Desenzano del Garda on Lago di Garda was a lovely morning stop off. The lake is beautiful framed by mountains on the north - they'd be the foothills of the Alps. We visited the remains of a Roman villa which advertised in English outside but then all the info inside was in Italian and German. The frustration of not being able to understand and fully interpret what we were seeing was highlighted since leaving France where we could understand most things at least a bit. The mosaics and floor structure of the sprawling villa had been largely unearthed and the archaeologists had shown the original layout and the modern remodelling - that'd be in the 4th century!
Verona was next up on our list. Famous for being the fictional home of Romeo and Juliet and for having Roman history - no surprise there! Still, we are new to Italy so the Roman buildings are drawing our attention. Unfortunately the amphitheatre, the most intact in Italy, was being prepared for an operatic series and viewing was limited. We ogled it from the outside, sat on the benches by the fountain under the signs prohibiting eating, drinking, bare chests etc which were placed all over Verona. We wonder if the no eating outdoors thing is to force tourists into the city's eateries. We wandered through the pedestrianised streets gazing at the historic buildings and market places. Juliet's house was full of amorous grafitti. Her supposed balcony is supposedly part of an Egyptian sarcophygus. We'd found out that the padlocks left on railings and fixed hoops in odd places were not demonstrations of missing bicycles but demonstrations of amour! Toilets are 70p to use but McDonalds throughout Europe is the free wifi and public toilet provider.
Catching up with friends, Carolyn & Eva, we hit Venice, one of our very few "must see" locations. Our internal furnaces blazing on pizza almost three times a day
, we spent hours roaming the streets. A splendid place to visit, lots of alleys for our pair of "alley whores", bridges, gondolas (collective noun for gondolas has been coined as a cornetto by our friends) and a surprising amount of streets - many ending in water! It didn't smell in the way I had been warned and I couldn't see any front doors sinking below the water line but it is known that Venice is slowly heading towards a scuba activity centre.
OK, goats and olives next!
Huge thank you to Lindy and Antonio who looked after us so well in Brescia. Lindy took on "Mum" role and made available her washing machine, and they both spoiled us terribly, took us on a night time tour of Brescia, showed us that not all Italian bread is rock hard and sent us off with a packed lunch that fed us for 2 days! Antonio also discovered an old fashioned glass cutting warehouse where we got a replacement stick on mirror cut to size for the van's poorly wing mirror (ref last entry photos).