Monday, June 27, 2011

We have a screamer!

Me, Craig and Josh on the gondola

The lady in black is "The Screamer"

About three weeks ago, Josh’s uncle Craig was visiting Switzerland for a work trip and decided to swing down to Italy for a weekend before flying home. He was very excited to see Venice, so we drove out for the day on Saturday. Of course, it seemed that everyone in Italy had the same idea! It was a holiday weekend for Italy, so there were many families in Venice on holiday. Not to mention there were 5 or 6 cruise ships docked there as well. With that being said, it was difficult to walk down the tiny narrow alleys of Venice without bumping into someone. It seems like we were being herded through the streets and I kept expecting Chandler Bing to be somewhere yelling “Moo”. Even when moving like a herd of cattle, the city is still amazing.

When we first arrived in Venice, we saw an artist with some great artwork on the street. We LOVED her impressionistic style and were very interested in purchasing a canvas. But with Josh being the analytically minded person he is, we decided to keep shopping. I can’t blame him- we would have been carrying the canvas with us all day. We could always go back. So, we waited to purchase artwork until later in the day.

in the main square of Verona

a statue in the square of Verona
We started out by grabbing lunch, and a beer on one of the side streets. When Craig and I were drinking our beer I came to the realization that Venice is the original “Shabby Chic”. The city walls are cracked, peeling, and the city could definitely use some updating, but that is the allure of it. It is so charming and there are so many great sites to see. We did the touristy things- walking around, enjoying the scenery and we took a gondola ride. Since there were three of us, we decided to take a gondola ride with another group of three from Chile. One of the women was so scared that the gondola would tip over and we would take a dip in the Grand Canal. She kept screaming and shrieking, and our gondolier was saying “we have a screamer!” That seemed to be the phrase of the day.

in the "royal box" at the arena

We decided that one day in Venice was enough for us, so on Sunday we drove to Verona and spent the day there. I didn’t realize how much history is in Verona! One of the first things we saw was an old Roman ruin called the Porta Leoni. It was the ancient Roman gateway in Verona that was built sometime in the first century. Other places we visited included Juliet’s balcony, Romeo’s house, the main square, palaces and what looked like tombs of crusaders. We also visited the arena (a smaller version of the colosseum) and realized that it is still a working arena. They have made the arena into an opera house that has regular shows. We ended up buying tickets for Romeo and Juliet the opera in in August. That will be our first opera, I’m so excited!

our seats for Romeo and Juliet are down below
where we are standing

After walking around for a couple of hours, we left and headed back to Milan. I’m excited to go back to Verona and see more of the city. We only scratched the surface!

My favorite part of the weekend: other than seeing all of the fun sites, trying a new drink called a Spritz was a fun new experience. It’s a specialty of Venice made with white wine, aperol, and sparkling water (or tonic) on ice with an orange slice. On a hot day, this is a very refreshing drink!

Porta Leoni

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are just great and very much fun to click on them and get an enlargement. Beautiful!