The first of a series of articles describing four fabulous days in Italy in Sunny September…
A warm Saturday afternoon in September, we landed in Milan Bergamo Airport at 3.30 pm and got on a coach to Verona, passing beautifully manicured, shaped trees set out in regimental rows, which gave our first indication of the inherent style of all things Italian.
To the left of the Motorway and following us like an ancient giant, was a row of distant mountains; bare and rising to meet the sky, slightly out of focus in the mists of great height and distance. In front of them were lush green hills and mounds, dense with all manner of trees and bushes in a full palate of greens and browns. The landscape was verdant and rich with green foliage, with a distinct lack of concrete, tarmac and buildings. Random Church towers can be seen standing guard above the trees.
The houses we passed set into the countryside, were all the colours of earthenware: cream, ochre, white, olive, sand and yellow; with many small windows framed by painted wooden shutters and almost flat, slightly pitched roofs in colours of terracotta tiles.
Small factories painted in soft shades of powder blue, pales lemon, silver grey and even orange, dotted the side of the motorway, nestled strangely in between fields of crops planted in beautiful straight rows, which looked far more stylish than most English front gardens.
Tall striking Cypress trees are juxtaposed against the random spreading of the olive trees framing the fields of low level crops of maize, corn and of course, grape vines.
Our first sight of the City of Verona was amazing. Driving off the motorway and rising up from an underpass into a plethora of tall buildings cream walls, stone façades and hundreds of balconies festooned with greenery from potted plants and shrubs. The winding roads through the city were clean and full of interesting looking shops, cafes and bars.
There were many more Church towers set into the skyline, with buttress tops and arrangements of pointed spires. We crossed the River Adige in the centre of the City which reminded me of the Thames in London, winding purposefully through another big City and flanked with tall executive apartment blocks, their balconies spilling with greenery that leaned towards the water.
It was now 5 pm Saturday and traffic was heavy here, which gave us time to take in the historic Italian style of the buildings and the flavour that can only be Italy.
Through the other side of Verona, the coach began to wind its way up into the hills and away from the hustle and bustle. Up and up we went, round another bend taking us even higher. Looking down at Verona, the roofs became like Lego bricks as we climbed up into the hills towards the village of San Mattia.
Look out for the next article about this trip, or contact Elaine Vendelli on www.hi2events.co.uk