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Bec & Simon

Verona and Venice, Italy

ITALY | Monday, 28 June 2010 | Views [676]

Carol, Sarah and Webby at the top of a tower in Verona

Carol, Sarah and Webby at the top of a tower in Verona

While Mum and Sarah were here in the Summer we had an adventure filled, four day, flying visit into Italy to see Verona and Venice. I had planned to have a European driving license in time for the trip, but naturally it didn't arrive in time, and so we went by train instead...and the adventures began!


On the Friday that we left, Mum came to work with me for the day (which was great!). We left with plenty of time to catch the tram into Hauptbahnhof (central station) to meet Sarah and Webby to catch our train to Verona. However, due to some pain in the ass teenagers and a very angry tram driver, it did not exactly go to plan. About two stops after we jumped on the tram, about 20 teenagers, dripping wet and wearing only their swimming gear, and so, obviously without a ticket, got on the tram. In the summer here kids jump in the Isar in the English Garden and float downstream, then get out, catch the tram back to the start and do it again. Obviously, this pisses of the tram drivers, and ours threw a massive tantrum and refused to move until the kids got off. I couldn't understand exactly what they said in reply, but it can't have been good, because the tram driver ended up calling the police. So Mum and I jumped off the tram (me in a bit of a panic by this stage that we would miss our train) and grabbed a taxi the rest of the way. We arrived with only minutes to spare, and boarded the train just in time.

We had just calmed down and were beginning to enjoy the ride, when an announcement came over saying that due to strikes in Italy, the train would only go as far as the Italian border and we could make our own way from there. Needless to say, we weren't particularly thrilled with the idea of being dumped at some random little town on the border of Austria and Italy, with no clue where we were, and no transportation. From the general 'pissed off' attitude of the Germans and Italians on the train, I don't think they were terribly pleased by the idea either. Luckily when we arrived at the border town (Brenner), the train guys had decided it might be a good idea to provide us with buses the rest of the way (genius!). This actually turned out quite well for us, since we still arrived pretty much on time, and the scenery along the road we took was absolutely incredible. Driving through mountain passes, and across deep valleys with lots of castles to look at. It was pretty impressive.

Verona itself was nice. Lots of nice little cafes, good gelato, and lots to see. It still has much of it's town wall and has a great arena in the centre (not quite the colosseum, but still worth a look!).  We climbed the tower(by elevator!), checked out Juliet's balcony and  visited the piazza's and churches. So, worth a visit, but I think I still prefer the little towns, that are a bit more authentic and not quite so packed with tourists.

Mum and Sarah and I took the train from Verona across to Venice, while Webby went back to Munich - someone needed to work to fund our travels! I absolutely loved Venice. It was actually almost exactly as I had imagined it and seen it in movies and on tv. But to see it in person was really fantastic. Mum and I (Sarah was not feeling so great) spent a lot of time just wandering around the canals and along the little alleys, and of course shopping, and we may have stopped for a gelato or two along the way! It was really nice for me to spend so much time with Mum and Sarah!

Of course, on the way back to Munich, the railway shenanigans continued. Our train was five hours late, and then when it finally did depart, we had no airconditioning for about the first hour, which, on that day, was a big deal. It was really bloody hot in that train! We were pretty glad to be home again by the time we got back!

Please note: Anyone planning a visit - I now have my European driving license and can offer lovely chauffer driven trips around Bavaria and surrounds!

 

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