Verona. Well first of all, our apartment was located 50 metres from Juliet’s apartment, but unlike Juliet we didn’t have a balcony.
However, I did meet my Romeo for the next few days.
I suppose I could get into all sorts of history about Verona, but we mostly spent our time (an exceptional two nights in one place!) wandering around the streets and seeing what there is to see… such as huge set pieces all around the arena for forthcoming opera performances, which is rather a bizarre sight.
Seeing as Amarone della Valpolicella is one of my favourite wines, we took the opportunity to visit the DOCG area, stopping into a very small family winery to sample a few wines. They were young and perhaps a bit adventurous, but the visit was enjoyable and we took a few home.
The evening was devoted to work on my part, and football for Maci. I haven’t the least interest in that sport, but I did join him later at the bar. The three Spanish attendees were alone upstairs, and all the Italians were huddled downstairs (it was Real Madrid vs Juventus Torino), but it turned out to be a happy night for the locals.
In the morning we parted we took a last walk through the town and headed for Parma.
En route, we decided to stop by Mantova, a town often omitted by tourists but worthy of a short visit. After all, it is the home of the tragic Rigoletto and his nemesis the Duke, as well as many other lovely sites.
And then there was Parma. The area between Verona and Parma is flat as a board, but full of deliciousness. After all, Emilia Romagna is one of the tastiest regions of Italy, producing some of the most globally known goodies like Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar and mortadella (brutishly called bologna in North America). We managed to arrive just in time for a tour and wine tasting at Lamoretti winery.
Even if their wines were horrible (which they certainly are not), everything would be compensated by the view.
We spent a marvelous afternoon with our kind host sampling wines and gazing at the wonder that is Torrechiarra, a castle that really seems to be etched out into the land and sky, becoming more surreal with the plastic light before dusk.
Dinner awaited us at Agriturismo Ciato, all the goods of this land followed by good conversation with the people of this land, and topped off with a good night’s sleep breathing the fresh moist air of this land.