Picture of the Week

12 December 2016

Week 49: Italy

Filed under: — Administrator @ 11:40

I spent virtually the entire week in Italy. From Tuesday to Friday our office hosted some important events in Milan, and I took advantage of the opportunity to visit an ex-trainee who is now doing her PhD at the University of Padova.

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On Monday afternoon, I flew to Venice, took a taxi to Padova, checked into my hotel, and then set out to meet Antanina for dinner. It was cold but dry. The streets of the old city were largely empty. I walked along the Via Cesare Battisti towards Padova’s main square:
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Classic Italian vehicle:
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Charlie in the window:
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I finally made my way to Piazza delle Erbe where I met up with Antanina:
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The restaurant selected by Antanina is called Osteria L’Anfora. A wonderful place, where the locals eat, a great mix of working people, students, professors, and any other social class you can think of. The place is small and crowded, so some people eat at the bar:
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The dining room:
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The food was simple and hearty. In my case, salad, a cut of meat with polenta and veggies. Delicious:
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The decor can best be described as quirky. But I loved it:
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Classic Italian toilet. I am glad I just had to pee:
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On Tuesday morning, I toured Padova on foot. It is an incredibly beautiful city, and because of its small size, you can walk everywhere. It was a crisp morning, so people were bundled up, which did not stop this guy from checking out the woman passing by:
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You walk along the street, and then you see stuff like this:
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Obligatory selfies:
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Conversation, Via Belludi:
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I loved the shop windows in Padova and stopped to photograph them from time to time:
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Fungi:
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Sausages:
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I arrived at Prato della Valle, one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen:
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A young woman enjoying the sunny day on Prato della Valle:
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The day was sunny but it was cold, so I sought some warmth and caffeine in a café just off the square:
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The coffee was, of course, excellent:
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And the place was visually interesting:
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I then met up with Antanina, and we took a guided tour of the university. The University of Padova is the second-oldest in Italy (after Bologna) and thus one of the oldest in the world:
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A piece of history (if not a very good photo), the lectern used by Galileo:
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Antanina and I walked around a bit more. This café is getting ready for the lunch crowd. It is cold, so blankets are provided as a matter of course:
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A moving memorial plaque on a building in what used to be the Jewish ghetto:
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One of the many signs advocating rejection of Renzi’s constitutional changes in the referendum to be held the following Sunday (it did lose):
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I had lunch with Antanina, and then took the train from Padova to Milan, a journey of about 2 hours. The working week was starting with a dinner on Tuesday evening, to be followed by three days of meetings organised by our office. They would normally have been in Brussels, but we decided to have them in Milan to coincide with the inaugural DesignEuropa award ceremony, also organised by us.

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My colleagues Blanca, Mario and Stephanie pose for me at the dinner. Yes, Mario is Italian, and so he had a hand in choosing the menu (which was very good, as was all the food we had in Italy):
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When Stephanie speaks, people listen:
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A hearty laugh:
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A joyous reunion. Linda from Latvia and my colleague Alexandra greet each other while Linda’s fellow Latvian, Luize, looks on. Linda, a lawyer with the Latvian Ministry of Culture, is great fun, and she and Alexandra share a love for karaoke, among other things:
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The next three pictures were taken by someone else, albeit with my camera.

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After dinner we were offered coffee, but I asked for grappa instead. The waiter brought me a couple of bottles to choose from:
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My choice is served:
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…and consumed with pleasure:
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On Wednesday morning, we all attended the DesignEuropa award at the Unicredit Pavillon:
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There were two categories of award, one for big companies and the other for small ones, with four finalists in each category. This bicycle rack was one of the large company entries:
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This beautiful motorcycle was another one of the large company finalists. Together with the bicycle rack in the previous picture, it was my favourite (sadly, neither won):
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After lunch, we started the working group meetings. Here, Stephanie, Claire and Andrea are discussing some last-minute details:
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In the evening, I ventured out to have a look at Milan on my own. Our hotel was close to the main train station, Milano Centrale, which also houses a metro station. I was fascinated by this giant apple in front of the station:
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Waiting for the metro at Milano Centrale:
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I went to Piazza del Duomo and had a look at the magnificent cathedral. Sadly, it closes at 7 p.m., so I could not go inside:
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Conversation, Piazza del Duomo. In the background is the Vittorio Emanuele shopping centre, a temple to consumerism next to the religious one:
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Procession of mannequins:
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On Thursday afternoon we finished the meetings early enough to go and tour the Duomo:
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Afterwards, I went shopping (!) with two female colleagues on one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, Via Montenapoleone. We spent some time in the Baldinini shop, where Alexandra tried on some shoes and actually bought a pair:
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Alexandra leaves the shop with her loot:
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In the evening, we went for dinner at a wonderful local restaurant near the hotel. The owner was a real character; one could tell that he was enjoying his work:
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Italy’s answer to Spain’s tapas. All delicious:
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Preparing Linda’s and Luize’s plates:
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Posing with the results:
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The inevitable ending:
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On Friday night, we went to the Naviglio district of Milan. There is a canal lined by bars and restaurants; a bit like Nyhavn in Copenhagen, but much longer and with much better food:
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Although this couple did not seem to be looking for food:
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There are more pictures from Padova here, and from Milan here.

2 Comments »

  1. As always, wonderful album Nathan! And thank youfor taking me to this wonderful trip! I want to go to Padova!

    Comment by Maria — 12 December 2016 @ 18:03

  2. Thank you very much for a wonderful tour. I never made it to Italy, so this was all new to me.
    Great tour, nice people, great photos.

    Comment by Brian Swale — 13 December 2016 @ 17:16

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