In Padova, the bustling and beautiful university town famed from the setting of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, our hosts were the lovely Jacopo and his Polish girlfriend Anna. We stayed 3 nights and were so lucky to meet such delightful people, they were packing up their entire flat to move out in a few weeks but were still fine to have us to stay—I mean who does that? Jacopo spoiled us with pizza and pasta and german beer, as well as giving us way too many lifts. I was so impressed with Anna's languages, she spoke fluent polish, german, Italian and freanch, which she taught as well. I chose to speak to her in French, as my Italian is just not up to scratch.
We didn't get to spend so much time in Padova, as most days we travelled into Venice by train, but the day we did spend there was an enjoyable one. Basilica San Antonio was the highlight, that is the patron saint of Padova and it was definitely one of my favourite churches in Italy, towering and reverent and so graceful, full of a quiet, reflective and overwhelmingly thankful kind of respect for Saint Antony (who I know absolutely nothing about). Padiva/Padua is primarily a university town so it was also nice to be in the presence of so many young people, lots of life in the place.
We were lucky enough to make some pals during our stay and heard about this infamous Wednesday night student street party thing, where everyone congregates in the Piazza dell'Erbe and drinks and laughs and just has a jolly good time. It was paaaaaacked when we arrived around 9, so many young hot Italian things, in their effortlessly cool clothes, cigarettes hanging off every one of them and lots of "spritz" and campari's in hand. The Piazza was alive with this happy, social gathering of youth, devoid of any kind of violence or out-of-control-ness that has become kind of a given at anything where drinking is allowed in the streets. It was so refreshing not to have that this night, such a fun feeling was in the air.
We ran home through the little cobblestone alleys and golden arches, boys with perfect hair in skinny jeans saluted us and my shoe splashed in a puddle. The noise of the piazza could still be heard, the bars were closing but those youngsters were not ready for sleeping yet.