Padua

Padua is an old university town, rich in art and architecture. The university is among the oldest and most renowned in Europe. The Scrovegni Chapel, built inside the remains of a Roman arena, holds the most complete cycle of fully preserved frescoes by Giotto (completed between 1303 and 1305).

When Giotto reached Padua, he was already the most renowned painter in Italy. Perhaps he had been invited there by the friars of the Basilica of Saint to paint the frescos in their Chapter house: Although he stayed and worked in Padua for a long time, only the cycle of frescoes in the Chapel of the Scrovegni remains.

We did not have time to visit the university but while we walked slowly along the main street, the Caffe Pedrocchi attracted my attention, "Cafe without doors" with its decor combining yesterday and today symbolized to me the basic social lifeblood of this city of studies. I longed to spend a few minutes to savour it's coffee and ambience but could only look back wistfully as we were led quickly away.