Saturday 9 September 2017

Up early. Back to the train station.

Surprisingly in the train station we found vegan croissants! A massive surprise. I’ve never had a vegan croissant. And it was surprisingly good. Exactly like a normal one!

And then on a train to Verona.

The train took an hour and a quarter to reach Verona. We had amazing views across Lake Garda. The train line runs all along the southern edge of the lake, and even over the lake at one point. And miles and miles of vineyards.

After some confusion, we managed to buy some tickets for a bus into the centre. There were no ticket machines at the bus stop for the local buses. Only over by the longer distance buses.

The bus only took a few minutes. It would have only been a 20 minute walk. We got off the bus right by the 2,000 year old Arena.

In the third century, Verona was an important Roman trade centre. Now the city is a UNESCO site – and the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

As we were right next to it, we headed into the arena. An expensive EUR10 entrance ticket. The arena is now used for opera – which is held most evenings during the summer months and can fit 30,000 people. But during the day, they let people in to wander around.

You could walk all around the stone steps. In the middle of the arena, a stage and seating was all set up.

You couldn’t see much over the top edges – I was expecting a view of the city but we weren’t high enough and could only see roofs of the surrounded buildings.

The streets leading away from the arena were packed. So many people.

We made our way down a few streets full of shops, through an alleyway and eventually reached Juliet’s balcony. In the 1930s the government chose a house to designate as Juliet’s. They added a balcony onto it. And now it’s a tourist attraction. With so many people you could barely move.

After that excitement, we carried on wandering. We ended up in much quieter streets, with no people. And eventually the river. The river was surrounded by pretty buildings with balconies full of overflowing flowers and plants.

We followed the river along until we reached the next bridge. And a gelato shop!

We got fig (so creamy and just like eating a fresh fig from a tree!) and peach (also pretty good!). The best gelato we had all trip.

With gelato in hand, we started making our way back to the train station. It was a long walk, as we had come a long way! So it took about a hour. We weren’t rushing and had time to get lost down small lanes and streets of shops.

Our train back to Milan was at 1.15pm. And this time we were back in standard class. And it was rammed. Too many people for seats. Even though we had seat reservations, we never found our seats.


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