Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A month in Verona...

And a spaghetti filled buongiorno to one and all! 

During the summer, I was working as an au pair for an Italian family living near Verona. I was there for just over a month and good god do I have lots of stories to tell. Obviously, for the family's sake, I will not mention too much information concerning them. So, let's get on with it then... 

(La Arena, Verona) 
Background information: The parents had just the one child, a daughter who is 5 years old. The daughter would go to camp during the day and I'd 'work' with her (read to her, do some spelling, play games) in the late afternoons/evenings. Which means that I was free from 9:30-4pm every day. Now don't get me wrong, Verona is a beautiful place with things to see, but after about 2/3 weeks I felt like I'd seen most of it. So I took to sitting cafe's reading and wondering around. Also, I can't speak Italian. As you can tell, I definitely thought this through... 
(Piazza Erbe, Verona) 
When I literally just arrived, they took me to to feed their tortoises. I had no warning of pets before arriving, not that I would have had a problem with it. However, no word of a lie, there were about 100 different tortoises. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. It was quite overwhelming at first. I held one that was smaller than the palm of my hand! So cute. Although, at times I did find it a little unsettling how much they are into tortoises, they even have little figurines of them everywhere in the house. 

The parents were terribly kind in doing extra trips to towns outside of Verona, so that I could see more of Italy. Venice was amazing! Packed full of tourists though, as is to be expected I suppose. They paid for all the tickets, meals, ice creams etc. 

The family took my to Lake Garda which is stunning. The largest lake in Italy and there is so much to see. The last time we went there, it was a really nice day as well, so the water was very blue and there was a nice breeze and it was quite relaxing. Although, they insisted on staying to have a coffee at a bar that played really REALLY loud 1980's Italian pop, and had people in their late 40's dancing around drunkenly in their very small speedos. Speedos are a big thing there. I mean, I think it's great that these men have confidence in themselves, but the last thing I want, is to see them thrusting that confidence around to the beat of awful European vintage pop. I hope they didn't stay there for my sake, because I thought it was awful. The only consolation was that these guys who looked like Paolo Nutini's doubles were sitting in eye view, sipping whiskey, smoking cigarettes and just generally looking ridiculously gorgeous. A strange experience but an experience nonetheless.

(Lake Garda) 
I did also venture to the local swimming pool to tan a bit which was goooooood. Although, when they dropped me off there they didn't tell me that you have to wear a swimming cap in order to use the public pool. I suppose it's all for the sake of hygiene and what not, but I found it strange. So seeing as I wasn't allowed into the pool for my lack of a cap, I was sweating in the 31 degree heat, wondering around trying to find where to buy a bloody swimming cap. In the end I did find one which is all good. I did struggle a bit with the sun bed they gave me to use. It's a weird one with an extra thing that covers your head from the sun. I told them that I'm be fine with a towel but they insisted, so in front of the expert tanning club at the pool, I spent 20 mins trying to figure how to open up the damn thing. Deary me...

(Peschiera del Garda) 
I did spend a little time in the closest town to the family's house (Villafranca) and there wasn't that much to do there, so as per usual, I alternated between sitting in cafe's and on park benches reading. Although sitting in the park wasn't quite as peaceful as I thought it was going to be. A man, in his 50's, with very questionable moustache came up to me on his bike and started to speak Italian. So I said in my best Italian that I was English and didn't speak Italian etc. And then he started to ask what country I was from and all this other stuff and eventually he did away. However, 15 minutes later her came back! Asking me about which hotel I was staying in and where I wanted to visit, and he wouldn't go away this time so I just had to get up and walk away. I heard that Italian guys were forward but, no. Especially not a wrinkled 50 something year old man pedalling around on his bicycle with suspicious facial hair. Nuh-uh. 


And that was only a snippet of my time in Verona...




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