When I was in elementary school, I was disappointed by how many things I actually lost – pens, erasers, sharpeners. I would always go back every day to our lost and found section in the corner of our classroom to check whether or not someone found them. Unfortunately, rulers were given back. Purses were given back. But those weren’t the things I lost; therefore, they’re not mine to get and keep.
Years after, I didn’t really recognize it at first but afterward, I knew. I knew I had lost myself. I was so drowned out by what the voices around me were saying about me. I also got deep under the expectations of everyone else. I lost it – the only thing I have (next to God) who will certainly not leave me alone in this lifetime – myself.
I would search and search and search. And wait and wait and wait for someone to find it for me. But no one did and no one put it back in the lost and found section. I was left to seek for it, myself.
I’m still constantly searching for it until now. But what I do know now is that I don’t have to depend on others. I don’t always have to listen to them and be so kind to always follow what they tell me to do and give what they want me to give. I’m still on the hunt of who I really am but at least now, I can stand. On my own.
Last September 3, Earl and I arrived at the small airport of Verona, Italy. We had our luggage with us and were totally exhausted from our 26-hour connecting flights from Manila. It’s also my first time abroad so I must say, that’s double the anxiety for me. However, I couldn’t and didn’t want to complain. I’m in Italy, after all – one of the countries I once wished I could cross out from my wanderlust map.
But the problem was that we had no place to go to. Our Airbnb plan didn’t work and so, we were forced to book a room at a hotel near the train station. Unfortunately, we still had to drag our luggage through those typical cobblestone floors. Nevertheless, it was a really great hotel with nice amenities and they served breakfast buffet. (That’s actually something Earl and I always consider — food 😂)
After checking in and resting for a while, Earl and I were up for our adventure in Verona – the city of love! (Side note: Oh, please don’t get it wrong like all the many others. Earl isn’t my boyfriend. Lol. Who is he? Read here.)
Our first stop was, of course, the Anfiteatro Arena. We rode the bus from Porta Nuova to go there. It was the center of Verona, I believe, so throughout our stay there, it served as our starting point. Whenever we got lost – and oh, how many times we actually did, we knew we just needed to find the arena. From there, we rest assured that we can’t get lost.
PRO-TIP: It’s super worth it to get the Verona Card. It costs € 18.00 for 24 hours and € 22.00 for 48 hours. You can go to the different museums and tourist attractions in Verona and also get to ride the bus just by using it.
The arena was extraordinary for me – literally and figuratively. It was so huge that it blew me away. However, I guess it was kind of modernized already with all the seats inside. You could still feel how ancient the structure is but it was already apt to the time and generation now.
After that, we walked around the streets of Verona where it really was obvious that it’s a famous destination for tourists and travelers, alike. There are so many people, really! It’s not too bad though because if you don’t actually follow the itinerary or path that’s stated in the Verona map, you can actually walk along the streets where there are fewer people and more things to see. Make sure to remember your tracks, though. Earl and I got lost so many times because the streets were quite confusing.
Getting lost was worth it though. You get to experience the locality of the place, not just those places and restaurants where everything’s already changed for the accommodation of the tourists.
Maybe after half an hour of trying to figure out where we are and buying some gelato first (because oh well, the gelateria we passed by was so inviting 😂), Earl and I finally found the Casa de Giuletta. Here, we were welcomed by a bunch of tourists going in and out of the building. They were mostly lovers, of course. I didn’t expect it to be so crowded. In the flight from Hongkong to Germany, Lufthansa airlines luckily had entertainment tools so I decided to watch a movie. I randomly picked the movie Letters to Juliet but I didn’t know that it was actually shot in Verona, where I was headed. That’s why I had such a high expectation of Casa de Giuletta. It didn’t fail me, of course. For all I felt, it was a really romantic place. But oh, how it was crowded.
We went up the house and lined up to take pictures on the balcony. I instructed Earl how I wanted my photo to look like and yes, I suppose he got a lucky shot. Kidding. (If you’re reading this, thanks for the very nice photo, Earl!)
In the house, you’ll see paintings of or relating to Romeo and Juliet, the bed that was apparently used in the Zeffirelli film, computers where you could actually send an email to Juliet, and many more. Here are some photos:
And of course, there are these traditions where it is said that touching the breast of Juliet brings good luck and where you should write your lover’s name on a paper and paste it on the wall. Earl and I wouldn’t miss it for the world, of course. 😉
After passing by Piazza Delle Erbe where tourists are gathered and busy in buying some things that were being sold there, we went straight to the Duomo. They had a tool where you can just click a number and you’ll hear a narrative stating the information about a certain relic or part of the church. It was absolutely a great experience to know more about the history of the place.
It was almost 6 PM, as I remember, when Earl and I thought we were hungry. We wanted to buy in a supermarket but we couldn’t find one in the center. Do you know what we did? We hopped on a bus – knowing it’s free as long as we have our Verona card – and stopped at a random place where we thought we could find one. It turns out, we’re supercalifragilisticexpialidocious wrong. And tadahhh, we got lost. Again. This time, it’s not in the center. There were no people and the streets were awfully quiet. If it hadn’t been because of my faith, I would’ve lost my chill right there.
We searched for a bus stop and yes, we found one. But the thing was there was no bus at all. It was stated in the paper in bus stop that there was one at 18:00 but after 10, 15, 20 minutes, there was none. Thankfully, there was one woman riding her bike who we stopped and asked for directions. It turns out that there was no bus because it was a Sunday and buses here in Italy have a different schedule when it’s Sunday or a holiday. We still got lost after following the lady’s instructions but thankfully, found our way back by remembering what streets we passed by when we first got there. Wew! And at last, we got back to the city center and bought some pizza for our dinner.
After the long day we had, we decided to just go back to our hotel and take a rest. After all, we still have our jetlags hanging on to us like crazy.
Day 1 was absolutely a rollercoaster but wait up and stay tuned for Day 2 of our adventure trip, loves! I’ve still got so many stories to tell.
Thanks for reading!
What’s the best thing about traveling for you? Do you like the idea of getting lost (in a good way) sometimes, too?
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