September 18th, 2008 – by: Allen_Taylor
Room service is wonderful. A steward delivered bacon, eggs, croissants, a fruit bowl, and, a pot of coffee promptly at 6:00. And let me emphasize the POT of coffee. I figured a single guy in a stateroom by himself would get a small two-cup carafe; but it was enough to keep even me happy, all on Rosenthal china no less.
The bulk of the day’s activity was an excursion into Verona. It took a bus ride of about an hour and a half to get there, and then we had a walking tour of the city then time to roam a bit on our own. The city is famous for its painted houses, either bright colors or the older ones that are covered with frescos.
And yes, according to history, there really were feuding Montague and Capulet families that lived there.
No idea how much artistic license Shakespeare took with the rest of the story. The Montague house is still a private home that is off limits to the public. The Capulet home is now a museum, but the “artifacts” are all movie costumes and props. Interesting that in the courtyard of the Capulet home, under the famous balcony, there is now a bronze statue of Juliet. It is supposedly good luck to rub her right breast. Needless to say, it’s the only part of the statue that stays polished.
The Verona Coliseum is older than the one in Rome and one of the three largest in the country. Partially destroyed by an earthquake, the remaining structure is in remarkably good shape. It currently seats about 1200 and is still used for concerts. Being a tourist, I had to get my picture made with one of the gladiators hanging around outside; actually, more of a Zena Princes Warrior. Unfortunately, the photo is on one of my traveling companion’s cameras, and I won’t be able to post it until we get home after the first of October.
Back on the ship, we had the mandatory life boat drill then began the actual cruise sailing out of Venice harbor. In the morning we’ll be in Split, Croatia.