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Published: July 17th 2011
It's been more than 20 years since I last had the pleasure of setting foot inside the beloved boot of Europe. My friend Blue and I had signed up for a little Dolomiti walking holiday and decided to tack on a couple of shakespearean side trips to make the most of the Italian charm.
Flew into Venezia, short night in a dodgy (but cheap) hotel in Venezia Mestre then off to Verona on Saturday morning for a couple of days wandering the beautiful city. I always forget how beautiful these cities can be with their narrow roads, well worn pathways and tiled roofs. Of course my favourite way of experiencing any place is by eating the local fare, so I'm pleased to report that day 1 Verona was spent whiling away the hours in a restaurant tucked into a narrow corridor enjoying Pasta, Vino Rosso and conversation. We then managed to enjoy the sites along the main shopping street - a dress, shirt and pair of shoes later ... successful days activity!
Verona hosts an opera season each year which fortuitously started the day before we arrived in Verona. We booked a couple of cheap seats to Aida so
after a quick change and a quick pizza (for balance) it was off to L'Arena di Verona. The rain had started and stopped during dinner but thought we'd invest in the 'insurance' cheap rain coat (well worth the frock!) and the blow up cushion (the thought of 3 hours sitting on the hard steps of a roman amphitheatre made that an easy choice.). The Opera was amazing just through sheer scale of the venue and cast - there were hundreds of them ... it was also really, really, really long. The rain which had visited during dinner returned on and off through the first 2 acts and the orchestra kept running away. Bless them, in the UK it would have been cancelled, in Italy they push on and on and on so at 2am the fat lady finally sang her last note and we got to find our way back to the hotel.
Day 2 was hop on the open top bus to take in the main sites of Verona. I love these things when you have only a day to get a feel for the place (especially when you didn't get to bed until after 3am). Beautiful town,
Ahh the glamour
throw on a frock and your Italian styled rain jacket
lovely sites and a relaxed day.
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