We spent a lovely day in Verona today, we managed lunch, a fruit salad in a tall glass, ice cream and a burger. It’s a pretty place but very busy and touristy. I don’t think it would have come to anything if it wasn’t for Shakespeare. (Romeo and Juliet feature largely. Apparently it was a vaguely true story that Will rewrote.)This is Juliet’s balcony.We even managed to find Juliet’s tomb although to be honest it could be anyone’s.
We found this in Brescia today, never seen it before. We decided to skip the rather disappointing breakfast in our hotel this morning and have a late breakfast in Brescia while we watched some of the Royal Wedding. So this turned out to be my breakfastwith fresh orange, tea and shortly after, a glass of champagne sent by a charming man on the next table. Good start. Then a walk, a coffee, a chat to someone waiting for their mates Jag to arrive. We had planned a meat and cheese platter for an early dinner.The chap in charge took a shine to us after we had asked him to choose our wine, so he then brought us some asparagus in oil, mozzarella, a shot of something diabolical which he did explain but I have now forgotten, then a cream, rum, chocolate and nut pudding, which had cinnamon on it so poor Elf couldn’t eat it. So he brought her a small salted chocolate pie on her own silver dish. We were by now so smashed that we could barley stand but then we found ourselves in what was nearly a riot, but fizzled into something and nothing, so the riot police put down their shields, took of their helmets and had a fag, as Italians do.(This nonsense was some do-gooders marching for Palestine.) Off again, this time distracted by an Alfa Stelvio, there are a lot of them around here as they are Mille Miglia sponsors. They are lovely, but I know they are expensive, and this beauty would not be the cheap version. Then this arrived. Number 152 Bentley Mk VI, with leather on the outside!Fiat 8V Zagato. Only about one million pounds worth. And as we probably won’t be in the centre tomorrow I shall leave you with this pic which sums up Italy…why did they hang their sign upside down in the Metro? I will be back, I have many strings that tie me to Brescia, it was a place we loved together and I love it still, apart. But I miss him here more than I have for a long time and those strings will always tie me. Just why would you ever go anywhere else on holiday when Italy is so full of perfect imperfections?
We had a busy day yesterday so I’m a bit behind. Our plan was lunch in Cremona then on to Parma to see the Mille Miglia arrive. It was a warm day so we went topless in Ruby. Cremona was a surprising place with a stunning bell tower. Then on to Parma, another lovely town which we probably didn’t do justice to as it was taken over by the race. Now every time you order drinks you get a selection of nibbles, this a very admirable Italian habit. These vary from place to place but you can get this much so you can understand that you soon don’t want dinner.This happened to us, and after watching a shed load of Ferraris and the first runners of the race, we made our way home and realised we hadn’t actually had a meal at all. Oh well, as they say, when in Rome…
I didn’t feel great this morning – it was as no-ones fault but my own. I had a beer with lunch and then two glasses of wine with dinner which is pushing my luck and the Elf and I shared a selection of puddings. That was monumental – hot chocolate pudding with English cream( that’s custard), fresh fruit salad with lemon ice cream, panacotta with raspberry sauce and chocolate mousse with mint cream. These were not small portions! And all that after steak with cheese sauce and roasties and Mohito chicken with rice and because we couldn’t decide who was having what we shared them. We had a long walk round Brescia, tried on some dresses, sat outside in a deluge having lunch then walked to the castle. Anyone contemplating holidaying with me, be warned… we have had two days where we did 20,000 steps and those weren’t all flat by any means.
This was our morning view today with a blue sky and sunshine, Ruby resting on the grass ready to take us to Brescia. It’s an odd thing but even in Brescia on the day the Mille Miglia starts you wouldn’t realise anything was happening unless you got to the city centre and then you might wonder why some of the roads were shut. It was as a wonderful day, just as it should be, but a bit of an “us” thing so a bit odd for me. This amazing creation is an Alfa, so, yes, it might break down but what an amazing thing to break down in. If you have ever considered the link between wealth and good looks come to Brescia. There is a hugely disproportionate number of good looking people, old, young, male, female, whatever is your taste you will find it there. And yes, I still find Italian motorbike police strangely disturbing; it’s something to do with boots and tight trousers. Ady understood.
Just a little aside from the main event and please be understanding because this is how it is. Looking at a thousand watch shops in Lucerne, we found ourselves in the Hamilton shop and naturally the chap tried to sell me one. “This is very nice for a lady” he says. ” I have that one at home ” says I, “and a steel Ventura. And my husband had one of those, an Elvis Ventura and that one. You don’t sell the badges do you?” “No” he says and gives me one (picture above). “Perhaps your husband might like this ?” While I hesitated wondering what I should say he went on, ” Ah, you have left him at home”. Well yes we have… still pondering. “This new Hamilton has a reversible face so a watch on one side and a host of gadgets the other. I’m sure he would be interested in the heart monitor”, he says. At this point we smile and leave. Some things are best unsaid.
We had a change of plan today. We were supposed to have stayed at Weggis and left for Brescia tomorrow morning. But firstly Mille Miglia had for some reason changed the days of the race this year. It has always been leave Thursday, return Sunday. This year for no apparent reason it is leave Wednesday, return Saturday. I only found out last week so my plans needed some adjustment. We thought about leaving Weggis early Wednesday and tearing to Brescia but that was fraught with hazards. So we decided to leave on Tuesday and stay somewhere else Tuesday night. Although this might seem expensive as Weggis was already paid for, in fact Switzerland is so astronomically expensive to eat out in, we could get a room and a meal for what a meal alone cost in Switzerland. It was also forecast to rain all day. So, after a leisurely drive to Bergamo we walked into the town, looked in some shops and had pizza for supper.Pizza or cake or maybe both.