A Travellerspoint blog


Yeah, I doubt it...

Romeo, Romeo where for art thou Romeo....

Seriously, I am standing on a sidewalk (trail really) in the middle of a bunch of vineyards, not a bus stop to be seen and where the eff is Romeo I beg you!  I know you are all wondering how I came to be in this precarious position somewhere in the gently rolling hills on the outskirts of Verona with all my luggage and MINUS MY BlUE BOUNCY DOT.  And, why I am so distraught being that I AM in the middle of wine country in Italy...Mom and any other motherly types should stop reading here. 

 My naivety knows no bounds. I blame my good friend Rick!  So, reluctantly I leave Padua this morning after a frenzied bank situation with my debit card.  I am in love with Padua!  Several hours later... I take a cab ride to the train station which almost made up for the bank hassle because the driver said bellissimo so many times I was fuchsia as I departed his vehicle. Got on the train to Vicenza, missed the stop, then decided to bypass it until Wednesday being that it is only a day trip and continue on to Verona.  The train was headed that direction anyway.  No time lost, right.  Yeah, it did not work out quite as I planned.  But Rick says its super easy and just pop on any of the buses from platform A after you get off the train and it will take you to Piazza Bra.  You can't miss it he says.  He obviously needs to have a one on one with me because I missed something...

I get on a bus that goes all over the city, crowded and full of commuters who I attempt to mask my Rick Steve's book from.  After about half an hour I realize we are going away from the city and I get off the bus to try and find the correct bus.  That was stupid because there is not a bus stop anywhere going back to Verona and only a bike trail with a sign that says Verona pointing in the direction I obviously need to go.  So, I start walking.  Luckily the countryside is beautiful and there are scattered old villas to marvel at as I lug my roller bag over the uneven surface of the cobblestone trail.  Finally, after about an hour or so of hiking, I find a bus stop.  My luggage tires now need to be rotated. The woman waiting speaks 0 English but manages to understand my plight and directs me to exit the bus at the proper location.  That tested my language skills for sure.  My adventure to Verona was a few hours longer than it needed to be but oh well.  I'm sure the sight of me entertained the locals.  This will not work in Naples.  It was actually reminiscent of the 12 mile mud walk in Kauai, but if I made it through that, this was a sissy walk.  

When I finally arrived at the hotel dragging, hungry, thirty and frazzled Caterina greeted me and to my relief spoke perfect English. She got me settled in the most charming room, Helped me make a few calls and insisted I put on warmer clothes before leaving the hotel.  I reluctantly entertained her since I was so happy for her help and she ended up being right in the end.  It is much colder in Verona than Padua. She even insisted I put her card in my pocket in case I got lost again.  Lol

In any case I had a delightful afternoon at a cafe drinking the heavenly wine from Verona, listening to my waiter sing to himself and indulging in a marvelous veggie pizza.  Then I headed to the House of Juliet to file a complaint about where my delicious Romeo was when I needed rescuing.  I only jest of course because the whole point of my trip is to experience Italy on my own and I'm definitely achieving that.  I did write a letter to Juliet though while I munched on my pizza and sipped my wine.  The legend goes that if you rub Juliet's breast you will be lucky in love. This only applies to Juliet's statue I guess, cause as many breasts as I touch in a day, you'd think Max would be worshipping the ground I walk on by now.  To entertain you guys, I encouraged Juliet to scoot a bit closer to the machine.  See pic above, lol.

I'm goin to grab a bit of hot chocolate and some delectable dessert before I turn in. I think I earned it. 

"There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, hell itself
Hence banished is banished from the world.."

William Shakespeare form Romeo and Juliet

Posted by cherishthelove 10:12 Comments (5)

Glimpses of Padua

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Posted by cherishthelove 14:11 Comments (5)

My Life Without Instant Technology


I am cozy in my room for the evening with some camomile tea the signora kindly provided me. It has been an interesting two days here in Padua. 1st off I'll say that my fancy iPhone 4G has done nothing for my street skills of getting around a foreign city. My bouncing blue GPS dot is sadly absent from the paper maps that I have been trying to interpret. Add my pathetic Italian language skills to that and you get a very discombobulated American. Now that I've finally learned how to navigate the city, I leave tomorrow for a short stop in Vicenza for the day and then on to Verona.

