Monday, July 9, 2007

Motorcycles and Palladio

Today we drove around the the region of Veneto (of which Padova and Venice are a part) to Noale & Scorze for Richard to visit the Aprilia (motorcycles) factory. We found the Aprilia headquarters and we left Richard to frolic amongst the bikes, drooling. When then followed their directions to the factory, only to find that they don't allow visitors (a missed opportunity on their part I believe).

We then made our way west to Vincenza, home to the famous architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), widely considered the most influential person in the history of Western architecture. I became very familiar with the Palladian style when I was in Bath for a conference about three years ago. So I was keen to see his home town. It is much less Palladian then many other cities in Europe as his style became very fashionable at the time Bath and other cities were being massively expanded, but Vicenza was not expanding at the same rate. Still he seemed to have a hand in anything that was going on there during his lifetime and was responsible for the design of many amazing villas for the local elite in the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately Monday is the day the museums are closed in Vicenza. This was a bit of a theme running through our trip. We seemed to be able to pick with incanny accuracy the one activity that was closed for whatever city we were in that day of the week.

Had a meal in a Chinese restaurant for a change from pasta and pizza. Chris met us there after taking time out to find a laundromat and do his laundry. The restaurant had a glass floor revealing a large aquarium below. Below us were some huge gold fish (1-2 feet long) and a shark of comparable size, swimming amongst plants & waterfalls. After dinner the boys went to the Crocodile Pub, which they had walked past earlier in the day and noticed the Aussie theme. I joined them there later in the evening as I had a long drive the next day. It was fairly quiet (it was a monday night) and there were certainly no Aussies there. However the bartender was quite a character. Slightly eccentric, never been to Australia, just thought it was a novel theme. There are so many Irish pubs all over Italian cities - and everywhere else. Chris had his first Fosters (Australia's most famous beer, which not many australians seem to like or drink)

1 comment:

russ said...

Hello, my name is Russ from Canberra and I was fascinated to read your blog regarding the town of Tovo di Sant Agata. I am currently researching ancestry for my partner Tracey. Her great grandfather's death certificate shows his place of birth as Tovo and his father's occupation as 'farmer'. His name was Pianelli. So far I have not had much luck finding records for Tovo. I wonder if you might be able to give me some advice. We are planning to visit Italy and Tovo next year (if i can confirm the family link).
Cheers Russ