Graduate like Dante in Padua

It’s springtime in Padua, a university town, and that means graduation parties.

So many wholesome scenes.

Extended families presenting flowers to the proud graduate, who is decked out in a Dante-style wreath of laurels. Grampa, grandma, parents—everyone raising their spritzes in a toast which I was easily able to interpret having learned Italian as a teenager:

"Doctor, doctor,  you're a doctor now.  You're the doctor of assholes.  Go fuck yourself!  Go fuck yourself!  Go fuck yourself!"

Since I travel a lot (or I did until recently) people often ask where I would live if I could choose any place in the world. I mean, that really depends on a lot of things; like where my family is, how much money I have, and my ability to learn the language. I usually answer “I don’t know” but secretly, I think I would live in Padua.

I’m not really sure why I love it so much.  It is a lovely town, also lively and full of smart young folks getting their doctorate of go fuck yourself.  And there are Giotto frescoes here, of course.

You could spend a lot of time relaxing in public squares eating squid from a toothpick.

If you’re reading this and you’re from the area, can you please explain why there are so many gown shops in the northern Italy? Are you all constantly going to balls or something?

Maybe folks here are wearing ball gowns to visit one of Padua’s many splendid churches.

After all, according to the rules, it is forbidden to wear indecorous clothes.

And just to be clear, you also shouldn’t dress like socialist-realist art from the 1930’s.

Finally, it goes without saying, you might be a doctor of assholes, but that cell phone that was made before you were born is has to stay in your pocket where it belongs.

How we got to Padua: train from Ravenna.

Where we slept: Residence Eremitani. Price: €120 for an apartment. Recommended? Yes.


  1. Is it compulsory too for graduates to wear a floral wreath? Or just if you’re a dottoressa? Asking for no-one in particular…


    1. Unclear to me, though I’m going to make a bold assumption that Galileo wore one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I’d graduated in Padua…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A shame you didn’t, Helen, You’d have been fetching in a wreath. I would have bought the first round of spritzes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irrestistible offer.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nemorino · · Reply

    I’ve never actually been to Padua, but what comes to mind is “I’ve Come To Wive It Wealthily In Padua” from Kiss Me, Kate. (And from the Taming of the Shrew, of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve not seen Kiss Me, Kate so I had to look that one up. I’m petitioning to bring back tights with capes for men:

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Italian is such an elegant language! So much to learn. Although I’m diligently working my way through the Italian Duolingo course, I have not yet learned the particular words in this traditional song! I think they have rolling graduations at Padua so I’m hoping to witness some in October/November.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness, I hope so. There should be an alternative Duolingo “What time does the train leave?” vs “What is your dick doing?”.


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