Verona? I hardly know her.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! I’m definitely missing’ my mama a little extra today for sure, but I’m trying my absolute best to take a sufficient amount of photos she can use for her photo books as an apology for my absence.

Rather than being at the movies like I have been for the past two Mother’s Days, I spent my day mostly on a bus – traveling from Florence to Verona. The rest stops/gas stations in Italy continue to impress me, and the one today especially did because they had Heinz ketchup ON DISPLAY. I always appreciate seeing the best Pittsburgh ketchup wherever I may be.

When we eventually got to our hotel the excitement of the day continued when my roommate and I got to see our new room for the next three nights. Our room in the Grand Hotel is the nicest so far with chic decor, a full extra sofa, high-powered bidet, and A BALCONY! I missed my balcony that I had in Milan so clearly I was very happy to see the outdoor area connected to our room once again. Also, pictured above is a statue in our hotel lobby… look familiar? I thought it looked similar to a Pitt Panther so I obviously had to get photo documentation of it – I really can find ways to work Pitt pride into every day’s activities huh?

The rest of the day was consumed by a walking tour of Verona. Even though we haven’t been here too long – I already have a feeling that Verona is going to be my favorite city yet. The architecture and open-air markets are exactly what I expected out of Italy, and I also am just a sucker for love and since this city’s main attractions are based on the most famous love story of all time – Romeo and Juliet, that’s just an added bonus for me. On our tour we saw a number of different tourist attractions special to the area including the homes of Juliet and Romeo, and the old Roman bridge with breathtaking views. Make sure to keep updated to hear more about my adventures in this amazing city because our tour guide pointed multiple things out along the tour that I want to try and do before we leave – so stay tuned for that as well.

We had a group dinner later at night that honestly I didn’t think was anything special. I think that recently I have been spoiled by getting lucky with really authentic good food places, so maybe I’m just a pasta snob now – which could very well be the case. But to spin it in a positive way for all of you, I always love our group dinners because I get the chance to sit with a different combination of students on the trip every time and I always end up having such great conversations. So even though the food was just okay tonight, the atmosphere still made me a happy-camper.

Tomorrow’s itinerary includes a day trip to Venice and a gondola ride so start placing your bets now – will I fall out of the boat? Will I start singing? Will I get good enough pictures to make Jeanne Eason happy? Come back tomorrow to find out. As always, goodnight everyone, I am exhausted and going to sleep, but I hope you all are having/had a great day!

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