We had spent a solid morning seeing the sights of Verona - the main square called Piazza Bras, the Roman colosseum, even fake Juliet's fake house and fake balcony (where we secured our first love lock as a couple), along with a walk along a few of the crooked, narrow streets and alleys spoking off from the main square. It was the kind of sightseeing that would last me for a week, if not a month. For Carol, of course, we were just getting started.
One thing I do wholly enjoy for itself is to hop a public bus and take it to its last stop, and then back again, sharing the experience with the local hoi polloi instead of tourists on a hop on/hop off See Verona! A scam. Turns out Carol enjoys that kind of sightseeing as well, and we chose the #72 that seemed to offer the most stops. That didn't come, but the #73 did, and it was empty, so we climbed aboard.
As hoped, it took us on a merry route through Verona, revealing all the sights that this fair city has to offer, and on into residential neighborhoods that we would have seen only if we'd gotten hopelessly lost on our own. The bus ticket was good for ninety minutes, and I think we used all those plus a few before we'd both had enough of young moms with strollers, old men carrying salamis and a tsunami of post-millenial larvae when the schools let out .
Back in the Piazza in mid afternoon, over glasses of white wine at a cafe, with the colosseum as a backdrop to the parade of people strolling by, Carol asked, “So what would you be doing now if you were traveling solo?”
“This,” I replied warily, because I thought I knew what might be coming next.
“Well,” she responded on cue, “don't get too comfortable, because we're not done sightseeing.”
Yet, I was elated. True, I could have spent the rest of the afternoon and into the dinner hour in pleasant dissipation, planted right where I was. And I knew Carol knew that was my secret hope today as well. But it pleased me to know that she would not acquiesce to my freely admitted slothful approach to travel, and that I was perfectly agreeable to spend still more time looking up, down, across and sideways at relics of bygone eras that primarily stood for war, Trump-like material excess, slavery and oppression.
“So what do you think is inside?” Carol asked, as we walked the grounds of Verona’s medieval Castelvecchio.
“Pictures, furniture, drapes,” I said, I guess you could say it was dismissive.
“ I take it you have no interest in going in?”
“If it is your wish, m'lady,” I answered in the perfect submission of subject to queen.
But it was only m'lady's wish to walk the bridge connecting the castle to the other side of the Adige River, and strolling always beats instant museum fatigue in my book.
I wanted to demonstrate my appreciation to Carol for not having to actually tour either the colosseum or the castle with a fancy dinner in a fancy restaurant. Ristorante Torcolo was all that, with its white linen, formally attired wait staff and famous “boiled meat trolley.” In life though there is karma, if not comeuppance, and what I thought would be a fine repast of linguine, tomato sauce bolognese, also included liver and green peas as toppings.
It would be back to the cafes and pizzeria with their red checkered paper tablecloths for the near future anyway.
And more about that boiled meat trolley next time.