Verona and Lake Garda

Dropping off the car in the underground car park by San Zeno church, it was a relatively short walk into the main city centre. Here we found a bustling tourist mecca, spread over several small squares spread around the central amphitheatre. Judging by the size of the crowds, we were traveling at peak season. Deep in one alcove, we found the famous balcony of Gulietta Capuleti, or better known as Juliet Capulet of Shakespeares’ Romeo and Juliet. Even though the legend was proven to be largely ficticious, the balcony was the main attraction in Verona (apparently fashioned from a sarcophagus), well almost – the statue of Gulietta got quite a bit of attention, with every tourist climbing over each other to grope her breast – it was the only part of the statue that looked polished! We had to wait a while to get a good look at her without being manhandled. Not wanting to hang around too long and drive to Lake Garda.

We drove up the eastern edge of Lake Garda, through the long collections of resorts, a bit like Mount Maunganui. The view was a bit hazy and we couldn’t see the other side. We weren’t too sure what was the cause, but when the temperature cooled it cleared up a bit for our arrival at our room above a bar in Malcesine. We made use of our first Wifi in days to suss out our climbs and travel ahead, plus an update on the Tour before heading out for dinner. Malcesine had a wealth of good Italian restaurants and we did well choosing one without pizza. The spinach/bacon gnocchi and a ricotta/pistachio ravioli dishes were amazing. The threatening rain forced other patrons in for cover, but we held out for a while, literally soaking up the atmosphere…romance.

The morning saw the fog clear a small amount, so a brisk walk around the shore, a rushed breakfast in a tupperware container and a rushed depart to beat the 8am parking fines started our long day of driving north-east through the Dolomites. By this stage Karen (the Aussie GPS) was struggling with her pronunciation of Italian place names and the old girl showed she was out of date with new roundabouts, roads and motorways. The mountain roads gave her some reprieve…

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