Old Town Barcelona

Old Town, Barcelona

The bottom of La Rambla was our starting poinLa Ramblat for the day as we set out to explore the old town area of Barcelona. This tree lined street was actually once a river, with a 13th century city wall following it. At the bottom of La Rambla is a monument to Columbus overlooking the street and sea. Just off La Rambla, is one of the first works of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, Palau Güell. The spire-like chimneys are the only hint of colour that can be seen from the street. For some fresh fruit, fish or meat be sure to stop at Boqueria food market. The market originated from the 13th centurBarcelona Cathedraly and today is one of the top markets in the world! If you have the time you can even sign up for a cooking class there.

After that, we began to wander through the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), the oldest part of the city chosen by the Romans. The Barcelona Cathedral stands on the old foundation of a Roman temple. The interior is beautiful and can be accessed anytime before noon for free, however make sure you’re covered up! We saw many women attempt to enter the church in shorts or thin straps on dresses but were required to wrap a scarf around their waist and shoulders before entering. Men wearing sleeveless shirts were also turned back. Don’t worry though, a man and woman were selling scarves out front from €0.50.

From the Gothic Quarter we worked ourParc de la Ciutadella way to Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc del Triomf, the main gateway to the 1888 International Exhibition. In the gardens is an incredible ornamental cascade designed by Joseph Fontsere and a young Antoni Gaudi. There is also a boating lake and although we never saw any, parrots living in the palm trees.

Verona Roman Remains

Roman Verona

Verona has the second largest amount of Roman remains in Italy, next to Rome. Being at the center of an important roads network, Verona can equally apply the phrase from “all streets lead to Rome” to “all streets lead to Verona”. Used as a strategic base, Verona was built in the first stage of the Roman expansion.

The Arena Ampitheatre, is the first noticeable Roman remain when Verona Roman Arenawalking through the city. In the Summer, thousands of visitors from all over the world applaud the many opera concerts held at the arena. It can hold more than 20,000 people and is the biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world! Our hotel, Guilette and Romeo was located just off of one of the side streets surrounding the arena.

Closer to the hilltop along the river, lies remains of an old Roman Theatre.Verona Roman Theatre It was only discovered in the 19th century by a business man who bought the property for development. He changed his mind however, and uncovered many Roman ruins and artifacts in the area. The original marble floor of the orchestra pit, along with rows of stone seats were discovered. The Roman Theatre is part of the Archeological Museum where you can see many of the other artifacts that were found throughout the city. This includes many coins, mosaics and sculptures. It was one of our favourite attractions to visit in Verona.