Just because my study abroad experience is over, doesn't mean the abroad experience is! Because I had a few extra days to travel around, I found myself in Verona, Italy, the setting and birthplace of one of William Shakespeare's most known plays. It only seems fitting after the literary summer I had that I would extend the bookworm experience a little further!
What a few days it was! I've never experienced a faster 72 hours.
We experienced a lot of different excursions: from wine tastings to Juliet's House to a performance of "Romeo and Juliet," I truly feel like we got the authentic experience.
We started out our week by taking it easy. We got to Verona via a 10-hour bus ride, which was full of so many adventures and awkward moments that we were pretty exhausted. Needless to say, there was a lot of coffee involved in those first few hours. Then, we spent a relaxed afternoon at Juliet's House, where we even got to walk out onto the balcony!
Next, we went on a fantastic discovery of Valpolicella wine and food tasting. It was a corner of paradise! We got to experience a family business run for five generations and truly felt at home while we were looking over a warm and welcoming terrace onto the vineyards and wineries in valleys and hills. So beautiful! We came home and took a nap because the 95+ degree heat was really getting to me, and with an Airbnb without AC, my energy was immediately zapped!
Then, we made a somewhat impulsive choice to attend an Italian version of "Romeo and Juliet." I was a bit apprehensive of not being able to understand the language, but it was actually so amazing because it was a traveling performance that took us all around the city! We were a Grecian chorus, we were the minor characters, and we were the audience!
If you get a chance to go to Italy, make sure to put Verona on your list! It is a city full of history and rich archaeology, but it is at a much slower pace than Rome. If you are looking for a piece of a big city where you can also have some of the most fun just by simply having a cup of coffee and watching tourists running around with the gorgeous arena looming in the background, Verona is the place for you. There is a little bit for everybody, and I already have a list of things I want to do if I ever have the chance to go back!
This vacation was truly what I needed! I feel like after seven weeks of going going going, Italy was what I needed to be able to catch my breath—a sensation I haven't had since before finals were over in May.
Shakespeare really knew what he was talking about!