Today we leave Carrara and the Alpi Apuane and continue northeast, taking a leisurely drive through Emilia-Romagna into the Veneto.
Verona’s two thousand year old amphitheater dominates the charming old section of town, as the hordes of tourists dwindle with the hint of the imminent autumn chill. Verona may be known as “The City of Love”, but this time of the year it’s all about stone, as the city hosts the annual Marmomacc stone fair, the largest stone industry trade show in the world.
We swap our little Fiat at the airport for a taxi, leaving it up to the pros to navigate the impossibly narrow streets of the centro storico. (Driving in Italy could be its own “white knuckle” blog!) After a long day of driving, there’s nothing better than an afternoon gelato in Piazza delle Erbe, followed by a visit to our favorite pasticceria (the one near Juliet’s balcony) for the most amazing Tiramisù you can imagine. La vita è bella for sure!
The early evening stroll, La passeggiata, down the pedestrian friendly Via Mazzini is an age old tradition, with the likes of Gucci, Prada, Armani and Versace vying for your attention and Euros. Nice things, if outrageous prices don’t bother you, or if you’re not aware of the exchange rate. (Surprise!)
Nonetheless, the fine Italian shoes always exert a gravitational pull on my wallet, with Sheri’s kryptonite being the exquisite designer purses taunting her from the shop windows. Why women need that many of them I’ll never understand. I just repeat the mantra “happy wife, happy life” and continue on.
Wandering past intimissimi, with their lingerie mannequins posing seductively in the windows, I suggested she try on a few things, being that we’re in the City of Love and all , but I just got “that look” along with a “nice try”. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
Tonight will undoubtably be dinner with business colleagues, as we make our way back from Via Mazzini (credit cards unscathed) to our hotel for a little pre-evening power nap.
With the Misses snoozing peacefully (dreaming of the perfect Coccinelle purse no doubt), I manage to sneak out and find a quiet table in the piazza to conjure up today’s blog, recalling the not too distant days of perfect eyesight, now straining to see the minuscule letters on my iPad. What’s next? An AARP membership and a condo in Del BocaVista?
Blaming the inevitable advance of time to throw my private pity party, (just looking for any excuse, really), I decide to summon the nearby waiter for “spiritual” guidance.
“Cameriere, vorrei un po di gelato. Cioccolato e banana, per favore.”
Yea, yea… I know. My second gelato of the day. Don’t tell Sheri.