We are sad to be leaving Verona.. our little city of love as my friend Leanne called it.
But having left the shopping duties to last, we had planned to spend the morning hitting the shops before driving back to Arabba. The list:-
- Andy’s gorgeous leather ankle boots;
- Tiny bottle of travel perfume;
- A couple bottles of good Italian wine in preparation for our visitors next week.
Alas the day started with disaster….the boots I had fallen in love with in the shop window were the only pair they had left …a miniscule size EU36, I’m a 38-39. Major disappointment. Did they have another store with other sizes? Of course not! They’re hand-made! The saleslady did her best to interest me in their other ankle-boots, but alas I had given my heart only to this design and while I humoured the lovely lady, I couldn’t switch my affections….I didn’t fall in love with any other boots. “Sigh”. It seems like I’m fated never to buy a pair of boots in Italy. I remember a lustful longing for a shiny pair of black patent leather boots in Livigno but just when I was about to buy them, I lost my ski gloves and the money I was going to use had to go to the essential gloves instead of the frivolous boots. “Sigh”.
Next stop, the Veronese make-up & perfumeries shop. This was hilarious. Buzzing around the floor were an animated gaggle of highly made up young women (think “dolly birds” at the perfume counters of large department stores). I wanted a very small bottle of perfume. I have run out of the perfume I’d brought from home, but I didn’t want a big expensive bottle to replace it. We were pounced on by one of the ladies who spoke rapid fire Italo-Anglo but seemed to understand what I wanted. She was insistent that I come upstairs and try the new Bvlgari perfume range. She liberally sprayed me with perfume and then grabbed the men’s scents and doused a poor unsuspecting Graeme. We were floating in a cloud of vaporised Bvlgari and starting to feel a bit dizzy. Finally, I got in a few words to explain that it all smelled lovely, but we were travelling and I wanted a very small “piccolo” bottle of perfume. Even less than 50ml. It was the saleslady’s turn to be disappointed. She trudged back downstairs to a less glamorous section of the store. Once there, she handed me a couple of tubes of perfume which were a perfect size, but she was obviously cross that she’d missed out on this week’s sales bonus on Bvlgari. I felt a bit sorry for her and allowed her to talk me into a panda shaped green tea eye restoring stick (???). Peering at me closely, she said I looked tired and could do with a more advanced eye treatment and maybe some very good light reflecting foundation. With that statement, she started to herd us back upstairs again. Fortunately, a wary but sweetly smelling Graeme stepped in to politely say that he preferred my “natural” look and promptly dragged me away to the cashier. I mean there’s only so long a man can cope with a full noise cosmetic store experience.
Phew! Graeme could now enter his world.. the wine cave. The friendly waiters at La Canonica restaurant had recommended a wine shop a short distance from the Arena. Gra still had Rick’s list of good (and affordable) Italian reds and he was able to find them at a reasonable price here. At least we had one shopping win!
We had checked out of the Accademia Hotel, so all we had to do was find Gino again. It was a good decision to have marked his location in our Google Maps. We just “clicked on his flag” and hey presto the phone led us to him. Personally, I think Gino would have enjoyed his stop in the warm streets of Verona, compared to the -15C overnight temperatures that Arabba has been experiencing.
Back on the road, we stopped into a town near Trento called Rivereto. There was apparently a very good shop for telemark gear here. Alas we had forgotten Italian shopping hours! We got there at 12:30 but the store didn’t open again until 3pm. “Sigh! ” [from Graeme this time]. We didn’t want to be doing our two high snowy passes after dark so we just had a bite to eat for lunch and continued on to Arabba.
As far as shopping goes…Graeme and I are epic failures. I’d even convinced Gra that since we’ve purchased ski boots here, we will already need to mail stuff back to meet our luggage weight limits. It would be no problem to mail back a few more things! However as the pathetic photos of the sum total our purchases in Verona attest, we are useless! Final “Sigh”.
While the sun was still shining brightly on our arrival back in Arabba, with such cold temperatures, most of the snow that fell last Friday is still on the ground. Unfortunately, both of us have obviously picked up some exotic warm climate bug during our stay in Verona and we both are feeling under the weather. Soup and straight to bed for us tonight.