Italy: Lake Garda, Sirmione, Verona & Venice ~ Day 9

Sidewalk scales and coppin’ a boob grab for luck…

Sunday, May 1st 2011: Lake Garda, Sirmione, Verona & Venice

It was a repeat morning of dressing with the hopes of  a nice day, but it was still pretty breezy with a light chill despite the sun streaming down. We were en route to Venice via Lake Garda, Sirmione and Verona. Imagine my surprise when I tried to turn my camera on and realized I left the battery in the charger, packed in my bag on the bus. Genius! So go-go-gadget-camera-phone again for today.

As we cruised, I watched the water – glassy with dark blue ripples and a curve of  white from the wake left by our boat. Parallel to that was a layer of green hills and trees, dotted with lake front homes and then the gorgeous Castle Scaligeri.  As we pulled into the small town of Sirmione, I snapped a couple pics of the swans and ducks that greeted us near the dock and Marlen told us where to meet in an hour. Not alot of time, so Lizzie and I went walking in search of the Santa Maria Maggiore, a recommended local church which we never ended up finding. Instead we found a roadside fruit stand and a little farther up, a random scale on the sidewalk. No church, a cup of mixed fruit and 50-cents-to-see-our-damage-on-the-scale later, we stopped for pizza in the Piazza Castello before meeting up with Cornelius on the bus to head over to Verona.

And off to the romantic Shakesperean story town. Our in transit entertainment was a quick recap of the story of Romeo & Juliet, superbly acted out by Josh and Steven (elected by Marlen to be our actor and actress, respectively). In Verona, Marlen walked us through the important places in the play: where Romeo and Juliet kissed for the first time, where Romeo killed Juliet’s cousin and, of course, Juliet’s balcony. In the archway leading into the small courtyard, there were hundreds of couples’ names written all over the walls and lots of padlocks with scribbled names locked to the gates and bars everywhere. There was a crowd taking turns for pictures on the balcony, and with the statue of Juliet holding/touching her right breast which is said to bring you luck in love. We walked around the small town for the rest of the time souvenir shopping. I dropped some change for the guy dressed in his black adidas sweatsuit with red, green and gold stripes, singing Bob Marley songs. Had to give the one-man-band props – he pulled off a good tune with his guitar and the little cymbals on his shoes.

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We got to our hotel in Venice early evening and walked to a restaurant nearby for dinner as the sun began to set. Gnocchi and prawns were on the menu for me, paired with (as you probably guessed) a glass of wine. The hotel (Hotel Airport Venice, Vimehotels) is another on my list to stay at again should I ever return… or should I say ‘when‘… =)

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