Today we got to Verona, and it has by far been my favorite city of the trip. The town is very small and is a perfect representation of what I thought an Italian city would look like. First, we took a walking tour where we stopped at the iconic arena. From an engineering standpoint, it is amazing to see how the arena has withstood the test of time despite being exposed to the elements, and enduring multiple earthquakes and floods. The size of the arena was also amazing to me, and our tour guide told us that the entire population of Verona was able to fit into the arena at one time. At the time, it was a great sign of power and wealth that they city could build a venue like that. We also got a chance to tour a bridge which had been destroyed by Germany during WWII but rebuilt. It was cool to see because the parts of the bridge that were destroyed were actually cleaner than the parts that weren’t because they’d spent time being washed in the river below.
After the walking tour ended, I felt like I knew all of Verona. The hub area of the city is surprisingly small which gave a very intimate feel that I liked. I also saw a lot of different stores that I really liked that weren’t major companies, but were just local shops. I really liked that change of scenery coming from Milan which is the fashion capital, to places that are smaller and give me a better feel of Italy. It was also amazing to look up at the sky at night and be able to see a full sky of stars without air pollution. The WiFi at our new hotel, unfortunately, is not very good either so I haven’t been able to use my phone as much, and being in a small city like Verona makes this feel like a nice get away. It often made me stop to think about how Verona must have been before technology and industrialism.