Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Italy - Verona

Right after we were done with our classes in Paris, some of us (including me) were practically homeless. My Italian friend kindly invited me and several other friends to stay over at her place in Caldaro (or also known as Kaltern in German - they speak both Italian and German in that area, although most of them use German daily). Verona was the closest station we could reach from Paris by bus, so we decided to store our luggage at the station (around 5 euros for about 5 hours, I believe; I can't remember how much it costs but it's definitely worth the money) and have a little side trip to Verona.

Verona is a very cozy city. The weather was a little gloomy on that Monday, but nevertheless we had a wonderful experience there.

The atmosphere was splendidly relaxing, and was filled with smiles.  There was no rush, not a single trace of hectic life or frowns. I was a little tired from the 14 hour bus ride from Paris, but the ambience made me feel welcome.

At the end of April, the flowers have bloomed beautifully. I'm a big admirer of flowers despite the fact that I somewhat have zero talent in keeping flowers healthy. Sad, isn't it?

A little walk further into the city center lies the Arena. The structure was similar to that of a Colosseum and I think it served the same purpose in the past.

The entrance fee into the Arena for students was 3 Euros. None of us have not been there, so we figured that it might be interesting to enter the Arena.

Currently, the Arena is turned into a place to hold concerts.

 We made a little exploration around the Arena. From the top, you can see the rooftops of the city.

Half of the top part was closed because they were preparing for the concert. Quite a shame, but we didn't really lose much.

After exploring the Arena for about half an hour, we headed to Casa di Giulietta (House of Juliet). There was a nice shopping street on the way there, although we didn't really spend much time window shopping.

There is even a Disney Store. I really wanted this gigantic Winnie the Pooh, but being temporarily homeless with lots of luggage, it was nowhere possible to buy this *sobs*

About 15 minutes later we finally arrived to Casa di Giulietta. It was an amazing view for me because... it looked exactly like in the movie Letters to Juliet!

And there was Juliet waiting for Romeo at the veranda.

... nope. She was just a regular tourist. To enter the house and visit the tomb you have to pay 3 Euros, and then you can go up there at the veranda :)

Locks of love could be found in every possible corner of the courtyard. I wonder if these locks would be taken off when they started to overcrowd the courtyard.

This place is also famous for love letters, and it seemed that people have become a little bit more creative, and also a little bit disgusting. When there is no post-it or stickers, you paste chewing gums on the wall with your names written there.

Letters enhanced with saliva. Well, in the past and sometimes in the present you need a little bit of saliva to seal the envelop or to place a stamp on the envelope, so perhaps saliva in letters might not be too new haha.

And not to forget, we touched the crucial part of Juilet's bronze statue, hoping that the myth of good fortune is true!

Each of us wrote a letter to Juliet, too. Here's where I hid mine, but it is probably gone by now because they clean up the place every day. But hopefully, my wish will come true!

The rest of the afternoon was spent around the city center.

It was lively, yet not too crowded. Cool yet warm, vibrant yet cozy.

Things in the open market were somewhat a little expensive because inevitably this place is touristic. These stalls sell fresh fruits, fast food (e.g. burgers) and souvenirs.

I was again reminded that Pinocchio is Italian. I wanted to get one as a souvenir but my wallet was on crisis and there was almost no space left in my luggage.

And apparently...

The evil deed of internet memes has mushroomed even in this part of Italy. LOL.

Just a little walk further and we arrived at the most-awaited part of our trip to Italy: gelato.

Once you tried gelato in Italy, all other ice creams around the world will never taste as good as they were before. Italian gelato is an art. My favorite gelato flavour was bacio and it means "kiss". A perfect blend of chocolate and hazelnut (does Nutella ring a bell?). And of course, pistacchio is head to head with bacio.

And then we saw this mouthless kitty in another gelato shop (one of my friends craved for a second serving of gelato). It's amazing how Hello Kitty is kind of invading the world. They're everywhere! D:


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