We spent the day walking around Verona and of course we checked out Casa di Guilietta (Juliet’s house) and walked to the top of Castel San Pietro to admire the view of all of Verona. While doing all of this I was messaging a cousin of mine who lives in Milan and was trying to organise a time to see her. We quickly realised that it wasn’t going to be possible unless we went the next day for lunch. So that’s what we did. The next day we ditched our train to Bologna, booked a train to Milan and made our way to the university where she works. She’s originally from Sydney so it was odd when I heard her say hello because it was Australian. We meet a lot of people who speak English as a second or third (sometimes even more) language and everyone has their accent but in the end there is no mistaking an Australian accent, especially when you haven’t heard another in a while.
Mark found the whole situation funny because I had never actually met Maria prior to our lunch in Milan. Yes she’s from Sydney but she’s been living in Italy for years and our paths just never crossed but in the end it doesn’t matter. Family is family and it was nice to meet her and catch up, we did also try to plan some other possibilities of us meeting later in the year but what will happen will happen. It was amusing to see how quickly word spreads back home. I told my mum we had had lunch with Maria and an hour or so later she sent me the photo we took of us together. My mum had got the photo from my aunty who got the photo from Maria’s brother who I had sent the photo to. When my mum sent it to me I just laughed. At lunch we were also reminded just how small the world can be sometimes because when Mark mentioned a project he worked on in Sydney and the man he dealt with Maria knew exactly who he was because she grew up with his children and calls him uncle. Ahhh Italians. After lunch we made our way back to the train station to wait for our new train to Bologna. The rest of the day and night was very uneventful as was our next day there. Neither of us really enjoyed Bologna and looked forward to leaving after just 1 full day there.
We left Bologna to go to Ferrara to meet Mark’s cousins (this time) Carmelo & Mirko. We spent 2 days there hanging out with them and enjoying the Annual Buskers Festival. At the end it was sad saying goodbye to them. When we said goodbye in Sicily it wasn’t “Goodbye” it was “See you later in Ferrara”, this time it was “See you later, sometime, somewhere” and because no matter what everyone’s intentions are sometimes life gets in the way and it can become 10 years or more before you see them again. I hope that doesn’t happen in this instance!
Another train, this time for 6 hours from Ferrara to Bari which is where we are now, inside a semi-rundown hotel, scratching the mosquito bites we got on our walk to get pizza. On the plus side the pizza is good and I’m full.