I’m now writing to you all from Verona!
Our day started with one last delicious chocolate croissant and coffee from Hotel Sempione. Then, we boarded a private bus and departed for our new destination, Verona. Our ride was beautiful, because we had a constant view of the Alps during our ride. 2.5 hours later, we arrived in the quaint city of Verona. We were eager to find a McDonald’s on the same block as our hotel – our desperate hunger made us cave and we all piled into the restaurant to order our first Italian McDonald’s. This McDonald’s was much more upscale than American McDonald’s, especially with their dessert and caffè menus.
After lunch, we embarked on a historical walking tour of Verona. This included visits to the Arena Di Verona and Castelvecchio. I was stunned by the sights at both of these locations – I couldn’t believe I was standing in ancient ruins! Ancient Verona housed a population of 20,000 individuals, and the Arena Di Verona has about 24,000 seats. This arena was built so all citizens, plebeian and patrician, could engage in central activities in the arena.The Arena is more well-preserved than the Colosseum in Rome, because it was constructed of limestone, which is more resistant and stronger than the stones of the Colosseum.
Our group was able to climb the steps of the Arena, so we trekked to the top to find an amazing view of the entire Arena.
Next on our tour was the famed Capeletti house from Romeo and Juliet. Surprisingly, before Shakespeare wrote this tragic love tale, another similar story emerged from Verona about 100 years prior. It followed the tales of two real families, Monticoli and Capeletti, and their intertwined love stories in Verona. We even saw Giulietta’s balcony, which she had a famous conversation with her lover (Romeo, oh Romeo!) Below is a wall where people can write their own letters to Juliet.
Then, we took a tour of Castelvecchio. I didn’t absorb as much of the historical information from this location because its beautiful views distracted me. Inside, a bridge sat along the San Lorenzo river, where we got to see views of the Alps and surrounding Verona. It was decorated in brick, vines, and cobblestone, and I was immediately entranced by its intrinsic beauty.
For dinner, we plan to take a visit to Bigoi, an Italian takeaway pasta eatery, and the local PAM grocery store for snacks. See you tomorrow for more on Verona!