|An ersatz photo op in Verona|
|On a gondola in Venice|
|A jazz flautist in Milan|
|Linda and me after 4-course feast at Hotel Mediterraneo Rooftop Restaurant, Rome|
- The food and wine can't be beat...from pasta to risotta to seafood, nothing proved short of the highest quality...and the gelato is indeed to die for! Chianti isn't California-harsh when made from Tuscany grapes.
- Music indeed accompanied our gondola glide through Venice, though our gondolier didn't sing. The gondolas contained six passengers, and the gondoliers are too busy navigating and maneuvering around the narrow canals. But a supplemental gondola with only three passengers accompanied our bevy of boats, with an accordionist and vocalist aboard. So, yes, we heard Italian love songs.
- And I'd love to hear more music in Milan. I was thrilled with the La Scala Opera House, where we took a sneak peek at a rehearsal for this week's performances of Giselle. Afterwards, I sat in the adjacent square, marveling at the jazz acrobatics of a pert flautist who played both Beatles and Bach.
Here's some info from WikiTravel:
In fact, the house has no connection with Shakespeare's fictional characters - although the house is old, the balcony was added in 1936 and declared to be "Juliet's house" to attract tourists. You can visit the house itself (€4 entry) - it contains a sparse collection of Renaissance frescos rescued from other demolished palaces, and the bed from Zeffirelli's 1968 movie, but not a lot more.
The balcony overlooks a tiny courtyard containing a statue of Juliet. There is an unbelievable amount of graffiti and general scrawling on the walls, floor, seats, anything that will hold ink - there is a tradition of writing love messages to Juliet, and visitors leave notes, trinkets and bits of chewing gum fashioned into love hearts. Juliet's house is a popular romantic shrine, but its popularity belies its value; compared to some of the treasures around Verona, Juliet's house has very little to offer.
Read Leveen's fascinating article in The Atlantic:
|An architectural atrocity...|