11:31 21 October 22, 2014 Elk Point SD USA by GS Jade Barrett CsbNews.org correspondent
“The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
The opportunities that reveal themselves as I travel around the world as a tournament bridge athlete are both surprising and numerous. There is always the local hidden gem of a hotel, restaurant, shop or site of local interest, some of them much more impressive than one might imagine.
For people outside of Padua, IT (though I much prefer the Italian spelling of Padova), it comes as a great surprise that this ancient city is home to the second oldest university in Europe, the University of Padova. It is also home to the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua – the Patron Saint of lost articles and therefore very important to myself personally, given that there has never been a set of keys that I could not misplace.
While plying my trade as a journalist, I had the pleasure of meeting Paolo Clair at the 3rd Youth World Bridge Championships in Atlanta in 2013, as he performed his duties as Secretary of the WBF’s Youth Committee. After just a few minutes of pleasantries, he invited me to visit Padova and within a few months I took advantage of his gracious offer. With the Great American Bridge Tour CEO, Dr Donna Lombardini in tow we flew to Milan and in Paolo’s company and care we discovered the beauty of Northern Italy and the healthy state of its bridge environment.
Paolo’s home club is the magnificent Circolo Padova Bridge, an inviting center in a beautiful setting. It houses one of our favorite restaurants in Padova, and an excellent coffee bar that also provides the opportunity to lift a glass of finer spirits as the occasion or need arises. The directing staff is warm and inviting and we heartily recommend adding a bridge game there to your schedule. Having enjoyed the city so much, we plan to continue to visit annually for many years to come.
The benefit of start times at 16:00 and 21:00 at the club is that we found each day filled with activities, visiting olive farms, vineyards, orchards and even an Italian ranch in La Rovino, dining in small cafe’s and restaurants as we discovered them. If one is not careful, it is easy to put on kilos two at a time – as verified by my talking scale as it screamed at me “Get off! Get off” the moment I stepped on it.