Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
We woke up bright and early because we wanted to make sure to provide enough time to get a taxi. We would have called one to come to our apartment, but 1) we don’t speak Italian, and 2) we had no clue how to give directions to the apartment. We had seen a taxi stand not too far from the apartment, but too far to take our luggage to, so the plan was for all of us to leave with our stuff and the girls and I to wait in the piazza nearby while Mark went to the stand to get the taxi and bring it back to us. But luckily for us, an empty taxi drove by while Mark was still in shouting distance of us, so we were spared the walk and the wait. We took the taxi to the train station, and then we waited there for about an hour until our train arrived. This time we had booked first class, because I bought the tickets so early they were only 109 euros each for the adults with one free kid per paid adult. Unfortunately, there were many of those men around in fake train uniforms trying to “help” you with your luggage, etc. We told them no again and again but one followed us and actually got on the train ahead of me and then grabbed my suitcase out of my hand as I tried to climb the stairs with it. He put it into the luggage racks and then took the girls and put them overhead and then shook Mark down for 10 euros, which he gave them because when he tried not to the guy started yelling at him and I guess Mark didn’t want to make a scene. Then Mark yelled at me, as if I could have done anything about the guy grabbing the suitcase out of my hands when I told him not to. I would have just had the guy make a scene rather than pay him but I’m classless like that.
Our seats were a nice block of four facing, and the service is very nice in first. The trip is only three hours. So we settled down with our coffees and snacks and enjoyed the ride. We arrived at Verona, and went outside to get a taxi, where we saw the first of many young men with the most ridiculous hairstyle. It was almost shaved on the sides and then blowdried (kind of feathered) straight up on the top. Not gelled or anything, but feathered. We thought it was one silly guy until we saw another, and another and another. OMG, all the young men in this town have this ridiculous do!
We got our taxi and went to the apartment, where Micol was waiting for us. What a nice place! In an old palazzo, with one of those frescoed entry halls and an interior courtyard. High ceilings, spacious rooms, lots of light. Unfortunately no air conditioning and washing machine, oh well. We settled in and then went out to have a quick lunch at a restaurant in an alley near Piazza Signore right near our apartment. Next we went to Basilica San Zeno, and then to Piazza Erbe where we got a tourist to take a photo in the same location as the photo we took ten years ago. and after that we went to the grocery store. The store was pretty far, on the other side of Piazza Bra, but we’d been sitting all day so that was okay. Mark and Genevieve went in and got everything but bread, which they said was so hard it probably dated to the roman times. We took the stuff back to our apartment, and Genevieve and I went out shopping while Mark and Charlotte hung out for a while. First we went to a salumeria near our house where we got a bottle of Vapolicella red wine, Soave white wine and burrata. Took that back to the apartment (too heavy to carry) and went back out. There was a Zara, and we made a beeline for the leather jackets and they had the jacket in the size Genevieve needed! We went to a few more stores, and then went back to the apartment where we freshened up and went out to dinner, stopping for an Aperol Spritz on the way. Man, these drinks are good!! I loved the relaxed classy attitude of Verona, too, much more calm after hectic Rome. We went in search of the restaurant I remembered so clearly that was near the Scaligeri tombs, but although it was there it had changed styles and was very fancy and expensive instead of a hidden gem family-run place like it had been. So we kept walking and stumbled upon this restaurant Trattoria alla Colonna, famous for serving big cutlets (cotoletta). They weren’t kidding about the size, these breaded pork cutlets were the size of a pizza. Tasted pretty good, but that’s a lot of cutlet and needless to say we couldn’t finish. Very full, we headed back to the apartment and to bed.