Dwight Peck's personal website

The Veneto region in May 2017

A restful week around the Euganean Hills

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

A second look at Montagnana, this time with the museum

We were visiting the Veneto region north of Venice earlier this spring, and now we're back to see some more of what we missed farther south.

We're out at the crack of late morning, 18 May 2017, in the countryside near the excellent Locanda Ca' Vejo . . .

. . . passing through Megliadino San Vitale 3-4km to the north, the nearest village, and then . . .

. . . Megliadino San Fidenzio, whence it's only a hoot and a holler to the east-west SR10 and . . .

. . . Montagnana.

Crossing the former moat into beautiful downtown Montagnana and entering by the Porta Vicenza or northern gate. We dug up a little historical background on Montagnana after our previous visit, 3 or 4 days ago, and needn't repeat that here. Suffice it to say that it's still got a full set of 13th and 14th city fortifications, with two castle/gatehouses, a duomo which we got into moments before closing, and a civic museum which we didn't get into at all.

So we're back. This is the Via Mure Est inside the walls -- we've just left the car along the Via Mure Nord and are working our way around the compass.

First things first -- the Museo Civico is housed in the San Zeno Castle (with its 13th century tower or mastio built by Ezzelino III da Romano) at the eastern gate.

The eastern gate (with its one-way access) and the entrance to the Civic Museum, with the Tourist Office and entrance to the Torre di Ezzelino on the right (with the patient school groups)

A glance down the Via Carrarese, with the Thursday street market well under way

The evocative lobby of the tourist office

Alongside the Castello di San Zeno is the modern modern amphitheatre, the 'Arena Martinelli-Pertile'

The inner courtyard of the Castle San Zeno

Our pleasant and helpful guide

First stop, slightly downstairs, the museum 'Giacomelli' of local archaeology

Upstairs on the first floor, the medieval and modern section -- this is a fresco of Saints Prosdocimo and Giustina, local favorites, from the late 14th or early 15th century.

Montagnana in the 16th century (between 1566 and 1575)

A special exhibition devoted to two famous tenors, both born in 1875 in Montagnana -- Giovanni Martinelli and Aureliano Pertile

Martinelli as Eleazar "the Jew" (1835), by Fromental Halévy, performance in 1924

Luckily we have our guide to show us the way out of here again.

Men At Work in the Via dei Placco -- we're heading for the street market, of course.


The 16th century city hall on the Via Carrarese main street, called the Palazzo Sanmicheli because the architect Michele Sanmicheli might have had a hand in it.

The porch of the Cassa di Risparmio facing onto the central Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or Duomo di Montagnana, looming

The Island of Taste, in preparation (or dismantling)

The Church of St Francis at the southern wall

Seeking bargains

Street market scene

The small Piazza Grani in the next street

-- You called?

Flowers in the Via Roma

Back towards the Duomo

We've just time for another quick trip inside

The Duomo, built between 1431 and 1502, is laid out on a Latin cross with a single nave, with two shell chapels in the transept ends. The altar is facing canonically exactly towards the east, which puts the whole structure delightfully off-centre with regard to the piazza out front.

A cute fresco to the left (looking towards the inside of the front door)

The beheadings theme is well represented: just left of the front door -- David and Goliath, attributed to Giorgione, and . . .

. . . just to the right, Judith and Holofernes, similarly ascribed to Giorgione.

A 16th century panorama of the Battle of Lepanto, October 1571, when a fleet of Spanish and Venetian galleys soundly defeated an Ottoman fleet in western Greece, the last major sea battle fought solely with rowed vessels -- a huge morale booster for western Europeans, but not much practical effect after a few years.

The fairly strange Cappella del Rosario, in which . . .

. . . the 15th century frescoes in the lower part seemed normal enough, despite the ghostly echo of the Madonna and child in their tiny capsule with the doors open, but . . .

. . . the astrological ceiling seems very odd. One explanation is that it commemorates an eclipse that occurred in the constellation of Leo, with Hercules ignoring it.

A rather odd tableau of Jesus scenes -- evidently you start at the lower left and read left to right, then up a level, same again.

The main altar in the presbytery. In the half-dome is the 'Assumption into Heaven of the Virgin Mary', by Giovanni Buonconsiglio, 1518; behind the altar is the 'Transfiguration of Christ' by Veronese, 1554/5.


The main altar, with crucifix

The Capella del Santissimo, at one end of the transept

The San Antonio Chapel, at the other

The apse again

And the front door as we take our leave

A cheese merchant with a discreet eye for the ladies

Via Giacomo Matteotti

Packing up for the day

Victor Emanuele II supervising the commercial transactions

Back north towards the car

Flowers and the Porta Vicenza

The Porta Vicenza or northern gate

The Via Mure Nord

Well-kept buildings all along the northern walls

Less well-kept buildings outside the walls

Onward to our next destination for today, the . . .

. . . Villa dei Vescovi, or Bishops' Palace, in Luvigliano di Torreglia deep in the Euganean Hills

Next: the Villa dei Vescovi

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 6 August 2017.

Veneto region
Feb. 2017

Veneto region
May 2017