Italian Churches ~ The Power of Image

No matter your religion or beliefs, Jesus suffered that day. The Catholic Church will never let us forget it. When you walk into their relics of religion, the pain of his final day is prominent. Some people even wear the cross as a reminder of mortality and human sin. Continue reading “Italian Churches ~ The Power of Image”

People Watching in Croatia

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Our group was out exploring.

Taking someone’s photograph overseas requires courage and perseverance through the language barrier. Sometimes I can manage it, but other times I take the cowardly route and just snap a shot of the life around me. These were taken in various cities in and around the Istrian Peninsula of western Croatia.

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It’s a beautiful land, green hills, blue water, fresh air and unpronounceable words.

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In case you need to find the Ispovijed, it’s near the WC.

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This dress lets you know where to look.

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Breaking Bad is cool everywhere.

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3 out of 4 women on cell phones.

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The Franciscans enjoying a moment of mirth.

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She tried to sell us that tablecloth for 10 euro.

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The faithful lighting candles.

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We got in two minutes before closing. Quiet, empty churches are just as interesting as the ones filled with worshipers.

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People love a pope.

Ravenna’s Rorshachts and Mosaics

It’s the city of mosaics. It’s old, and like everywhere in Italy, has been ruled by many different hands: such as Etruscans, Byzantines, Frankish tribes, Lombardis, and Italians. It was touristy, but completely manageable. There’s not much to say as I stopped in late in the day after a long lunch in Bologna and basically ran through the main points of interest, jaw agape at the detail and colorful splendor before me. It’s best to check out the pics for yourself. But first, the marble columns, in the Basilica San Vitale…

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…reminded me of a Rorshact test…

 

You can see there are four stones fitted together to form the natural swirls of the marble. Elsewhere in the church was only more religious tiles glued intricately together.

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Next, is the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo.

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Finally, the tiny, and therefore approachable in size, Baptistry of Neon.

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All of these were constructed around the time of Emperor Justinian I (527-565 C.E.) or earlier.

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Day 1 ~ Padova, Vicenza and Verona

My Lancia rental car pulls out onto the airport expressway, and the trip begins. I try the autostrada first, and yes, there are high speeds and extensive amounts of truckers, but the tailgating was insane! I could have picked the guy’s nose in the white car behind me. I felt like Ned Flanders trying to drive faster to escape the clingy Homer, but the car just can’t accelerate! “Daddy, drive faster!” “I can’t! It’s a Geo!”

First stop was Padova, (Padua) a university town and the setting for The Taming of the Shrew. It was a Monday in August, before noon and nobody was moving, not even a nun.

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I found a cool feature on Google maps, where I hit a button and it recommends different places based on location and time of day. It told me to go to Ai Porteghi (Via Cesare Battisti 105), and who am I to disagree with a computer? It was a delightful place with no customers on an early Monday afternoon.

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That bread is included because it was excellent. No day old stuff here. You didn’t need to tear it to bite through it, and the pasta was so al dente as to be almost crunchy, but still cooked. The meat sauce was typical Padovese–a mixture of poultry meat that was heavy with rosemary. The wine was a Cabernet from Padova.

Next stop was Vicenza, and it was after lunch, so the town was either asleep or gone away on August holidays. So my idea of a second lunch got erased. I went sightseeing instead.

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It was a great afternoon of gelato and walking. I got back on the road to head to those lovestruck punks Romeo and Juliet’s hometown, Verona. It was nighttime, so I just headed for dinner.

I went to Leon D’Oro (Via Pallone 10) and had a beautifully symmetrical and delicious pizza of sausage and onion and Montepulciano Superiore vino. It was an outdoor place with the typical crumbling walls and shuttered windows.

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And what better way to end the day in Verona than by catching some saucy and fashionable lady smoking on her balcony.

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Then off in the morning with espresso, buttery bread and salted meats in the belly.

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