Photoset: Verona

For our second sightseeing stop – albeit only for a single night – we took a slight detour to Verona. This was an old favourite of Alaina’s from an interrailing tour a few years ago, and a new destination for me. Despite my inexperience, by dumb luck I booked a hotel a stone’s throw from one of the main attractions, the Roman arena – which we could admire from a hot-tub on the roof (of the hotel, not the arena). However, I didn’t appreciate just how far a slog that would be with luggage in what was now mid-30s heat; look into public transport or a taxi if you’re recreating our route!

Other than that, Verona turned out to be a delight. I always prefer a city I can explore by foot, and its historic centre nestled in a bend of the Adige is ideal for that: a maze of sidestreets offering up a steady diet of historic architecture, al fresco dining and gelato stops. On our second day we made an early start with the Arena, before braving the trek up to Castel San Pietro for the reward of elevated views across the river and city.

Sadly the International Center of Photography at Scavi Scaligeri, with its underground galleries nestled amongst ancient ruins, is closed pending renovations. Instead we took cultural refuge from the heat at Palazzo Forti, for the Toulouse-Lautrec – La belle époque exhibition.