Northern Italy is always a wonderful place to be, but it is especially great during the time of Santa Lucia, when the towns are enlighted and the falling snow mixes with the fragrance of mulled wine. In Verona there is a huge christmas market on the Piazza Brà (including a giant metal shooting star leading out of the Arena) and a traditional German christmas market at the Piazza dei Signori. Maybe it is the best time of the year to pass by and enjoy a prolongued weekend at this share of the country.
I chose to go by train from Munich, Germany over the Brennero and through the Alps. Although the trees were not loaded with snow as in earlier years it is always wonderful to cross the mountains not getting away a single eye from the breathtaking landscape. My first stop was Verona where I started with a walk through the wonderful medieval city and a vin brulé. Once again I stayed at the Albergo Torcolo close to Piazza Brà. I had a whole day to roam the streets but it was quite cold these days, between 3 and 5 degrees celsius. That’s why I first had to buy a beanie and a pair of gloves.
Throughout the day I was searching for sun to warm up a bit and I enjoyed sitting in the Arena di Verona, at the Roman theatre and at the Castel San Pietro sunbathing at this time of the year. On the next day I continued to Venezia – in the morning with a very cold local train that was pretty cheap. I visited the most famous locations like Rialto and San Marco and took some time to visit locations I haven’t seen before; like the Palazzo Ducale, the Museo Correr and the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.
In the evening I enjoyed two museums I didn’t check out before: the Gallerie dell’Academia and the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim directly at the Canal Grande. A good addition to my earlier stays. I took the time to have a slow boat ride back to the railway station of Venezia Santa Lucia and went back to Verona by one of those Frecciabianca (white arrow) trains that are modern and where you get a glass of red wine served directly at your seat – I really would appreciate to have this in the evenings at home when travelling back after work. 😉
All in all a journey that stays in mind, one that you can still remember years later. And one that I would recommend everyone that loves to travel by train!