Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, July 30, 2012

And they named their airport after Catullus - how cool is that?

Hilary and I are currently enjoying a holiday in Verona. Highlights so far:

  • the choir stalls in Santa Maria in Organo (described by Giotto as the finest in Italy)
  • the font in the baptistry of the cathedral (the size of a jacuzzi, carved from a single block, with amazing carvings of the life of Christ around it
  • the excavated remains of the original Roman church under one of the Cathedral's chapels
  • the Scaligeri Tombs
  • the Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (parties are allowed in every 30 mins through an airlock to prevent atmospheric damage, and Hilary and I were all by ourselves in our party)
  • ice cream from the Gelateria Grom in Padua (liquorice, lemon and apricot: yum!)
  • Europe's first anatomy theatre in Padua University: it's tiny, and the smell must have been appalling
  • a note (in the Verona Opera Museum) by Puccini to his publisher reckoning that a tenor aria he'd just written in Turandot ("Nessun Dorma") might prove as popular as "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca (!)
  • trying horsemeat (a regional speciality) for the first time (like a rather darker version of beef, and not as gamey as I'd expected)

We've booked for Aida in the opera festival (in the Roman Arena) on Thursday (a revival of the very first Verona production from a early last century, with Placido Domingo conducting), and for Carmen (Zeffirelli production) on Friday. On Thursday we're hoping to go on a vineyard tour (neither of us has ever visited one), while tomorrow is an early start for a day in Venice. All going well so far.


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