Then we left the bus and went on foot with the guide (note the fur lined hood - current trendy Italian clothing) for an up close view of the downtown sights.
The city had four major periods in history...this picture shows some of the preserved remains of the ancient city walls (behind the tour guide). The red brick was one period and then the white marble was added later in a more artistic period. Below you can see some of the ancient brick roads and structures that have been exposed and preserved.
Next up Juliet's balcony. Romeo and Juliet is a fictional story, but historians believe it is based loosely on a similar set of families from Verona in that period. The historians have traced those stories to some key buildings and they have become tourist havens.
We don't know if Juliet actually peered out over this balcony, but that's what the locals like to tell you.
Plenty of tourists stop by and a souvenir shop next door would embroider your name on various aprons, bags, or clothes. They made one for Mary to entice the rest of the group to buy from them.
The tour ended in the city center near the Arena. A large Coliseum structure, said to be the 3rd largest remaining coliseum in Italy.
The kids enjoyed walking up the steps of the arena. Of course you can always find some guy trying to make a Euro...here's a Centurion out walking around and posing for pics with all the people like us.
Kristi told the kids to pretend they were watching gladiators battle it out. See how easy it is to relive history.
I can't imagine the steps would be comfortable for a show lasting hours? They still use the arena for summer plays and concerts.
We were given some free time before the return bus trip. We toured a couple of the Cathedrals in the city.
The size, beauty, and history of these churches was absolutely breathtaking (for the adults) but the kids had seen enough after about 10 minutes.
These pics just don't do justice to the detail involved in these altars and paintings.
One of the churches was named for Saint Anastasia so we had to go see that one.
Our church walk took us through some small Italian streets. A Classic Italian image for me.
For lunch we happened on this restaurant that had a kids play land indoors. It was truly a blessing. The kids got a break from sightseeing and could play happily. K had some wine and I had some beer.
It was a fun distraction from the walking in the city. One of the decorations was a Dr Pepper kids bike. We knew God was watching out for us when we sat next to this.
The last stop of the day was an olive farm and olive oil mill. The family that owns the farm gave a tour and then hosted us for a lesson in olive oil tasting.
Lucy enjoyed the bread and oils. Kristi and I enjoyed the wine as well as the oil and bread. It was fun to see the details in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil process. We are certainly becoming fans of local olives and the EVOO culture.
It was a wonderful trip. We look forward to many more like it.
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