Best quote of the trip by my Italian colleague: “Padova’s city walls aren’t so old. They were built in the 700s.”
Unexpected concert: I visited the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. Completed in 1585, it is the oldest surviving enclosed theater in the world. As I entered the theater, a fellow tourist began singing an opera aria from the seating area. It was a beautiful impromptu concert in a beautiful space.
Unexpected Historical Moment: I noticed Italian flags on many homes, not just on official buildings, and asked if it was a national holiday. It turns out that 2011 is the 150 anniversary of the unification (Risorgimento) of the current state of Italy in 1861. Happy Birthday, Italy!
And finally, any Stargate fans out there? This looks somewhat familiar…