So, last weekend we made a little dash down to the Veneto. Because proximity to Italy is the real reason we bid on this post. Shhh, don’t tell!

We stayed four nights in Padua, about half an hour from Venice. The main reason we stayed there is that we could easily dump the car at a hotel and take the train into the tourist vortex charming city of canals. But Padua (Padova) turned out to be surprisingly interesting, so we spent a day and a half exploring it as well.

Padua is a college town, and consequently rather well-heeled, with plenty of cafés and restaurants. Also, a massive palazzo, the largest public square in Italy, and of course plenty of awesome food and wine! There were very few tourists: mostly Italians on holiday, and an international mob of pilgrims at the Basilica Sant’ Antonio. Otherwise, nothing was at all crowded.

The one downside to Padua is that it has Italian heat without coastal breezes. It was just really, really hot and humid. I am southern, and can take the heat, but despite plenty of cold water and gelato, I was feeling some true heat exhaustion by the end of the day. We all stripped as soon as we got into the hotel room and raced each other for the shower! Thankfully, we had real air conditioning (a minor miracle in Europe) and a most excellent pizza place down the street had fresh, cold local wine on tap.

And so, our day in Padua was complete. Stay tuned for photos of Venice—as soon as I finish sorting through all 200+ of them…

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