My Verona
My Verona

My Verona

My first impression of Verona could have been better. Stepping outside of the train station, it was bigger and busier than Ravenna had been. I also had high expectations because both Tamara and Adele (sister) had said how much they liked Verona. My fault as well for only having directions to the hotel and no map. I couldn’t find any street names so all I could do was go with the flow into the city centre, knowing I should probably be going off somewhere to the right. The weather had warmed up again and it was hot work lugging that suitcase around.

Finally armed with a map from Tourist Info, I made my way back to the hotel. I didn’t have a good first impression of the hotel either, it being a bit away from the town centre and looking kind of bleak from the outside. Fortunately both the town and the hotel proved that first impressions can be wrong.

After settling in I did a brief RS tour of the town centre. A big thing in Verona is Juliet of Romeo and Juliet fame. If you’ve seen the movie, Letters from Juliet, you’ll recognize her “house” in Verona. Though it looks a little different – dirtier and more crowded. Rick says the story about the house was made up (kind of like Shakespeare’s characters) in the 70s by a tourism promoter, and he doesn’t recommend rubbing the breast of her statue, which is a thing, (as if!!) or even drinking in the Juliet-house-end of Piazza Erbe. There is also a Juliet’s tomb somewhere which I didn’t go see and a Romeo’s house which I don’t think anyone bothers with.

Nobody is paying any attention to this sign.
Nobody is paying any attention to this sign.

People also leave notes stuck with gum (ew!) on the wall, as well as locks to prove their love, like on the bridges of Paris.

It's at this point that I wish I knew more lines from the play other than "Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?"
I wish I knew more lines from the play other than “Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?” #notanenglishmajor

My second day in Verona I was up and out ready to take on Verona’s sights. It was warm and in the afternoon thunder rumbled in the distance but no cloudbursts thankfully.

First stop was the amphitheatre where I bought a Verona Pass which gave me entrance into most of the museums and churches for 24 hours. The amphitheatre was impressive and made out of the local pink marble giving it a warm glow. Adele (sister) was this, as opposed to the Roman theatre, where you and Carissa saw the show? And was it opera? There isn’t much here about their Roman history but if you are keen on opera, they have lots of info on that.

Verona's Roman Amphitheatre
Verona’s Roman Amphitheatre
Interior of amphitheatre ready for a concert.
Interior of amphitheatre ready for a concert.

After this I headed across the river to see the Roman theatre. Once on the other side there wasn’t a sign pointing the way, so I decided to follow a school group up some stairs thinking they must be going somewhere interesting. I kept going up the stairs and seeing interesting things, some possibly Roman bits near where I thought the theatre should be but no way to tell for sure. A couple wanted me to take their picture with the town in the background so I made them take mine as well.

Me with Verona behind
Me with Verona in the background

In the end the stairs did not lead to the Roman theatre but I did get a great view of Verona and some exercise.

View of the River Adige
View of the River Adige (this was the site of a Roman bridge until it was bombed in WWII. White marble pieces were pulled out of the river and reused in this bridge).

Back down to street level and past a construction site of scaffolding and cloth covering a building with a tiny sign that says that the Roman theatre is closed until May 31. No one ever tells you these things until you get there.

Back across the river and time to tour churches to make my Verona Pass worth its 15 euros. First stop the Duomo. There was a small ancient chapel here that had Roman mosaics but I won’t even bother showing them because after Ravenna’s mosaics they look like nothing at all.

Pink marble column base in Duomo
Pink marble column base in Duomo

Next the church of Santa Anastasia. There was a fresco of St. George high up on the wall that had faded and I couldn’t really see at all. But they had a fairly long video (10 minutes) showing it in detail and it looked pretty amazing. No photos of it though, sorry. But there were little statues of hunched over men as water basin stands.

Someone had a sense of humour. Poor guy.
Someone had a sense of humour.

After lunch I walked all the way over to the deserted side of town to see the church of San Zeno, because I had to get my money’s worth out of that Verona Pass. Besides what else did I have to do?

Face on the bronze door of San Zeno.
Face on the bronze door of San Zeno.

Finally I went to the Castelvecchio (old castle) which is an art museum. I started out taking photos and then I noticed the people working there were following me from room to room, and I stopped. By the time I was through I did not want to see another religious painting!!

Castelvecchio
Castelvecchio

Now here it is your moment of mosaic (from Ravenna until I find some worthy mosaics somewhere else).

San Vitale Mosaic
San Vitale Mosaic

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. I love that shot of you in Verona!

    I must say, though, I HATE the practice of putting locks on bridges and other significant areas. That’s a new phenomenon since I was last in Europe (2002). I hear about the constant repair and replacement of bridge railings in Paris because these locks are so heavy, they literally destroy the structure.

  2. Adele McLean

    Well, I am glad that you had a better time in Verona, once you got settled in. Yes, that is the amphitheatre we saw the opera, Aida. It was magical seeing it there. I like the hunched over man fountain!

    1. Yes Verona is a nice city but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as big as it was, though it’s nothing like Milan. It would have been nice to see a concert in the amphitheatre but nothing was on when I was there. Was the sound good? Because amphitheatre weren’t meant for sound as much as spectacles. Roman theatres have great acoustics though, which is why I wondered about where you saw the opera.

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