Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Verona & Milan - (Italy)

Countdown. Two more days in Italy. Sadly. Unfortunately. I definitely didn’t want to return to our Malaysian city traffic madness and hustle bustle. This first holiday of mine after donkey years, I tell you, just made me feel so absolutely free as a bird (Venice, Florence & Rome) Possibly, I badly wished that we can further go further towards every other part of Italy, but reality check revealed otherwise. So, I might as well embrace whatever I can, Verona morning started fabulously and serenely across Adige River. Nothing much actually, except standing around for admiring the clean flow of Adige water, simultaneously, allowing your mind to wonder towards the bridge and every spectacle bend of Adige, right till the nature wonder scenery of the hills high up there. Verona by itself is reputed as a romantic spot, it is, Verona consequently is a package of timeless monuments, numerous bridges and medieval architectures which we will be exploring together with our adorable darling lady tour guide who arrived thereafter. 

First stop, Saint Anastasia Church. A six chapel’s Gothic church, the largest church in Verona, built by the Dominicans between the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. For whatever reason it must have been, Saint Anastasia Church was spilling over with people. Maybe a special function or what not, I didn’t push my way in either. I stood so close at the entrance for glimpsing at the interior. High vaulted ceiling decorated with beautiful frescoes that brings light and originality to Saint Anastasia Church, also, containing many works of art by Italian masters and you may want to grab one of the leaflets in different languages for knowledge thirsting on the most significant paintings and architectural features. I think I did, but that leaflet most probably flew by the wind of Verona as we started walking from St. Anastasia Church to the not really far away Scaliger tombs.

Belonging to the important royal family of Verona, built above ground level and from the wrought icon enclosure, you will see the monuments of the five notable members of the Scaliger family who ruled Verona from 13th to late 14th century. Well preserved as the must see Verona’s attraction while you are walking and known as the most famous photographic motifs of Verona, Scaliger family tombs can only been in the courtyard of the rather small Santa Maria church and one of the tomb is actually in the wall of the church. Great!

We didn’t do the going inside, we just peeped from really close by, we continued walking before taking a short stop at the corner of the road for glimpsing at Romeo’s house. Romeo? Who on earth will ever forget Romeo? Not those like me who studied literature, albeit, honest to goodness, I did struggle to remember what precisely Romeo said to Juliet and vice-versa. Romeo's house by the way has moved around, this current location is supposedly permanently recognized. Visitors are not allowed inside, so, we looked and moved on to Juliet’s House. Oh-my! Akin hair standing for me, goose bumps too, the famed spot I have seen in movies which draws millions of tourists throughout the year. Indeed, people streaming in and out, people queuing for photo capturing with Juliet’s bronze statue and the love bird up there at the balcony just wouldn’t want to come down. Love! Love is in the air in Juliet’s House. I too, felt that way too. I also didn't miss on, not rubbing, but just a gentle touch of Juliet’s right breast for luck. May it be or may not be luck, who cares. If you already in Juliet’s House, you might as well do it. Such a waste if you don’t, notably, its only the ladies who did it, not the men though. Entry into Juliet’s House is free, nevertheless, if you want to explore the museum, you got to take out your money.

We didn’t. Instead we sip into Italian coffee at the small café whereas the rest of our tour buddies relentlessly still wouldn’t give up on shopping. Our guide continued lingering around until we arrived at the restaurant for lunch. We said bye-bye to her, we filled up our tummy, thereafter as we walked to Porta Borsari and Piazza Delle Erbe, we had a pit-stop at Massanti Houses. The best preserved example of 1500's Verona's painted town, these houses of the important families of Verona are painted with bright colored frescoes and the fresco on the façade is by Cavalli, pupil of Giulio Romano. Done.

Back to walking, we then stepped foot at Porta Borsari. The gate dating back to Roman times, restored with local white limestone in 265AD by Emperor Gallieno and what’s remaining today of this getaway towards Roman city is only the double arched gate. Meaningful, attractive and impressive. From Porta Porta Borsari, we arrived in Piazza Delle Erbe for viewing the murals, Lamberti Tower and Beautiful Madonna of Verona, while also lingering around the restaurants and stalls.
Ending our sightseeing in Verona by 6pm, dinner and good night officially drew our curtains. 
Next morning, being the finale league of our tour, we calmly and coldly greeted Lake Lugano. Located in Lombardy, Northern Italy, nature surrounded Lake Lugano is one of the famous Italian Lakes destinations. Long, slender and extremely deep, additionally, Bellagio picturesque town situated within this area, our trip was merely for admiring Lake Lugano.

Half an hour was pretty much good for strolling, prior to journeying to Lake Lugano. Nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, lying partly in Switzerland and partly in Italy. Lake Lugano, a charming beauty, remains popular all year round with visitors like us. Besides walking close by and admiring Lake Lugano, we had some time in hand for shopping and lunching.

By the time we departed from Lake Lugano for sightseeing in Milan, all hopes were dashed crushed due to coach breaking down. Once we got moving and arrived in Milan, because fellow tour buddies insisted on shopping, I too was literally forced to be in Franciacorta Outlet Village. No shopping for me, instead I grabbed a cuppa of Cappucino and "Mozzarella Bacon Panini" from Autogrill to relax and rest back. 
Dinner on this night was in Restaurant Ta Hua, Milan. Good home style Chinese food, tucked in while sipping beer. Satisfying meal and finally back to reality the next day. To the airport and back home, carrying with me all the happiness, joy and pleasure of this Italy trip.

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  1. d sandwich is really delicious.....

  2. I have not seen that many places that serve much of a variety of Panini sandwiches around here. Not sure why. Your sandwich does look tasty.
    We have outlets around here, but they seem to be divided into two types. Upscale ones that sell evening wear and business suits with designer tags and then the casual ones that have stores like the Gap and Old Navy. Glad you enjoyed your visit to the outlet village!

  3. I think we ate breakfast at one of these along the Almalfi coast...something for everyone! I love your travel segments :)

  4. This place looks magnificent - definitely need to hit it when I am lucky enough to go to Italy :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. Glad you went with Italian rather than McDonalds!!!

  6. Take out the bacon, then i can eat. Heheh

  7. Oh, Nava! You brought back a RUSH of memories here! When I lived in Sicily - the Autogrills were one of my favorite places to go....they had the BEST paninis! Thank you SO much for sharing! This post is a gift for me- I never took photos of an Autogrill when I was there....

    Happy Valentines Day!

  8. Great alternative to Mc Donalds!! hehehehhe

  9. That mozarella toasted bread looks like a good idea for breakfast, I will make one tomorrow

  10. wow
    look very delicious

    P/S : I Need Your Help :-)


  11. i love the bread with mozzarella :) yummy! one of my fave food, plus the portion there looks big

    Latest: Look out for the Haven!

  12. there's a chinese restaurant in milano, that is owned by a malaysian, the food is really fantastic, got malaysia food & western food as well..

  13. Sounds like a very good place to eat and relax after (window)shopping! Your panini looks so delicious!

  14. The Italians have fast food down to a science--well, they have most food down to a science. A panino on the run is a perfect lunch!

  15. Hi Nava, thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. I would love to have a cup of the cappuccino, slurp....
    Have a nice day.

  16. Wow! I would love to visit this fashion capital someday! One can only dream, ha? :D

  17. I love Autogrill! If im not mistaken Autogrill is Italy's R&R cuz i remember seeing it along the highways. The best R&R! They do have a lot of choices there! I miss Italy! :)


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