Heard of Romeo and Juliet? Yea…I’ve seen their houses!

I feel it is necessary to provide a disclaimer before this blog stating that I am in fact enrolled in school, and do indeed spend time studying, attending class, and preparing assignments. HOWEVER, this does not mean my weekends are always occupied so…yet again I went off to visit a few exotic places in Italy. Milan and Verona…maybe you have heard of them? Well of course you have! And Jennifer and I were lucky enough to have a weekend long trip completely organized and planned for us by the buddy program.

We left Vaduz on Friday morning 7 am packed and ready for the short drive to Milan!  One interesting aspect of a road trip in Europe is that the size of the cars are a wee bit smaller!  No family sized sedans to stretch your legs in that is for sure.  Of course a smaller car was completely worth it because after a little over 3 hours we arrived in Milan with the day to explore and see the city on our own.  The group split up and Jennifer and I along with our Latvian friend Elina headed to the first stop: the Duomo.

That is the Duomo in the background.

The Duomo is a large, rather gigantic, church in the middle of Piazza Duomo that was yet again a little reminder of just how fortunate I am. We visited the inside of the breathtaking church and were even able to roam around on the roof, which provided a picturesque view of the city.  Following our visit to the Duomo we sought out “Luini’s” a lunch spot that numerous people had told us we just HAD to visit.  (Well actually they us a while back, but of course no one could remember the exact name, location, or even really why we HAD to go there…) Long story short we texted a friend at school, got the address, and man was it completely worth it!  Panzerroti was the specialty, and of course by specialty I mean the only thing they sold with every single stuffing imaginable! The plan was to grab the panzerrotis and head to a nifty park/fountain nearby but…we didn’t exactly make it down the street before the entire meal had already been scarfed down.

These children on a school field trip in matching outfits were just too cute not to share!

On full stomachs we jumped through a million hoops and finally found a way to rent bicycles to explore the city at a faster and more exhilarating pace. Looking back on the day, renting bikes is definitely the way to see a city in only a few hours.  Of course, we weren’t able to see every single thing, but we found a wonderful park, the home church of The Last Supper painting (reservations to see it had to be made months in advance so that was a no go), and most importantly a FANTASTIC gelato place.  Here would be the appropriate place to include a warning of just how much food was eaten throughout the weekend…lets just say I am restricting myself to fruit for the next months to make up for three days in Italy.

After nearly 6 hours in Milan we loaded up the cars and headed to Verona.  There we again ate at a typical Italian pizza place for dinner, and after a day of traveling

Southern Lake Garda

crashed for the night.  Saturday we made the short drive to Lake Garda and a town named Bardolino. Again words can’t express the lake/city’s beauty, but I can tell you it was a nice reminder of just how much the water means to me.  Having been away from it for over two months, the simple pleasure of putting on my bathing suit under my clothes was satisfying enough, but when I set my eyes on the crystal blue water and harbors my happiness was insurmountable. I guess you can’t take the Coast out of me after all.

After spending the day lounging on the lake, we returned to Verona for yet another fabulous Italian dinner..oh and of course gelato!  Sunday included a foot

Does that balcony look familiar? Yep! The balcony of Juliet Capulet's home.

tour of Verona where we visited the most important landmarks of the city among which were Romeo and Juliet’s houses and a Roman Amphitheater which is actually older than the Colosseum in Rome.  I guess I am skipping over a few events of the day, but I figure you don’t exactly want an ENTIRE play-by-play so after Verona we loaded up the cars and set off for Balzano, the hometown of one of the buddies.

Roman amphitheater in Verona. Still used today for operas (without microphones) and concerts.

Again words can’t describe the beauty of his house/yard/view, and the pictures

The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is a snapshot of the view from Valentine's home. Oh and that castle house? Yea that is theirs too.

can’t even do it justice. His family literally lived in a castle surrounded by luscious green mountains and vineyards, with a waterfall in the distance as if straight from a movie.  Imagine everything you think Italy to be…yep that is exactly how it looks!  There we barbecued and consumed our last bazillion amounts of food.

The weekend included a great deal of fantastic memories, sun, sightseeing, and of course fabulous Italian food. Next on the agenda is Munich for a miniature Oktoberfest so be sure to look for another post.  Maybe I will even make it more entertaining next time! But until then here are again five important tidbits I picked up throughout the weekend:

Another view of the harbor in Bardolino on Lake Garda

1.  Gelato and ice cream are VERY different, and all food consumed in Italy are actually negative calories. True story.

2. Because there is lack of evidence and no documentation, Romeo’s house in Verona is only a guess.  Today the house is a private residence not opened for visiting so I guess its left up to you to decide.

3. Jennifer bought one thing in Italy…an American flag print scarf. Typical.

4. Apparently you must buy a special pass to drive the interstate in Austria. This of

Verona, Italy

course is in addition to the toll ways which are about 8 euros.  Those Austrians sure know how to pay for their roads!

5. Setting loose three girls with only 1.5 hours to see an entire town filled with shops is only sealing their fate.  Don’t expect them to show up on time…I mean “we got lost…in the dressing room” that is of course why we were late. Believable right?



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