Another tradition about the graduation of students in Padova University is to make a poster.
The friends and relatives of the student do the wholel thing, usually it is a collage of picture or funny drawing about the person (burlesque), and writing that tell his/her story. Of course they make sure it is hilarious and usually it point out all kind of odd things about the person.
Lots of them have sexual related jokes and or drawings.
When it is graduation time the wall of the university main building (Il Bo) are plastered with those Papiri.
Padova University is very old and along the centuries there have been several traditions created. One of the most funny and strange to see if you are a tourist is what happen outside the main building in the center, il Bo, after the students discuss their thesis, know their final votes and receive the graduation.
The whole family and friends gather around and friends usually prepare some jokes to play at the newly graduated. They get to stand on top of a bench, they usually get dressed up in a funny way and sometimes they have to stand while their friends throw them various stuff of different grades of disgusting... it can be eggs, foam of some sort, honey and than flour...
Mostly of the time they end up completely drunk and messed up!
The Municipality made a regulation so they can't mess up the public property anymore so now the smart jokers friends come equipped with big plastic foils so they can proceed with the joke anyways.
I have been offered food without knowing what it is as the locals know that many foreigners do not eat horsemeat or donkey, and they might shy away from tripe, and some cuts of meat.
So before you buy or order up something, be sure you have a good translation.
I have had both horsemeat and donkey and although I would not normally order this for my dinner, I found it to be actually quite good.
You will find many meat shops that specialize in horsemeat in the market in Padova, and I have found donkey on the listed items on a few menus.
See my tips for Osteria alla Chiesa in Asolo and you can see a photo of donkey.
Celebrations and feast in honour of one of the most beloved saints of Christianity, St. Anthony. On the 13th June the city celebrates the saint with religious celebrations in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua and in the afternoon a holy procession along the city streets.
Spritz is a digestive drink that italians use to drink at the afternoon time or during the evening.It is very popular at the Veneto region and especially at christmas time.It consists of dry white wine and soda water.During my staying in Padova I used to take a spritz with my friends before we start nightlife :)
My wife speaks Italian fluently, albeit with a southern dialect, and people often comment how well she speaks Italian (for a Canadian).
On the other hand, I've been married to an Italian for 37 years, ate Sunday dinner in an Italian household every weekend for as long as I can remember, listened to countless arguments (discussions), but can't remember phrases when unexpectedly asked. I understand lots, but butcher this beautiful language horribly.
I smile a lot, nod a lot, look dumb a lot and hope a lot, but get by. However, the important thing is, I try, and besides getting a laugh, I get respect. The Italian people appreciate your attempts at communicating in 'their' language, in 'their' country.
If all else fails, shrug, look goofy, then point. Works for me. Oh yes, I carry a language book with me at all times with pictures of food, animals, and other necessary things. It looks impressive sitting beside your plate in a restaurant, and you are automatically forgiven for screw-ups.
Maria and I have, on a number of occasions now, gone visiting, and upon entering a persons home, removed our shoes, and the host/hostess immediately offers us a pair of slippers to wear. This, I suppose, is due to the common use of marble or ceramic flooring, and thus, is rather cool on your tootsies. Typically in Italy, visitors are not expected to remove their shoes. I still feel odd not doing so.
Now, I admit, I am not fussy about wearing footwear which has previously adorned someone elses size 10, so, we now carry our own slim, compact slippers in my backpack, ready for instant removal.
These are not mandatory, and normally backpackers wouldn't dream of carrying these, but our life style and age allows us more leeway than perhaps others enjoy. Maybe its because I'll be d#%*#@* if I'll wear someone elses slippers.
Just a tip...
Who was Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, never heard of her before visiting the University of Padova. The inscription in Italian says; "prima donna laureata nel mondo", the first woman ever in the whole world who graduated in the university. The statue stands in the ground floor of the univerity of Padova.
Francesco Petrarca (1304 - 1374), along with Dante and Bocaccio, he is one of the three great writers of the 14th century, to whom the italian language is indebted.
He spent the last part of his life in Padova, at the court of Da Carrara.
The statue to Petrarca stands right in front of basilica del Carmine, on the ononymous piazza.
The atrium, the courtyard, staircases, loggias and halls, and especially the Aula Magna of the old main palace are covered with an almost contiouous display of noble coats of arms, in relief, of the Rectors and their Assesors and Councillors, dating from 1542 to 1688, when all available space was used up.
One of the most attractive sights of the University is undoubtely the Anatomical Theatre.
The works of alternation took place between 1542 and 1601, first in charge by Andrea Moroni and upon his death in 1560 Vincenzo Scamozzi took over the work on the palace.
The part that is best preserved in its original aspect is the internal courtyard (1546-1587).
The great entrance by Moroni is monumentally classical and the inscription on it says: "Enter to become every day more learned; go out to be more useful day by day to the country and to Christian society".
After Da Carraro family left the building became hospitium reserved excusively for ambassadors, military captains and noble guests who might stop in the town.
The downfall of the Da Carraro family, in 1405, did not harm the hospitium, as it was wellknown all over Europe until 1493, the year in which it was rented and later bought by the governors of the University.
Palazzo del Bo is the central building of the university complex of Padova. It is named after the hostel with the sign of the ox (bue in local dialect). The palace was built in the early 14th century and was the first official residance of the Da Carraro family, until 1343 when they moved to their great Palace.
I have included this picture of the police station so it will be easier to locate when you require a permesso. Just go along the street to the left of this building, and the Gates of Hell are located on the right.
If you are lucky, it will be manned, but don't go between noon and 1:30...everyone but the people contained within the gates go to lunch then. The others remain locked in until lunch has been consumed.
The attached photo shows a familiar courtyard to anyone extending their visit to Padova.
This is the back of the police station, where visitors huddle together for warmth from 6am until gosh knows when, waving their documents or passports, attempting to be a 'chosen' one.
You begin by lining up outside the gate, gradually work your way inside the gated enclosure (which is locked behind you), and eventually gain entrance to the interior of the police station, where you are treated to an interregation of great magnitude in a foreign language, poor manners, and personal humility.
The worst thing is that one hand does not know what the other hand is doing, nor do they seem to care. You get bounced from one office to another, with no clear guidelines or check list to follow.
Anyone who requires a permission to stay within Italian borders must go through this process. If one letter is not dotted, one 'stamp' not affixed, an additional set of 'photos' required, you are ejected, to go through the entire process the following day.
Pouring rain means nothing, extreme temperatures don't count, a bowel movement will 'cost' at the port-a-potties (pity you if you have no change).
This is one reason Ma Kettle and I hesitate taking permanent residence within Italy. We have spent days within this courtyard, as have countless thousands of people before us, many with newborn babies or young children in tow. We have been fortunate as we are white, Canadian, blessed with permanent incomes, and Ma Kettle was born in Italy. Others...I feel pity for. I truly do.
Very inhumane, and a serious character flaw for Italians everywhere, much like a festering boil on a person's neck. Everybody knows it exists, but the preference is to ignor it.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Heve compassion for others. Only the Italian citizen can demand changes.