If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I was in Italy for the past two weeks...it was a fabulous trip, Eric's first time there, and I'm so happy that we had a chance to go--and he had a chance to meet my crazy Italian family (who, in case you were wondering, were absolutely part of the inspiration for Juliana). My father was born and raised in Verona, so we spent much of our time there...and I took tons of photos of the city for those of you who want to know more about where Juliana came from! I thought I'd share them a little bit at a time over the next few weeks, to keep you happy before I have any big news (like the cover or first chapter of A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME).
I'll begin with one of my favorite places, Piazza Dante.
Verona has three main Piazzas: Piazza Bra, where L'Arena, the Roman colosseum, sits (and where Leonardo DiCaprio just bought an apartment); Piazza Erbe, the home of the outdoor farmers market; and Piazza Dante (also called Piazza dei Signori)--my favorite. It's the quietest of the three and surrounded on four sides by architecture from the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries. Each of the entrances of the Piazza is topped with a statue of some great Veronese scholar or thinker...and at the center of the Piazza, there's a massive statue of Dante (who, you will recall, is Simon's favorite writer, and the reason he speaks Italian).
My favorite statue isn't the one of Dante, though. My favorite is the one of Girolamo Fracastoro, who was a true Renaissance Man--a doctor, astronomer, poet and all around smartypants. Fracastoro is holding a stone orb in his hand, and the Veronese legend has it that he'll drop it on the first unattractive woman to pass beneath the arch. This cracks me up every time my dad says it, with all authority.
And a trip to Verona isn't complete without walking beneath old Girolamo--as he's very very good for my self esteem. :)
Also, for more fun, head over to The Ballroom Blog today for our first Saturday Salon! We're making Regency paper dolls!