Verona, Italy

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Arena in Verona as the sun was setting

The name of the opera was Un Ballo in maschera by
Giuseppe Verdi and Antonia Somma (go to www.arena.it for
detailed information about the opera)
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Well we are back from the two week trip to Italy celebrating Kara's 40th birthday.  Jackie AKA Rick "Ricardo" Steves had the trip planned out to a "T".  I'm thrilled that his organizational skills got us there to see the Opera, experience the famed Sellaronda, see the Dolamites and the Lakes, go to mass at the Vatican, see St. Mark's in Venice, St. Francis of Assisi and experience the Palio Trials in Siena.  Yes, Ricardo must be named Cross County's stellar trip planner.  I give him the gold star on this trip, our Amsterdam/France trip, Katy and Rio Grande Trail bike trips as well.

So I will try and organize the adventure in order as we experienced them.  Our flight to Milan was followed by a train ride to Verona to see the opening night of its famed opera in the arena.  The Verona Arena is one of the largest still standing arenas in Italy.  It was really something.

In the Rick Steves books about Italy, he said to always try to speak Italian rather than expect Italians to translate and communicate with us.  We learned that the hard way, after traveling 23 hours straight, arriving at our fantastic bed and breakfast in Verona, we were tired but excited we had tickets for the opera in a few hours.  So we set of to see the city and find a Rick Steves recommended restaurant.  We walked all over looking for the restaurant and we knew we were close to it but we couldn't find it.  I went into a corner pharmacy and asked where it was, pointing to it in my book.  The nice, but harsh Italian, shook her head no and said, "No speak English" and turned around from me.  So I quickly got the book out and read where Rick says to say, "Per favore, dove..." that's "please, where is..."  I said this to a nice, uniformed female police officer and she pointed us right to it.  After that first incident, we used Italian every where we could.

Verona is a really cool town with a castle, the arena, tons of churches and it was covered with flowers, nice people and restaurants.  It was a great town to visit on our journey :) And a PS to the trip was the fact that Ricardo insisted that Chloe and I pack a single backpack and a single pair of shoes for the trip.  He was right, as always.  We loved getting on trains and traveling with our things on our back and being hands free.  And I will say Chloe and I both overpacked but we are girls!
Chloe and Jackie outside our bed and breakfast
in Verona

A view from our balcony of the courtyard

Thankfully we hired a taxi from the train station to the Il
Relais in Verona.  It would have taken us hours to find it along
this street.  Best 8 euros spent on the trip, seriously!

Chloe took many, many selfies on the trip.  

The nectarine tree in the courtyard of the Il Relais was full of fruit

William Shakespeare set his play Romeo and Juliet in
Verona.  The town has capitalized on it since a
tour guide in the 1970's made it famous.  From
Rick Steves' book: "While no documentation
has been discovered to prove the truth of the legend, no
documentation has disproved it either". Here is the famed
courtyard that is visited by thousands of tour groups each year. 

This was the Museo del Castello Scaligero in Verona

The Adige River flows right in the middle of Verona, you
can see over Chloe's shoulder the rowing teams doing
some training...and just over the bridge was our
restaurant where we got to sit and relax before the opera

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