Sherry and I met in an art history class at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1985. In addition to falling in love with each other, we both fell in love with the paintings and frescoes of Giotto. Neither of us were aware of his works before the class but we were simply amazed by them. We were so enthralled that when we became proud owners of a new puppy we named him Giotto.
We have seen many of his paintings in museums in both the U.S. and France but Giotto’s grand masterpiece is considered to be the frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. So, you can imagine our excitement when we added Padua as a key destination during our recent vacation to Italy.
We didn’t take any chances. We bought our tickets online well in advance. We arrived an hour early instead of the requested 30-minutes. We were giddy with excitement as we watched the 15-minute video during the acclimatization process. And then, we were led into the chapel.
The greatest poets in history would have difficulty capturing how our first look made us feel. It was awe-inspiring, breath-taking, surreal, stunningly beautiful, and mesmerizing all at the same time. There was also a sense of “finally” as we were looking at his master work after studying the man and seeing pictures online for all those years.
Everywhere you looked there were works by Giotto. On the walls. On the pillars. On the ceiling. Even the trim was decorated by his hand. Perhaps just as amazing was the fact that he painted the entire chapel in just two years.
We spent the next 20-minutes trying to soak in every aspect of this magnificent accomplishment. Then our host informed us it was time to leave. We were the last ones out.
This was definitely on of the highlights of the trip. Partly because we had waited for so long to see it but mostly because it spoke to our very souls. And, you can rest assured that we will see it again on a future Italian adventure.