Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Test of Prezi Next Embedding

Big Changes at Prezi ("prezi Next") mean that building and embedding a presentation are not like they used to be. The key is finding this embed code (it's not linked as a tool in the Prezi UI anymore):

This Prezi knowledgebase article tells you how to use their new embed code syntax. Be sure you include the "embed" at the end of your URL.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Veneto - Padova

Our last day in Italy is a bright and busy Saturday, with mild temps and a nice breeze. The town of Scorze is already bustling with morning action as everyone seems to be out. We take the bus to Padova and find the same there. Padova's historic city center seems to be mixed with regular city activity. From the pedestrian-only zones, the city trolleys, buses, cars and scooters all spill in.

We take some refuge in Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi. A minor tourist destination to be sure, but still a wonderful place to spend some time - with a Donatello crucifix. It's actually so much better when the crowds are so much thinner; you can be with yourself and a building and just think about things.

Without a doubt, it's a more comfortable town with plenty to see. Lots of well presented old houses and shops, and just an undemanding pace. 

We make our way down to the Basilica di Sant'Antonio, an engaging, enormous old church. When we enter, there is a children's chorus singing Amazing Grace; there are services underway so we cannot take pictures. There are wonderful chapels all around, as well as the tomb of St. Anthony (there is quite a line there).

Our intended destination today is the Capella deli Scrovegni and the frescoes by Giotto. Before arriving, I imagine  something like the Brancacci Chapel in Florence, but this is much bigger - and a much bigger deal. First we have to register online for an appointment time. You are asked to arrive at least five minutes before your appointment. You enter a kind of media chamber where you are "decontaminated" for fifteen minutes with about two dozen other guests. You enter the Capella, and you have fifteen minutes inside.

It is a stunner. The place is quite large, and the color and the life of the frescoes is overwhelming, as every surface is painted. You enter from the decon-cmaber at the side, but the original entry wall has the largest painting: the Last Judgement, with the damned on Jesus' left. The devil is devouring the condemned, and they are illustrated with grotesque flair.

At the other end, there is an altar and a tomb, surrounded by panels depicting scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary. The ceiling is painted in a twilight blue, with a field of stars.

Our time in the Capella is up all too soon. We step back out into the contaminated air, and enjoy a field of Roman ruins mixed with contemporary pieces. The Civic Museum is next door, and we spend some time inside looking at their extensive collection.

We end out day shopping for souvenirs and gifts to take home, at the Palazzo Della Ragione, a very large market hall much like the Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza. But it's a bit bigger and older, and the market is lively and spills into the adjoining piazza. We head home tired and satisfied.

Trip Summary:
  • week of June 11, Lisbon:  83,628 steps = 37.1 miles
  • week of June 18, Porto: 116,407 steps = 52.7 miles
  • week of June 25, The Veneto: 114,163 = 52.9 miles
  • totals: 314,198 steps = 142.7 miles

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Veneto - Venice II


Today we return to Venice, but for the first time together. The day is so much more comfortable than Monday, which was about 90F; today it's closer to 80F. It's also overcast and a touch humid, so at least the sun is not going to fry us, if anything it'll slowly steam us.

On the way into the station, I decide to sit on the other side of the train car to see what more I can see arriving to Santa Lucia down the causeway. The answer: not much more. I keep having to remind myself that the city is geared to the waters, and this is the side door - leave your trains, buses, cars, and motorbikes here and get ready to do it all by boat or by foot. This is like the motor vehicle "docks" of Venice, and it doesn't have to be attractive.

Today, we are going directly to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The maze-city still feels insane, but I'm prepared and accustomed, and can take it in stride. I have a chance, now, to capture some pictures of general, Venice-y scenes along our stroll. We are particularly struck by a floating produce market.

We are both deeply impressed with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It has a wonderful scale, and the art is presented in well-built groupings and in comfortable rooms; the viewers and the art never feel crowded. And the views out to the Grand Canal, well, they are to die for. It's just a well executed museum - like going to a top-rated restaurant and knowing that everything had been considered.

Back outside, we decide to head to the center of town and the Rialto Bridge. Along they way there are plenty of wonderful Venice vignettes to collect; yes the tower in the first picture of the small square is tilting.