After visiting Verona, two of my roommates and I have decided that it is Verona, and not Paris, that is the true city of love. We went just for a daytrip, and we fell in love with the riverside city and its history and scenery. When we got to Verona, we stopped in a café to have breakfast. We had taken an early train and hadn’t had time to eat before we left. I got a chocolate croissant and cappuccino, and the two friends I was with got croissants and hot chocolate. As we ate, we wrote letters to leave at the wall of Juliet at Casa di Giulietta. It is a common touristic practice to “write letters to Juliet” and so we wanted to take part in the tradition. After our breakfast we began to walk to the wall, and found a castle called Castelvecchio, which included a bridge that looked out over the Adige River, as well as a museum. Parts of the bridge had places that you could climb to get even higher and have an even better view of the river. It was a sunny day, probably the nicest we have seen in Italy, and being near the river in the sunshine was so refreshing. After walking around Castelvecchio for a while, we continued on to Casa di Giulietta.
When we walked through the entrance we saw a black wall filled with names of couples written in bright colors. We headed towards the back where a group was congregated and there we saw a statue of Juliet, and “Juliet’s Wall”. The statue was made out bronze, and the right breast of the statue was especially polished from the tradition of touching the statue’s right breast for good luck in finding true love. The wall was covered with pieces of paper, many of which had unfortunately been stuck on with gum that had defaced parts of its façade. I tucked my letter in the nook of a tree stump that was at the base of the wall, and my friends did the same. To the left of this wall was another wall full of locks that couples had signed and locked on. Like those who leave letters at Juliet’s wall, it is believed that all who do this will stay with their partners for the rest of their lives. Couples and romantics flocked around the two walls and the courtyard taking pictures, leaving notes, locking locks, and rubbing the bronze statue for good luck.
After the Casa di Giulietta, we were hungry and found a restaurant to eat at which had outdoor seating. I got a spaghetti with oil, garlic, and red pepper, which was a little bit too spicy for me but still delicious. We all enjoyed the opportunity to eat outside in the nice weather. After lunch, we walked around the streets of Verona and went into different shops. There was also an outdoor market in a large open square. We got gelato at one of the stands and walked around the different stands looking at all of the souvenirs- every type imaginable. One stand was full of Murano glass: dishes, bowls, wine stoppers, and jewelry of every kind. We spent a good amount of time looking through the handcrafter jewelry, and I picked out a necklace and earrings set as a gift for a friend back home, while the others sorted through earrings for their family and friends. One of the girls I was with bartered with the woman running the stand, and was successful in getting a discounted price.
After we had finished shopping, we started to make our way back to the train station to catch our train back to Florence. The trip back to Florence required that we change trains, and figuring out how to navigate the train system with a 5 minute window of time was quite a challenge, but we managed to pull it off. Getting off the train, we all agreed that it had been the perfect day. There are seven of us living together in an apartment, and so usually there are at least seven of us traveling together. While it is nice to have everyone together, traveling in a group of three was much more manageable and made the day go a lot more smoothly. When traveling in large groups, it is harder to keep track of everybody and make sure that everyone is satisfied. With a smaller group, you can “go with the flow” much more easily, and have an overall more laid back experience like we had in Verona!