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Padua, the Scrovegni chapel and a boat trip

by M. Carla Glotier — last modified 2008-06-20 15:10

We go to Padua to see Giotto's restored frescoes and find time for a boat trip through the city's canals.

La Cappella degli Scrovegni Visitors to Padua come to admire Giotto's recently restored frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, savvy sightseers will then go for a walk around the centre of town but unfortunately most leave without taking an evocative boat trip along the city's canals. But one thing at a time . . . first let's book our visit to view Giotto's famous cycle . . .

The Scrovegni Chapel is perhaps the most important building in Padua, which, in turn, is perhaps one of the most charming cities in the Veneto region. After 20 years of planning and 8 months of painstaking work the newly restored frescoes went on view for the first time in March 2002.
Make sure you get there on time as you will only be allowed into the chapel during the time specified on your ticket; you can of course buy another ticket at 11 Euro. So make sure you know how to get there and try to arrive at the ticket office an hour before your tour starts. (Each tour lasts around half an hour.)

It's time to bid farewell to Giotto and (being savvy sightseers) head towards the central squares - Piazza delle Erbe, della Frutta and dei Signori - which surround the magnificent Palazzo della Ragione. You can browse through the market for a while before setting off once more, this time towards Bastione del Portello Nuovo, on the eastern side of Padua's 16th century walls where your boat awaits you. Don't be surprised if Padua's erstwhile river port seems familiar, its splendid steps were immortalised by Canaletto. Your boat trip will bring you from here through Padua's intricate system of canals - 90 minutes of magic all for 10 Euro.

Once you're back on terra firma it's time for a glass of the local aperitif, spritz - a refreshing blend of Campari, prosecco, soda water and lemon rind - best sipped leisurely while people-watching in one of the main squares.

Padua - - A history of one of Italy's most beautiful cities
The Scrovegni Chapel - - A virtual tour of Giotto's freshly restored frescoes
Monuments and museums - - Telephone numbers and opening times. (In Italian only but fairly foolproof)
What's on - - An up-to-the-minute event guide with current exhibitions, markets, concerts, etc.

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