Tuesday 28 July 2015
We woke up early as usual, had breakfast and we checked out before 9.00 AM.
007 Travelers (Pirita, Mika and Little Agent Traveler) on the road again and towards Verona.
Traveling by car
From: Maranello, Italy
To: Verona and Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy
Toll charges: 7,70 EUR
Verona is a city straddling the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy, with approximately 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of northeast Italy. It is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, owing to its artistic heritage, several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, the ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans.
Three of Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture.
Verona getting ready for the Opera Festival which takes place annually in the summer.
The Opera Festival takes place in Verona Arena, which is Italy´s third biggest amphitheatre with capacity of 30 000 people. Only Rome´s Colosseum and Capua´s amphitheatre are bigger.
|Mika / 007 Travelers|
@ Verona Arena
We knew that Greek stuntman Aris Comninos was in a car accident which left him in in a coma after his car collided with a lorry and then crashed into a wall. He played a villain chasing James Bond's Aston Martin DBS in an Alfa Romeo 159 along a curving road by the shore of Lake Garda. He suffered from a fractured cranium during the filming of a dramatic 15-minute car chase which opens the film "Quantum of Solace" (2008). He was airlifted after the crash to the nearby Borgo Trento hospital in Verona, we found the hospital.
Photo below by Splash
Photo below by Splash
We reached Piazza Brà in Verona. Brà means meadow in Verona´s dialect. Through Piazza Brà many busses drive to the railway station and to many parts of the centrum. We had our lunch in Bistrot Mamma Mia, which is located at Piazza Brà, 20.
The name Mamma Mia has a Bond related connection:
"Mamma Mia" (2008) was of course a musical movie starring e.g. Pierce Brosnan.
The Alps Fountain at the centre of the garden was a gift from Verona's sister city Munich and depicts the two cities separated by the rugged mountain range.
Since we were in Verona, we visited the famous balcony of Juliet (Romeo & Juliet). It was hard to find at first, but finally we did. It is located on Via Cappello, in the downtown near Piazza delle Erbe.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers. See more about Rome and Juliet here.
|Juliet´s house (Casa di Giulietta) is one of the main attractions of Verona |
with the most famous balcony in the world
According to the popular belief touching the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet
will bring luck to all who are trying to find their true love
|A few blocks away from Julia´s house is her grave (Tomba di Giulietta)|
Romeo and Juliet have also some kind of Bond connection. Bond Lifestyle writes:
"In "The World Is Not Enough" (1999) Bond finally gets the chance to enjoy the cigar itself, in the pre-title scene, when he is offered a Romeo Y Julieta Churchill in the Swiss bank in Bilbao. But in the end, he doesn't seem to have time to even light it. The fact that the Swiss banker, who smokes a Churchill as well, holds on to it, even after falling on the ground and held at gunpoint, shows how good these cigars really are. Bond finally gives his cigar (still in it's aluminium case) to Moneypenny: Bond: "I thought you might enjoy one of these." "How romantic. I know exactly where to put one of these.", Moneypenny replies, in subtle reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and then she throws it in the garbage bin, which shows what women really think of these cigars... "
In the afternoon we reached our destination of the day: Gardaland Hotel!
|The main building|
Hotel: Gardaland Hotel ****
Address: Via Palù 11, 37014 Castelnuovo del Garda (VR), Italy
Booked: Via www.gardaland.it
Price: 270,00 EUR / 1 night package "Gardaland, great value fun for all" with best available rate prepaid (159,00 EUR without package)
Package includes: One night with buffet breakfast, Happy Hour Drink at the Relaxing Cafè, Buffet Dinner Italian style including drinks House Wine, mineral water and soft drink for children
Gardaland park tickets: 29,50 EUR
City tax: 1,50 EUR / person / night
Breakfast: Included (15.00 EUR without the package)
Check-in: 15.00 - 24.00
Room type: Triple room, 21m2 with garden view
We got room number 1127 which was located in additional building.
|Additional building of the hotel|
The room was beautiful but wi-fi was pretty weak.
Hotel´s hall is large and beautiful. Take a 360° virtual tour of the hotel here.
|Hotel´s Prezzemolo character in the middle|
The hotel arranges free bus rides to Gardaland and back, distance about 2 km. Our expensive 1 night hotel package did not include free entry to Gardaland, so we had to buy the day tickets, 29,50 EUR each.
Gardaland is an amusement park located in North-Eastern Italy. Opened 19 July 1975, it includes "Gardaland", "Gardaland Sea-Life" and "Gardaland Hotel". It is adjacent to Lake Garda while not looking out of it. The entire complex covers an area of 445,000 m2 (4,789,940 sq ft). Every year it is visited by nearly 3 million people.
See the opening times here.
FAMILY OF 3 PEOPLE: 96,00 EUR
(2 adults + 1 child under 10 years
OR 1 adult + 2 children under 10 years)
With Family Ticket you will be given also a coupon valid for the purchase of a meal at price of 6,00 EUR (one coupon for each person).
See more price options here.
We had ice creams and beer in Gardaland´s restaurant Merlin and visited couple of park´s attractions but not more since the queues were too long.
|At Merlin restaurant you sit side by side and in a row|
After this day we had our bus ride waiting for us. They drive every 30 minutes. Back at the hotel we had our Happy Hour Drink at the Relaxing Cafè, and later in hotel´s restaurant Buffet Dinner Italian style including drinks House Wine, mineral water and soft drink for children. During the evening there was a music show for the children in front of the restaurant.
In the morning we were the first family at the breakfast, but after 5 minutes the place was crowded.
Our next 007 travel story... Garda, Salo and much more!