Journey across the top of The Boot: Part I

Our trip to Italy began with an extended bit of travel. Left the house in a cab at 11:30 AM on Friday, flew from SFOto Frankfurtand then from there to Milano. Once out of the airport, we hopped the train into the Milano city center and got picked up by some friends who were kind enough to let us hitch a ride in their car for the two hour ride to Verona. We finally checked into the Hotel Accademia and immediately plopped down on the bed sometime around 5:30 PM on Saturday.

We were in Verona for Riccardo and Lara’s wedding, so after chillin’ out and freshening up, we met up with some peeps and headed over to the rehearsal dinner. The wedding festivities were kicked off at an Italian Pizzaria located inside an old church. Given that this is Italy, when I say “old”, I am talking old, as in many hundreds of years. From the heavy materials that were used to construct the building, to the significant wall cracks that were noticeable here and there, you could tell that this place had some serious history. We had our fill of antipasti, wine and pizza and then exhaustion crept in. It was back to the hotel for some much deserved shut eye.

Jetlagged as a mofo the next day, we drug ourselves out of bed and into the streets of Verona. We didn’t have much time before the wedding, but Verona proper isn’t so big, so we were able to grab some grub at a local restaurant and then walk around enough that we got to take in most of the major sites, including the Casa di Giulietta (yes, the “real” house & balcony of the fictional Juliet… and the tourists were eating this up).

The wedding was being held at a villa on the outskirts of Verona, so later in the afternoon we got on a bus that was chartered for the occasion and were taken over with the rest of the wedding goers. After the extended Catholic-Jewish, Italian-English ceremony finished up, it was time to party. As you can probably guess, we ate and drank like royalty. Started off with an insane assortment of antipasti and cocktails, followed by a just long enough sit-down meal, then on to the after dinner cheese bar (with over 40 different kinds of cheeese!!) and finally dessert and some groovin’. Beats were provided by two of the “most popular DJs in all of Verona” and other music by some Italian Wedding Singer-type band. The band pretty much blew, but I felt kinda bad for them because they only got to play like 4 songs. Every time the DJs went off and the band went on, the floor cleared. Every time the DJs came back, the floor filled back up. The band dudes eventually got the point and sat the rest of the nite out. Good times.

Bussed it back to the hotel and sat up for some late nite drinks with Matteo and Kim. Woke up the next morning jetlagged and hungover, said goodbye to everyone and jumped on a train headed east.

Next stop, Venezia…