“Two houses, both alike in dignity in fair Verona where we lay…”
Today, Handsworth followed in the steps of the Bard as we gazed longingly up at that fabled balcony made famous by a young Capulet. Lovers messages scrawled on the walls, love locks chained to fences and a lucky statue were all sights to behold close to the balcony. Emma’s lucky touch on the statue of Juliet brought her good fortune later in the day as she swore she saw her Italian Romeo. “What light through yonder window breaks” held truth as the Verona sun broke out in a blue sky for the first time that day. Our luck of bringing the sun with us everywhere we’ve stopped has continued. We broke for lunch in the shadow of Verona’s own Arena, which looks similar to the Roman Coliseum.
From Verona we took a winding road through the Tuscan hillside towards Florence. Giuseppe provided us with a Renaissance refresher discussing the different periods of history we were to encounter here and in Rome, including Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical. Just before descending into the city proper, we paused at the Piazza Michelangelo, over looking the Arno river for a photo op. For dinner we got to compare Jesolo pizza with Florence pizza, and it was a consensus that tonight’s was the best. Graeme G mustered up the strength to also consume three desserts. We continued our nightly custom of walking dinner off, and, of course, passed by some gelato cafes again where some students took advantage. It’s a good thing we’ll be doing lots of exercise in the days to come! Our walk home took us past the enormous Duomo of Florence and finally back to our hotel.