Friday, August 13th
The train ride to Verona which took about an
hour. We passed several large vineyards
on the way.
Well, we had been in Europe a few days
now. And we had experienced many
different types of “bagno”…bathrooms.
Most had a separate room for “uomini and
donne”…men and women. Only one
bathroom in each
establishment…seemingly, no matter how
big the establishment, still only one
We would walk into one room where there was one sink. On each side of the sink was a separate enclosed room…one for men, one for women.
According to Mark, the men’s side was basically the same…a hole in the floor. But the women’s side varied with several different types of facilities. The
very nice places had a typical American-type restroom. Some had a simple basin and others more of a urinal-type setup. But my favorite were the ones
that were very simple. A hole in the floor with ceramic feet placed on either side. They definitely have made this an art form because if you put your feet
exactly where the ceramic feet are, you will have no problem doing what you need to do, exactly where you need to. It was quite amazing. They also have
two ways to “flush”. One that uses a minimum amount of water…and one that uses more. You determine which you need and push the appropriate button.
Once we got to Verona, we stowed our backpacks at the train station and toured the city. We first had yet another pizza marguerita. And then walked and
walked to the Roman ruins.
The ruins of the Roman Ampitheater (or Arena)
were under construction but quite interesting. It
was constructed in the first century outside the
city walls, but in the third century the walls were
extended to include this arena. This is one of the
biggest (and best preserved) theaters from the
Roman Empire times. There’s place for more
than 22,000 spectators. It mostly served to whet
our appetites for the Colosseum in Rome.
'Palazzo Barbieri', the Town Hall
finished in 1883, sits to the side of the
'Piazza Bra'…a huge square with
many bars, restaurants and souvenir
So on we went to the Renaissance Gardens. But
first we had to cross the Adige river and see yet
another Roman Theater, although this is as close
as we got to this one.
“Giardino Giusti”…Just Gardens…were
created in the fifteenth century by
Agostino Giusti, a Venetian nobleman.
The gardens ascend a hill, offering superb views
of Verona, which change constantly as you
ascend the hill.
Just below the top of the hill is the stone-faced
mascherone, which was built to belch fire from its mouth.
While the gardens were beautiful, very formal and majestic…it ended up making for a long walk back to
“il treni”…the trains. On the way back, we bought a small battery-powered fan, to help me with my old-age “moments”.
It was especially hot and humid in Italy. I never thought my flax seed oil, VIT E and B and other therapies I've been using
were that effective. I’ve been trying these things in an effort to stay away from hormone replacement. Usually my
problems haven’t seemed that dramatic, so I left all these things at home. But as the days wore on in Italy and it got
hotter and hotter, my issues became worse and worse. I'm not sure if it truly is the flax seed, etc or if I just could not get
cooled down quickly enough.
There were a few times Mark had to stop and wait for me to rest and cool off because I would get so hot and my stomach
would get so upset. I thought he nearly lost me a few times because I would start to get dizzy and thought I would surely
Anyway, we went into a little electronics store. They were advertising fans and we thought they just might be able to help
me out with something to keep me cooled off…at night at least. (Just what we wanted to do was carry a fan around all
over Italy.) We asked if the cashier spoke English and he said "poco”…a little. So I said "poco" and then ran and
pointed to the big fans and then ran and pointed to some batteries. Well, somehow he knew I wanted a small battery-
operated fan and gave me the perfect thing. Its about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide. It fit perfect in my pack.
Italians think Americans are spoiled, obnoxious people anyway. So don't you know I managed to confirm their opinions
when we would be at a restaurant or on the subway, and I start having a "moment" and pull out my battery operated fan.
People would sure point and stare. People would point and stare at us most of the time anyway, but when I pulled out my
fan…well, it really got them going. It was more-than-a-little embarrassing, but I kept consoling myself that it was better
than passing out. And what do those people know about me anyway? They will never see me again.
Mark did his fair share of sweating as well. There were a few times we just had sweat pouring down our fronts, backs and
faces. I've never been in an environment where there is absolutely NO wind at all. When they tell you it is hot and humid
in Italy in August, they really do mean it.
Mark also did a great thing by buying a train ticket (Euro-pass) from the States. It was half the cost. We had to estimate
how many days we would use it and he ended up estimating it perfectly. Then we could use it for the trains anytime,
provided we didn’t go over the 9 days we estimated we would use it. It was great not to worry about buying train tickets
all the time, and we could just walk to our traincar and get on.
On our way to the train station to leave Verona and go on to Bolzano, we had to walk across several intersections where
the traffic met in one place coming from 5-6 different directions. Even though we tried to pay close attention to the “walk”
lights, we did do some jay-walking (stupido Americanos). At one especially complicated intersection, we had one more
highway to cross. It had no “walk” light and Mark began to walk across. I was deep in the middle of relaying a story to
him and just followed him across the street without really looking to see what was going on. He started walking faster and
faster, and then began yelling at me, “RAPIDO…RAPIDO”. I wasn’t thinking in Italian quite yet, and I was still deep in the
middle of my thoughts. But he finally grabbed my hand, pointed to the oncoming traffic and yelled “RAPIDO”. It finally hit
me that he wanted me to get across the intersection FAST. So we ran the rest of the way across just as the cars went
whizzing by. And then fell into heaps of laughter at Mark yelling Italian phrases to his “stupido Americano” wife.