Hello again, Verona! After yesterday’s whirlwind of activity, I was excited for a day in a more slower-paced area.
Our only sanctioned activity for today was a visit to the Verona Fashion Consortium. I was particularly excited for this visit, because I had previously researched information about the consortium and their role in the Veronese economy.
We first received a presentation about the consortium itself. Founded in 2000, this organization hosts a collection of 48 businesses, but they work with a network of 400 companies. This organization is a private guild, and was founded by the companies themselves in pursuit of international business. The consortium acts as an umbrella for different services, including international means for competition and know-how for expert knowledge.
The consortium holds a lot of pride in one key concept: MADE IN ITALY. This idea ties the consortium’s practices together. Essentially, the consortium acts to unify many small competitors so they are able to expand their client base. This pushes the “Made in Italy” brand even further into the world, capturing Italian pride and artisanal products in more places than ever imagined. Italians are very proud of their heritage and products, and companies entering the consortium must be completely based in Italy to preserve Italian methods.
After this visit, we had a free day, so we got some lunch and explored our last moments in Verona’s charm. This included viewing the sunset from a beach by Castelvecchio, one of my favorite spots in Verona.
I have to say – I have had a fantastic time in Verona thus far. It is my favorite city we’ve visited, because it’s not as overwhelming as Milan, and isn’t as touristy as Venice and Como. It encapsulates the authentic Italian experience without a bustling city to worry about or tourist scams crowding the streets. However, there are still plenty of local things to do that aren’t necessarily the most iconic Italian activities. For instance, you could find yourself in a park or at a caffè for hours, truly enjoying the experience at face value. With this local charm, there comes accessibility. If you are well-informed, there are grocery stores, restaurants, shops, and even a castle all within a 15 minute walk. In Venice and Como, you had to hunt for affordable activities, and Milan seems to require a metro ride everywhere, though everything there is very upbeat and enjoyable. Personally, Verona has the perfect mix of everything I wanted in Italy, and I really got to see what the European lifestyle is all about.
I think Verona will always hold a special place in my heart. Until tomorrow, ciao!