A bit on tension trying to have breakfasts and for everyone to chip in and help a bit more or mamma is having no holiday! David makes the decision that we are all walking to the train stationq to catch a train to Verona……Kate was keen to catch the Vaporetto as they are back in action after the strike. We finally leave for the station at 10.30am. The day is foolish but glorious in blue skies and sunshine. A good day for a mini trip. We work out the ticket machine quite easily even though later realize the tickets are not quite together. We opt for another fast train. 1 hour 20 to Verona rather than over 2 hours. Of course 30 euro one way first class each. There are options for a 7.5 euro slow train but we are on holidays and would rather have comfort and spend more time in Verona. Our tickets are not quite together so we find the first class carriage nearly vacant so we move together. We do move again to escape the constant sniffing and blowing of a nose from a fellow passenger right next to us. The trip is smooth and we get great glimpses of the snow capped Dolomite Ranges to the right. Apparently not as much snow as expected for this time of the year. We are served a drink and “salty or sweet” snack. The train stops at Mestre, Padua, Vicenza to Verona. Once out of the train station we find our bearings and head to the city of Verona. Funny to see cars after spending the last 5 days in Venice. Staring the drivers down at the crossings was not as affective as in Rome. It was a long straight walk through the high density apartments on the city outskirts. Thomas was thrilled to see many places selling hotdogs.
The city centre had a lovely stone gateway and then on the right. Verona is the 2nd largest city in the Veneto area. There are lots of Roman ruins in Verona including the 1st Century AD Arena which is still used for festivals. The Piazza Erbe (named after the cities herb market) was full of Saturday markets. The north part of the Piazza is the Baroque Palazzo Maffei and the Casa del Mercanti dating back to 1301 with beautifully preserved frescoes. We visited Juliet’s Balcony at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House) 23 Via Cappello. It is actually a restored inn but people have created the place to represent Romeo and Juliet. It was amazing how the arched entrance way has graffiti on every inch on the wall space. There are telephones on the wall to call who you love. A Christmas tree sat in the centre of this lovely courtyard with a large pebble ground that had red carpet in sections to walk on easily. The balcony looked very appropriate…..it was easy to imagine Juliet and Romeo. Kate bought a token key ring in the shop. On one of the walls were iron grills where people had locked padlocks onto it. It was quite amazing.
We continued on walking through the shopping precinct looking for a great scarf or pair of boots…not much time for shopping today. We then spent too long looking for a place to eat lunch, trying to keep everyone happy. On our search we found a piazza with a Christmas display including Christmas stalls, reindeers and a Nativity Scene. We were needing a toilette very soon! We found a little lane with a large group of people leaving but alas it was closing. The lady inside gave us some help finding another ristorante as well as a map …..very helpful. Finally we sat down in a cute place Pizzeria Impero in the Piazza Dei Signori near the statue of Dante, where the waiter helped us with our Italian and got us to order only in Italian. We had some vongole spaghetti, fish egg spaghetti….a Venetian specialty, bolognaise and margartta pizza of coaurse. The Italian toilets are amazing from foot pedals, to hammocks to catch the drips from hand dryers.
After warming up and feeling content we rugged up with coats, scarves and gloves and continued our walk around Verona. The Roman Arena has a contemporary star like metal sculpture in the Piazza and like a white metal curved strip going straight up, over and into the Arena…it has to be seen to be believed. Not too sure about it?
We took lots of photos and listened to children singing carols and playing recorders in the Piazza. We headed back along the Adige River for some great shots with great sunset views of Castelvecchio which formed part of the city’s defense system.
Finally ended up on the road we came into town on and made our way back to Verona Train Station. We purchased another 1st class ticket on the high speed train which was very welcomed on the way home when we were so tired. As we were sitting on the station we realized we had not validated the ticket in the yellow machine…even though reserved seated tickets don’t need this done. Better to be safe. We bought a charity Panetone cake from a group of girls with refuge charity collectors vests. Thomas favorite cake so far on this trip. Again Kate was keen to take the Vaporetto back tithe apartment along the Grande Canal but Dad rules and walking won. Over the million dollar bridge and back through the little streets stopping now and then to check out the ristorante menus, until we came to the apartment which has been home fortune last 4 nights.
After resting and watching BBC news and a movie on our sky Chanel we head out to dinner to Casin del no ill. A large restaurant full of diners. We waited for our table as the waiters bumped past us. We sat close to an Italian family who appeared to have endless amounts of food. We had some great seafood risotto while Thomas had steak and fries….in true Italian fashion and Kate had her traditional bolognaise! I was feeling quite tired so a short dinner it was.
Good night Venice!