well we went from heaven to hell in a matter of 24 hours.
first off, lets point out that we got home from perugia at 1:30 in the morning and didn't go to bed til about 2:30. next, lets remember that we had to catch our train to verona at 5:00. what does this mean, you ask? well it means we got an hour and a half of sleep because we had to make the two mile walk to the train station at four in the morning. so that was a great start to our morning. maybe we should have taken that as a sign that we shouldn't go.
in an attempt to save a little money (well, actually a lot), chelsea didn't want to buy tickets at all. after a lot of convincing on my part, we decided to buy "ragazzi" train tickets. do we look like we are under twelve years old? eh, that might be a stretch. but nobody ever actually checks the tickets so we figured we would be fine.
well, on our first train, domenico p came to check our tickets and since we didn't validate them, we were fined five euros each. honestly? he couldn't have just taken the tickets from us or written on them to make it so we couldn't use them again? oh wait, actually he did write on them. he wrote that we got a five euro fine. thanks a lot domenico p. and maybe you should learn your native language because you don't even know how to form a complete sentence to explain why you are giving us the fine. "biglietteria." "cinque euro." "non e possibile." your one word of italian is not helpful. go to school and get a real job so you don't have to waste your time fining some harmless american tourists for not validating their tickets. sheesh i hate the italians.
from there, all was well until we arrived at the train station in verona. or should i say east berlin or the soviet union. i swear to you we were dropped off in the middle east or russia or something - anywhere but italy. first off, there were more people speaking german than italian. what? not to mention the fact that it looked like we'd been dropped off in commie central. we felt so safe. good thing chelsea knows how to say one sentence in german so we look like we fit in... except that the only thing she knows how to ask is for water with ice. so i'm not quite sure how far that would've gotten us if we had actually needed it. and my two years of german from good old herr hardy didn't get me much further. where is hendrik when we need him??
well we finally made it to the center of town and decided to stop at a cafe for breakfast. i decided to order eggs and bacon (since they don't seem to have that anywhere and i needed a normal breakfast) but when it came out, the eggs were over easy and had probably been cooked for literally 15 seconds. they were completely raw. and i barely even like eggs to begin with and can only eat scrambled if i ever actually eat them. i hoped the bacon would be normal, but it wasn't really either. at least the orange juice and hot chocolate were normal so i got a little something in my system.
after breakfast, we went out to find the casa di giulietta. you would think it would be easy to find since it is the only thing people go to verona for. well, it should've been, but it wasn't for us. of course we walked right past it, even with the huge crowd of tourists around it. we finally managed to find it and went to go find the wall to put our letters to juliet in but oh wait... that wall doesn't exist. thank you amanda seyfried for putting false hopes into our minds. turns out all there is is a tiny, tacky mailbox. so we put our letters in there then walked around in hopes of finding something to do to pass the time until there was a train leaving.
when we bought our tickets, not only did we buy childrens tickets but we bought them for the 3am train because it was so much cheaper. we went to the station and found a train leaving for florence, but the layovers were in different places than were on our tickets. we figured we'd be fine, and we didn't really want to wait around for another hour for the right connections and we certainly weren't waiting twelve more hours for the 3am train. we boarded the train to padova which is where the trouble really started.
when we got to padova, we went to the platform where the florence train was leaving from and we got yelled at by the worst italian i came in contact with the entire time we've been here. she told us we had the wrong tickets and to go buy new ones. we thought we could just get on the train at a different door but no... we got kicked off the train and watched it drive away without us. we had to go talk to customer service (which might i add was not much of a "service" at all. thank you america for always being so helpful) to get them to change our tickets but then they got mad at us for having childrens tickets and made us buy new ones. but not just new tickets to florence... new tickets an hour and a half backtracking back to bologna then the two hours to florence from there instead of the hour and a half to florence from padova. not only were our tickets children's tickets, apparently we had bought boy children tickets so they were not very pleased about that. we really don't understand though because there was no option to pick if it was for a boy or girl but whatever. we were not male children and that was all that mattered to the trenitalia nazis.
we pretended to sleep on the train from bologna to florence since we still had our child tickets for that segment and luckily we actually weren't woken up on this one. we know from cinque that they have no problem violently shaking you until you wake up though. so for one segment, things went our way.
once we got to florence, there was not a train for two hours since we had missed the earlier one we were planning on. our tickets, however, were for the direct train and this one went through empoli. we decided we should buy tickets for this train so we didn't have to worry, but for whatever reason, we still decided to buy ragazzi tickets. we had to waste two hours now and hadn't eaten since breakfast at 10 so this is when we stooped to our absolute lowest.... we ate mcdonalds. since it was 11 at night it was the only thing open and we had no other option except to starve. this was the first fast food we've had in months and we all (except chelsea) immediately regretted it. we felt so sick and it was disgusting and didn't help us at all.
we got to the train station and were about to start the walk home when our luck finally changed and a taxi pulled up right then. we thought there would be no chance of this happening at two in the morning but somehow it worked out for us. the second we got home, we got in bed in our clothes and went right to sleep.
so this was our encounter with satan. we decided that from this point we should just suck it up and only buy the right tickets so we never had to go through something like this again. to anyone traveling to italy, verona is not worth your time, effort, or money and i strongly advise you not to go. ever. worst day of my life, hands down.