Our train from Rome to Venice was about 6 hours and I think (know) we were all getting a little stir crazy by the time we arrived. For this stop, we found an airbnb rental just down the road from the station in Mestre (a suburb off of Venice) and it was sooo lovely. We keep joking that we've been so spoiled thus far, but I have a feeling our dorm hostels are going to be an interesting adjustment. Our first day was spent in Verona. We took a train at 7am (lord so early) and arrived around 8. By the time we'd gotten to Venice the night before, pretty much everything was closed so my dinner was half an apple and a third of a granola bar so by breakfast, we were starved. We stopped at a cafe for Nutella waffles and free wifi so we could get a game plan for the day.
We started off at Juliet's House (where I hummed Taylor Swift's 'Love Story' the entire way there. Sorry to anyone that passed me) and did the tour and took pictures on the balcony.
The Arena is in the city square, so since we'd bought Verona Cards (which gave us free access to most of the attractions in Verona) we popped inside. The opera festival of Verona was (apparently) finishing up that day, so there were lots of groups wandering around and inside the arena, it looked like they were setting up for a concert. It was definitely impressive and the history of it was fascinating, but it probably wasn't the best thing to see the day after the Colosseum. :)
We grabbed lunch at one of their least-expensive-but-still-cringeworthy restaurants on the square (oh how I miss Greece prices!) and got salami bruschetta. Now all bruschetta is probably ruined for me for life. After a lesisurely lunch with lots of people-watching, we went and found Juliet's tomb which is also some kind of fresco museum and also on the other side of town. I probably wasn't in the best mood to appreciate it but it wasn't my favorite part of the day.
After this, we just continued to walk around town. I've been keeping track of our miles just to see how far we've actually gone at the end of our trip and it's actually been fascinating. This ended up being one of our farthest days! (We've also started taking bets--"that felt like a 7 mile day"--of course the marathon runner in our group is usually most accurate. :))
(Along our venturings, Kelly-Anne and I met Ronaldo. As one does on the streets of Verona.)
The next day, we left our sweet little apartment and took a bus across the canal into Venice. It was so exciting to be going across the bridge and watching all the boats in the water, just going about their daily lives. So incredibly different from my landlocked Newton/Chapel Hill.
After the bus stopped at the train station on the edge of the first island, we started booking our way over to St. Mark's Square, because we weren't sure how long it would take and there wasn't much time before our train.
Venice is incredibly confusingly laid out, but on nearly every corner, there's a sign pointing you to the biggest tourist sights. We never felt lost, even as we were heading down little alleyways!
40 minutes later, we found St Mark's and wandered around the square for a few minutes before deciding to take a leisurely walk back, since we'd gotten there so quickly. (Also our bags were getting heavy!!)
Having learned our lesson on the way to Venice, and with the prospect of an 8.5 hour train ride ahead of us, we stopped along the way for lunch to eat at the station, souvenirs, and cannolis (bless Italian food).
Along the way, I couldn't resist getting one last caffé gelato. Four in four days and I absolutely regret nothing. So. Good.
As we were leaving Venice, my only thought was how I can't wait to come back and see so much more of Italy! I feel like we barely scraped the surface and I'm already ready to return. :)