Day five and we’re in Verona. We’re here because the maître d’ at my favorite Italian restaurant in New York City is from Verona and said it’s a beautiful city and we had to see it. Karen, of course, adores me and so was willing to go along with whatever I suggested (I typed that after she proof-read it if you hadn’t guessed).
Most Americans will only know Verona from a couple of Shakespeare plays, the most famous of which is Romeo and Juliet. Apparently most Americans also don’t know that Shakespeare wrote fiction but, that didn’t stop the local enterprising Veronese from capitalizing on tourists gullibility because — there are two landmarks: one house called Juliet’s house, and frankly a rather dumpy looking empty lot with more graffiti than a New York subway and at least a thousand cigarette butts — called Romeo’s house. Apparently Romeo was not much of a house cleaner.
Funky properties with dubious Shakespeare connections aside, the real star of Verona is the 1,900 year old Roman Amphitheater that is still in use today. It’s a little disappointing to go inside because it has cheap plastic chairs bolted to the ancient bleachers but then you realize that they have used it almost continuously for its 1,900 year life and that is just the latest aspect of its life. It’s stunning at night from the outside though.
The next day we drove to Lake Garda.