Today we checked out of the hotel in Milan and headed to Verona where we will he staying for the next four nights. The bus ride was only two and a half hours so I put on some music and gazed out the window. Italy is so beautiful and being able to see the Alps was gorgeous. When we arrived in Verona it was raining which seems to be a common theme on this trip, anytime we travel to a new place it rains. Fortunately we were able to immediately check into our hotel rooms and drop off our stuff before grabbing some lunch. Our hotel is more centrally located than the one in Milan which is very convenient for exploring the city.
After lunch on our own we met back at the hotel to go on a historic walking tour of Verona. The gates of the city were built during the 12th century. On our tour we went into the Amphitheater arena which was unlike anything I have ever seen. It was built with two main galleries that were used for the audience to walk to their seats, as well as support for the stone steps and seating above. There are 72 arches on the ground floor and 72 arches on the main floor. Of the 72 arches of the ground floor, 68 of them were used by the plebeians, two were used by the the rich, and the final two were only for the gladiators. An interesting thing I learned was that when one gladiator lost the battle the audience decided whether they got to live or die by either a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Thumbs up meant that the loser would be killed, thumbs down meant that the winner should but down the sword and the loser survives. There also use to be an external wall but the majority of that collapsed due to an earthquake, leaving only four arches still standing.
Continuing on our tour we visited Juliet’s house. The story of Romeo and Juliet was supposedly based off of two real families that lived in Verona, the Monticoli and the Cappeletti families. They have removed the letters that people have wrote to Juliet and stuffed into the original wall so instead they write on the walls before entering the garden to her house. It was a beautiful area and it was interesting to see the balcony that is referenced in Romeo and Juliet. We also went to a castle that had a gorgeous bridge and it reminded me how beautiful the old architecture of Italy is.
I am happy to be in Verona and be able to explore a new city! Ciao!