Verona....home to Romeo and Juliet!

Trip Start Apr 03, 2007
Trip End May 23, 2007

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Monday, April 16, 2007

First of all, sorry for sending the last email about 14 times!  I had a bad internet connection, and from my end, it didn't look like it was working.  When I checked my email, I realized it had gone out every time I hit the damn button!  You have to understand some of  the places I'm doing my blog from.  Some are dedicated internet cafes that are very nice with all the amenities, and others are just places that happen to have an internet connection, and figure hey, if we put in a couple of computers, we could make some money.  Well, this last place I was doing my blog from was the dungy basement  of a goth-style bar.  I was surrounded by people wearing nothing but black and listening to horrible music.  But internet cafes are expensive over here, so I've got to go with the cheapest option!

My last stop was in Verona, Italy (I'm now in Venice and will do a post for this city in a few days).  Verona is most known for the locale of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".  Although the story is fictional, it was based on the savage family feuding during the 13th and 14th centuries of the Della Scala family, which was a real family that lived in Verona.  It's a small town that has retained most of the buildings from that period and really takes you back in time.  A river winds its way around the city (see the last picture) and you can quickly understand how it could be a very romantic place.

I visited the Roman ampitheatre, which was constructed in the 1st century AD, and despite a 12th-century earthquake that destroyed most of its outer wall, is still in great shape and houses the Verona opera.  Seating 20,000 people, it is the 3rd-largest Roman ampitheatre in existence.

I also saw "Casa di Giulietta" (Juliet's House), which is the actual residence of the Della Scalla family at that time.  You'll see the famous balcony in the pictures.  In the "driveway" from the street to her courtyard, it has become custom for people to put chewing gum on the wall and write a quick love note (either on a tiny piece of paper or directly on the gum).  You'll see a picture of that as well.  In addition, there is a statue of Juliet in the courtyard, and myth has it that if you rub her right breast, you'll have good luck in the love department.  You'll see me demonstrating good technique.

Otherwise, there's not a whole lot else to see in Verona, but to walk around and marvel at all the medieval homes that are still standing.  I had a great time Sunday night walking around the town and eating some gelato.

One day was enough for Verona, so this morning I took the train to Venice.  I'll spend 3 days here before starting to head south.  Venice overall is a very expensive city, including internet access, so I'll probably wait to do Venice blog from the next city I end up in.

Until then....
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