The rain is teasing us. It stops, the sun almost shines, then it pours buckets. Verona’s elegant riverside streets are vibrant with leafy maples and the river is running high. I’ve never been here in winter. To me, this is the city of perpetual spring, romantic and refined; above ground tombs give it an enigmatic air. After six weeks of travel, I need this serenity.
It is raining, and I’m sitting on the covered patio of B&B Ai Leoni (50-120 euros/night). This B&B is a well-run sanctuary. Verona, unlike most Italian cities, has only a few sights that are worth checking out, and because of this, it gives travelers an excuse to fall in step with the locals.
Yesterday, Kristin and I visited Juliet’s house, said to have been the setting for the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Though it has always struck me as goofy to give a fictional character an earthly home, I discovered something new. Though the house is pure fiction, the thousands of love notes, pinned to its walls by flesh and blood lovers, are not. It’s impossible to ignore this physical manifestation of love. Thus, out of fiction, something real has grown.
Tomorrow I hope to hike in the Alps, but this rain is disconcerting. Hiking in Europe is one of my favorite activities and a hike in Trento ,which is located smack in the middle of the Adige Valley, is very appealing. And, its hikes are easy to reach using public transportation. The plan is to take a one-and-a-half-hour train ride to Trento, then catch a bus. But with the rain, my prospects are gloomy.
Written by and photos by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com