Day 10 - morning
Goodbye Italian Lakes! I said to myself as we departed the area around 8:00am this morning! I had more than a great time here, I had a fantastic time! But now, it was time to move on!
Romeo and Juliet! Who hasn’t heard about this popular Shakespeare’s play written centuries ago about two young lovers whose deaths ultimately united their feuding families! Was the story based on fiction or was it truth! I was soon about to find out because that’s exactly where we were heading to this morning! We were heading to a city called Verona to see Juliet’s house and the famous balcony!
Ciro drove the motor coach along the southern fringes of the European Alps while I slept for a while! Yes, can you believe this….me sleeping on the bus! I guess I must have really needed my 'baby sleep’!
Three hours later, we were in Verona, a city with approximately 265,000 inhabitants and also a city awarded the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture! Well, that ought to mean something I told myself….so with camera in hand I was ready to discover it for myself!
What I discovered was a city full of life and energy with many street performers doing interesting shows to watch! Recognized as being one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, owing it to its artistic heritage, several fairs, shows and operas, I could understand why! Interesting facts!
By following our guide, we walked right pass a well preserved Roman Arena, an ancient amphitheater erected by the Romans in the 1st
century AD. We didn’t go inside of it but briefly stopped to take photos. It was similar to the Colosseum but much smaller in size.
We proceeded to walk down an alley which had many lovely designer boutiques, jewelry shops and restaurants along it. I made a mental note of some of them telling myself that I’ll definitely have to stop at these on my way back and inspect the goods as they say!
And then we were there! Located just off the Piazza delle Erbe, we had arrived in the inner courtyard of the Capulet home where Juliet’s famous balcony stood out from the ancient brick house. I was quite surprised to see that this tiny courtyard was packed with people of various ages all admiring the balcony and taking photographs of one another. It was completely crowded! But rest assured, I pushed myself in! Ha, ha, ha!
For a fee (8 euro), you could enter inside Juliet’s house and have your picture taken on the balcony! Most people didn’t bother with this probably finding the fee too much to absorb! However for me, you didn’t have to convince me twice in doing so because in a jiffy, I stood on the second story of Juliet’s balcony waving at Michel standing down below in the courtyard for him to take pictures of me way up there!
I was very excited and on cloud nine type of thing as I just couldn’t believe it, that here I was standing on Juliet’s balcony! Wow! Pictures please! But unfortunately, as much as I was by now frantically waving my arms to Michel with the hopes of catching his attention, he simply wasn’t looking! Can you believe this! He was looking completely in an opposite direction thinking that’s where I’ll be! Groannnn!
By waving and shouting, I finally got his attention and then pictures were taken of me blowing kisses all around the place! I must have stayed on Juliet’s balcony for a good ten minutes because there wasn’t anyone else who had paid the fee to come here! Ha, ha! So I wasn’t in any hurry and took all my necessary time and can say that I really enjoyed playing the part of Juliet and acting just like it too! Ha, ha, ha! Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, where are you, my Romeo! I can also say that I ended up in everyone’s pictures too!
Back in the courtyard, I quickly took a look at the pictures that Michel had just taken of me on the balcony! What!!!! Boy, was I disappointed! He had taken close-up pictures only and none of them showing the entire house with the balcony!
Within minutes, I was back on the balcony redoing the entire scene all over again hoping that this time Michel would take pictures of the entire house! Ha, ha, ha! And no, I didn’t have to pay the additional fee just to return! I’d explained to the person the situation.
Across from the courtyard, there was another home with a series of steps that brought you directly to an open terrace right next to the balcony! No fee was required. Along the walls, an unbelievable amount of graffiti and scrawling were written as well as on the floor, seats, anything that hold ink. These were love messages to Juliet and of course, we left ours as well because you see, it is believed that your love will be everlasting if you did so!
Back in the courtyard, a real size bronze statue of Juliet stood right next to her house. For good luck, people stroked one of her breast! That was the reason why one was shinier than the other one! Ha, ha, ha! And no, Michel didn’t want any picture taken standing next to Juliet!
As much as we had fun here, it was now time to leave! After all, we had the rest of Venora’s tourist spots to visit!Monique :-)