In Fair Verona…

Today I went to Verona. I got an early start and was there by 930. I intended to pick up a tourist map at the train station, but the tourist information center was closed. There were no signs and I had no idea where the station was relative to town (it wasn’t in the guidebooks I had downloaded). Fortunately I had pulled up the map on my iPhone and it was still in the cache. I launched the app and found my little blue dot, as well as the path to the center of town.

Verona is beautiful, and the weather today was ideal. Approaching city there are lovely parks, and upon passing into the historic center you can’t help but find the ancient Roman Amphitheater. This is the third largest of them, and it is impressive. I went in and climbed to the top. The footing isn’t great, because the steps vary in height, but I managed to avoid falling.

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They still stage opera here. I would love to experience that sometime. I can only imagine what it must be like to sit in this amphitheater, seemingly transported from antiquity, watching and listening to Opera. The thought gives me chills.

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Hey! There I am!

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From there I found my meanderings had led to the Lamberti Tower. It wouldn’t be a vacation if I wasn’t climbing a tower of some sort. In most instances this has involved slippery surfaces or unstable supporting structures, but not today. Just 368 steps to the top. Yes – there was an elevator, but no – I didn’t take it. According to the pamphlet they provided me with admission, the elevator is for “the laziest.” Yup. That means I’m not the laziest – hurray!

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The view was unbeatable. Was it worth the climb? Next time maybe I’ll be the laziest (but I wasn’t today!).

Next stop: the Duomo. A beautiful church. No mosaics though.

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And then it was lunch time. I went to Osteria Antica del Duomo. I started with antipasto for one. There is a ridiculous amount of food there, but it was delicious

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Next I had maccheroncini with pesto of rucola and horse. Yes – I had horse. It was either that or donkey, and I’ve already had that once this trip. Actually I asked if that was typical for the region and the waitress said it was. My Italian isn’t that good – she might have said, “it is what we typically serve stupid Americans.” In any case it was good. The horse meat was dried and a little smoky. Overall a successful dish.

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Then I was afoot and on my way to the Roman Theater. This had been lost for an age or so before being rediscovered.

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Then Saint Anastasia.

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Not always politically correct.

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Now I noticed something. San Zeno would be closing before other monuments, so I doubled back to visit this glorious Romanesque cathedral.

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Returning back to town I stopped in at the old castle (castelvecchio) which now houses a museum.

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Finally I stopped and saw Juliet’s balcony, which is really just a tourist trap since Juliet was a fictional character. I also stopped in the Casa of Giulietta, which is the WORST MUSEUM EVER!

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And now my feet were tired and I hopped a train back to Bologna, stopping only long enough to snap a couple photos and grab a gelato on the way out of town.

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Luggage update – my bag is here. Finally. Whew!

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