can see a copy of the statue of Mary that is on the highest column of the church.

I saw this statue of Mary at another church. Her halo was made of electric light bulbs. The silver hearts interested me. I’m guessing that they represent answered prayers.


While in Venice We made a quick trip to Milan, about two hours away by train. It’s a very interesting city.

The Milan train station is what is called Fascist architecture done during the time of Mussolini. It was enormous with square shapes and sharp angles everywhere.

We took the metro from the train station to our hotel and this is what we saw when we came out of the station, the Duomo.

Next to the Duomo is this very gorgeous shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II, full of mostly high end shops.

One of the symbols of Italy on the floor there. I thought this was the most beautiful.

We got this shot from up above at a cafe called the Marchesi.

They were selling desserts for Valentine Day.

We had the very rich hot chocolate with whipped cream.

A Night at the Opera

One night we went to see The Barber of Seville at the famous la Fenice Opera House. It was, as expected, very beautiful and luxurious. Many people were really dressed up in long gowns and tuxedos. This being the Carnival season there were also many in costumes. The play is a silly one, a farce, but enjoyable even though opera is not my thing. The young maiden in the performance didn’t look that young to me, the old man had a wig on to make him look older than he was and everyone overacted like mad. It was fun.

The entrance.

The ceiling.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Not your usual seats.

At the end of the play this giant frame came down. I’m not sure why but it looked nice. To tell the truth I wasn’t that impressed with the stage setting as it seem very plain and simple. Maybe this is a play put on mainly for tourists and they don’t expend a lot of money for such productions. I still enjoyed it in my little critical fashion.