I was feeling a little apprehensive when we woke up early to go to Soave. After all, the only planned event of the day was a wine tasting, and I was pretty sure I had drunk all the wine in Verona the day before. However I am not a quitter so we got up and out the door with enough time to spare for Dr Husband to do his Italian impression of drinking espresso at a counter. Meanwhile I did my best American tourist impression and got a Coke (which Dr Husband drank some of thank you very much).
You may have noticed that Soave and Verona do not have the same letters in them, that is because they are two different towns and thus have two different names. In order to reach Soave we had to tackle the local bus system. Unfortunately, the bus sign was in Italian but we figured out where and when we needed to be. When we finally got on the bus we were surrounded by the type of people who would take public transportation to get to another town, it was scary and the driver's driving was very scary – but that's a part of Adventure.
When we finally arrived in Soave we were not sure which bus stop to get off. So after the first stop in town we hit the button and hoped for the best. Luckily our stop was across the street from the Castle Wall – exactly where we wanted to be. The enormity and antiquity of the town were amazing. We walked through the gates and onto a street which was bustling with people setting up booths of various shapes and sizes. It was upon closer inspection of these booths and the signs around town that we realized that we happened to be there for a chocolate festival. We got second coffee (well a latte machiatto and cappuccino) and decided to get something in our belly before our wine tasting. Since there was a chocolate festival happening the answer was simple, that's right, a chocolate filled croissant. But just not any chocolate filled croissant, it was the best chocolate filled croissant in the world (or so I think). It was chucked full with gooey chocolate, I ended up with chocolate all over my face and my hands, and I'm normally a pretty neat eater. Dr Husband ended up the same, but he likes to eat like he's five, so this was not terribly unusual. They really should have given out wet wipes with those. Then it was time for us to go to the wine tasting at Cantina di Soave.
Our tour and tasting was with two American couples from Indiana who didn't have much to say until after their second glass of wine. I think they were intimidated by our knowledge of fermentable beverages. Our tasting lead us through five healthy pours of wine. The other two couples were headed toTuscany to re-create “Under the Tuscan Sun,” or at least that's what I imagined. To be honest, I really wasn't paying much attention as we were drinking lots of wine. After the wine tasting we got lunch at a place Dr Husband approved of, meaning the menu was in complete Italian and the servers had to attempt to speak to us in English. The restaurant, Enoteca il Drago, was beautiful. We sat outside on the patio under the roof in the shade (because I get burned in the sun, even in October). We picked food seemingly at random, and ordered more wine (Soave white wine, of course). It was there that I had my epiphany: Italian food and the restaurant atmosphere is amazing. And I went to live under the Tuscan sun with my new middle-aged American friends. I got a little emotional and told Dr Husband this and he suggested I drink more water.
After lunch Dr Husband decided he wanted to go on a 10 mile hike to the Castle in town. I wanted to go into a store and drink more wine, but for some reason (maybe because we were celebrating our one year anniversary) I decided to stay with him. While it may not have actually been a 10 mile hike it was certainly up a large, steep hill, and it wasn't long before I became thirsty and tired and (somewhat) irritable. I couldn't understand how no one had thought to set up a rest station filled with water... and vino. It was a dynamite idea. I shared my business plan with Dr Husband, and he laughed at me. That's okay; more wealth and prosperity (and vino) for me, I thought. Once we reached the castle, it was closed because the custodian was still on his lunch break. So Dr Husband wanted to hike to the top of the vineyard which was obviously on a hill which meant walking further uphill. I wasn't really a fan of this, but I decided to go anyway instead of sitting on the side of the road with the rest of the tourists.
When we made it back down the castles was finally open. However, the price of admittance was 7€ each which would obviously be spent better on food (and vino) so we walked back down to the city. We wanted a small snack after all that walking so Dr Husband got a cannoli with chocolate sprinkles, and I got a gelato. His cannoli must have been really good because by the time I got my gelato it was gone. He claimed it was the best cannoli he'd ever had, but since I only had one tiny bite (and am unfamiliar with the cannoli flavor ranking scale) I can neither confirm nor deny this. After that it was almost time to catch a bus (or so we thought).
We waited for over an hour until a kind bus driver explained what the small subscripts on the bus schedule meant in English. There wouldn't be a bus for Verona for another hour. So we ended up waiting for close to two hours to go back to Verona. I told Dr Husband that I wasn't really in the mood for another fancy meal when we got back so we decided on pizza for dinner. After we got back and relaxed for a bit we went to a smallish local pizza place where they served a popular pizza that had french fries on it. We didn't see it on the menu because the menu was in Italian, but three or four people ordered it while we were there. Overall it was a nice last dinner in Verona.
The next morning we checked out of our hotel and did a farewell wander around Verona. We half-heartedly looked for the “Juliet Balcony,” that was added on to an old house in the 1930s, but we didn't see it. We ended up at a cafe where Dr Husband got a farewell cappuccino, and I got a farewell glass of wine with a side of judgement-- 11am seemed like an appropriate time for wine. We then went to the train station to catch our ride back to Innsbruck.