Verona Day 1:

We started off today by packing up all our stuff and taking a bus to Verona. It was raining on arrival but stopped later but remained cold and cloudy throughout the day. After checking into our hotel in Verona we went to a McDonalds for lunch, mostly just to see how it would be different. In part of the McDonalds was a sort of coffee shop set up which also sold baked goods like scones, croissants, and even Tiramisu. The burger and fries that I had seemed virtually the same as in America.

After lunch we went on a long walking tour of the city. We started by visiting a Roman amphitheater, like the Coliseum in Rome but smaller and better preserved due to stronger builder materials. Operas and other shows are still put on in the amphitheater in Verona replacing the bloody gladiator matches and executions of Roman times. It was still raining at this point and even under the arches of the arena water dripped through giving it the feel of a cold, dank cave. After this we continued the tour got to see the balcony that supposedly inspired the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. In the same courtyard was a statue of Juliet where it is believed to be good luck to touch her boob. This is like many of the other good luck charms we have seen so far. We also crossed a beautiful bridge which gave us a great view of the river that passes through the city as well as the Alps in the distance.

Much of the architecture in Verona dates back hundreds of years and some even dating back to Roman times. The streets are very narrow, and drivers need a special permit to drive on them. This means there are very few cars in the area. The streets generally lead to one of many open squares lined with restaurants and shops with a fountain or statue in the center. Very few modern looking buildings are present in the city. The population seemed to be mostly older people as Verona is a very expensive city to live in.

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