On Thursday and Friday of last week, we traveled to Padua and Venice for our first overnight trip of the semester! Padua is not a city that is visited often by FSU, so this was a particularly unique opportunity. The city itself is a bit like Tallahassee in the sense that it is primarily a university town of 65,000 students. The different departments, such as humanities, science, languages, etc. are spread out through the city. We visited two main sites in Padua: the Scrovegni Chapel and Palazzo Bo. The Scrovegni chapel houses some rare frescoes by Giotto that were quite radical for their time – to enter the chapel we even had to sit in a decompression room for ten minutes so as to not bring humidity into the chapel.
Then we visited a part of the University of Padua, Palazzo Bo, and the medical/science department where Galileo was a professor of science and where he gave some of his most famous lectures. We even saw the Anatomical Theater where dissections were made on pigs, and dead bodies stolen from hospitals and cemeteries. The University of Padua also granted a doctoral degree to Elena Cornaro Piscopia, who was the first women in history to have received one.
After having stayed the night in Padua, we traveled to Venice the following morning by train. Venice was as beautiful as ever, even if the day was overcast and a little chilly. On our morning tour we saw St. Mark’s square and the St. Mark’s Basilica, including the crown jewels and four bronze horses. We were very fortunate to have art historian Linda Reynolds to tell us about this beautiful, sinking city. Optional activities of the afternoon included a guided tour of both the Accademia Museum of Venetian Renaissance and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as free time to explore Venice independently. It is always a favorite of our students and many choose to go back or to stay extra time.
Now we gear up for midterms which consist of papers and exams…. buono studio, ragazzi!