Our stay in Verona was short, and Venice even shorter. Call it an education for next time. We arrived in the former on October 13th – a gorgeous little city worthy of a visit in excess of 3 days. Unfortunately that is all we could squeeze in. We stayed at Juliette House B&B, not far from Juliet’s House – the site, or reported site, of the famous romance between Romeo and Juliet. I’d say they may have fared better than us. Our hotel served perhaps the most paltry breakfast of the journey, delivered at 8:00 whether you like it or not. Dry, thin bread complimented with pineapple juice (?) and preserved ‘jams’, we soon learned Verona is not to be appreciated for it’s digestible offerings (except the Kebabs we discovered, surely the largest of both hemispheres), but it’s atmosphere and scenery instead. With this newfound realization we trekked about the river and up through the hills to truly appreciate our surroundings. If Florence was the smaller cousin of Rome, then surely Verona is the little stepbrother to Florence. We do believe a therapeutic journey of the river once a day (especially in autumn) would add years to your life. The layout may be the nicest part of all, the main square settling around an ancient arena (6 Euro to get in of course) and the main streets forming a clean path from South to North, a rarity in Italy.
Our second day in Verona was actually spent in Venice, a 2 hour train ride each way. Again, even though we were well aware of what Venice looked like through photographs, it was much different in the flesh. For one, Venice used to be a major trading port and was quite rich, leading to extravagantly decorated buildings, churches and hotels. I personally had expected a more run-down city. We were quite pleased and Jess took the opportunity to play with the camera and slowly photograph some of the smaller nuances of the city. We wish we had more time to actually experience Venice, as there were quite a few modern galleries (1000 Singapores and a Stanley Kubrick photography exhibition come to mind) which lead us to believe we barely scratched the surface. Regardless, with so much to see in Italy alone we were proud to have squeezed some extra time in for these two excellent cities.