Feeling the Italian vibes in Verona

It’s been a full on last week for us. So apologies for the delay in sharing my latest musings and adventures with you.

Last Wednesday we left our gorgeous apartment in Riva del Garda for our drive to Milan. After the frustration of being unable to find either real gelato or pizza or pasta anywhere there we decided that stopping in Verona for a few hours on our way there was a good plan.

We set off nice and early after Evie’s first nap and got to Verona at around 11am. Thankfully the car parking in the centre was well signposted, if a little expensive (3 Euro per hour or NZ 5.50 ish). We donned our front packs, popped our two little people in them and set off to explore the city.

The city of Verona is classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO and it was easy to see why. Within minutes of the car park was a big town square or piazzo with a gorgeous fountain. There was also the huge Arena which looked similar to the Colosseum but on a much smaller scale. There were old brick walls crumbling in some places covered in flourishing greenery and there were a lot of people around. Finally we felt the Italian vibe.

We both agreed we wished that we’d stayed here for a few nights as there seemed to be a lot going on and a lot to do.

Evie successfully fell asleep in the front pack by the time we got to the arena so we decided we’d walk towards the duomo near the river (about 16 mins walk away). Craig and Thea were both loudly professing to be hungry so after seeing several people with delicious looking pizzas we found a little paninocera (takeaway pizzas and paninis). It was on one of the main shopping streets in the historic part of town. Thea’s first taste of Italian pizza was a huge win and she ate the whole slice!

We were very impressed. The bread was soft and the toppings were super tasty. Although we were heading for the main duomo of Verona, for practical purposes (aka a 3 year old who didn’t want to go any further) we actually stopped at a different church. This church called Saint Anastasia turned out to be the oldest church in the city (built around 1200AD). It was just stunning inside and full of ornate decoration and sparkling stained glass.

Evie was awake and HUNGRY, so we found a quiet corner behind the duomo for a feed. It turned out that both Thea and Craig were also still hungry so we headed back towards the piazzo. We stumbled upon a cute little restaurant and Craig and Thea ordered some gnocchi and more pizza for lunch while I attempted to get Evie to sleep. It was a major fail, she was still hungry and demanded very loudly for her second feed until I finally found somewhere relatively private and quiet to feed her.

I abandoned my nap intentions for Evie and went and ate lunch with Craig and Thea. Evie enjoyed chomping on the complimentary fresh bread while I had some fortifying sips of coffee. The food was delicious and service exceptional.

We headed back to the car around 2pm with high hopes that Evie would sleep on the way to Milan.

That was very wishful thinking. Instead of a nap we had two very stressful stop and start hours of driving. Evie has decided that she HATES cars and already being mildly over tired didn’t help.

We pushed through and got to the outskirts of Milan within 5 minutes drive of our next accommodation. A supermarket stock up was required so after a final quick feed for Evie and a nappy change, Craig popped her in the front pack and headed for our apartment while Thea and I went to the grocery store.

Thankfully I am pleased to report that Evie fell asleep on the way to the apartment in the front pack. Thea and I also had great success at the supermarket where the security guard and check out staff made a great fuss of Thea calling her “principessa”. Thea also pulled the basket the whole way round the supermarket under the bemused eye of the various locals doing their shopping.

Thea and I were very happy to get to our apartment and find that it was super spacious and had 2 bedrooms ! Luxury!

Our host had also left Thea and Evie a huge collection of soft toys which they loved.

It was such a relief to arrive in Milan after crazy day of travelling and we couldn’t wait to see what Milano has in store for us!

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