Giotto's fresco's in Scrovegni Chapel
The main purpose of my sojourn from Verona to Padua (1 hour by train) was to see the Cappela degli Scrovegni (the Arena Chapel). I was told the Scrovegni was a must see for Giotto's floor-to-ceiling fresco's and I was not dissapointed by the advice. Done over the course of three years between 1303 and 1306, the 36 vividly colored panels illustrate the life of Jesus and Mary. The top and middle tiers depict the life of Mary, while the bottom tiers tell the life of Jesus. The far wall opposite the entrance depicts the Last Judgement (Heaven or Hell). The bottom right of the fresco depicts Hell and it is quite the scary imagery of a creature eating the freshly damned and then defecating them out to spend the rest of eternity having other sadistic things done to them.
Giotto's Last Judgement
It's the stuff of nightmares! Michelangelo's version on the altar wall in the Sistine chapel is tame compared to this one. There is a nice set of videos describing the art in the Chapel that you can find here: Giotto's Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel
. Anyway, it was a Sunday in Padua when I went there so there wasn't much else there that seemed open. I roamed around and had a peaceful walk as the streets were quite empty of people. It was probebly the most strangely quite city in Italy I've ever visited, but as I said it was a Sunday too and maybe June 14 had some significance there for it being so quiet. At any rate, the journey to Padua was well worth the pilgramige from Verona and I saw what I had come to see and headed back to Verona quite satisfied. I suppose after seeing Giotto's vision of Hell, what could be worse than that? I guess the bad neighborhood I was staying in back in Verona didn't look so bad now. I felt a bit comforted in this reflection - It's all in your point of view, and perspective, yes? One must find comfort in the big picture and not sweat the small stuff.