Friday, October 17, 2014

Ciao from Verano, Italy!

Dear Family & Friends,

Today we drove about an hour to the beautiful and ancient city of Verona.. There has been an active city on this site for well over 2000 years..
We went straight to the “Old” part of town and when they say old they aren’t  kidding… As we walked in there was a stone coliseum built between 1800 and 2000 years ago! Even at that date this was a big and busy city.

When you look at the engineering involved to build such a massive structure and that they even understood acoustics in its design it is very impressive… 
One of the things I enjoy about traveling is learning something new where ever I go. Almost 2000 years ago the Romans were feeding Christians to Lions in this structure.. As Rome slowly became Christian this activity was frowned upon to say the least, so they had to transition to some new form of entertainment… Since the structure had perfect acoustics they started writing beautiful music to be performed there, then added powerful singers to take the place of screaming Christians, then they wrote ridiculously over the top melodramatic stories to add excitement for the primitive crowds……, and that is how Opera was born…. And to this day they are still performing Opera in this structure!! The caustics are so good they do not even use electronic amplification.

From there we walked and walked and walked.. The sites were amazing.. I also learned how to display my lack of wordily knowledge. We came to an ancient Roman ruin of a theater. Out front was a sign explaining that this was once a Roman theater. Then the date it was built….. “AC 1 sec.”  First I commented that this was amazing to be built shortly after the “Common Era” which is what AC means in English, but in Italian it means the opposite,  BEFORE the Common Era. Then to add insult to stupidity I asked how did they know that it was built exactly one second before Christ? ( 1sec)…… Well in Italian SEC means century… Boy did I sound like the dumb American…. :(

Another great site we went to was the actual home of Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. I knew it was a play written by Shakespeare but I did not realize it was based on real people… The courtyard was stunning and when you looked up there was the actual balcony that Juliet praise Romeo from.
In the courtyard below was a bronze statue of Juliet and a line of people waiting to go up and rub her right breast… You could tell this was a popular activity by how shinning just her right breast is…. Evidently the local custom is to rub her right breast for good luck.. I asked Bonnie in stead of waiting in line how about I just rub her right breast….. She did not think it was a good idea so I waited in line.. :( 

Juliet had a nicely shaped breast but honestly a bronze breast does nothing for me……to hard.

Even though I am not an enthusiastic shopper walking around this beautiful city made it fun. We came across a baby store with a cute outfit in the window. We thought it would be a nice present for Niky’s coming baby but when Bonnie went in to check it out she came out in shock.. The single baby outfit was almost $500!! For an outfit a baby would only wear for a few months… We passed.

Again it was a day of fabulous Italian food and wine. We eat a lot of different foods, but we walked almost 7 miles today so I think I am still ahead of the game. Also European portions are much smaller and sensible that in the US. I wish we ate like that back home. Better quality, more natural, and smaller portions…

When traveling one must get accustomed to the local habits and learn new skills. One accomplishment I can now add to my list of skills is peeing in a square toilet. Not as easy as it looks….

Tomorrow we are off to Milan for some more site seeing and a visit to the Ferrari store then back to Niky’s Mom’s house for a dinner party featuring great home made Italian food. 
So far a totally amazing trip…
Make sure you go to my blog for lots of photos and more comments….

“Creative writer unrestrained by Daniel Webster”

Entering the Old City of Verano...

So many sites to see. Museums everywhere...

Great food and side walk cafes everywhere!

Bonnie & Niki

Such a colorful city!

Entertaining Romans and Italians for almost 2000 years!

The wall on the upper right used to go around the entire arena but the Opera noise knocked it down,,,,

Imagine people waling down these halls to be entertained almost 2000 years ago and they are still doing it today.!

During the Opera season they install a modern floor and seats then remove them for winter. As we got there they were removing everything.

I believe this is ancient Latin for "Lets all go to the lobby, lets all go to the lobby, lets all got the lobby and get ourselves a treat!"

The "QUEEN of Verona"

Even the signs have beauty and style.. Love the Italians!!

My kind of town.... :)


Even the fruit cups have style....

Where Juliet viewed her Romeo..

Good luck! That is the only reason I did this...;)

Obviously a lot of people want good luck... keeps her breast shinny.

We wanted to get Niky's baby an outfit but that little piece in the window was close to $500!!

Where the noble families of Verona live... it's good to be royal..

Entertaining Romans over 2000 years ago!

This means one century before Christ, not 1 second after.... :(

The "GANG" having a fun day!

Everywhere you look there is beauty!

This is a very old Jewish temple in downtown Verona. Sadly right outside this photo was a staff of  armed men from the  army guarding it against attack. I took their photo but they asked me to delete it for safety sake. What a sad state of affairs the world has become.. :(

I liked these shoes.....My style??

Did they see me coming??

Did I mention Ferrari cars are rather popular here?? Not everyone has one but everyone loves them..

Another happy meal.... :)

"MASTER" of the square toilet!!

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