Today we were off to Verona with a stop in Trento to meet our "Gelato Friends" who we met in Bassano del Grappa a few weeks ago. Things never go as planned when you travel. Gave ourselves plenty of time to get to Trento by 14:00 to meet Giorgio and Roberta. The only thing we did not anticipate was the car that broke down on the Brenner Pass. We were in a 6km long parking lot for the better part of 45 minutes. At 13:35 we finally passed the stalled car and we were still 78km from Trento, yes we were going to be late. Thankfully we were able to phone and let our friends know we were of our way.
After parking the car we walked to a piazza,
of course it had a fountain.
Even though this is only the second time we have seen Giorgio and Roberta it was like meeting old friends. We had our gelato next to the Duomo and talked about our trip to Italy and hopefully their visit to Vancouver sometime in the future.
With us being late we were only able to spend one hour together. Yes, the gelato tasted great. After we said our goodbyes we went to the Duomo and then had a leisurely walk around around historic Trento before continuing our drive to Verona.
Driving along the SS12 highway at Callino we saw the old Castel Beseno at the top of the mountain. Our car found it hard going up the steep hill, first gear shift into second then back to first gear. I think a mule would have been faster. Castel Beseno is the largest fortified complex in Trentino.
Next stop was Verona the city known for the love story of Romeo and Juliet. Checked into the hotel and took the bus into the centre of town. Tonight there was a performance of the opera Don Giovani. Tickets ranged from €22 for seats on the marble stairs up to €180 for nicely padded seats. Ladies in flowing dresses, high heels arm in arm with their well dressed escorts gave us the opportunity to people watch as we had dinner in the piazza.
Shopping anyone? Late into the evening the stores were open selling everything from souveniers to the latest fashions. Here it is July and some stores are out with the latest fall fashions. Heavy jackets and boots are the furthest thing on my mind.
The Arena is home to the Verona Opera. Outdoor operas are performed during the summer months. It has also hosted performances by rock musician such as the Rolling Stones. In 1890 Buffalo Bill performed the Wild West Show in the Arena. Due to the high cost only the best performers are able afford the rent.
Here is one of the fountains in Piazza delle Erbe. In Roman times the piazza served as a meeting place and is now home to the market and numerous restaurants.
We were now tired and were going to take the bus back to our hotel. The bus stop is located just outside the walled city. People leaving the opera walked by us in a steady stream. Danna said I think we are at the wrong bus stop, I said that it was the right one. Finally the bus came and we took it to the end of the route, got off the bus and things did not look familiar, asked the bus driver were the hotel was and found out it was at the opposite end of town. Luckily he was headed back towards our hotel. If we had not gone back to ask directions it would have been a two hour walk with Danna saying "I told you we should have gone to the other bus stop" all the way back. Hard to admit but I was wrong. We did stay on the same bus only my route took a bit longer so I was only 50% wrong.
The next morning we took the bus back into Verona. Best way to get an overview of the city is to get on the "On Off" bus for a tour of the city. The double decker bus with an open top gave us the best view and we were also able to work on our tans.
There are at least 10 bridges over the Aidge River. This bridge was constructed by the Romans and then rebuilt when it was damaged by a flood centuries later. The white arches are from the original bridge.
Now this is a complete renovation! When doing the renovation of our condo I thought I had a big job, nothing to compare with this.
Rumor has it that if you gently rub Juliet's right breast it will bring you good luck.
I thought about this for a few seconds and decided to pass as I am lucky enough to already be with with my best friend travelling through Italy.
Verona is also well known for a simple but tasty dish, gnocchi. Danna thought she would try the gnocchi with three types of cheese, I had the tortellini pasta which was good but should have gone with the gnocchi.
Verona is home to many churchs and one of the largest is Church of Sant Anastasia. Construction started in 1280 and it was completed in 1400.
Church of Santa Maria Antica
The narrow streets open up to the give you a different perspective of the city as you walk along the banks of the Aidge River. Today was very hot and the cool breeze from the river was most welcome.
Danna saw a statue of what she thought was a lion, went to say hello but the creature thought she would be a good afternoon treat.
The architecture in Verona has been influenced by the various groups that have inhabited the area over the centuries. We found these windows to be very interesting.