Well today officially feels like summer. Hot, humid, no jackets required! I was on the train until about 2:00 from Milan to Verona. I had a lovely chat with 2 sisters from Seattle on the train. They were only in their early twenties but were very well traveled and had done study abroad trips for school. Thanks for the chat ladies! It gets lonely out there in the big world when you’re by yourself.
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On a totally different note, I think I’ve almost completely conquered my “fear of eating dinner alone” demons. Breakfast and lunch is easy. You can get food on the go, and it doesn’t look as obvious that you are ALONE… but dinner is social. When you’re sitting amongst couples and groups of friends all talking and laughing and having a good time, it’s hard to not feel like you have a big “L” on your forehead. (loser!) I remind myself that I have lots of friends back home, and if they were here I’d be hanging out with them on patios and in restaurants, so with that in mind I’ve just decided I don’t care anymore. If you think it’s weird that I’m eating alone, so be it! The busy restaurant patio in the square of the piazza was my last hurdle, I was always too intimidated to venture there alone, but tonight I did it! I was hungry and thirsty, and damn it, I wanted to sit on the patio, and I was OK. I survived. So it’ll just get easier and easier as I go along, right?
Verona is a very romantic place because it is the city where Romeo and Juliet was set. It’s a beautiful little town, the buildings are colourful and it sits on a winding river. Romeo and Juliet was one of my favourite plays in high school, so I had to come here to see it for myself. It’s touristy, of course. Romeo and Juliet is a big draw for lovesick people everywhere, but I’ll just take the good of it and ignore the cheese like I always do. In the 1930’s they actually built Juliet’s balcony, so it’s not authentic at all, and is apparently covered in graffiti… I’ll check it out tomorrow and see for myself.
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Today I went to Museo di Castelvecchio. It’s just down the street from my hotel so it seemed a good thing to pass my afternoon by. .The castle was built in the 13th century, and it was the most important military construction of it’s time. The castle itself isn’t all that impressive (compared to say, Carcassonne) but what a museum inside! I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty of it’s contents. The fresco paintings, the iconographic works on wooden panels, the paintings, and the statues… oh the statues. It was just so much beauty under one roof, almost too much to take. Sigh…
A fresco that is half gone it is so old. My breath caught in my throat when I laid my eyes on this!
Iconographic art… one of my favourite genres!
I think this is one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen. Baby Ron will never look scary again compared to this baby!
The view of the river from inside the castle.
Where for art thou Romeo?
I couldn’t get a good shot of the entire painting, but here is a close up of baby…
And of Mary. I just thought she was stunningly beautiful.
WHO is buying an entire kitten sheet and towel set?
The Arena. It is the best preserved Roman Amphitheatre of it’s kind, and was originally built in AD 30. After a big earthquake in 1130 it was mostly destroyed, but did retain some of the original structure. Whatever the case, it is OLD! I was hoping to (what else?) Romeo and Juliet while I was here, but it’s not showing until August.
After the museum I realised that I was starving, but it was only 4:30, so what else to have but gelato! The Italians really do make it like no other. I like my ice cream a little chewy, so this is my kind of place! I had 1 scoop of strawberry and 1 scoop of pineapple, and they both had chunks of fruit in them… so good, and so chewy! Not to mention cheap too at 2.20 euro. As I was walking down the street with my cone I determined that this has got to be one of the great pleasures of life, strolling as slowly as you want while enjoying your gelato. I was kind of feeling a little “Eat, Pray, Love” today, I’ve got to say.
An early evening street shot.
Ah, the gelateria… me thinks I’ll be spending a lot of time here in the next few weeks…