After I checked in and was given sheets, I settled into a bed in the corner of the twenty-bed room and decided to go out and explore Verona. I was ravenous for lunch, so I stopped at the corner cafe for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. The friendly cashier also gave me a used map to get around the city. The camera around my neck must have been the tourist giveaway. I started a photography class the week prior, and my university lent me a Nikon D3100 to fulfil my class assignments. It was fun to have such a nice camera while traveling too. My first stop on my full stomach was to Piazza Indipendenza on my way to Piazza delle Erbe. In the middle of Piazza Indipendenza was a statue of Garibaldi, so I assumed he was influential to Verona. Once I hit, Piazza delle Erbe, I went in search of Casa di Giulietta. The relation of Verona and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was my main motivation to travel to Verona. Although the story was created by Shakespeare and not based on historical events, the Shakespeare nerd in me was so excited to visit all of these landmarks. I saw Juliet's balcony, her house, the wall of locks, and the famous statue of Juliet. This was followed by an evening stroll getting lost around town, and gelato.
|A balcony on the courtyard of the building of my hostel|
|Snapping some flowers in Verona|
|Statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi|
|The statue of Juliet|
|Love locks at Juliet's house|
When I returned to the hostel, the families were having dinner in the kitchen, and another woman had moved into the room. She was a darling Italian girl around my age who was completing her Masters in Verona on the weekends. She spoke English well, and we talked at length until a mom came up to the room and offered us dinner. The girl and I shared a plate of fried mushrooms, and spent the rest of the evening entertaining the children in the living room. It was a joy to meet and make new friends in this wonderful home.
The next morning, I said goodbye to the families and was on my way to meet Emielia and Andrew at the Arena di Verona (after a croissant and cappuccino of course). The arena was epic. I could only imagine what it is like to see an opera on that stage. Maybe the next time I am in Verona, I will indulge in that. After the arena, we walked to Tomba di Giuletta and nerded out some more about Romeo and Juliet. The tomb is totally a tourist attraction, but it was a must-see on my list. We had our fill of pizza and wine following the tomb, and then went to see the Ponte Pietra (a famous bridge).
|Beautiful balconies everywhere|
|Picture perfect windows|
|Arena di Verona|
|Andrew in the arena|
|View from above the stage|
|Andrew and Juliet|
|Emielia and Juliet|
|Romeo and Juliet lines outside of Juliet's Tomb|
|Andrew and Emielia|