On Day 10 of our adventure of a lifetime, we flew from Barcelona into Milan. From Milan, we took a train to the city of Verona. Our hostel in Verona was very interesting because it was actually an all-female hostel as well as a women’s aid shelter. Our room held 10 people and had no key. Our building also had no key, so we had a curfew of 23:00. We made our tiny, creepy beds and walked around the city. We got our first of many pizzas and made friends with a waiter and bartender at the restaurant.
The next day was Easter, and we planned to make ourselves an Easter dinner but of course, the grocery stores were closed. We were a little sad about being away from our families on the holiday, so we went out for more pizza and wine. This would become a very common activity throughout our stay in Italy because YUM. We went to Juliet’s House, which is supposedly the home of Juliet in Shakespeare’s play. Now, it is a tourist trap where people write their lovers name on the wall of the building or they write letters to Juliet about their love life and stick them on the wall with gum. It was a little sad to see the walls of ‘Juliet’s House’ covered with gum and papers and writing, but Romeo and Juliet is a fictional story so it isn’t as significant as it seemed to us at first. Still, it is nothing like the movie Letters to Juliet makes it out to be. Anyway, I didn’t write a letter to Juliet but I rubbed the left breast on the statue of Juliet outside of the building. This tradition is supposed to bring you luck and longevity! We will see about that. We spent the rest of the day wandering around with our new friends and exploring the small city.
The next day, we went to a high point that overlooked the city. We did this in a lot of our destinations and it never, ever got old. It was an exhausting climb but, like most difficult things, it was SO worth it. We rewarded ourselves for the intense workout by getting gelato. We also finally made our Easter spaghetti for dinner. Pro tip #1: It saves a lot of money to stay in hostels that have kitchens, so you can pick up groceries and cook your meals sometimes instead of going out for each meal.
We took a train from Verona to Venice. The city of Venice was stunning but a little bit of a ghost town. I’m not sure if this was because of the area we were in or the time of year. We ate pizza (shockingly), did some shopping, and saw tons of of little bridges and canals. We ran into some of our friends from Edge Hill University, which was enough to make the world seem very small!
We took a train from Venice back to Verona, and got on our train for Rome. But then we ran into a little problem because there were people in our assigned seats on the train and their tickets had the same seat numbers as ours. We went back onto the platform and talked to some people, who told us that our tickets were actually for the next night. Pro tip #2: Be careful with dates when booking a midnight train. We made this mistake more than once… and more than twice. We couldn’t get on the overnight train so we had to find an economy hotel in Verona.
We got up early and switched our midnight train to an earlier one. We finally arrived in Rome a day late. It was beautiful to roam (get it?) the city at dusk when some of the landmarks were lit up. We took a taxi to our ‘hostel,’ which was another campground. With our time in Rome, we went to the Vatican City, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, ancient ruins, and an ice bar. We spent an evening in Rome so that we could see more landmarks lit up. Being at the Colosseum at night was well worth the wait and cold and the selfie stick guys and all of the tourists. We met back up with one of our friends to continue our journey…