Venice TD, Verona TD

Venice | Goodbye water, hello Verona!

Time really does fly when you’re having fun, and as we’d now woken up to the fourth day of our trip it meant it was time to move on. After a quick breakfast we were up, packed and checked out by 11am. It can only be described as a new personal best for me as the world’s worst morning person. With our backpacks securely strapped on, we decided a 1pm train was our best bet and took a slow and steady walk to the train station via the Rialto Market.Part of the Rialto Marketplace in Venice, minus the market stalls...

After heading in what I thought was the right direction, we soon couldn’t work out where we actually were on the map. Thankfully, the people of Venice must appreciate how the maze of streets can be confusing, and have signs up every now and then to point you in the direction of the big sights. This time, we followed any sign for Piazzale Roma or Ferrovia we could spot, hoping we’d recognise something before long and get back on track. If we hadn’t been carting our backpacks around, it would have been way more fun getting to see the less touristy areas of Venice.Signs to Ferrovia and Piazzale Roma in Venice, ItalyGrand Canal, Venice as seen from Ferrovia

Eventually we popped out by Ferrovia, and crossed the canal to Venezia Santa Lucia train station for our train to Verona. The tickets to Verona hadn’t been prebooked as I’d been under the impression there was no saving by booking in advance and thought it’d give us a bit more flexibility. As it turns out, we actually saved money by getting our tickets at the station, be it all of a few pounds. Better in my pocket though as I had a yummy cannoli in my sights!

Although not a large station, we picked up a few bits to eat for lunch on the train, then made our way to the platform board our train to Verona. A quick 90 minute ride later and we rolled into Verona Porta Nuova station, where the realisation soon set in that we had no idea how to get to the main city centre. I’d screenshotted where the hotel was, and the wider area, but had no idea how to get from the station to the ‘wider area’. Most stations have a tourist information booth where you can pick up a free map, but not Verona. Not wanting to pay €5 for a map when we knew we’d get a free one from our hotel, we settled on looking at a map, taking a photo of the road we needed and then setting off.Backpack in front of a train window - interrail trip / backpacking Europe

Italian countryside as seen from train from Venice to VeronaAlthough the walk was only about 20 minutes, I was still getting used to carrying my bag, and after the hour long walk through Venice, over adorable bridges that stop being so adorable when you have to climb yet more stairs, I was tired. Although only about a mile to the main city centre, it was slow going. But, we soon passed through the impressive archway and arrived in the main square of Verona. I didn’t think I could love Italy any more than I did while we were in Venice, but that was quickly proven wrong as I soaked up the sights and sounds of the square. I really did wait far too long to visit Italy.Archway to main square in Verona, Italy

Dropping our bags in the hotel just off the square, it was time to get exploring. We only had a couple of days in Verona, so wanting to make the most of it we used the free map given to us by the hotel – knew they’d give us one! – and headed straight for Juliette’s Balcony. I’d been told by Emily from thatemily that it was lucky to rub Juliette’s boob. Ever one to be inappropriate in front of people I don’t know, I joined the queue and stepped up to caress the breast of the statue of Juliette. Well, there’s a first time for everything…Juliette's balcony, Verona, ItalyStatue of Juliette in Verona, Italy.

Next on our hit list for the afternoon was Piazza Erbe, just down the road from Juliette’s balcony. What must usually be a lovely little square is filled with the delightful sights, sounds and smells of a Christmas market in December. This was one of the first signs of Christmas we’d seen so far on our trip, as it appears Italians prefer not to have their Christmas decorations up until it is actually Christmas. Yet another reason I love Italy!Piazza Erbe, Verona, with the Christmas markets at dusk

Christmas market in Piazza Erbe, VeronaAfter perusing the stalls, we spotted an archway which led to another market, and yet another archway which led to yet another market. With so much food to choose from, my boyfriend grabbed a bite for dinner and we picked up a few sweet treats to enjoy later. As we only had a couple of days left in Italy and I love love love Italian food, I didn’t want to pick up dinner from the German Christmas market. Instead, I opted for a calzone and arancini ball from a deli on the walk back to the hotel. Time to rest up, there was a full day of sightseeing planned for our next day in Verona!

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