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Jamie and I just got back from a short weekend in Verona, where we went to an outdoor opera!  For several years, it has been a dream to go to an outdoor opera (ever since I saw the movie, Hannibal, to be honest…and it’s my favorite movie EVER).  So, when I found out that Verona’s opera puts on a summer season in an old Roman amphitheatre, I knew that this was the opportunity!  The season had a lot of my personal favorites, but once I saw that they were putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet, “in fair Verona, where we lay our scene” I knew that my mind was made up…it was almost blasphemous to go to Verona and see something else!  Romeo and Juliet it was (it also didn’t hurt that this has been one of my favorite love stories since 7th grade, when I read the play).  So, poor Jamie, I pulled him along for the ride.

We flew into Bergamo, which is about midway between Verona and Milan.  Thank god for budget airlines…those things are amazing!  We fly them as much as we can, and they’re super cheap if you only pack a backpack (which we normally do, because I hate waiting for luggage).  We arrived late morning, then jumped a bus to get to the train station, where we boarded a train headed for Verona.  One stop and two hours later, we arrived!  Took a taxi to the hotel, where we dropped off our gear and promptly headed out for some sightseeing!

Walls of the Old City.

Verona is a small Italian town, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with things to do, which was nice because I’ve been so stressed out lately with work and all I really wanted from this weekend was a little sightseeing, a lot of food and wine, and some opera.  We walked around to get a feel of the place, passed by the Amphitheatre, and went off in search of lunch.  Sigh…Italian food is my downfall. After lunch, it was around 3:30pm and it was ridiculously hot, so we headed back to the hotel for a cold shower and a nap.  Bliss.  Woke up a few hours later and just hung out for the rest of the night. Relaxing…loved it.A drinking fountain, but I didn’t give it a try.A drinking fountain, but I didn’t give it a try.

Saturday morning we woke up, grabbed breakfast (omg…the pastries were to die for), and headed out for some sightseeing before the heat of the day closed in.  Even at 9am, it was still in the low 90s, so it wasn’t like we really beat the heat.  Thankfully, there were plenty of places to splash some water on your face and cool off.

The Arena – sans people

We stopped into a few churches, which were stunningly beautiful, and took a tour of the amphitheatre before the performance that night, just to get an idea of what it looked like without all the guests seated.

Then, we stopped by a Ristorante for some lunch and had some delicious foods, then went back to the hotel for another shower, another nap, and to get ready.  I woke up around 5:30pm, which gave me an hour to throw up my hair, put on some make-up and get dressed (plenty of time).  After getting ready, we headed out for some dinner before the show.  OMG…dinner was my FAVORITE meal this trip.  I had a fantastic salad caprese (fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil) and an antipasti of proscuitto and melon.  Topped off with a glass of prosecco, and I was in heaven!  Jamie got a filetto that was super good too (though mine was better).  After dinner, we headed off to the Arena for the opera!

The “Cathedral” where Romeo and Juliet are married.

I didn’t get a lot of photos of Romeo and Juliet, sadly. We took my camera (barely one up from a point and shoot) and the lighting was dim (obviously, as it started at 9:00pm).  In addition, though we were in the 22nd row, it just wasn’t conducive to photography. I did grab a few shots, and here’s one of my favorites.  It’s of Romeo with the Priest, right as he and Juliet are about to be married. Juliet is kneeling on the ground that some guy’s head got in my way…sorry!

After the opera let out, we headed back to the hotel for another cold shower (even at midnight, it was hot), and to pack up before our flight out the next morning.  We woke up early today, grabbed our gear and headed out on the train.  Got into the Netherlands around 1:30pm, and promptly came home, and passed out!

So…there was our weekend get away in Verona!  It is a beautiful town with not a ton of things to do, but definitely makes for a relaxing weekend.  The opera was amazing…couldn’t have asked for better!