Ok. So that whole thing about Italy being a nice place to spend the winter with less rain, no snow, lots of sunny days was kinda shot to bits today. It definitly snowed today, and snowed with a vengence.
I woke up and saw that it was raining, but by the time my toast had popped out of the toaster, and I had a cup of tea in my hand it had changed to snow. At first it was just really wet snow coming down really fast, but it turned into big fat fluffy snowflakes, coming down like there was no tomorrow.
Yesterday was quite the opposite. The sun made a brilliant appearance in the morning, lighting up the buildings with beautiful winter sunlight. Unfortunatlly, the sun was gone by the time I was out of class and had time to take many pictures. I did get a few right around the school.
Just for comparison, here is virtually the same picture taken 24 hours apart.
It is now just drizzling a bit, any snow that was sticking having been washed away.
I think I will go back a bit now, to last week, because I did a few things worth mentioning.
On wednesday, the two classes at the school had a walking tour organized with the art history teacher. We walked from the school to the Roman Theater, quite a ways away as it turns out.
The sun was just setting, and of course, I had not thought to bring my camera, so the beautiful sight will just have to be imagined.
We crossed over the ancient roman footbridge to the other side of the river. The theater, around 3000 years old if I remember correctly was built into the side of a hill, and originaly held 3000 people.
It is now a lot smaller, having been buried, had houses constructed on it, and many other things over the centuries. The original extent can still be seen however, parts of it are covered up with a 1000 year old church, and a 700 year old monastary.
The view out over the city as the sun was setting was just magical. I will have to go up there on another clear day to take some photos of it. The monks cells faced out, away from the cliff, and looked out over the city, straight towards the beautiful sunset.
The monastery has been converted into a museum of sorts, and houses many statues, and mosaics, and other assorted artifacts, impressive in their own right.
It was a very nice place, and if ever you are in Verona, the roman theater and monastary at dusk is a must see.
The city itself is amazing. The mix of old and ancient is truly astounding. Many old buildings have bits of ancient buildings sticking out of them. The arena is very impressive, as is the huge wall that runs through the city.
Near the school is a castle, and it too is amazing.
Even just the sidewalks, almost all made of marble slabs are a reflection of the traditional wealth of this city. Even more so than anywhere else, there are clothing stores galore. Banks too also make up a large percentage of the storefronts.
In one place, you can see 6 banks with one sweeping view.
My favorite thing is how they eat here. Even living in an apartment with university students, each meal is a culinary experience. Last night for example, we had wine, a salad with fresh greens and mottzarella, and a traditional dish of the area Jake is from called knifle or something like that. They are balls of bread mushed up with garlic, and cheese, and all sorts of other tasty things, then boiled, then dipped in some kind of sauce.
Or a few days ago when we had salad with grilled turkey fillets.
The italians know how to eat. They have made an art out of it, and it is a much more organic activity than in Canada, just a little of that, some of this, no recipes, more just what feels right. I like.
Anyways, this weekend all the others went home exepting Jake and I. It was quiet around the apartment. I made some curry, and discovered that food of all kinds seems to be a lot cheaper here.
Classes changed this week, I no longer have a private class, but I have a conversational class with one of my other regular classmates.
Rangel went back to Brazil, so we are down to three in the class, but it is still very fun and for only having studied it for 8 days now, I feel pretty good about my skills.
We have a coffee bar we always go to down the street from the school, and I brought my camera along yesterday.
That is Julia and Beni in at the counter. We all get cappuccinos and I get a little sandwich. We take turns paying, so it is a nice little treat.
Thats the good stuff. Sooooo tasty.
I am going to sign off now, and go home for some lunch, so until next time, Ciao!