This is about the time we spent stopping in Verona on our way to the Dolamites.
History and Culture
Verona was a city of rich history, the setting of the famous Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet, and the home of Dante – a famous Italian writer and politician – during his exile. As a previous province of Venice when Venice was expanding its domain in 1400s, it was a mixture of local and Venetian architecture. We saw the ancient towers from which the nobles once conducted their feuds, a medieval wall wrapping around the city, and a Roman amphitheater that is still used today for operas and other performances.
This was our first mini-stop on our way to a place where we would lodge. This is a great feature of the Rick Steves’ Tour because it breaks up the long drives between major destinations and allows you to spend a short but sufficient times at smaller destinations. These short mini-stops were also a great way to see twice as many cities as we would otherwise! Many of these cities are ones often overlooked by tourists traveling through Italy but we found to be hidden gems of Italian history and culture.
Italian Lunch & Unexpected Excitement
Of course, even Verona was not without its unexpected adventures. We had enough time to stop for lunch before we had to meet back up with the tour group to take the bus to Castel Roto in the Dolomites. We wanted to do as Rick Steves suggests, and find a restaurant that was off the beaten path or a “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant. We finally found one off a random street down a winding alley. We made sure to allow a couple of hours for lunch, in true Italian style. We had a flatbread entrée topped with olive oil, onions, figs, cheese, and other delicacies and some highly recommended red wine from the area. As we were walking back to the tour group meet-up stop after dinner, however, we realized in a panic that Devin had left his over $1,000 worth of camera and equipment in the restaurant. We rushed back only to realize that we did not know where the restaurant was. Every alley and turn looked the same! Of course, after about 20 minutes of searching and some serious luck, we did find the restaurant again. And his camera and equipment was still there, right where we left it. We got back to the tour group meet up location with exactly 1 minute to spare.