15 February 2017

Italy's northern cities' delights

To finish off our November trip to Italy let's take a look at the three other cities that we visited. In this gloomy days with little or no sun it is nice to remember this recent trip that we enjoyed excitedly and discovered new places.

We didn't go far from home to find some of the wonderful cities, with interesting and long history.

Perhaps not the most obvious first choice to visit, Padova does have some powerful history. Firstly, there is one of the oldest universities in the world where Galileo Galilei, the famous astronom who first said that the Earth circles around the sun and not conversely as it was thought at that time, was lecturer.

And Padova's university or Palazzo Bo, as they call it, is the place to see, especially the anatomical theatre. But the visits are only guided and the tours, which are listed on their website can be cancelled at the last minute due to university events. We and some other visitors had such luck. They cancelled the tours the same day and just for that day.

There is also the Basilica di Sant'Antonio who is the patron saint of the city. And don't miss (probably you won't be even able to) the Prato della Valle, the larges square in Padova with oval shaped canal surrounded by the statues of the famous persons of antiquity. 

If you have time, take the whole day or two to visit the city properly as there are many sacral and cultural monuments to visit, the Botanic garden and museums. 

We only spend a half day as the main thing on our list was the unsuccessful attempt to visit the Palazzo Bo and it's never fun to chase two vivid kids down the corridors. 


This city was on my bucket list for years. I have only passed the city prior to the visit many times but always wanted to see it mainly because of the Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliette story and their defying love. Yes, I am an endless romantic by heart even though I don't show it.

But there is much more to Verona that the love story. Because of its architecture the city was listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage. 

The Roman amphitheatre is the third largest in Italy and it was a hit with the boys. They didn't care much for the history and the purposes of such Arena, but they found lots of fun climbing the huge stares.

I, on the other hand, always find it surreal to imagine the centuries old history and people who once sat in the same spot as I do in that moment, the games and fights of the gladiators in this case. It is almost imaginable to think that the Arena is practically unchanged as it was two centuries ago.

The city offers other interesting sights and I did get to see the renowned balcony under which supposedly Romeo declared love to Juliette. It was a little disappointing to see it, I must admit. Mainly because the horde of tourists, touching the Juliette statute's boob like crazy made a very unromantic atmosfere. 


Vicenza was the last on our list to visit. After three sunny and cozily warm days, followed a rainy day, so, we made only a quick stop to the city. Out of the four cities we visited, it is also the smallest, but that doesn't mean less interesting.

Boys were also tired and I think they had enough of city sightseeing. They were eager to do their own staff. So, we were done in half day. 

The best attraction that also boys enjoyed very much was the Teatro Olimpico by architect Palladio, who left a great mark on the city. It was the first theatre with the scene that gave an illusion that it was deeper that it actually was.

There are other monuments to see, such as Basilica Palladiana, Palazzo Cheiricati, Catedrale Santa Maria Annunciata and others.

Andrea Palladio made 23 villas and buildings in Vicenza and for amazing architecture Viceza is another city that made the list of UNESCO's World Heritage list for its villas designed by Andrea Palladio.

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