Friday, July 4th, 2014
The first order of the day after getting strudel, having breakfast and getting ready was to locate a laundry service or laundry mat as we didn’t have enough clean clothes to last through the end of our vacation. We set out towards the Castelvecchio on Corso Porto Bosari and found a cleaners. We tried to explain what we needed but the lady spoke no English. I lapsed at one point into Spanish and she said “Habla Espanol?” and we were off to the races. We agreed on a price of 60 euros for the two bags worth of laundry. Yipes, but we weren’t sure we’d find a coin-op laundromat and our time was worth something.
We walked forward to the Castelvecchio and enjoyed our walk there. As always, the building is at least as interesting as the art in it, although I had never noticed before the frescoed walls which were cool. Genevieve, Mark and Charlotte were so over the Medieval and Renaissance art I pretty much had to walk straight through most of the later exhibits. Then we walked out on the castle escape bridge and took another flashback photo where I had held Genevieve’s hand as she walked across the bridge ten years prior.
Next up was to find some food. We finally settled on a “fast food” place where we had panerotto, kind of like a turnover thing. The guy heated them up for us and they were very good. Inexpensive and fast too! We walked around Verona some more, mostly in circles looking for the tourist information place which we finally found on the opposite side of Piazza Bra where we thought it was. Got information on how to get to Sirmione using public transport. The girls and I didn’t mind the walking so much because we’d gotten these “ice lollies” made out of crushed frozen berries which were so good, but you can not imagine the mess in your teeth and on your hands etc. from melting mashed berries. Worth it though.
We headed up to the Torre dei Lamberti where we took the stairs (happy Fitbit, 44 floors worth and 8.3 miles for the day) and got a good view of the city and another flashback photo this time of Charlotte in the same place as she was 10 years ago.
After the tower we went back to the apartment to rest, well, Charlotte and Mark did anyway. Genevieve and I went to see this really old church on Porto Borsari that was closed before (cute and very old) and then went to the Loacker (house of Quadratini) store for a cappuccino (don’t judge!) and some quadratini.
We all got gussied up for the Opera and then went to a really marginal but fast restaurant for dinner. We were seeing Carmen and we got to the arena in plenty of time. We were seated in the regular seats (as opposed to the cement arena steps up further or the really expensive seats on the ground level) and we found where we were and rented our seat cushions (found out later there were cushions in our apartment, oh well). The ladies seated on the aisle next to us had this idea once we found our seats and sat down we wouldn’t be getting up again (even though the show didn’t start for an hour) so they gave us dirty looks when we went out to go to the bathroom, etc. As a result when I wanted to take a photo of Mark and the girls I tried to step over the back of the row in front of us to get a good angle and wound up slipping and I got the worst bruise down my shin that was still there a month later. Veronese souvenir I suppose. The opera started in good time. we lighted our candles (earning me another dirty look from the people next to us when I went into the aisle to bring the fire from someone in a lower row up to our section).
The opera was good, Carmen started at 9:00 and each act was about an hour. We had bought a guide that had a verbatim translation of the lyrics of all the songs which helped a lot in our understanding of what was going on in Act 1 and 2 (after which it was too dark to read). Really elaborate sets and costumes, of course, and real live horses on stage.
The line for the restroom after Act 2 was a bit of a nightmare. Obviously the roman arena was not built with restrooms in mind, so they’d set them into alcoves, two stalls per alcove. One stall had a squat toilet (and me in a long skirt, no thanks!) and the other a regular one. Genevieve barely made it through the line during the intermission, we had to run back to our seats (another dirty look from the surly sisters next to us). Act 3 was very slow, could have done without that, but at that point we’d almost made it so we stayed for the final act, which was good. Headed out of the arena after 1:00am! So the opera was good and I’m glad we went but I’m not in a hurry to buy season tickets or anything. At least I like it more than I like ballet!