Spring Break Part 1: Traveling and Verona

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*Please note: This post was first published on the blog I kept in 2011 while studying abroad*

For the past two weeks I have been on a crazy adventure throughout the top half of Italy and into Athens! Needless to say it’s a bit too much to post in one blog entry, so I’ll dedicate one post to each city.

If you go to Italy you don’t need to know anything other than English. Not everyone knows English, but enough people do that there’s no problem finding your way. Menus are usually available in English, so you can just point at what you want if your waiter does not understand English.

Also, it’s a bit of a bummer when you realize you’ll never have the tourist experience shown in the movies since the number of tourists in movies are a fraction of the number that actually go to places like Venice and Rome. Never-the-less touring Italy and Athens was an amazing experience!

So my adventure started way back on April 14th when we had to catch a 8:00 pm bus to Madrid in order to catch a 7:05 AM flight to Milan, Italy. We reached the airport at 1:00 AM, went through security and “slept” until our flight. Once in Milan, we had to take a train to get to the train station to take another train to Verona. Believe it or not, this was the cheapest way to get to Italy.

The awesome thing about trains in Italy is that the ones between cities can cost as little as 5 euros if you ride the regional trains. The cost goes up with the amount of distance you need to travel, but it’s still pretty cheap. On the train to Verona we met a nice man named Pasqua who was an Italian-American who had moved back to Italy.

We reached Verona and after walking up and down the same street several times we found our hostel, Divina B&B. Although we had to share a bathroom with the other rooms, the hostel was VERY nice and clean. Breakfast was included in our stay. It was also very close to the center of Verona but was still quiet and peaceful.

That first night we wandered around, ran into another girl from our program in Bilbao, and discovered a grocery store where we bought carrots and fruit. We found “Juliet’s House”. We didn’t go in since we were saving money but we took some pictures of the balcony and wandered around that part of Verona a while longer.

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“Juliet’s House” and Balcony

The next day we stuffed ourselves at breakfast and then headed out. We climbed a big hill (or tiny mountain) and found a castle. There wasn’t much to the castle, though, so we hiked until we found a really long wall of another castle called Castello S. Felice. We got someone lost but found our way easily back to Verona.

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Castello S Felice

We then climbed ANOTHER mini mountain to find a sanctuary called Santuario N. S. Di Lourdes.

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Santuario N. S. Di Lourdes

Once we returned to Verona, we found a free outdoor concert going on that we stopped to listen to even though we didn’t really understand what it was about (something to do with Italy’s fascist past).

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The outdoor concert

As evening came we found “Juliet’s Tomb” (which was closed) and a cool looking cemetery that was also closed.

The next morning we got up for breakfast and met a nice Australian man who was also staying at our hostel. Soon afterward we were out the door and headed to catch our next train to Venice!

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