About Me

My photo
Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dressing Up in Verona and Venice

(Throughout October I've been trying to capture memorable sights and impressions of my recent trip to Europe. And, whenever possible, wrangle these travelogues into a Fun Monday post. This week's hostess, Sayre, over at Sayre Smiles gave us an assignment that fit perfectly with Italy. Sayre asks us to share our favorite Halloween memory and show our costume for this year. Or, if we don't celebrate Halloween, then share another holiday dress up occasion. Now Willie the pit bull and I don't dress up for Halloween, but we do pass out candy to the neighborhood munchkins. I do, however, have some good photos of my tour of Verona and Venice where fantasy costumes and masks can be seen on the streets all year and dressing up for an evening fashion stroll about town, the passiagata, is the Italian way of life.)

Our first stop in Italy was Verona. We were looking for romance both medieval and modern. From the town square we walked down one street in particular which was lined with couture shops for everything from the ultimate black dress to these fantasy wedding gowns. Italian men and women window shopping in this area were walking advertisements for Italian fashion.

Not far off the square, however, our attention turned to the most romantic balcony of all, Juliet's. It was here in a narrow little street in Verona that two young lovers pledged their ill-fated love. Since the 1930s, lovers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to this site. On the door, and through the passage leading to Juliet's balcony,
lovers leave graffiti amore.

The messages on the passage walls tell of love lost and found. In the courtyard it is customary to rub the right breast of the Juliet statue for luck in love. Notice that it is worn from the constant touching. Every year before Valentine's Day all the graffiti is powerwashed away to make room for next year's collection of lovers' wishes.

Back in the square, which is the center of action for most Italian towns, we see our first costumes
and masks. In Italy, characters for the performing arts often dress in eighteenth century costumes and masks. These costumed characters were
advertising upcoming performances
in the first century Roman arena which fronted the square.

There was also opportunities for tourists to be skammed as well. Here you see women from our tour group being "engaged" for a photo op by a handsome Roman soldier in his red cloak--for a price, of course.
Late in the day we travelled east to the small port city of Treviso on the Adriatic Sea where we boarded a ferry for Venice Lido. The fashionable Lido Beach was our base for the Venice and Burano leg of the tour. Our hotel, Le Boulevard, was aptly named because it was in the center of the beach action. It was also one of the most interesting accommodations for me. When you travel single, the rooms are often not the greatest, even though you have to pay a hefty single supplement. But sometimes you get a pleasant surprise. My room at Le Boulevard fit that bill. It was on the top floor and when I first opened the door my spirits dipped because there were no windows--how claustrophobic. And then I spotted two large skylights. A little tinkering with the blinds and I was able to sleep under the Italian stars for two nights--nice! This photo was an early morning view along Le Boulevard.

(Come back in a couple of days for a look at the masks and costumes of the Venice Carnevale. It was too late in the evening when we arrived on the Lido to take a vaporetto across the canal to Venice to check them out. And, who knew what dangers may be hiding behind the masks of a Casanova or dandy lurking in the shadowy canal streets of Venice?)


Jo Beaufoix said...

Great pics and it sounds just gorgeous. I am so envious of you Faye. :D

Janis said...

Wow what great pictures, sounds like a great adventure. Never been abroad. Its a beautiful world we live in, thats for sure!

Kaycie said...

How beautiful and fascinating it all looks. You've made me want to visit Italy.

IamwhoIam said...

Was a nice tour, and so informational.

All is well just a bit busy with life away from the computer world.

Molly said...

Hi Faye, reading your posts is always adventure. You often tell of places that I have never been. Thanks for this peek at Verona and Venice

laurie said...

ah, lovely, lovely. some day i will get to italy. some day.

karisma said...

Lovely, very romantic place but just imagine trying to wear one of those dresses! My goodness!

Faye said...

jo b--don't be envious! If you don't have a Miss M to rear, travel chances are a bit better. Willie the pit doesn't mind going to doggy boarding school every now and then.

janis --agreed. It is a beautiful world and too bab we can't experience all of it.

kaycie and laurie --I'd love to read your travelogues of Italy.

iamwhoiam--there is life beyond computer world?

Molly --Venice was a surprise. Sure it was over run with tourists, but fascinating in a medieval kind of way. Warning: I was in eight different countries so more travelogues to come. . .

karisma--never mind those poufy costumes--I'd just like to be able to get my butt in a sleek little designer number and a pair of stilletos!

karisma said...

Stilettos???? Puleeessse! Bare feet are so much more practical!

Ari_1965 said...

I'm not sure I like the idea of one breast becoming worn from too much touching.

Lala said...

OOOO you are tricky! Working the Italy series into Fun Monday... great job too! I love reading about your travels!

Faye said...

karisma--you wouldn't sacrifice even if those stilettos had knitted ankle ties? We actually saw some bridal stilletos with extravagant organza bows tied at the ankles--the bride was smiling just like her feet weren't killing her!

ari_1965--we'll never know if Juliet objects to one breast getting all the attention, will we?

lala--guilty as charged! I'm trying to tell the tales from the countries I visited before I forget them. Since I only post once or twice a week,trying to wiggle these visits into the Fun Monday posts.

Swampwitch said...

What a wonderful trek you have shared with us...will be back to view the masks of Casanova...


Lane said...

Sleeping under the Italian stars. How lovely is that.

Ah the people watching you must have done. I've only been to Milan in Italy and that was mostly spent in traffic jams. Like Laurie ... some day...:-)