My observations of Padua
…”It hath five market places that are continually exceeding well furnished with manner of necessary things. Many faire stony bridges. It is of a round forme like Paris. ..This City may compare with any City of all Italy for antiquity, saving three, Ravenna, Volaterra in Hetruria, and Mantua….
But seeing I now enter into some discourse of Livies house, me thinks I heare some carping criticke object unto me, that I doe in this one point play the part of a traveller, that is, I tell a lye, for how is it possible (perhaps he will say) that Livies house should stand to this day, since that yourselfe before have written that Padua hath beene eftsoones sacked, and consumed with fire? How comeeth it to passé that Livies house should be more priviledged from the fury of the fire, then other private houses of the City?
I answer thee that it is very probable, this building whereof I now speake, may be the very house of Livie himselfe, notwithstanding that Padua hath beene often razed and fired. First, for that the very antiquity of the structure doth signifie it is very ancient. For I observed no house whatsoever in all Padua that may compare with it for antiquity. Secondly, because I perceived that it is a received opinion of the Citizens of Padua, and the learned men of the University that Livie dwelt therein. Thirdly, for that I am perswaded that the most barbaroud people that ever wasted Padua, as the Hunens and Longobardes, were not so void of humanity, but that in the very middest of their depopulating and firing of the City, they would endeavour to spare the house of Livie (at the least if they knew which was his) and to preserve it to posterity for a monument of so famous a man….
…There is no street that I saw in the whole citie, but hath fair vaulted walks in the same, which are made in this manner: There is a long rowe or range of building that extendeth itselfe in length from one end of the street to the other, and is inserted into the walls of the houses of the same streete. In many places it is some twelve foote high, being arched at the roofe, and about five foote broad, that two may well walke together in it….these walkes doe yeelde the citizens two singular commodities: the one, that in the Summer time they may walke there very coolely even at noone, in the very hottest of all the canicular [the rising of the Dog Star, August 11th, hence dog days] dayes, as under a pleasant and safe shelter, from the scorching heate of the sunne: the other that in the winter they defend them both from the injury of the raine (for in these they may walk abroad farre from their houses dry in the middest of a violent storme) and not a little from the byting colde, the force whereof they will more feele in the open streetes. Besides, as I said before, it is a great ornament to the Citie….The first Jewes that I saw in all Italy were in Padua, where there is a great multitude of them."
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
There are supposed to be pictures today
but Padua's cafes are tough. Perhaps all the nice abstract Paduas will come tomorrow with Giotto..and God via Dawkins