From the beautiful Roman Arena to the romantic atmosphere inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a weekend in Verona can be memorable. The Adige river winds its way through this beautiful city in the Veneto region of Italy.
We “exercised” our feet at the Arena, ambled along in Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe, smiled at the fuss about “Juliet’s balcony”, wandered in the maze at Giardino Giusti, and enjoyed a tranquil evening stroll along the River Adige.
The Roman Arena:
The Roman Arena, built in the first century AD, is a venue for many concerts and operas (especially in the summer). We explored the well-preserved interior, walked up and down the high steps, watched the activity in Piazza Bra from the “viewpoints” and “pretended” to watch an opera. Junior was thrilled with the climbing and counting (steps), and his adrenalin was at an all-time high.
Piazza delle Erbe:
A perfect place for a gelato break! Some buildings in the Piazza delle Erbe are adorned with beautiful frescoes. Fountains, statues, cafes and restaurants make a pretty picture. A whale rib hanging from the Arco della Costa adds a touch of intrigue.
Romeo and Juliet:
With all the buzz about the Montagues and the Capulets, we succumbed to the temptation of viewing Juliet’s balcony (yes, we know it isn’t THE balcony, but we were curious :)). Verona abounds in “Romeo and Juliet” attractions; however, this was the only one that we visited. The huge crowds at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s house) are a testimony to the popularity of Shakespeare’s tale (especially the “romance” associated with it). A huge whiteboard allows lovebirds to write their messages to Juliet (in an effort to reduce the graffiti at this location).
Our mandatory “green escape” was a visit to the lovely Giardino Giusti.
Junior rushed to the maze near the entrance. He had an exciting time finding his way through the labyrinth. The serenity of the garden, with its fountains and cypress trees, was a welcome change from the buzz of the city. You can get up close and personal with the mascherone, and then, head up the slopes for lovely views of Verona from the top.
We could not leave before spending quality time with the turtles and fish in the pond! And a few more attempts at losing (and finding) our way in the maze :).
Walks and More:
An evening walk along the banks of the river, with pretty views of the Castel Vecchio and Ponte Scaligero at sunset, was a great way to end the day.
And a stroll along the Ponte Pietra, a Roman arch bridge across the River Adige, was an awesome way to begin the next.
Thus, we discovered (first-hand), the charm of Verona. And now, I can’t wait to read The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and perhaps, Romeo and Juliet… Or better still, write a story… Based in Verona. Food for thought!