Verona: Who Wouldn’t Fall in Love?
Our approach to the city of Verona was the stuff of fairy tales. The Castelvecchio bridge over the sparkling Adige river looks like something from fractured fairy tales, or an Errol Flynn movie.
It is a fitting introduction to this beautiful and romantic city, the legendary home of Shakespeares famous young lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Personally, I think that is a crock but I guess it does draw tourists, although I believe the city is impressive enough to do that without the questionable claim to fame.
We were there in early October and the weather was gorgeous. Warm and sunny.
There were colorful flowers blooming in the squares and tumbling from window boxes.
And the architecture was quite stunning.
As were the boutiques with their quintessentially fashionable Italian window displays.
We arrived in Verona early in the day and spent the entire day touring, window shopping, and visiting the prodigious open air street market, where I spent all my money, used an ATM near the square to replenish, only to discover when I got home that my ATM card had been skimmed there and used in South Africa and Spain to withdraw over 900 dollars from our account! I thought the ATM was acting wonky and should have walked away. It even spit my card out a couple of times, but I stubbornly continued with the transaction. Oh well. Thankfully my bank did eventually reimburse me for the money withdrawn, but I think I will be much more careful with my bank card when I travel in the future.
Verona is also famous for the huge ancient arena that dates back to the days when this was an important Roman city. It is made of pink and white stone and in it’s glory days, could house 20,000 spectators and is still used to this day during the summer opera performances that take advantage of it’s wonderful acoustics.
Verona wasn’t high on my list of cities to visit in Northern Italy–until I got there. I thought it was just a hyped up tourist trap for fans of sappy movies and cowbell heavy rock n roll.
I was wrong. Verona is knock your socks off beautiful, and like most places in this historic and culturally rich country, worth visiting at least once. I’m sure it would be incredibly exciting to take in an opera during the summer performances at the arena, albeit hot and sticky, since take place in July.
But it was really beautiful in October, in the golden light of late afternoon, sipping an aperitif in an outdoor cafe, looking forward to our own opera performance in a small church that houses a local opera troupe nearby. It was a lovely day that turned quietly into a lovely evening, in Verona, the city of Love.
©2019, All text and photographs by Ilona Elliott