Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday, May 30, Verona Italy. I decided yesterday to take a day trip somewhere within 2 hours of Venice and focused on Verona. Verona is about 1 1/2 hours from Venice by train. I found that with my Global Eurail Pass, I can travel just about anywhere I want with no additional charge. Sometimes, there is a 5 or 10 Euro surcharge, but not every time. Last night, it was threatening rain, with thunder and lightening occuring off and on during the evening, but this moring it was clear with blue skies. The pavement was wet, so it rained when I was asleep. As it should be, right?

Once I arrived in Verona, it was clear this was another beautiful Italian city. Verona has been a city in one form or another since 550 BCE. The city exhibits many of these landmarks including a beautiful coliseum. The coliseum is over 2000 years old and is still in use today -- mainly for opera. I listened to one of the guides discussing the use of the coliseum today. She pointed out that, because the city needs the money, rock concerts are often given in this venue. But, she said, it should only be for the "voice of opera". The coliseum can hold upwards of 20,000 people.

After visiting the Tourist Center, and wondering around a bit, I discovered that one can purchase a Veronapass. This allows the visitor to gain entry into more than 14 museums and points of interest for a single fee of 8 Euros. I thought it was a good investment, and bought one. After visiting the coliseum and the Museo Lapidario M (a collection of stones and engravings), I found my made my way to Casa di Giulietta (Julliette's house). From the courtyard, it is said, you can see Juliett's balcony. There is a bronze statue of Juliette in the courtyard, and I had a fellow visitor snap my picture.

One highlight, which only cost 3 Euros, was to take a sightseeing "tram" around the city. It looked like a locomotive with 3 cars, but it was filled with people and took around 25 or 30 minutes to complete a circuit of the city. A pretty good investment, considering I didn't have to walk! A bit later, I found myself on the Piazza Erbe, a large plaza with a beautiful fountain and market in center of the square. I was people-watching and enjoying a sip of water when I looked up and saw the Piazetta XIV Novembre signage above the square. Whoa. For those of you who know me well enough, you'll know this is my birthday. How interesting to have a Piazzetta named after my birhday in Verona Italy!

Along the Corso Porta Nuova, one of the main streets, there are a whole variety of activities, stores and entertainment. Even though Verona is a small city, every high-end store is represented here. Street entertainers, such as Pinnocheo, entertain the visitors and, for a price of a donation, one can have his or her picture taken with them. Lots of fun, and the area is crowded with on-lookers.

All in all, so far, the visit to Verona was a great choice for the day, one that I won't quickly forget. I still have a bit to do, so -- with that -- I'll say ciao for now.......

8:30 p.m. Back in Venice. I finished up my trip to Verona with one more museum -- the Museo della radio d'Epoca. It is part of the Intituto Tecnico Industrial Statale de Verona and is an extensive collection of radios, components (such as tubes), antenna, microphones -- everything related to radios. There was some interesting military equipment there, including a radio receive from the United States (I had used one of these when I was in the Navy). Although they had some shortwave radios there, they didn't have any ham radio equipment. As I was leaving the museum, I asked one of the 3 people working there if they knew of an amateur radio club in the area. Interestingly, I chose to speak to a fellow who was, himself, a ham radio operator. He told me of a club in the area and some of their activities. We exchanged call signs and said "ciao". Lots of fun.

So, tomorrow I'm off to Munich for a couple of days. It should prove to be an interesting part of the trip. My train leave at 1:30 p.m. and arrives at around 8:30 in the evening. So, 'til I find an internet point in Munich, I'll say ciao for now......

Click HERE to see where Verona is located.