Well the good news is I am starting a new email, the bad news is we are sitting in our hire car on a autostrada in Italy on our way to Lake Garda in a huge traffic jam ! We are assuming an accident but our Italian enquiries to fellow road travellers has just produced blank stares even though Kev says he's good at languages!!
We left you last in Berlin on our way to Verona. Today is our first day of bad weather, cloudy and a bit of rain just for our early trek to the airport via a 500m walk to the shuttle bus after struggling down 3 flights of stairs,. Got out to the street to have the rain suddenly stop and we made it without getting wet! Just when you were feeling sorry for us, or maybe not?
Accommodation in Verona nothing fancy but smack in the middle of the old town and on the GROUND floor!! Major bonus for Kev's back!
Anyway, the trek was worth it, Verona is absolutely lovely, a small city with a beautifully preserved old town nestled in the u-bend of a river. There is the obligatory cathedral or two, lovely and ancient bridges, a fort plus the amazing arena (think Rome Colosseum) in such good condition they hold concerts, shows (none involving lions that we can see) and load of events most of the summer. Several friends advised us to try and see an open air opera whilst there but, as luck would have it, the nights we were there an Italian rock band was playing and as we heard the rehearsal in the afternoon with the bass beat shaking the building (I guess after 2000 years it can withstand anything!) we thought a nice pizza and a bottle of wine whilst watching tourists (Italians and the rest of the world), from our front row cafe table would have to suffice!
For the ladies, and not to be gender incorrect, for the shopaholic men also, this town is designer heaven. The main pedestrian thoroughfare is lined with the loveliest buildings displaying the real top end products with that gorgeous Italian style! The actual roadways (pedestrian only nowadays) are made of pink and white marble that has been walked on by thousands of people over thousands of years so that they are now smooth (and probably dangerous in rain) but still glorious...those Romans knew how to build things to last, this city is stunning!
Well, we can't forget the main attraction (?) of Verona, that being Romeo and Juliet, the phantom couple that have kept this tourist town in euros/liras for many years. You get to queue to see the balcony set in a lovely courtyard (I think there is, underneath the thousand tourists) where she may have once stood to declare her love to Romeo (and if he looked anything like a lot of these northern Italian men, then I totally understand!) plus you can even pay more to stand on it!!  Capitalism is not dead and anyway a little romance goes a long way, so Kevio and Janiet walked hand in hand away from all this mob to again find a little cafe table to sip a couple of Aperols and watch the world go by, as true Europeans do!
Better finish there, lots to see on our drive to Lake Garda, (and yes, same again on the Autostrada, after about 40 minutes we are moving again and still no explanation as to why the hold up!). Our first stop for lunch is in Sirmione, another wonderful medieval village, on a peninsula this time with a drawbridge entry, where we stayed a few years ago and is the reason we are back in this area for more.
Hopefully you will hear from us again, mad Italian drivers allowing!

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Travel Blog by Jan Photography by Kevin
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