Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take thee to Mantua

Day 100

I'm not entirely sure why I picked Mantua. Maybe because it was in Romeo and Juliet, maybe because the train was at a reasonable time and I wouldn't have to be up too early.

When I arrived it took some effort to find the main area. The tourist office was closed and I could only go by poorly placed signs. The first place I managed to stumble upon was the Basilica of St. Andrew, built in 1492. It was definitely an attractive church. My interest was in the crypt. Apparently the Roman soldier Longino, who pierced Jesus's side as he was on the cross, took some of the blood with him. In 923 the Hungarians invaded and it was hidden. It remained buried until 1048 when the found it accidentally during a church expansion.

To visit the crypt I had to pay a euro and was guided by a really nice woman with ok English. We were the only people down there and it was a bit spooky. She actually gave me a brochure for free because I asked so many questions.

My next stop was the Duomo. It was rather boring and I was about to leave when I spotted the mummified body of a saint. I can't believe that I almost missed it!

I wanted to visit the palace but it was way more than I wanted to pay and the woman who told me the price was really very rude. I certainly wasn't going to visit after that. To be honest it wasn't just the money. I really just wasn't in the mood to go to a palace. I wanted a take a break day. I got on the next tratin back to Milan and spent the rest of the day chilling out and reading in my bed. I was lazy, but its good to be lazy on occasion.

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