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Veronese gum disposal

Filed in Blog, Italy, United Kingdom by on May 19, 2014

After the Alps I headed south to Italy, where I made stops in the cities of Verona, Venice and Trieste. Though my time in each was brief, I can confirm that I am now a master of good food, fine art and romance. (I jest.) In reality, what I took away from my few days in Italy is that, while many cities — including the ones I went to — are notoriously full of tourists and thus difficult to experience entirely “authentically,” it is still an absolutely enchanting place with enough history, art and kindness to make you want to go back a thousand times over. Here are a few photos and thoughts from my time there.

  • There are two kinds of people who go to Verona: people in love, and people looking for the most efficient and cost-effective train connection between Salzburg and Venice. (Guess which one I am!) No matter which of these categories you fall into, Verona is magical; there are centuries-old gardens to wander, spectacular views, classic Italian architecture and the friendliest of people. Although, if you ask me, it’s probably more magical for the budget travelers than the couples. Everything’s magical when you’re happy with your train itinerary.

    Giardini Giusti, Verona, Italy


    Giardini Giusti, Verona, Italy


    Giardini Giusti, Verona, Italy


    View of Verona from the Torre dei Lamberti

  • Of course, the epicenter of all the romantic hubbub in Verona is Juliet’s balcony, pictured below. In this courtyard, you can crane your neck up at a balcony where Juliet never stood, symbolically hang a lock on a gate with hundreds of other symbolically-hung locks, rub the breast of a germ-infested Juliet statue for good luck, graffiti your and your lover’s names on a wall already dense with a thicket of hand scrawled signatures and, my personal favorite, stick your chewed gum to the wall as a love letter adhesive and masticated offering to the romantic deity that is Juliet. Even though there is little historical evidence that this courtyard is actually linked to Romeo and Juliet (who probably never existed) in any way, people have made it a holy site of star-crossed love nonetheless, through their own pilgrimages to the spot and the stories they leave there. (It’s also a great place to bask in the euphoria of having made your ideal train connection.)

    Juliet’s Balcony, Verona, Italy


    Graffitied wall at Juliet’s Balcony, Verona, Italy


    Evening in Verona, Italy


    The Adige River in Verona, Italy

  • If Verona is a city for romantics and people looking for convenient train connections, Venice is a city for people who like to get lost. I love to get lost and am good at it, so I thoroughly enjoyed Venice. The winding alleys and canals are incredibly confusing but also incredibly beautiful, so while you can definitely go wrong, you also really can’t go wrong at all. My motto in Venice was “just find your way to the ocean and walk the perimeter of the island until you find your way back to the train station,” and it worked very well for me.

    Venice, Italy


    Venice, Italy


    Venice, Italy


    Venice, Italy

  • While the main island of Venice is infamous, the other islands in its lagoon are less well known. There are several, but one of the most popular is Murano, a small island full of glass factories and shops and with glass sculptures adorning its streets. I got to watch a glassblower at his craft while there, which made me fondly recall every piece of glass ware I’ve accidentally broken in my life. Murano is not an appropriate place in which to be klutzy, so I tried to tone it down for the day.

    Glass sculpture in Murano, Venice, Italy


    Glass factory in Murano, Italy


    Glass sculpture in Murano, Italy

  • My last stop in Italy was Trieste, which is a great stop (well, the only stop, actually) for people wanting a connecting bus to Croatia. I was only there for a couple of hours and therefore didn’t have much time for cultural exchanges beyond meeting sunglass vendors at the seaside…

    Trieste, Italy


    Trieste, Italy

…and then I caught said bus to Croatia, where I encountered my favorite toaster of all time. Intrigued? Of course you are.

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  1. Kate says:

    Best post yet!!