Sunday, September 6th
An Evening in Verona
Although we were very much enjoying our wonderful hideaway in Switzerland, we were aware that our vacation days were limited. We had planned on doing some touring of Northern Italy, and fitting that in meant that it was time to head off to the [hopefully] sunny south. We had our now-traditional breakfast of cold-cuts, hot buns and cheeses for the last time, packed up, and said goodbye to the flat.
I had by this time discovered that I had misplaced my map holder, maps, and alpine club cards at the lift station the previous day. We therefore stopped back at the base station in Flims (fortunately this was on our way), and, fortunately, they managed to locate my stuff up at the restaurant. We waited 30 minutes or so for them to ferry it down. Lucky!
The drive to Italy was pleasant, scenic, and relatively quick. We were already in southern Switzerland, not far from the border, so it wasn't a long drive south until we crossed the San Bernardino Pass and then headed down into the Italian part of Switzerland, then into Italy itself. We emerged from the mountains onto the broad plain of the Po, intersected the main east-west Autostrada of the A4, and headed east.
We wanted to fit in a 'beach day', and since the weather forecast for the next day was nice and warm, that day was to be our beach day. We had debated about many different locations for this beach day, and in the end we decided on southern Lake Garda. It had relatively decent beaches, and was in the general direction where we wanted to go. So, that was our immediate destination: a decent place to stay, somewhere in the vicinity of Lake Garda. We located (and booked rooms at) a somewhat sterile but decent Hotel in the town of Affi, about 10km or so from the Lake.
It was too late in the day for beaching, but we did have an open evening ahead of us. Since we were quite close to the vibrant city of Verona, and especially since Asmir and Miriam had never been there, we decided to spend our evening there.
Trendy Via Mazzini
It was a most pleasant September afternoon when we arrived, with clear skies and warm temperatures. We parked near the Piazza Bra and began our walking tour of the city. We walked past the grand old Verona Area (an ancient Roman Amphitheatre), site of the great open-air Verona Opera. From there, we walked down swanky Via Mazzini, with it's marble pavement and hundreds of ultra-fashionable shops. Miriam couldn't stop ducking into practically every second shop! Especially any store with Hello Kitty stuff...
We took our time heading down Via Mazzini. Eventually, we reached the long, diamond-shaped Piazza delle Erbe, an ancient historical focal point of Verona and home to the market, these days selling much more than just herbs.
Miriam and Asmir in Verona
Jenn and Andrew in Verona
We wandered about here (in the Piazza delle Erbe), then into the nearby Piazza Signori, where we took in the wonderful architecture of the buildings surrounding the square.
Edge of Piazza d. Signori
Archway, E. Corner P. Signori