August 4: In the Footsteps of Juliet (Or At Least Her Fans) Verona

Church bells rang out again this morning welcoming our ferry to Varenna, our starting point for our 3 hour journey to Verona. While on the train to Verona, all eyes were on a group of college age students. One was carving a carrot into a tree shape with delicate leaves made from a cucumber while another was serving a meal from a large metal pot of stew to boyfriends lying like comfy kings on the seats. Everyone found this quite amusing.

Upon our arrival in Verona, we headed straight to our accommodation L'Ospite which has 6 apartments and comes highly recommended by Rick Steves. The manager, Federica Rossi, greeted us warmly and graciously explained that although we were more than welcome to stay, street repairs had become very noisy with jackhammers going at 8:00 am. She told us that she had not only found us another accommodation we could trust, she would personally drive us there too. We hopped in her car for a quick drive to Relais Francisus and she visited the room with us to make sure it was to our satisfaction. Rarely will you find this kind of attention to thorough, quality service. Three cheers for Federica.

Once we settled in we headed out for a stroll near the Arena. In Verona's main square, we dined at Brek, a self-service restaurant with a salad bar, pizza, and delicious desserts. The sun is really beating down today and the humidity is high. Piazza Erbe's water fountain was a cool refreshing diversion and we joined the others who decided to actually stand in the fountain. Normally we would never do this, but when it's close to 100 degrees at 4:00 with oppressive humidity, it's a welcome relief.

Heading back to our hotel we couldn't resist stopping at the House of Juliet. Even though it's a fictitious place, it has a balcony where tourists posed after paying 4 euro to see items from the movie. Of course we decided it was not worth it to go in. Instead we window shopped in the pedestrian zone where shops sold goods from top quality designers. Just catching a blast of air conditioning as we passed each store made it all worthwhile.

By 7:00 it was slightly cooler, but still in the 90's. We visited an interesting grappa bar, Enoteca Dreste. It's tucked into a small building off the main pedestrian area. The inside has Old-World charm with dark wood and wooden stools. We asked to sample two glasses of wine, but because of a language barrier, were proudly presented with 2 chilled bottles of wine carefully wrapped and a set of plastic cups. Had we accepted it would have been 30 euro and fortunately it was all resolved.

Dinner again was at Brek for pesto pasta and a salad. We topped off the evening with a gelati and an evening stroll past the Arena which was just turning on its lights.

Two hot furry dogs
cooling off in the fountain
Sleep well tourist dogs

Comments

coachsparky said…
Hi Brendan Bear--

I enjoy reading your poems and they have inspired me to write my own!

Reading Brendan's blog
Transported to other lands
Of Summer Trip Fun
Anonymous said…
Hi Brendan Bear:
Coach T, Rocky, DoMo and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journeys so far. Your writing is so descriptive that we can get a great sense of what you are seeing, hearing, and tasting during your trip. We hope you are drinking lots of water during the day since it seems like it is really hot there. We look forward to reading about your entire trip.

Coach T, Rocky, DoMo, and Susan

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