For the record, I attempted to start this post about Verona without referring to the most famous lovers of the world, but couldn’t help it. Thus: I had read my Romeo and Juliet and seen the film and a day trip to Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, was a must when we were at Lake Garda. Verona is about an hour’s ride from the southern part of the lake.
I’ll introduce some selected highlights of that day. We were there last summer during the Verona Opera Festival. Before our trip I went through the festival program with the intention of booking opera tickets but ended up not doing so, because they didn’t have translations to English (projected onto the wall) for the operas we were most interested in. The last time I saw an opera was in Prague and the translations made the opera experience both understandable and meaningful. But, with hindsight, I should have booked the tickets anyway: to have experienced the magic and that special feeling of an opera premiere in a warm summer night under the stars. In Northern Italy. A reason to go back. You can find the program of this year’s festival here.
But there was something there by the large Piazza Brà and the Arena amphitheater that we got to marvel, something gigantic, fascinating and gilded: the sets of the operas that were in the festival program. They were colossal almost. After having a little something to drink in one of the cafes by the Piazza we went to explore the sets and guessing which decor belonged to which opera. The best riddle of the day.
About the Romeo and Juliet themed things: the Tomb of Giulietta can be seen quite quickly. The House of Juliet (Via Cappello, 23) was very popular and there was a long queue for the both the balcony and for Juliet’s statue. If touching the statue can bring you good luck with love understandably you don’t want to jeopardise finding the love of your life. The entrance to the inner courtyard (a small one) is free. What I liked most was the wall where the visitors could write and draw their own love messages, graffiti, hearts and so on: your own love manifestation next to a world-famous romantic setting.
One of the best things was strolling around the city, taking in the atmosphere, admiring the beautiful alleys, the old balconies with flowers and wooden window shutters and the palaces by Piazza delle Erbe. Walking down the riverbank and stopping for a rich espresso or a slice of savory pizza. We had a slice to go from Pizzeria Al Taglio Paolo e Rosetta SNC: the crust was skillfully prepared and the toppings were plentiful and so tasty.
A few points for visitors: Verona is compact and excellent for walking from one place to another: also by foot you encounter possibilities such as small boutiques selling beautiful lace blouses. Which brings me to the second point: wear natural fibers. Especially in July. And especially if you plan to do some walking.
It’s a beautiful and idyllic city with romantic vibes and cues.