Europe,  Italy

Verona – more than Romeo and Juliet

Verona. The city of Romeo and Juliet. Ok, we’re done with that, can I move on? Verona, a city hurt by Romeo and Juliet. A city which is so associated with this couple that no one is looking for anything else there.

Poor Verona is a victim of a Shakespeare related marketing. Btw, not a bad marketing if you ask me. Juliet’s house with Juliet’s dress and Juliet’s bed and, my favourite, Juliet’s tomb. Cool, but she DIDN’T EXIST. And hundreds of people are going crazy under her balcony and are sending her letter. From what I’ve heard – she’s replying. Ok, guilty as charged, I went to Juliet’s house. Only because we bought Verona Card (18 euros for 24 hours, free entry to main sights and free buses, but I have no idea why you’d use buses in Verona). I would never ever pay 6 euros to see it. Yes, there’s literally nothing inside. Pretty ceilings. And more fire extinguishers than exhibits.

Ok, we did the dramatic part, let’s start from the beginning.

We arrive in Verona early in the morning. Scared by the hypothetical crowds, especially in the Verona Arena, we wanted to be there as soon as they open. At 8:30 am. And we did it. No crowds. We bought Verona Card and entered. Another advantage of waking up early? Free parking next to Porta Palio, you’ll thank me later.

Arena Verona. Older than the Roman Colosseum, it’s really impressive and well preserved. Centuries ago gladiators’ chariots were passing the corridors, now the arena serves as open-air opera. Pretty cool, isn’t it.

We’re walking around Verona admiring its’ beauty. We don’t rush anywhere, just taking it easy one pretty building at a time.

We saw the Juliet’s house, admired Piazza Delle Erbe and went to Santa Anastasia church. If there’s a church, there’s for sure a square and a coffee place. So a quick coffee, a croissant with an apricot filling and we’re ready for sightseeing. I’m not a fan of churching, most churches look the same, but this one was impressive. I listened to all 22 points from the audioguide. And the outside tomb is quite intriguing.

On our way to Ponte Pietra we stopped at the Cathedral and after crossing the bridge (Ponte Pietra) we climbed the stairs to the Castel San Pietro with a short brake for a picnic and pretty views. We took a look on a Roman theatre from above and went back to the other side of the river. We had an amazing pasta in a random place behind Palazzo della Ragione and actually this was our next stop – Torre dei Lamberti – a 84-meters high tower. Regular price 8 euros. Quite expensive, but if you have Verona Card, it’s included. And views are not bad at all.

Oh how adventurous a tower can be. Even if you have Verona Card, you have to wait in the line to get a ticket. In case of Torre dei Lamberti it’s the same line for tickets, postcards, pens and magnets. One lady is at the cash desk, another one is printing tickets and the third one gives you a chip. Hidden unemployment? No way. Lady no. 3 tried to explain that there’s an elevator to the right, staircase in the front and there’s a chip. What about the chip? Well, you have it. It would be smart to put it into the machine by the gate, but it opened without a chip. So maybe not there. We chose the stairs, so it wouldn’t make any sens. We climbed up, went down and we figured out how to use the chip. The gate.

We strolled through the streets a bit more, a coffee, gelato and we were ready to go back for an evening by Lago di Garda. Wait, one more church, San Zeno. How it happened that I’m visiting churches? Three fun facts:

 

  • It has three levels
  • It has bronze doors with Biblical scenes just like one of the famous churches in Poland
  • In Medieval times they did graffiti too – carving dates of important events on frescos.

Can you see Verona in one day? Sure, it’s doable in 8 hours if you’re not visiting museums. One thing is sure: I have to go back!

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