Padova with Belle Epoque

Minimalist grey-brown, expensive looking and elegant even in jeans. Gucci Sunglasses and extravagant dogs as accessory. I think one can never tire of people-watching in Italy.


I visited Padua (it. Padova) about a week ago, as I think one can never be disappointed by any Italian place. It is always refreshing to see the Italian either wearing beautiful minimalist two-toned outfits or extravagant cheetah-patterned socks, expensive coats and cropped jeans, accessorized with two dogs of very different breed and size, themselves attired as elegantly as their owner (no photo of this, sadly).

This reminds me desperately of Venice’s Doge palace. Only 40 km away, Padua could be deemed Venice’s plainer sister, with less suitors (tourists), but reasonably charming nonetheless.
A much-needed glimpse of sun.
I was trying to imitate other bloggers’ food pictures, but my burgers apparently weren’t that photogenic. How DO they do it? (the bloggers, I mean) Do they look at other people’s plates before sitting down in restaurant? Does one develop “an eye” for instagrammable and blog-worthy food? A mistery yet to be unveiled …

However, due to my utter lack of sleep the night before, pain-inducing shoes and the drizzly nature of weather, I was beginning to think this trip is going to be big, unsatisfying failure.

The market place
Always lots of fashionable stores for men in Italy

However, I remained firm and walked around the city center. I passed one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, which were a part of one of the oldest universities in Europe, but did not want to pay 10 € to enter (I am not that much into botany). Btw: Padua also considers itself one of the oldest cities in Europe. I did enter the Basilica of Saint Antony, which was sublime. Really impressive high ceilings with stars, marble, gold, and all that ecclesial kitch chic 😀 no, seriously, was well worth my time.


Pigeons. Another aspect of Padua shared by its famous neighbour.

What decisively established my visit to Padua as a lottery win was retrospective by a Belle Epoque artist Vittorio Matteo Corcos, a painter that was new to me, but left me nothing short of inspired.

It’s so grand to unexpectedly find something so precious! He painted well-to-do ladies and gentlemen (mostly ladies), whose facial expressions have a lot of character, and whose clothes are painted with such great attention to details, that would give many a fashion illustrator a run for their money.

The exhibted paintings dated circa 1890-1910, so it is fairly represenative of rich people’s fashion of the era. The fabric is so well painted you can actually assume what it would feel like under your fingers. The shiny parts shone like gold, without an actual golden colour being used. He may not be as famous as some of his counterparts, but it is still amazing to experience such craftsmanship up close.


Corcos, Vittorio, In lettura sul mare, 1910-3

All in all, seeing all this made me want to go home and paint people on large canvases – a task requiring a lot of patience & perseverence. Let’s keep our fingers crossed 🙂

Wishing you all a creative week 😉



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