Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Elegant Americano, market stalls and Baptistry frescoes

So sunny on the terrace of a cafe on the Piazza Cavour it is necessary to keep to the shade, along with the elegant women in fur coats and expensive hair. It is midday and people are already ordering their Aperols. I ask for an Americano with hot milk and am brought the most elegant apparatus with which to concoct it - an espresso measure in a coffee cup, with a small jug of hot milk and another of hot water.

Later on the Piazzas en route to the cathedral: suddenly everything in Padua seems decorative.
Fruit stalls piled with artichokes and strawberries.

At the end of one street there is a sign talking about special chemists for pilgrims. What ailments did pilgrims especially suffer from? (Besides sore feet). Perhaps some were dying and made the long journey in the hope of a cure.
Head for the Baptistry by the Cathedral.
Exquisite frescoes by Guisto de' Menaboui. When I arrive there is a group of pilgrims, all wearing scarves - they are a pale terracotta that matches the frescoes. Then they go, and I have the place to myself.
Scenes from the Apocalypse around the altar.
On the way back to the hotel pass a shop selling these paints, for frescoes I guess. So very appealing. Want to buy them all, even just to look at. Perfect, intense colours.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy