Gold Heart sightseeing in Italy

Gold Heart took their family-style bluegrass to central Europe this month, visiting Austria and Germany on their travels. They promised to send along a few reports as they go. This last one comes from fiddler and younger sister, Shelby Gold, detailing a side trip to Italy. The band is now safely back home in northern Virginia.

Shelby Gold in Lazise during Gold Heart's 2015 European tourWell, we finished up our shows, and I must say the tour went off without a hitch. Gold Heart rocked Germany and Austria!! Time for a little R and R. The past three vacation days were totally incredible. Our tour was intense and we definitely enjoyed the much needed break. We traveled to Verona, Italy. Jocey was especially excited about this because she’s been wanting to visit Italy since she was a little girl.

We drove straight through Brenner Pass, which is a long mountain pass through the Alps between Austria and Italy. Watching the landscape change as we drove further south was breathtaking. I’m pretty sure we took a thousand pictures of the Alps alone. We spotted a gorgeous castle up on a mountain and spontaneously decided to drive up as close as we could get to it. It was so exciting. Once we got up there we saw that it was open to the public. We spent several hours exploring the beautiful medieval Castle Beseno in Trento, Italy. This castle is stunning and our whole family had a blast there.

We made it to Verona that evening and checked into our hotel. We were starving, so we walked around downtown looking for a place to eat. Not much was open, so guess what we ate for supper? Haha, you guessed it…Hamburger and fries with an Italian flair. It wasn’t what we had in mind, but it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. When we finished supper we drove back to the hotel and crashed. We were exhausted!

We had a great night’s sleep and awoke refreshed and ready for the day! The hotel we stayed at said the breakfast was very American….I guess they think American breakfast is sliced up hot dogs and eggs. Haha…Ewww! We skipped it.

On our way back to downtown Verona, we took some of the back roads and snapped a lot more pictures. We visited a place called Lazise. It was a walled city and oh my goodness, it was beautiful! It was built next to the water, so everywhere you walked had a pristine view! We ate some real Italian food there inside the city. I ordered Ravioli with vegetables and it was tasty! In Lazise, there were a bunch of little shops, which reminded me of a classy outlet mall we have in the states. Of course, the girls and I had fun doing a little shopping. Dad and Kai tagged along, but I’m pretty sure they were about over it. The authentic Italian gelato was the best! I think that was the highlight for Tori (She loves gelato!) Later, we went to this perfect little spot on Lago di Garda and drank cappuccinos. We spent an unforgettable part of our day right there.

We rushed back to Verona that evening, to visit Guliette’s Balcony. How incredible to see where Shakespeare based his play Romeo and Juliet. The house dates all the way back to the 13th century. This open air mall area had many upscale shops and restaurants. The floors were marble and the architecture was unbelievable. Walking around that area of Italy was dreamy. I hope to go back someday.

Although the weather was warm and in the ’70s all day, it really cooled down that evening. Surrounded with beautiful, ancient architecture, we enjoyed dinner and coffee at a quaint little Italian restaurant inside the town square.

We ended the day by seeing the Arena di Verona. It’s absolutely amazing that the walls of the Roman Amphitheater are still standing although they were built in the 1st century. It was an absolutely spectacular sight to see.


We will definitely remember the delightful time we spent in Verona, Italy!