We had no idea what to expect in Verona or Milan, so we were pleasantly surprised with both. As we drove to Verona, we passed many vineyards and green hilly areas that once upon a time supplied Venice with all its wood and building materials. We learned that Moscato wine is local to the region and had an opportunity to taste some in the coming days. Verona is also known for musical theater and opera in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona. We walked into a courtyard where Juliet leaned out her balcony window to hear her beloved Romeo below. There was even a bronze statue of her in the courtyard. There are specialty candies named after the famous couple: Romeo’s Kiss which was made of chocolate and
almonds and Juliet’s Kiss which was made of vanilla and almonds. Our guide was kind enough to purchase each of us one! Next stop, Milan
Milan is where today’s stock market is located and money is minted for Italy. It is also known as the fashion center of the country. We walked through a huge indoor mall/shopping district that was built about the time our country was born! Beautiful arches with glass panels adorned the ceiling. All the shops were high-end, designer boutiques like Versace, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Armani, Farragamo, etc. It was exceptionally crowded and filled with lots of energy. We’ve never seen such expensive stores all in one place before.
The next stop on the tour was to a neo-gothic Duomo name in honor of Mary. Hanging inside was supposedly a nail used to crucify Christ. It was one of the most ornate churches Dan and I had ever been in. Outside the Duomo were dozens of 3D marble scenes depicting stories from the Bible. We made a game of walking the perimeter of this massive building trying to figure out what Biblical story was being told. It was sort of our own little scavenger hunt and Biblical knowledge game rolled into one. Our friends we traveled with from home brought Milano cookies and we ate them as we walked. Seemed quite appropriate!
The day was coming to a close after 12,037 steps and we loaded onto the bus once more to travel to the Lake District to explore Lake Maggorio and Lake Como. Here we come, George Clooney!