Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Part III: Verona

Two households, both alike in dignity in fair Verona, where we lay our scene from ancient grudge break to new mutiny where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.  From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life whose misadventured piteous overthrows do with their death bury their parents' strife.”       -William Shakespeare

Most everyone that knows me knows that I am a hopeless romantic.  Absolutely hopeless.  I eat up pictures of baby animals, my voice goes up 3 octaves when I talk to anyone under the age of 3 or to anything smaller than my purse, if you cry- I cry, and my day is always better after watching a sappy video on youtube.  Shmooze and passion are what I'm made of.  But I'm also a realist and fiercely independent.  My husband says that these are the complexities that attracted him to me.  
The ultimate tragic love story is 'Romeo and Juliet,' and visiting the city that their story takes place is the exact kind of city for a giddy sap like me, right?!  Obviously, Romeo and Juliet weren't real people, and never actually lived, but Verona still attracts millions of tourists romantics like me every year.

This picture was taken under Juliet's balcony and those are hundreds of padlocks in the background.  Lovers are supposed to write their names on a padlock then lock it here and throw away the key as a symbol of their undying love and commitment.  The Pont de l'Archeveche in Paris is famous for this and that's where Eric and I are planning on "sealing our love forever."  So in Verona we just kissed under Juliet's balcony and called it good.
 Juliet's balcony!
My Romeo.  He is my real-life love story.

Another thing you're supposed to do while in Verona is touch this statue of Juliet's breast and make a wish.  She is supposed to bring you your one true love.  I've already found mine but Isabelle really wanted to make a wish.  I'm not sure what to think or how to feel about my 10 year old touching a statues breast- but there were girls and women of ALL ages waiting desperately to make their wish, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I couldn't not let her wish for her one true love (who better not show up for another 20 years).  I have no idea what she wished for but I so hope it comes true for her.

We also went to Juliet's tomb but missed the tour by 15 minutes so we didn't get to go in.  I have no idea who exactly is buried there.

Verona is only 36 miles from Vicenza (where we were staying for the week) and being the hopeless romantic that I am, was a must-see.... plus it's in Rick Steves' Italy book.  During our time there I could sense that I was among other hopeless romantics- the world is way more cynical than I am and it's not often that I can be sappy without getting an eye roll from one of my friends, so it was nice to enjoy romanticism and not feel guilty about it.  

Verona isn't all about Romeo and Juliet though, the third largest Roman Arena is there. 

 It was built in the 1st century!  The Arena is only open a few times a year for different occasions and a prestigious opera festival, none of which were happening when we were in Verona so we weren't able to look inside.  Even though the Romans were the bullies of the world back then, they sure made impressive architecture! 

Eric and I bought wine in Verona and decided to save it for a special occasion.  We spent the evening just walking around and soaking up Italy.  I think that romance is good for the soul and Italy is so romantic!  

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