This morning I woke up slightly sad knowing that I’d be leaving Milan but also excited for a change of scenery that would await in Verona. After a 2.5 hour long ride, we finally arrived in Verona and I immediately fell in love with this city. Once I got off the bus and looked around the streets, I was so satisfied. This was what I always thought Italy would look like. To me, Milan somewhat resembled a cleaner version of New York City with a lot of Italians, but Verona seemed more homey. All of the roads were cobblestone and lined with colorful buildings housing restaurants and apartments. I also noticed that it was a lot less modernized and instead embraced it’s history in the beautiful architecture.
We were set on our own for lunch and ended up at McDonald’s because we were incredibly unfamiliar with our new environment. However, once we ate, we took a walking tour of the city. This was probably my favorite walking tour yet because of all the new restaurants, shops and buildings we were able to look at! In the beginning of our walking tour we stopped at the Arena Amphitheater, learned a little bit about the history there, and were able to take many pictures. It was very surprising to me to see how well preserved such an old building was. I also never thought about how detrimental the unpredictable weather could be to events that are planned very far in advance here because if it rains the audience is really out of luck with no alternative options. Our tour guide also explained the events that took place within the arena when there was a gladiator fight. Once the winner and loser were determined, it was left up to the audience to determine the loser’s fate by signaling either a thumbs up or down. Naturally, we all thought that a thumbs up would mean that the loser is good and got to walk away. However this was very far from the truth and instead, this symbolized raising a sword to slight the loser’s throat.
Another cool spot along our tour was the Capulet’s House where the real Juliet Capulet lived, who inspired the writing of Shakespeare’s famous work of Romeo and Juliet. The house featured the infamous balcony described in detail in his play. My personal favorite stop of the tour was the castle, but it wasn’t the castle itself that left me in awe. Instead, it was the bridge that overlooked the Adige River on either side. When looking out, you could see the beautiful city below stretching on for miles. After familiarizing ourselves with our surroundings, we made a long list of stops we’d like to make during our stay here. With a long checklist ahead, I hope to complete some of these musts tomorrow. Ciao for now!