“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharal Nehru

Friday, July 23, 2010

VERONA ( with a stop at the FERRARI MUSEUM)

We left Florence behind to head to Verona - the city of Romeo and Juliet and the opera! We only had one day/night in Verona (which was the perfect amount of time for us). Along the way we did make a stop in Maranello, Italy because one of Nick's "places to visit" was the Ferrari Museum.

Well, let's just say the Ferrari Museum was a REALLY great stop...in more than one way. But, I will get to that in a minute - well, I will let Nick tell explain....

I guess that's my cue to write a few lines in Jenna's vacation book. She's right though - Maranello was a great stop, and this was by far my favorite day of the trip so far. After about an hour drive from Florence with a lot of little back roads and not so many little street signs, we made it to Disneyland for Grownups. It was awesome. The people at the museum didn't speak great English, so we ended up on the guided tour somehow. Either way, it was an amazing museum - from the first Ferrari ever built:

to the brand new Ferrari 458 Italia:

A $1mm+ Ferrari Enzo:

A Ferrari 350 Can-Am (one of only 2 in existence - estimated value of $15mm):

Oh yeah, and a few of their recent formula 1 cars

Enough about the museum though, the highlight of the day actually came afterward, where they offered test drives. So about 30 minutes and $100 later, I got to drive around Italy for 10 minutes in this:

That's a ~$240,000 2009 Ferrari F430 Scuderia (The race version of the already fast F430). 510 horsepower and less than 3000 pounds. 0 to 60 takes about 3.5 seconds, and the sounds are just awesome. There's a video of me driving it, too big to post here, for those that are interested. So we'll stick with this one that Jenna took from the parking lot. Fun times!

(Video will be re-posted shortly)

Handing this back to Jenna - hope to see you all soon.

After the museum and the amazing experience of Nick driving a FERRARI...we headed to Verona. Verona is a really neat city. We didn't see too much but we definitley still felt we got a good feel for the city. We did visit the infamous Juliet balcony and the Capulet house. Lots of history there - and who doesn't love the story of Romeo and Juliet! I was excited but let's just say Nick still had the "Ferrari" experience on his mind!

On the Juliet's balcony

Apparently you are suppose to help rub the bronze off her breast - it signifies being "lucky in love."

We walked around for a bit and ate at a cafe on the square before the opera. We were seeing Aida. Apparently Nick had seen this opera before but couldn't remember anything but the spinning pyramid. The opera was really interesting - I had never been to an one before. The singers are amazing - their voices are really unbelievable. We met a couple from Arizona who sat next to us. The husband was actually a teacher/opera singer and had performed in Aida back in the U.S. Nick and I really had no idea what Aida was about or what was going on. So we got the cliff notes version from the husband between each act. It really helped us understand the story - and it was a beautiful story about love and dying for that love.

Inside the arena

Aida - in the middle of the 2nd act...pretty amazing!

We sat at the top of the arena - "cheap seats" is what I like to call them. We pretty much sat on stone like they did all those years ago. Now, we did buy two cushions but this opera was from 9:30pm until 1am. Even with cushions your butt starts to hurt after just one hour of sitting there. So, we thoroughly enjoyed the opera but next time might consider upgrading the seats!

And that was pretty much Verona - quick but very enjoyable!

Next stop - one of the places that I have been waiting to visit for a long time... VENICE!


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