Saturday, November 17, 2012

My My My Verona! Part 1

Sadie update:  She seems to be doing really well.  On Wednesday, the vet walked to our house (perk of living in a small village, that was a giant relief to me not to have to get Sadie back in the car) to take the compression bandage off of her; Sadie was really thrilled about that right up until she got the Cone of Shame on.  Still, I think she'd prefer the Cone of Shame to the compression bandage, and as soon as her incision has healed enough then the CoS will go bye-bye too.  Sadie has been getting around pretty well when we take her outside a few times a day, she just hops along on three legs and she seems to be in pretty good spirits too.  Most of the day she's very quiet and just sleeps in her kennel, and other than the first day she hasn't even resorted to being a giant pathetic pain in the rear by making me hand-feed her.  I think she's handling the surgery thing better this time around.

As for me, well, on Tuesday night I discovered the hard way that Lee closes the sliding glass door behind him when he takes the dogs out.  WHAM!!!  Four days later my nose is only a little bit sore...I'm just glad that I didn't end up getting huge bruises all over my face.  And now I'm much more careful around that dang door!

So I mentioned that Lee and I went to Italy for a week, right?  He was working, and I did a little homework and a lot of procrastinating, but we did have enough time to drive down to Verona one day.  Verona, you may remember, is the setting for several Shakespearean plays, perhaps most famously Romeo & Juliet.

We managed to get to Verona just fine thanks to our GPS, and it wasn't too hard to find parking either.  The parking area was actually pretty Gucci--underground parking and each space had a light over it that was green if it was unoccupied and red if a car was parked in it, so you could easily see where free spaces were.  Pretty cool.  Anyway, the pic above is part of the city walls.

And I found a hippo for my hippo-loving mom : )  This dude was in front of a restaurant.

Just a view down the street...why aren't American cities all pretty and picturesque like this?  Not to say America is totally ugly or anything, but for the most part I'd say we're lacking in charm compared to Europe.

There's a rather large arena so of course, there are these guys dressed as Roman gladiators, who expect you to pay to take their picture.  I was standing across the street so I just used a zoom lens and bwahahaa, free picture.  Like they're going to be able to track me down to pay for it : p

And there's the arena in all its glory.  You can take tours of it, but we didn't--we just spent a few hours walking around the town.

So I know this is totally tacky and completely non-historical touristy stuff but after watching the movie Letters to Juliet, I just wanted to go to Juliet's house and take a picture of that courtyard and balcony, and Lee is such a sweetie pie that he went along with it.  So we found our way to the courtyard at Casa di Giulietta and here's this:

Not where Juliet's secretaries set up shop; it's a place that does machine embroidery on aprons and potholders and such.  I think in the movie, Sophie had to follow the secretary around the corner and down a few blocks to find where the secretaries work; in real life, I didn't see any letters to Juliet on the walls.

Here's the statue of Juliet; the lighter areas are where people grab the statue to take pictures.  No idea why they grab her chest though.  And why is she supposed to be good luck for lovers?  She and Romeo had a whirlwind romance, got married, and pretty much died the next day.  How is that good luck?  Plus she was 14 at the time, she couldn't possibly know anything yet.

But still, there are some wonderful quotes from Romeo & Juliet.  I can still remember my 9th grade English teacher reading this bit to our class for the first time.

There's her balcony and people taking pictures with the statue.  The house dates back to the 13th century but it was originally an inn.  The balcony was added in the 1920s or 30s for touristy reasons; it's actually part of a sarcophagus (which is kind of appropriate considering the source story).  You can tour the house and go stand on the balcony, but we skipped that bit since all I wanted to do was take pictures in the courtyard.

The inn was owned by the Capello family (perhaps the inspiration for the Capulets?) and their symbol was a hat, seen here, because "capello" means hat in Italian.  This is the entry to the courtyard; to get to Juliet's courtyard, you have to walk through a tunnel covered in...

Ew.  Graffiti and gum.  How pleasant.  Having gotten my picture of Juliet's statue and fake balcony, we wandered on back into the town.

Here's a little market in one of the piazzas, I forget which.  It was your basic touristy stuff along with a few stalls that sold fresh produce.

Again with the beautiful architecture!  I noticed this time around in Italy that they are not afraid of colorful buildings.  We were out driving one day and saw two buildings both painted like the Italian, the entire side of the building facing the highway had 3 giant stripes on it.  It was kind of fun.

Another picture by Lee...

And one more of the market.  Then we walked on down toward Castelvecchio (Old Castle) which you'll see in a future blog post.

Looking down one of the alleyways that we passed.

This was on the side of a building we walked past; Lee and I kinda wondered if it was another sarcophagus re-purposed for decoration like Juliet's balcony.  Is that a thing, decorating with sarcophagi?  Well, at least they're prettier than most coffins nowadays.

And another interesting detail on a building we passed.  Just kinda cool, huh?

More Verona later...for now, I'm still making cookies.  I've been working on this blog post between batches : )  Ciao, peeps!


CCsMom said...

Mustard colored walls? Yuk! Ha! But Lee DOES take wonderful pictures. He has a good eye. LOVE IT!!! Hope he gets to feeling better. Good to talk to you this morning. It seems like AGES.

Love you!!!

Thoughts by B and M said...

seems like you are continuing to enjoy globe trotting around Europe! I guess LA is pretty "gucci" as most of our parking garages have those green/red lights too! :) An email is headed your way.... :)