Padua, a very nice, picturesque city, has one special tradition. On the market square, where by the way you can buy a variety of juicy fruit and different vegetables, there is a nice fountain.
We were told that in the past this very fountain had witnessed one of the most peculiar traditions we have heard of. When a man graduated from a university, his fellow students dipped him in the fountain and they definitely did their best to make him soaked wet.
Venice is different. No doubt about it. There is no other so famous a city constructed on wooden piles, surrounded by water, crossed by many canals and so full of beautiful buildings and charming places.
After a while you get used to the thought that Venice is exceptional. By that I definitely don't mean you get bored with Venice. Far from that! You just simply take for granted that you are supposed to encounter something special every minute of your stay there.
Nevertheless, there happened to be quite a few things that either amused us, astonished or surprised in Venice, even though we thought were truly prepared for anything out of the ordinary there. Let me show you some of them.
The cost of travelling by gondola is high but it's worth it. Don't listen to anybody who'll tell you that you can see and experience the same from a vaporetto. A vaporetto is a great means of communication in Venice, but far from being a romantic one. First of all, a gondola is quiet (unless the gondolier attempts to sing;-) Besides, a vaporetto cannot move in the narrow canals and that's the very beauty of the trip to see the heart of the city, something more than Canale Grande. I said narrow canals. Sometimes they are really so narrow that the gondolier has to use his leg to avoid crashing into the walls!
Graffiti, which seems to be typical of our times, can be found even in ancient cities, like Pompeii. Here are three great (and sweet, I think) examples of graffiti, probably made by Pompeian children (otherwise it must have been a very unskilled so-called artist;-)
The first, I believe, was supposed to represent a boat of some sort.
The next one shows a fearsome (and quite fearless I'm sure) gladiator.
If you happen to be in Poland, it is quite a good idea to visit the castle in Lancut. You can see it inside with a special guide and it's rather nice with all its suite of rooms, the Japanese-style suite, the small concert hall or the grand ballroom.
The Umberto I Gallery was constructed in the 19th century. You can find it in Naples, Italy and I must say it impressed us very much.
It is a strange feeling to find yourself in a street and inside a building, and both of these in the same time. All this is due to the glass and steel dome that joins the passages between buildings.
The floor is made of marble. In one place you can find a colourful Zodiac mosaic. (Btw, Umberto I was the only Italian king to have been assassinated).
Even though we had had it guaranteed in the schedule, there was some misunderstanding and it turned out some other people were to go inside the Colosseum instead of us. Impossible! Well, we might have as well bought a postcard if we wanted to see the famous building on the outside only.
It was the first sight of the Colosseum. Rising abruptly right among the ordinary city buildings. And we were not to go inside?
Well, it's high time to take care of Venice curiosities for the second time;-)
What was omnipresent in Venice was renovation. The cranes standing here and there but most of all the canvas! No, no, there was not any art exhibition on this occasion, although... Well, to get this straight, I mean the canvas they put on the buildings that are being renovated. Nothing strange in that? I'm afraid you are wrong. What serves as the covering has the part of the renovated building painted (or rather photographed) on itself. It looks beautiful. Well, don't take my word for it, just check it yourself.
When preparing for the trip from Venice to Torcello take into account the time needed for the trip itself (about 1 hour from Fondamente Nuove to Torcello, changing the vaporetto on Burano), the opening hours of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with the bell tower, the Santa Fosca Church and the archaeological museum.
A vaporetto gives you an opportunity to reach Torcello while experiencing breathtaking views of the lagoon of Venice and some aspects of the life of the local inhabitants.