Day 8: Ciao Verona

Leaving Milan is disappointing, but a change of scenery for a few days is really a good thing. In Milan, things are constantly happening. When you cross any street, it’s a stressful game of chance. In Verona, the majority of the city center is a shopping district with a car passing every few minutes. A few hours on the bus was nice for a well-needed nap, too. When we arrived in Verona, we started to look for lunch ideas right away. Given that it is a Sunday, many things are closed. We decided to rely on McDonald’s because they are basically always open. I can now confirm that the McNuggets are similar, if now exactly the same, as ones in America. Out of the sauce selection I used, the only noteable difference was that the hot sauce was more similar to a spicy salsa than a dipping sauce. After lunch, we began our walking tour.

Within a few minutes of walking, we already arrived in the city center and had a clear view of the arena in Verona. To enter the city center, you pass through a large gate. Just like the rest of the buildings, the gate has intricate engravings. The entire city has a feel of a Roman city. In fact, the city is layed out in a methodical square pattern due to Roman influence. The arena is enormous. It can hold over 20,000 people and has been maintained very well. It is now a concert venue and hosts an opera celebration each year. The limestone steps are orginal, and the sand from Roman times still exists under the seats. The arena was originally used for battles and executions. It also used to have free entry. The top of the arena gives a nice view of the city center. After venturing further into the shopping area of the city, we came to the original Juliette’s home from Romeo and Juliet. The public touring area has a view of the balcony and a statue of Juliet. It is good luck to hold the right breast of Juliet’s statue. After that, we went to a palace. The main area appears dilapidated, and the private garden is overgrown. Further into the palace, we came to a bridge. The center of the bridge gives a brilliant view of the city and the opposite side gives a view of the Alps. This, of course, is an excellent photo opportunity. One interesting fact about the bridge is that the bricks used were the original ones used to build the rest of the palace, but they look newer because the bridge was destroyed in WWII by the retreating Nazis. The bricks were fished out of the river and used to rebuild the bridge. Now, they are a brighter shade of red than the uncleaned bricks.

For dinner, we walked around and tried different shops. Because it was early, we stopped by a fast food chicken place for a snack. After places opened, we had different desserts, like macaroons, crepes, and conolis, before dinner. For dinner, I had a ham sandwich with roasted zucchini and tomatoes. So far, Verona is beautiful and a lot calmer than Milan. I feel like the next few days will give us more chance to explore.

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