Sunday, December 08, 2013

Ron in Monselice and Montagnana

Ron and his Padova squad visited two nearby towns, one weekend.   The first one being Monselice, a town and municipality about 20 km southeast of the city of Padua in northeastern Italy.  Wikipedia.  Here is what they saw:

"Una fiaba, un sorriso", a fairy tale, a smile. Is this man selling entrances for a show?  I wonder...

Villa Duodo:  summer residence of the Duodo family, it was built in 1593, by the architect Scamozzi, and completed in 1740 by the architect Tirali. Monselice

With the St. George's church in the background. St. George's church:  originally a pivate chapel of Villa Duodo, it has been a place of prayer since 1600, where the bodies and important relics of the first Christian martyrs from the Capitoline catacoms are still  preserved.  It completes the votive way of the "Sanctuary of the Seven Churches". Monselice

Moving on up the hill, is the Jubilee Sanctuary of the Seven Churches.  An archway that was built in 1651 leads into the church.  This church was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi on commission to the noble Venetian Duodo family.  The seven altars in the church are related to the seven indulgences granted by Pope Paul  V to believers who visited the seven major basilicas of Rome. Monselice

This is the Monselice Cathedral of St. Giustina;  it was built in 1256 upon the wishes of Cardinal Simone Paltaniri, Archpriest of Monselice.  It is Romanesque with Gothic decorative elements, and houses valuable works of art and sacred, but is characterized by its simplicity.  Monselice

This is the castle which dates back to the Dark Ages.  After Monselice joined the Republic of Venice, the castle was bought and completely turned into an aristocratic residence by the Marcello family. Monselice

They ate in Bar Enoteca Castello, with medieval decorations and the food that caught my attention is the one above which looks like an omelette.  Nothing really fancy, but then what can be expected from a bar?  Source of texts:  Monselice, Wikipedia

Then they went to Montagnana, another small town and  is one of the most beautiful walled cities in Italy. The medieval city walls that extend for nearly 2 Km are preserved virtually intact and enclose the elegant city centre. It is located about 50 km from Padua. Source:  Padova

The small and elegant village gathers around Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

Ron, there is a statue on top of your head, is it heavy? jejeje!
The Duomo (dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta) stands out, a masterpiece of the 16th century, with important works of art from all periods, like the altarpiece by Paolo Veronese (Transfiguration), the paintings (oil on board) by Giovanni Buonconsiglio, and the statues by Bonazza.  Source of text:  Padova 

The palace of the Cassa de Risparmio, despite its medieval-castle appearance with pseud-Romanesque lines is a fake, even though not unpleasant. It was projected by architect Forlani and built in 1924, after a great fire had completely destroyed the block corner.  Source: Montagnana

The ancient Castello di S.Zeno (Castle of St. Zeno).  Its tower overlooks the whole city.

This building is now the seat of a Congress and Exibitions Centre, public library, and Civic Museum.
Source of text:  Virtual Tourist.

This is the old (14th century) fortress guarding the "Legnago", gate which is the most fortified of the town.

At least 5 series of doors (some sliding from the top and still in place) where in place to stop the offenders... If they already succeeded in crossing the moat, of course! Now it's used as the youth hostel...   Source of text:  Virtual Tourist.

But of course,  Ron has introduced the family's jumping shots to the Padova squad and they seemed to have had a lot of fun!  Nice shots, Ron.  I wonder where you will be taking us on the next virtual tour.  But wherever it may be, I am sure it will be a lot of new experiences to share.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Be Transparent (Trento and Alto Adige) in Italy

Sometimes I ask myself why  it is so difficult to be transparent.
We are used to believe that being transparent is simply being honest and not to deceive others.

To be transparent, is much more than that.
It is to have the courage to show and say how we feel.

To be transparent is to open our soul and lose control, it is to take down "masks", by lowering our guards.

To destroy the huge and thick walls that we  try and strive hard to build around us.

To be transparent is to allow all our pleasantness to go to the surface, to be let out and to touch the other.

But sadly, almost always, most of us decide not to take that risk.

We prefer to choose the firmness of  reason than the beauty that represents human fragility.

We prefer to  have the node on our throat rather than allow  the tears to flow in the depths of our being.

We prefer to get lost on an insane quest to get immediate responses than to simply admit that we don't know, that we are afraid.

Although it is a pity, we build "a mask" that keeps us at an increasing distance away from who we really are.

We keep an image that gives us the feeling of protection... which leads us deeply more and more into manifesting  false words, false attitudes, fake feelings.

Not because we are deceitful people!

Just like dry leaves, we lose ourselves, and we forget where our sweetness lies, our most intense, uncontaminated love.

With the passing of the years, a dark void makes us perceive, that we already don't know how to give or ask for what is most precious to share with our  brothers... gentleness, compassion, understanding...

That we all suffer, and sometimes we feel immensely sad, alone, quietly crying before we fall asleep.

In a silence that leads us to the nostalgia of ourselves, of what presses and screams inside of us, and much less we don't have the courage to let those we love know about it.

Sadly,  we have learned that it is better to retaliate, attack, accuse, criticize, judge, than simply to say "you are hurting me ... can you please stop ?"

Because we learned that to say that is to be weak, to be silly, or is to be less than the other.

When in reality, if we let our reason to also listen  to our heart, we could avoid so much pain.

We must not be afraid of  disagreements...  and rather exploit all of our pleasantness.

Let us be able not to contain our tears nor laughter, and much less hide our fears, just to seem  invulnerable.

We should remember that life is so short and the task of living is so complicated  that when we think we have just started to learn, it is time to part ways.

We continue in the certainty that "all things pass"... that we can all pleasantly  live, feel, love, be transparent!

And we must move forward, without looking back, always transparent, because everything goes away.

That the time that we live, whether it be with much cheers or pain, will happen and then vanish.

Have a wonderful day!

Sources:  Ron in Trento and Alto Adige with friends and family of friend.
              Text as translated from Spanish email