On our last morning in Italy we took a quick trip to the city of Padua to see the Scrovegni Chapel.
Walking around the Ermitage Church.
The only thing we saw was the chapel, so I won't go into details about Padua because it warrants another trip back!
We walked straight to the Scrovegni Chapel. The inside is wallpapered with Giotto's beautifully preserved cycle of nearly 40 frescoes. It's a glorious, renovated chapel housing scenes depicting the lives of Jesus and Mary.
To protect the paintings from excess humidity only 25 people are allowed in the chapel at a time.
We bought our tickets and luckily our time was only 10 minutes out. First the doors open and you're led into a room to watch a 20-minute movie and to establish humidity (no joke). Then the people in the chapel are let out and you're walked into the chapel and the doors are closed. You view the chapel for 20 minutes then you're let out. Just like that.
Pictures aren't allowed inside so these are from the internet.
Painted by Giotto and his assistants from 1303 to 1305 and considered by many to be the first piece of modern art, this work makes it clear: Europe was breaking out of the Middle Ages. A sign of the Renaissance to come, Giotto placed real people in real scenes, expressing real human emotions. These frescoes were radical for their 3D nature, lively colors, light sources, and humanism. The chapel was built out of guilt for white-collar crimes. Reginaldo degli Scrovegni charged sky-high interest rates at a time when the Church forbade the practice. He even caught the attention of Dante who placed him in one of the levels of hell in his Inferno. When Scrovegni died the Church denied him a Christian burial. His son Enrico tried to buy forgiveness for his father's sins by building this chapel. After seeing Giotto's frescoes for the Franciscan monks of St. Anthony, Enrico knew he'd found the right artist to decorate the interior.
This is Chris's favorite panel - he loves the facial expression of the shepherd. "Uhhhhhh..."
Pretty much an amazing artistic feat.
I grabbed a bit of pizza on the way out of town.
The drive through the Dolomite mountains was beautiful (understatement of the century!).
In South Tirol there are dozens and dozens of castles. Each time we saw one my heart did a little flip flop and I'd exclaim, "Bee-oo-bee-oo, bwoop, bwoop, bwoop, ding ding ding ding!" Those are the noises my family would make on road trips when my dad would see a place of interest like a plane/train museum, rock quarry, mine tour, etc.
We arrived back in Germany safe and sound, already missing Italy! We can't wait to go back!