It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
View from Piazza San Marco to the San Giorgio Monastery (established in 982)
Trains are comfortable and fast in Europe, in two hours we traveled from Florence to Venice. Our hotel was conveniently very close to the railway station. In the afternoon we had an excursion to Murano and visited the Schiavon Art Team and later the Mazzega glass factory and got a good understanding about the traditional and more contemporary glass manufacturing in today’s Murano. Many of us also took the opportunity to take the water taxi to Piazza San Marco and the Basilica.
The following day part of the group concentrated on the sites in Venice, like Peggy Guggenheim collection and Scuola San Rocco while others escaped the tourists and took the train to Padova, where the second oldest university in Italy (and 5th in the world) was established in 1222. Padova is also the home of the oldest Botanical Garden from 1543. We had an excellent guided tour of the old town and the beautifully frescoed Basilica of St. Anthony. We enjoyed our lunch at the historic Caffe Pedrocchi which was built for the fourth Italian Congress of Scientists in the mid-19th century before the unification of Italy. Some of us had the privilege to visit the remarkable Scrovegni Chapel with historic frescoes by Giotto from 1303-1305 which are the turning point for art and culture by introducing the technique of drawing accurately from life.
We enjoyed a guided tour of the University’s Palazzo Bo and Anatomical Theater and learned about the intellectuals who studied and taught in Padova (Andrea Vesalio, Copernicus, Galileo among others). The University of Padova recently ranked #1 in Italy among the large universities (>40,000 students)
Back in Venice many of us stopped by the San Geremia church at the Grand Canal. Since 1861, this church houses the relics of Santa Lucia martyred in Syracuse in CE 304. For me personally this was one of the many highlights since Santa Lucia celebration is part of my annual traditions.
To see more about our time in Venice and Padova, please click here.
Santa Lucia at the San Geremia church painted by Palma il Giovane (1628) who was the dominant artist in Venice after Tintoretto.