Friday, 23 November 2012


The historic city of Verona was founded in the 1st century B.C. It particularly flourished under the rule of the Scaliger family in the 13th and 14th centuries and as part of the Republic of Venice from the 15th to 18th centuries. Verona has preserved a remarkable number of monuments from antiquity, the medieval and Renaissance periods, and represents an outstanding example of a military stronghold -
Despite my intense dislike of Romeo and Juliet, Verona turned out to be one of our favourite places in Italy. Mostly known as the setting of this famous play, it's hard to fault the town for capitalising on this fact. Let's get the fake, touristy gimmicks out of the way first.
'Juliet's balcony'
Because apparently it's good luck to cop a feel of her statue
Yes, that really is a wall of chewing gum. Gross.
Apparently, the city of Verona is clamping down on tourists' disgusting practice of leaving the wads of gum on the wall, which is good to hear. Anyway, on to the real attractions of the city!

We found a lovely place to stay via Airbnb which was full of vintage charm AND had free bicycles for our use. This time, they even had working brakes! Even if you don't have bikes, Verona's easily navigable by foot.
One of the highlights of the city is the Verona Arena, an amphitheater which was, get this, built in Jesus' lifetime (30 AD). It's still used today for hosting things like plays and... One Direction concerts. Although popular with tourists, it's like a slightly smaller but much less crowded Colosseum. You get some great views of the city from the top, too.
Another great vantage point is the Castel San Pietro, just across the river from the old town area and above the Roman Theatre.
It's hard to describe exactly why we liked Verona so much. Even though by now we had been totally immersed in historic Italian cities for two weeks, everything seemed somehow even more charming and delightful here. I tried to capture some of Verona's almost magical atmosphere in these photos, but trust me, everything was even more beautiful in real life.
And things only got more atmospheric at night...
Castelvecchio Bridge
Looking across the Adige River
Porta Borsari, built in the 1st century AD
As if all that wasn't enough to win us over, the Christmas markets were also on!
The food in Verona wasn't half bad either - we had dinner in a restaurant specialising in prosciutto (one of my favourite things of all time), then grabbed dessert at the market afterward.
This was as delicious as it looked
Is this making you hungry yet?
Of course, it helped that Verona had a UNESCO sign displayed so we could take a photo with it!
[Flickr set here

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