I think Padua was the perfect place to get acclimated and find my bearings. Though, I expect to get lost again. There were only a few places I had my heart set on seeing here and in between bouts of wandering aimlessly I managed to see them. And have a bit of wine and food. Of course being lost makes for spectacular people watching. Both times that I was lost beyond all hope I was saved by an elderly man. The first came out of nowhere on a bike and said "Ciao Bella, I help you" He pointed out my place on the map and in between his broken English and my minor understanding of Italian he told me the piazza is the biggest and most beautiful of all the piazzas in Italy, with all the italian gusto he could manage. That or he was making quite an inappropriate pass at me :) The second spoke zero English but could understand where I wanted to go and he walked me there. So sweet! I imagine the larger cities will not be quite this accommodating. Gotta get street smart before Venice.

The Basilica of St. Anthony was the most amazing structure I have ever been in and I spent several hours just staring in awe at the art, architecture and the relics of St. Anthony( his tongue, jaw and vocal cords) I also attended mass where my hair did not catch fire, shocker I know. I shall stop there again tomorrow before I leave to have one last look. If any of you have read Pillars of the Earth, it gives you a perspective on what it would take to build a church like this.

I know all you girls at work want to know about the Italian men. Well, All I can say about American men now is WTF! The Italian men make you feel beautiful and wanted with every gesture whether it be sitting down a cup of tea for you or blowing you kisses from their Vespas. Another 19 days here and I may come back thinking I'm Venus! No one has been rude enough to pinch grab or slap my ass , Robyn and Bridgette! Too bad I'm leaving tomorrow because the darling bartender at a cafe across from the basilica speaks great English and his two Golden Retrievers wind in and out of the patio tables visiting the clientele who don't seem bothered by the dogs at all. And he says such sweet little Italian phrases to them. Sigh...

The flight did in fact have the typical effect on my ears and sinuses but I'm fighting it. If my ears and fever are back tomorrow I plan to spend a day resting and medicating in Verona and skip my extra day in Venice. I've done everything the doctor said and I actually think it helped some. After all I was in flight for over ten hours and I'm not completely bed ridden. The afternoon naps help. everything slows down mid afternoon and people have a rest and food. Today I spent that time near an open air market and gigantic park that was littered with ancient statues and fountains. I rested on the grass with a small loaf of olive bread and huge freshly picked moscato grapes. La dolce vita!

My itinerary as requested: solo - Padua 2 days, Vicenza and Verona 2 days, Venice 1 day, meet up with tour group Venice, Florence, Rome 3 days each, Solo again Sorrentto 4 days with day trips to Capri, Naples and Pompeii, Rome 2 days. This is a link to the Rick Steve's tour itinerary http://tours.ricksteves.com/tours/italy/venice-florence-rome

Wish me and my imaginary blue bouncing dot luck in Verona!

Posted by cherishthelove 12:56 Comments (7)


Greetings from Padua!

Well I made it without a snag. I guess I rehearsed it in my head so many times that I managed without disaster. The pics below are of my first meal in Italy and the view from my room. You have to figure though that something bizzare will happen to me and of course ditzy Texas Cherish kicked in due to jet lag I hope. I cannot figure out how to flush the toilet in my room. So...should I ask the sweet lady at the front who has very scetchy english or her husband who is fluent. Either way I appear the ignorant American. I'll keep you posted. Exhaustion is kicking in and I need to nap before my visit to the Scrovegni Chapel....and figure out the toilet situation. The streets here are just as I imagined: narrow, busy and bustling with activity and character. More later....

Posted by cherishthelove 06:16 Comments (3)


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