Thursday, 6 June 2013

What a busy couple of days ........... !!!


Where do I start!?
What a busy couple of days we've had.  Talk about making the most of our time here,  I think we've done our best (considering I'm still hobbling on this bad ankle of mine).

The last time I posted I think I said we were off to Lake Garda, with a possible trip to Venice - WELL!!! ........  we decided to drive straight by Lake Garda (catch it on the way back!), and head for  our first stop -  the city of Verona.  Known as one of THE places to see the Opera.  Unfortunately opera season doesn't start until late June so that was one thing we couldn't do whilst we were there (such a shame).  However we did take a trip around the Arena, the giant roman amphitheatre bang in the heart of  the city.  Stunning from the outside ....... (the Arena, not hubby!)

This is the only section of the original outer wall that remains.  Earthquakes in 1117, 1118, and 1183 destroyed the rest of the wall leaving just this 3 storey section of 4 arches.

It's even more breathtaking inside ........

It's enormous!!  Apparently, despite 3 earthquakes, two floods and a fire, the inside survived pretty much unscathed.

There's 44 tiers of pink and white marble, that seat 30,000 people!  It's amazing to think of what's actually happened in here over the years - gladiators (I could just picture Russell Crowe battling his way round), duels, public executions etc. etc.  In fact the word 'arena' derives from the Latin for sand or dust, which was sprinkled in shed loads after the shows, to soak up the blood - yuck!
Today though, it's home to Verona's grand Summer Opera season, and you get fantastic views over the whole city from the top.
Here's me reading my guide book, where I get all my info from 

Piazza Bra - one of Italy's largest squares (we had a nice beer here in the afternoon)

We had a good old wander around the streets, sat at one of the cafe's in the main Piazza for a while and watched the world go by, and of course I had to go and see  Casa di Giulietta ('Juliet's House') or rather an old brick house in a courtyard off one of the main streets.
It's all completely fake, but it is one of the main tourist attractions. (Shakespeare himself must be having a right old giggle at what his story has inspired)

You enter into the courtyard and there it is - the balcony!  All freshly done up in Gothic style (in 1935!)
"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" and all that.   How he possibly reached up there I've no idea - there's nothing to climb!

Underneath the balcony there stands a modern bronze statue of Juliet, and legend has it that if you rub her right breast you'll have a new lover within the year ....... hmmmm.  I wasn't taking the chance, and Stephen wasn't allowed near either!

For a fee, you could actually go into the house and stand on the balcony but the queue went on forever - I think once couples got up there there was no shifting them.  I'd seen it, took some pictures, that was enough for me.

We decided then that we were going to head for Venice.  I'd packed an overnight bag so it didn't really matter what time we got there.
It's about 200 miles from our Villa, and we got lost at one point but eventually we parked the car, got on a water taxi and went into the city.

I love Venice!!!  The last time we were there was 11 years ago - Stephen took me for my 40th birthday and I just fell for the place.  It's so beautiful, so romantic, and so flippin' expensive!!!!  The weather was  a little better this visit too!

We booked in at the same hotel as last time, just off St Mark's square (Stephen can be romantic when we wants to be!)

It was so nice to be back.  We had a lovely evening, a nice meal, and then finished the night off sat in St. Marks Square listening to an orchestra playing live, with a nice bottle of red (another one!)  Well I am still looking for that really nice one for my brother.

It was such a romantic evening, then as if by magic, at midnight the music stopped, the Campanile bells rang and it started to rain.  Nobody seemed to mind though, it was still warm and it didn't rain hard, or for long.  A nice end to another perfect day in Italy.

I won't bore you any longer with my Italian adventure, I'm sure you've all got things you should be doing.
After our little two day trip we're having a nice relaxing day at the villa today. The sun is just about coming out, it's time for a spot of lunch, and there's a sunbed down by the lake with my name on it.  I've a book to finish too before we leave on Saturday (I borrowed it from the shelves here) and I really need to start the packing (sigh!)

Have a lovely day and thanks for popping by.

See you all again soon



  1. Wow Linda, you certainly have packed a lot into your two days, so glad you got to Venice, I love it there too. Your pics are fantastic and I thought you were so clever knowing so much - you shouldn't have said you got it from the guide book! Hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday and take care of that ankle! Hugs, Anne x

  2. Oh what a wonderful holiday (apart from the packing bit ugh) we went to Venice for my 50th and it was so warm even in October. The prices made Neil's eyes water a bit though lol. Enjoy the rest of your holiday xx


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