The best thing I ever did was eat gelato in Padua. Pistachio and Bachi in a seemingly infinite waffle cone, to prevent the creamy goodness escaping down the sides.
Padua, the town in which Shakespeare set “The Taming of the Shrew”, is a quaint Italian town void of too many tourists. About an hours drive from the outskirts of Venice (where the cruise company set us up for the night), Padua’s main square is surrounded by sorbet coloured terrace houses adorned with intricate metal balconies and pots of red flowers. In one corner is the bascillica of Saint Giustina which rivals St Peter’s bascillica in Rome. Flanking the central pillar of the church are the tombs of several saints, and above each tomb is a painting depicting how each saint died.
Outside the temperature soars to almost 40 degrees celcius, made worse by the almost white concrete of the square. We turn down a side street, past a couple of vendors selling tourist wares, and come across the glorious basicllica of Saint Anthony. Inside is the tomb of the famous saint, beautifully decorated with sculptures of gold and white marble.
On the opposite side of the church is a priest in long white robes. A small group of us gathers around him and he prays with us and offers a blessing before sprinkling us with holy water.
Once back at the hotel a few of us return to the same family restaurant where we had lunch. This time we feast on the tastiest woodfire pizza I’ve ever experienced – even better than Grimaldi’s in New York. With full bellies and satisfied taste buds we head back to the hotel for a good night of sleep. Tomorrow we board the cruise ship in Venice to sail off into the Adriatic.
Until next time,