Sunday, July 15
(...continued from previous page)
We wanted to sample some of the local cuisine before heading to the
opera. We hummed and hawwed a little about what type of restaurant to
try: something on a busy street, or some quiet back-alley. In the end,
I dug out a printout I had made of good restaurants in Verona, and we settled on a
little Osteria a little ways away from the town center. Off we went on
the long walk to get there, passing over the river Adige, a large river
which is fed from the southern Alps and which passes through Verona on
its way to the Po river and, ultimately, the Adriatic Sea at Venice.
The little Osteria, literally a small hole-in-the wall on a nondescript
street, was scheduled to open at 7pm, and we arrived a few minutes
early. We sat, leaning against a sharp, stuccoed wall, waiting for the
restaurant to open. Which... it didn't. How very Italian....
Mindful of the time, at 7:10pm we decided we'd better start back towards
the ampthitheatre, and find a restaurant along the way. The opera
started at sundown and people trickle in for several hours before, and
we didn't want to get bad seats (our tickets were for an area that
doesn't specifically assign seat numbers).
We found a nice restaurant
along the way back, called 'La Taverna di via Stella' (which was, not surprisingly, situated on via Stella). It served many of the
traditional dishes of the area, including many with horsemeat. I opted
for a simple penne arrabiata, which was quite delicious.
Amphitheatre in the distance.
We arrived at the amphiteatre shortly thereafter, and we ushered into
the 'gradinata settore F' area. High up on the right side of the
amphiteatre, we found a free spot on the 2000-year old rough-hewn
limestone seats. Hot seats they were, too: even though it was now late
evening and the air temperature was fairly cool, the massive limestone
of the amphitheatre was just finishing its absorption of a full day of
hot sun, and the rock was now radiating that heat into our butts!
Tonight's opera was Aida - a famous work by Giuseppe Verdi. Being
egyptian-themed, the set pieces included various stone obelisks,
monuments, and pharoah sarcophagi. In continuation of an old tradition,
opera attendees (i.e. us) were each given a single small candle, which
we were to light around the time of the start of the opera.
Right on schedule, at 9:15pm, the opera started, and at the same time a
sea of tiny candlelights appeared all around the stadium. No
microphones or amplification is used at these operas, and so it was
quite amazing to hear how well the actors were able to project their
voices, and how good the acoustics were in the theatre. It was quite a
spectacle to see the show, the lights, the people, and all of it wrapped
in the air of antiquity provided by the ancient amphitheatre.
Preparing for the wedding
Shortly after midnight, the entombing of Radames and Aida marked the
closing chapter of the opera. Culturally and Culinarily satiated, we
drove the one hour drive back to our apartment in Riva del Garda. On the
next day's agenda: our first via ferrata!
[ Dolomites 2007 home
page | July 14 / Intro
| Sun, July 15
| Mon, July 16
| Tue, July 17
| Wed, July 18
| Thu, July 19
| Fri, July 20
| Sat, July 21
| Sun, July 22
| Mon, July 23
| Tue, July 24
| Wed, July 25
| Thu, July 26
| Fri, July 27
| Sat, July 28
| Sun, July 29
| Where did we drive?