It’s Easter Monday, which is a good day for travelling, as the weather isn’t great and most places are closed outside of the tourist hubs. We are meeting Katrina in Verona (she will be travelling with us for about 6 weeks) and we are looking forward to catching up with news from home and spending time with a good friend.
When travelling, there are two important economic instruments you pay careful attention to: 1) the CPI: Cappuccino Price Index and 2) the WCC: Wine Consumption Cost. Both are significant indicators to where you will eat and drink and in general, how long you will stay in a location. Our first stop on the way to Verona for a coffee is Parma. The price for two coffees and two croissants is €5, about 1/2 the price of what we paid in Cinque Terre!
We are staying in monastery in Verona, the Istituto Don Busco. We have no idea what it will be like, but it’s well located and has parking (parking is a big bonus in these old towns). We arrive earlier than expected and given that check in is anytime after 3.30pm, we find a Osteria near by and order an antipasta plate to share. Unfortunately our order is lost in translation and we get one each! Oh well, we have free wi-fi, so it’s a chance to catch up with the world.
The Monastery is looking deserted until we find an elderly gentleman who speaks no English, but with lots of sign language and basic italian, he works out who we are and what to do. The Monastery is simple, but it has all that we need. Actually the bed was very comfortable and once the hot water arrives (5min or so after you turn the tap on), the shower is great. As you can see we place great emphasis on the basic comforts of a good bed and a hot shower.
The main square around the arena is buzzing with a food and wine festival. There are lots of wonderful things to sample, including some of the local wine. Dinner is a plate of pasta and a bottle of red sitting in the town square. Our time in Verona is spent exploring the old city. The Roman arena is the central feature for the town. It’s incredible how advanced the Romans were, with the engineering details in something dating back to 100 AD being remarkable.
Verona is also the home of Romeo and Juliette, tourists flock in droves to the small courtyard where you can view Juliette’ s balcony. Forgetting the fact that the story is fictional, the city picked a suitable site, then erected the balcony in 1936 – that’s tourism at its best!