I’m not trying to make alliterations the norm around here, but they just work so well right now.
Megan and I made it to Italy and we are LOVING it so far. Let’s talk about Padua first.
Well we almost didn’t make it to our Airbnb because we took the correct bus…in the wrong direction. Thankfully, my limited knowledge of the Italian language, but mostly the tender kindness of a few different strangers on the bus, helped us get to our destination safe and sound (albeit pretty late).
Yes, I actually wear my bags like that. It feels a lot less ridiculous than it looks.
Some BelVita biscuits for breakfast the next morning.
Then we were off to the beautiful city centre of Padua! This place is a quintessential Italian city in my mind. It’s so quaint, they’re still constructing stone roads, and the restaurants are open until the wee hours of the night.
Our day in Padua consisted of walking, seeing churches, eating, repeating. First stop was a random church that was quite large.
Second stop was Scrovegni Chapel, which was built in the 14th century. It has magnificent frescoes within it, and it has gone through some incredible history.
We actually weren’t expecting the tours to be open without reservation, but we got in so easily!
Then we walked around semi-aimlessly to pass time before heading to lunch. The biscuits I ate for breakfast surprisingly held me over, but I was READY for food by 12:30.
We walked into Pinsa Pizza, where Megan had a classic diavolo (pepperoni) pizza, and I had the “Papa Francesco” (rocket, pepperoni, tomatoes, artichokes, and Parmesan) + a salad.
We carried around our leftover pizza in a box all day, which prompted judgy stares, but whatcha gonna do? Your girls didn’t want to waste good pizza.
We also wanted to save room for gelato 🙂
I got a new-to-me flavor called ricotta pistcachio krack (?? Not sure if that’s what it said). It was sort of like a mild cheesecake base with a crispy pistachio cookie/shell/swirl throughout. So unique and tasty!
We headed towards Prato Della Valle, a beautiful square near another 389274 basilicas.
The highlight of the sights was the Basilica of St. Anthony. I got in trouble when I took my first picture because that was a no-no in this Basilica, but trust me when I say that this place is a phenomenal work of art.
It was also cool that St. Anthony’s tomb was inside, along with several relics from him and other saints. This pizza box touched the tomb of St. Anthony, so my pizza was basically a fifth class relic. That I ate later.
We also went to St. Giustina’s Basilica, which was nice, but kind of an enigma. We still don’t really know who St. Giustina is, and half the things in the church were questionable, vague relics/tombs.
St. Luke the Evangelist’s cage (in which he was kept when persecuted) was in there though!
We stopped into Cafe Pedrocchi for a pre-dinner snack (and wifi and toilets TBH), since most restaurants don’t reopen for dinner until 7 or 7:30pm. Our Airbnb host also recommended Cafe Pedrocchi because it’s the oldest cafe in Padua.
Megan and I each ordered two pastries each + water for me.
Cafe Pedrocchi is famous for their mint coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee, I got the Pedrocchi pastry, which was a mint chocolate cake (YUM), as well as the pistacchio cake pastry. Megan got a Bavarian cream one and a random one that might have been spiced, she doesn’t know.
It was nice to sit our butts down and play some hangman and MASH for old times’ sake. My “MASH”: I’m marrying a cute boy from college, living in a shack in New Mexico as a carrot cake baker with no kids and five cats. I don’t own a car so I walk everywhere. Not the worst life?
We had way too much fun playing that silly middle school game, but it passed the time well until Ristorante PePen opened for dinner.
To start, Megan and I split this ridiculously good spinach gnocchi STUFFED WITH RICOTTA in a mushroom sauce. The best texture and so decadent.
For my entree, I had the grilled sea bass and was tricked into buying an extra side dish of grilled vegetables, but I wasn’t mad about it.
Mighty full after this meal. I took most of the vegetables to go.
We walked our way back to the Airbnb, still getting confused at some points as to where we were going (mostly my fault).
Both nights in Padua, I was able to squeeze in a low impact (wanted to minimize banging in the apartment Airbnb) 16-20 minute workout while Megan showered. Just some slippery sock exercises, lunges, push-ups and such. We’ve been walking 9-11 miles per day, but it feels so nice to move after the long train rides and to stretch the muscles in different ranges of motion!
On Tuesday morning, we ate a quick snack, checked out of the Airbnb, and walked back to St. Anthony’s for Mass. Afterwards, I quickly finished my leftover relic pizza + grilled veggies from the previous day. Quickly because there was a bee who was very attracted to my food.
We did some more church things before arriving at the train station early and camping out there for a while.
Our train was late, causing us to miss our connection, but it all worked out in the end. Not without some stir craziness and distress though.
Nevertheless, we made it to Assisi that night. A couple Americans were also in the same boat as us with the train delays and everything, so we shared a taxi to our respective accommodations for the night.
All I will tell you about Assisi for now is that I knew I would like it just from the taxi ride up towards that city on a hill.