New friends in Padova

I have to hand it to Volker; he led us down dirt roads, dirt paths, paved roads so narrow there was barely room for a car (we thought they were bike paths but they were all two-way streets). He guided us around, ahead of, behind and through three thunderstorms and a herd of sheep. We never would have found these routes on our own, and we are truly grateful for his efforts. And since we are in his hometown, Padova, his cycling friends joined us for dinner.

Antonia Vial is the Director of Long Tours for FIAB in Padova.
Antonia Vial (left) is the Director of Long Tours for FIAB based in Padova. She has guided tours in Tunisia.
Leopoldo Trevisan completed the Camino de Santiago, a 800 k pilgrimage.
Leopoldo Trevisan completed the Camino de Santiago, an  800 kilometer pilgrimage.
Filippo Zago has cycled to North Cap, Norway, the northern most point in Europe (accessed by an 8 kilometer tunnel under the sea).

In case you think this is a vacation, think again. We started off the day by interviewing Alessandro, the manager of the Residenza Domus Clugiae, our hotel last night. This wonderful place is near the historic center of town, only a kilometer way from the maddening crowds at the beach. And it really wasn’t ‘us’ doing the interviewing, it was Tom and Ginny with Volker interpreting. Since I am the photographer, I bike around the block and took a few practice shots.

Ginny conducts an interview.
Ginny conducts an interview.
This is what Tom and Ginny brought me for. The light, the timing, the composition of the image.
This is what Tom and Ginny brought me for. The light, the timing, the composition of the image.
The end of the road in Chioggia.
The end of the road in Chioggia.
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The bike path out of Chioggia is a little tricky and requires local knowledge to find it.
This is a two-way road.
This is a two-way road!
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Look out for the local herder.
The sheep loves these things and so did we. Volker says this tree was imported to feed silk worms.
The sheep loves these things and so did we. The small fruit is sweeter than candy. Volker says this tree was imported to feed silk worms.
Lunch was purchased at the outside stalls back in Chioggia.
Lunch was purchased at the outside stalls back in Chioggia. We stopped in a wildlife refuge for a picnic.
Napolean
Napolean kicked the Benedictine monks out  of this monastery in 1520. Today the property houses town hall, an inn , some ruins, and lots of farm land.

Volker led the group into an old monastery in Correzzola. We had a coffee and an ice cream at the Hotel LaCorte, along with a short history lesson and interview. The hotel is in one section, town hall in another, and the rest is in various states of picturesque decay. The hotel is also listed as bicycle-friendly on FIAB’s internet site called Albergabici (if you’re touring Italy, search this one on Google). The proprietor paid for our coffee and Volker treated for the ice cream. It was a relaxing dalliance  that we would pay for an hour later in a thunderstorm.

Snack stop at the monastery.
Snack stop at the monastery.
One of the rougher paths Volker led us down, but still quite passable.
One of the rougher paths Volker led us down, but still quite passable.

We have only been in Italy for a week and a thunderstorm or two has moved through nearly every late afternoon or early evening. We have been lucky and have avoided the heavy rain while getting to enjoy the thunder and  occasional bright flash of lightning off in the distance. We thought our luck would continue as the darkness moved away and the sun emerged. That’s when it started to rain as the “tail” of the thunderstorm whipped over us. But it was warm, we rode out of it, and then beat another storm as we cycled into Padova. And, as expected, the sun would return for an evening stroll through the largest piazza in Italy, 54 statues surrounding a pool, designed by the Romans to collect water.

Racing the thunderstorm into Padova.
Racing the thunderstorm into Padova.
Volker lives three kilometers away and would need to remain in his sexy rain gear for a bit.
Volker lives three kilometers away and would need to remain in his sexy rain gear for a bit.
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The famous Saint Antonio church in Padova.
The incredible piazza in the center of Padova.
The incredible piazza in the center of Padova.
If I was a pigeon, I'd hang out here too.
If I was a pigeon, I’d hang out here too.

 

 

 

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