Tag Archives: Venice

Sunday Mass in Padua

Sunday, Sept. 6. Sadly we left Venice early this morning, catching a vaporetto to take us to the train station. We were treated to lovely views of Venice from the canal.


Our final destination for the day was Florence, but we took the train to Padua first, hoping to see the Scrovengi chapel and to attend Mass at the basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Padua was a walled medieval city and still retains some of the character from those times, making the walk very enjoyable for us. We stopped first at the civic museum where the Scrovengi is located. Entry requires advanced tickets. Since the earliest we could get tickets were for the 1:15 pm showing, that afforded us ample time to walk the 25 minutes to the basilica for the 11:00 am Mass. Along the way we were able to stop in various churches.

It was obvious when we got to the basilica because of the throngs of people making their way to Mass. Mass was nicely done, but under an hour.

During Mass people where we walking around the basilica, and a steady line was making its way to the saints tomb. We did as well after Mass. There also was a large crowd at the relic chapel where Saint Anthony’s tongue is reserved.

In line to visit the tomb of St. Anthony (tomb to far right). Basilica of St Anthony of Padua. Padua, Italy.

In line to visit the tomb of Saint Anthony (tomb to far right). Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua.

The Relic chael. Basilica of St Anthony of Padua. Padua, Italy.

The Relic chael. Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua.

We exited the basilica making our way to our appointment to see the Scrovengi chapel. We were excited to see the chapel partly because Father Tom hadn’t seen it but mostly because it is a masterpiece of art. It is a 14th century chapel built by Scrovengi as a family chapel, as a reparation for his father’s sin of usury. The frescos by Giotto that adorn its walls are considered one of the most important masterpieces of western art. Because of its age, importance and the fragility of the frescoes, entrance is limited, with persons entering an evironmentally controlled lobby before gaining entry to the chapel, and then only for 15 minutes. It was awe-inspiring to see not only the artistic merit but the theological merit as well. Afterwards we visited the galleries of Venetian paintings. Over 500 painting were given by one donor to the city in the 19th century. These are those works.

We had another two-hour ride on a high speed train to Florence. Our hotel is near the train station making it more convenient to transport bags, although we had some pains finding it due to the confusing Florentine address system.

We enjoyed a good meal in a nearby trattoria, and took a walk enjoying Florence at night.

St. Philip and James Church. Padua, Italy.

St. Philip and James Church. Padua, Italy.

St. Mary, Servant of God Church. Padua, Italy.

St. Mary, Servant of God Church. Padua, Italy.

Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.

Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.

Florence at night. Clocktower. Florence, Italy.

Florence at night. Clocktower. Florence, Italy.

Florence at night. Arno River.

Florence at night. Arno River.

Florence at night. Ponte Vecchio concert.

Florence at night. Ponte Vecchio concert.

Florence at night. Sculpture loggia. Florence, Italy.

Florence at night. Sculpture loggia. Florence, Italy.

Florence at night. Fountain.

Florence at night. Fountain.

Florence at night.

Florence at night.

The Beauty of Venetian Churches

Saturday, Sept. 5. After breakfast we struck out for Saint Mark Basilica, the main reason we are in Venice. The line was so long to get in the day before that we decided to go early to get a good place in line. We were earlier than necessary so we took time in the square and found a side entrance to the basilica for access to the chapel and Blessed Sacrament chapel, taking some time to pray.

Our effort was not in vain. We were the first in line. The basilica is magnificent and we took our time to savor it. It is difficult to do the basilica justice in words. I can only say that the abundant gold in the mosaics, the domes and chapels are a feast for the eyes and soul. Our knowledge of the place Saint Mark played in history added another layer of enjoyment. Its treasury and museum brought back memories from our trip to Istanbul, because many items were from the Hagia Sophia, fortunately preserved when Constantinople fell to the Turks. We spent all morning exploring the many aspects of the building and left feeling grateful to experience it.

We had to go to our short list after lunch since we felt our time in Venice running out. This included the Accademia (museum) and several churches. One was a Franciscan friary with a famous Titian painting of the Assumption of the Virgin. We also happened upon a church preparing for a concert, Saint Rocco, and we paused to listen to their rehearsal. The Accademia had galleries of masterpieces of Venetian religious art. Our luck ran out returning to our hotel and we were caught in a sudden rainstorm . The good news is that there was a cafe in which to take refuge.

We rested until evening, returning to the basilica for evening Mass. Tomorrow we will leave early for Padua, then Florence.

Scenes from the Basilica di San Marco

 

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The Friary

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San Rocco, the church of Saint Roch

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The Most Serene Republic of Venice

Friday, Sept. 4. Our transfer to Venice left Bled, Slovakia at 4:45 am, getting us the Venice airport about 9:00 am. We took the vaporetto to Saint Mark’s Square and proceeded wandering the streets around the square looking for our hotel. We found it on a narrow, quiet street, the 3rd and 4th floor of a plazzo building, more of an old time pensione. It looks like a typical old Italian room, with heavy patterned wallpaper and bedspread, shuttered windows and stenciled florals. We were happy to find it and were greeted by Giacomo who was relieved that I spoke Italian.

As soon we could we hit the streets with no plan, but exploring the plazas and churches and shops while trying to get our bearings. We ate pizza and had wine at a pizzeria. We made use of there wifi due to wifi problems at the hotel. The lack of sleep caught up with us and we returned to the hotel to observe the custom of the siesta. Afterwards there was more exploring, including the Rialto, and a trip to the grocery store for water, wine, bread, cheese and ham for our evening meal which we ate on the hotel’s rooftop terrace, in the company of a seagull, expecting to join us.

We had seen there was a free organ and violin concert at one of the churches we visited. We went to the concert that was incredible. We returned to the hotel to a much needed sleep.

Vaporetto from the airport to Saint Mark's Square.

Vaporetto from the airport to Saint Mark’s Square.

View of Venice from the canal.

View of Venice from the canal.

Saint Mary of Health Church and gondolas. Venice, Italy.

Saint Mary of Health Church and gondolas. Venice, Italy.

Lunch in Venice.

Lunch in Venice.

View from the rooftop terrace of our hotel.

View from the rooftop terrace of our hotel.

  

Gondola repair workshop. Venice. Italy.

Gondola repair workshop. Venice. Italy.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Venice. Italy.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Venice. Italy.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Venice. Italy.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Venice. Italy.

Interior of Saint Stephen church, Venice.

Cloister of Saint Stephen Church, Venice.

Dinner from the grocery store. Rooftop terrace. Venice. Italy.

Dinner from the grocery store. Rooftop terrace. Venice. Italy.

Seagull hoping for a snack.

Seagull hoping for a snack.

Band playing at the Florian cafe. St. Mark's Square. Venice. Italy.

Band playing at the Florian cafe. St. Mark’s Square. Venice. Italy.

Saint Mark's Basilica at night. Venice. Italy.

Saint Mark’s Basilica at night. Venice. Italy.