Sunday, October 12, 2014

Where We Lay Our Scene

As I see more of my beautiful Italy, I can't help loving it more and more. 

I still have nearly two years left on my contract, and I'm already starting to worry about how I'll ever be able to leave. But enough of that, on to adventures! Last spring, a few friends and I found that there was an opera festival in Verona each summer, and that the festival would last through our first few weeks of school. We quickly booked ourselves an apartment through Airbnb and reserved tickets for the most perfect show we could ever see in Verona- Romeo e Guilietta (aka Romeo and Juliet)! I'm so glad we booked it so far ahead of time; had we waited until September, I never would have followed through. Having a weekend getaway with three awesome girls, however, was a wonderful way to unwind after the stress of the first week back at school!

The first adventure of the weekend was the train ride. We had gone out the night before and stayed out a little later than planned. Because I'm still living in Opera, Ali let me stay with her that night to lessen commute-to-the-train time. We ended up running into Harris at the train station and decided to get some very necessary McDonalds breakfast sandwiches and coffee to wake ourselves up. Even though we should have had plenty of time, it somehow came down to an important decision as we finally arrived at the front of a very slow moving line. It was three minutes til departure time: do we order our breakfast and pray it comes fast, or skip it? Luck was on our sides- we were able to grab breakfast AND make the train! Poor Katie was already in her seat, no doubt worried she was headed to Verona on her own. 

We spent the beautiful day wandering through the cobble-stoned streets, enjoying fresh-fruit cups from a market we found in town. 

I overheard an English-speaking tour guide telling her group that we were in Piazza delle Erbe, which was the city's forum in Roman times. Right off of the plaza, we found what we'd been looking for: Juliet Capulet's house. No, it wasn't really her house. Actually, the lovely balcony was added on in 1936 in an effort to appeal to tourists. On The List, I had added "Leave a note on Juliet's wall in Verona," envisioning the beautiful brick wall from "Letters to Juliet," with thoughtful little love notes and wishes tucked into the cracks. I had not imagined a graffiti covered wall coated in bandaids with couples' initials and heart shaped pieces of chewing gum stuck to every inch. Yuck. Well, yuck in a somehow aesthetically pleasing way. There was also a gate full of love locks, placed by couples sure that their love would last an eternity. Anyway, even though I didn't leave gum, a lock, or a bandaid, I did rub Juliet's right boob, which supposedly guarantees fortune and luck in love. We can only hope! (All the single ladies, put your hands up!). I'm crossing it off the list anyways, because a boob-rub is good enough for me!

After a gloriously long nap, we struck back out for a night on the town, beginning with a completely magical evening of theater. I didn't get a great picture of the Arena di Verona, but imagine a slightly smaller Colosseum (or google it). Each summer, Verona holds an opera festival and we were lucky enough to book seats at the last show of the season. The amphitheater is Italy's third largest, and was completed in the first century. It was absolutely awe-inspiring; sitting on the steps of an ancient amphitheater, watching a performance with three wonderful friends in Italy. I can't begin to describe it; I love Rome for its history, and the Colosseum is amazing, and here I was, using a similar space for it's actual intention- seeing a show. Add that to the magnitude of watching Romeo and Juliet performed in Verona... I was basically in heaven. 

Things at the show were a little funny though. We had spent the day discussing how even though the show was going to be in Italian, we all knew the story well and would definitely be able to follow along. We quoted parts we were sure we'd know no matter the language throughout the day and wondered if they'd sound just as beautiful in Italian. Somehow, however, despite the fact that this was the Arena di Verona Festival di Opera, none of us realized that this was going to be an opera. It made no sense at all. I'm pretty sure that Romeo was introduced alongside his fire-breathing dragon car, and Juliet was locked up in a metal cage pretty often. At one point, Katie leaned over to me and whispered, "I'm pretty sure this is the balcony scene," and I nearly died laughing. How could we possibly be unsure!? And yet, we were... Even if it was a confusing show, it was beautiful and I was blown away by the experience. 

borrowed from 20somethingsproblems

Romeo's new dragon car
"All this is but a dream"
Such a beautiful night!

My beautiful friends!
I never blogged about Genova last year, but it was also a wonderful trip. One of the highlights was staying out all night dancing, and that was part of our Verona plan as well. Unfortunately, it turns out that Verona has basically no nightlife (at least one that we could find in one night- maybe if given more time?), and we couldn't find anything open past 1am, and absolutely nowhere to go dancing.

The next day, we had a late train and spent the day wandering through the beautiful plazas, enjoying the city, and shopping. Somehow I always have good luck shopping with these girls! Verona is an incredible city, and I am so lucky to have experienced so many beautiful things on this trip. 

My future car
View from the bridge

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Missed your posts! Another city I had no idea about, it has a lot of things that are worth visiting it for. Is it me or that statue's breat is shanier than the rest? Guess you are one among many rubbers :)

    I am not a R&J fan...kindda made everything fall apart when I found out that Juliet was a 14 year kid and Romeo was 16...what can they know about love? But still the whole thing is great

    And finally, please tell your friend that she has the most great (thumbs up all the way) hair style I have seen in a "real life" girl ( you know, not a movie star or a model but a girl you may find walking down the Milan that is :P) she has the most amazing pixie hair style and looks great with her golden hair. Kudos!