I arrived in Verona without a place to stay. I followed the signs to the tourist information center without any luck… And so I wandered around with my baggage and a dying phone. Finally I looked at my kindle book on traveling and found the address to the tourist station. The last couple percent of battery gave me some good guidance on where the information station was!
I found it, the guide told me there was a hostel in walking distance called Villa Francescatti…. I really wanted to put my stuff down to wander the streets of Verona. Villa Francescatti is right next to the Teatro Romano and under the Castel San Pietro. It’s a really old building with history dating way way back. Look it up! My room was nearly empty despite the 40+ beds. The shower was not private and yes I took a shower in it! After dropping my stuff off, I wander wandered the streets of Verona. Seeing gelato every where, I grabbed some!
Apparently in Italy English is not standard, so I did my best to speak to the people serving me. I wandered right past the arena which you could touch (I’m just so used to ancient buildings being a no touch zone… You break you buy… Remember?) I found a place to have dinner while watching the FIFA World Cup game. I order the potato gnocchi and a half liter of the house wine. Both were good but not the Italy I envisioned. The gnocchi was a little soft and gooey with the white wine being very very lite. The game even confused me because the television kept switching back and forth between the two games simultaneously going on.
*** this will likely make no sense and probably be slightly non conclusive… But here is the other post I wrote for Verona when I was on the train…. I don’t think I finished either***
I found Verona! She’s a beautiful little city… I actually had plans to visit Venice but after a bad interaction with a couchsurfing host I decided I didn’t want to deal with Venice at all because he was a total jerk. “You’ll just be a tourist in a city full of tourists” was his comment when I stated I’d stay in a hostel instead of with him because I didn’t want to inconvenience him since he was confused on the dates. I don’t like rude people and unfortunately he ruined Venice for me (luckily I’ve been before!).
Anyway, that morning I decided on hoping onto a train to Verona, without a place to stay or an idea of what I was going to do. I was quite tired having gotten up rather early and then the train was baddddd. I mean, no air conditioning, dirty, smelly and loud. I definitely couldn’t sleep on it. That is always for my benefit though, I get to see the amazing scenery. On the way to Verona, I had a change of trains in Innsbruck. Overlooking Innsbruck are gorgeous mountains with snow capping their peaks…. I am just in awe with the beauty of Italy. (Everyone knows about the vineyards – however even those are planted on the hillside in rows so they’re even more beautiful than the flat field vineyards that exist).
When I finally arrived in Verona, I didn’t know where I was going except circles in the train station seemed smart… In a normal city, the train station has tourist information…. Verona isn’t normal. Eventually when I walked outside for the 7th time I saw a sign right in front of me that said “tourist Information –>” ohhhhh, so there is a tourist office just this way.
I walked, and walked, and then there were no more signs…. No tourist information office? So I walked and walked…. My phone only had 5% battery life and I had no clue where I was sleeping. I sat in a vacation booking office thinking they might help me and while I waited I pulled out my travel book… AND THERE WAS THE ADDRESS FOR THE TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE.
I used my last 3% to google maps my way there! They told me there was a hostel called Villa Francescatti right about the Teatro Romano and under the Castel San Pietro. I definitely didn’t want to waste time, so I walked there and was helped by a kind Italian man who saw me walking up his driveway and said “l’ostello?” And he pointed me in the right direction.
The Hostel has been through some life. It’s a really old building that has belonged to important people and figures in Italy. It’s been abandoned a few times, them brought back to life only to be abandoned again until it became a hostel. The hostel was nearly empty with my room of 40+ beds having only 4 guys in it.
I put my stuff down and headed off to wander the city. Of course, my first adventure… Ordering GELATO. I dont have very fond memories of gelato from my prior Italian trip but my taste buds have changed and gelato is my favorite. Throughout my time in Verona I had gelato 3 times. By far my best was late at night, while it was raining. The gelateria was on a side street near the river; the gentleman was very nice speaking in half English half Italian to me. I order the menta (mint) and cioccolatta fondente (chocolate fondant)… MOST AMAZING COMBINATION EVERRRRRRR. The chocolate was so rich, with the mint being the perfect sweetness to counter the almost bitter taste of the chocolate. I have found a new love for gelato.