The bus from Milan to Verona was a little over two hours. I slept the whole way there and we arrived at 3:55pm.We got dropped off just down the street from the bus station, so we walked the rest of the way there. We got turned around for a bit because we could not find any maps.

Finally, after wondering around the trains and buses, we found a map posted near the Taxi station, and after trying to take photos of the map a nice gentlemen came over and gave us one. We thanked him and were off to find the street that the hostel was on. We had some trouble finding the right direction because the map was missing a waterway. Eventually we ended up following the signs to the arena and found our way from there.

We walked down the city streets and found the hostel. It was right across a small bridge that took you over the river. Nestled between a few shops was a big black door with no markers on it. We only knew this was it because it had a 5 for the street number and one of the many buzzers said B&B Navi.

We rang the buzzer and after a few minuets a guy on the street walked over to us and asked if we were here for the B&B. Turns out, he was the owner. So we gave him our names and he opened the door that lead into a basement-like room. We took the marble steps at the back of the room up one floor to another door, which opened to a hallway-looking apartment.

We signed the papers and paid. The man, whose name I cannot remember, lead us to the last room and gave us 3 keys, one for each door. He let us be and we entered our room, dropped our stuff and planned to shower, change and see the city.

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I learned that a B&B in Italy is kind of like America’s version of Air B&B. You rent a room from the owner and get breakfast in the morning.

I went into the kitchen to get a drink. They had hot chocolate and coffee mix but no milk or anything else that I could find. I found a mug and filled it with water from the sink, sticking it in the microwaves to heat it up. The microwave looked like an American version of a toaster and microwave combined. It wasn’t hard to figure out and I turned the dial to heat up my water. I poured in the chocolate mix in a pretty successful attempt to make hot chocolate.

After we showered and dressed, we headed to the streets of Verona around 6:30pm.

We went to Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s balcony and statue) first because it closed at 7:30pm. Our B&B was close, just across the river from the city, so it only took us five minutes to walk to Juliet’s balcony. We used the map and signs to find our way there. Once there, the entrance was right in between a few random shops.

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You enter through the black gates of a very small tunnel that has writing from tourists in every available spot, and enter into a small courtyard packed with people.

The statue was in front of the wall where people write and leave love letters to Juliet. If you rub Juliet’s right breast, it is said to bring you good luck.

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I also wrote a letter from one of the pages in my notebook and left it on the wall.

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The balcony itself was to the left of the statue, halfway up the wall.

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I did expect the courtyard to be bigger but I enjoyed it all the same. It was my number one “must do” in Verona.

Next, we headed to a church that was supposed to have something dedicated to Dante (the author of Dante’s Inferno). We did not go inside but we cruised around the outside of the building. To be honest, we are not even sure if we were at the right church, but it was pretty.

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The streets of Verona are filled with shops, bars and restaurants. The roads wind around the short buildings, which make the streets feel much wider.

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We walked the stone pathways and visited Piazza delle Erbe.

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Then we crossed the river which was extremely high and flowing very fast. It had a dirty coffee color that faded back to blue the next morning.

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We eventually decide it was time to eat. I wanted to finally have some pasta, so we goggled some recommendations within the city. On the way to the one we chose, we passed another where the food on the plates of the customers looked amazing, so we stopped to eat there.

Most places you eat in Italy are set with outside tables that line up along the streets. The tables seem to be pushed very close to each other and sometimes it is hard to tell where one restaurant seating ends and the next begins.

Unsure if we seat ourselves, we went inside to ask. No one spoke English, so we pointed outside to the table and gestured if we should sit. We were encouraged to take a seat (seems like you always seat yourself in Italy).

We sat down at a table for two at one of the few empty tables and placed our order. I ordered Moscato wine and noodles with mushrooms.

The noodles were thick, long and yellow and the mushrooms were were chopped into bite size pieces. They were slimy and squishy and may have been boiled. The pasta tasted weird…The wine however, was the best Moscato I have ever tasted! It was perfectly chilled and very sweet. I should have bought a bottle.

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After dinner we set out to find some gelato. We passed by the coliseum and a few different piazzas.

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We also passed by a small casino which Jamie wanted to check out. We could not figure out how the machines worked but eventually Jamie put €2.00 in the coin slot and pressed some buttons. It was actually very funny.

Later, we found our gelato spot on the boarder of one of the may piazza. It was called “Amorino.” Here, you get to pick as many flavors as you want and they use a flat scoop to form the ice cream into a rose. We got our rose cones and and sat down to people watch and eat.

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By the time it was 9:00pm it was still light out. We decided to head back to the hostel and get some sleep.

DAY 2

In the morning we woke and went to the kitchen for breakfast. None of the other guests were there, but breakfast was set out on the table for us. There were prepackaged, plastic wrapped croissants and cappuccino mix, chocolate mix and boxed milk. The milk was strange but not too bad once you added the chocolate powder.

We packed up and decided that if we left right away (8:00am) we would have time to see the church gates the inspired the gates of hell from Dante’s Inferno. The walk was about 20 minutes and took us along the river.

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The gates were a bit disappointing as we expected them to be bigger and more menacing. To be fair, we may not have been at the right gates.

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We walked back and went to find the train station. We ended up getting super lost and asked several different people for help. Eventually we found a cab and had him bring us to the station. The driver was talkative and he told us that if we just kept walking in our original direction, and not asked for help, we would have found the train station just behind the bus station.

The ride was short and cheap. However, we arrived at 10:30am and our train left at 10:26am.

So, we missed our train. The station was so small that we could not find where we could buy tickets. We asked the counter and they pointed to a machine in the hall. From there, we bought tickets for the next train for only €8.50.

With an almost two hour wait, we went into the small bar/restaurant and ordered food. Jamie got a strange hash-brown thing and a beer. I got a cappuccino and a croissant. (I asked the barista her favorite kind of croissant, which turned out to be crème, so that is what I went with.

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The food was good, though the sugarless cappuccino was kind of lacking. Eventually we went to sit on the platform to wait for the train.

After a while, the train came and we climbed aboard to head to Venice.

5 thoughts on “Backpack Italy: Verona

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