Saturday, May 14, 2016

Russia, Here We Come!!

Friday morning I went to the city of Verona by train in order to visit the Russian Consolato to pick up our visas.  I was nervous because a few days before this my blog had received a record number of readers, 160, from Russia.....  All in one day!!!   The usual count I would get from Russia are only 2, from my two good medical doctor friends, a husband and wife who faithfully read what I write.  So this record number of 160 was a big surprise, (kind of scary) and I was not sure what to make of it.  Surely Russian visa workers were checking us out and found the blog.  The title of the blog that week contained the name Putin, so this, I was figuring, had something to do with it.
How to say, Yippee, in Russian?

The visit in the visa office went smoothly and I left with our visas in my backpack.  The lady in the office did not seemed surprised to hear my story of the 160 Russian readers.  I was just glad that we can proceed with our summer trip without problems.

I went to my number three favorite piazza in Italy, Piazza Bra to celebrate a bit for lunch.  McDonalds is NEVER an option!

Gladiator Match Sunday Night!
The piazza is configured next to the Arena, which is a smaller coliseum that the one in Rome.  Verona uses this arena for concerts, and even that day, there was a line of teenagers, maybe 500 of them, sitting on the pavement waiting for the night concert.  That is a long wait!  

During the summer there are many concerts and opera presentations.  We have only been to one, the singer Elisa, and that was a bang up super night.  My only problem was that you are sitting on stone, and it gets pretty hard!  Also the steps to get to your seat are quite high, and it makes one feel tipsy as there is nothing to hold onto when going up or down.  

Arena in background
I had a festive glass of prosecco before lunch (pranzo) and then had a nice plate of Veneto cuisine, horse meat sauce with gnocchi.  Horse meat, as I have mentioned before in the blog is something that is consumed in this area.  I enjoyed the taste and the gnocchi were tender, which makes a difference.  This is a view from my table, looking towards the arena.

Verona is popular with the tour bus tourists.  They come to see the terrace where Juliet talked to Romeo.  No one is actually sure if this is the exact one, but it is fun to have your photo taken there and think about the story a bit.  You can go inside the house and visit a small museum, stand on the terrace and wave to your friends in a photo moment, and then come down and have another moment with a statue below the terrace.

On Saturday night my wife and I went out into the hills for our celebratory dinner (cena) and I had bigoli with duck sauce and she had onion lasagna with a white sauce.  I have to tell you that the prices in the hills, where NO tourists go, are at least 1/3 less and the portions of food are much larger.  Here’s a photo of the village church.  

I hope you are having as good a weekend as we are having here, even though it is raining cats and dogs.


I hope you are learning some new Italian words. Pranzo and Cena….

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