“In fair Verona, we lay our scene…”
We had the month of February off and so we decided to take full advantage of that and visit Verona. It was easy to get there from Siena, thanks to the company Flixbus. We decided to book an Airbnb and I can safely say that was the smartest we ever made. We were situated in the perfect place in Verona. We were only a five-minute walk from the Arena (roman amphitheatre) and only a twenty-minute walk from the train and bus stations. Our apartment gave the sense of being a home away from home and our host, Raffaella, is a gem on this earth. After she checked us in, she gave us a map of the city and marked out where all the best local restaurants and bars were which proved to be invaluable knowledge. Verona, thanks to the efforts of both the ancient romans and Shakespeare, is a massive tourist destination which means that a lot of the city caters, rather gaudily, to the masses of foreigners. Thanks to Raffaella, we got to experience the real Verona with her recommendations.
If you are interested in ancient Rome and/ or architecture you need to visit Verona’s Arena, Theatre and archaeological museum. They are all incredible well preserved and anchor you into the great history of Verona. All are easily accessible and inexpensive to enter. The sight that most people seem to recognise in Verona is Juliet’s house and balcony. This is a total tourist trap, considering that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was a work of complete fiction. However, the sentiment of writing down your love or life woes on a piece of paper and leaving it on the wall of “Juliet’s house” does have a sort of cathartic effect and it is also a nice reminder that millions of people from all corners of the earth have visited it, in hopes to fix or find love. I would recommend to skip the actual house that you have to pay to get into as there really isn’t much in it and just go to the laneway beside it where you have access to the wall, the statue of the Juliet and a viewpoint of the famous- for- all- the inaccurate-reasons balcony. A word of advice; go early and avoid the hordes of school boys laughing and making rude comments while they grope the statue of Juliet’s boobs.
In the case that you are an amateur or professional photographer or you just really want a nice-I- went- on- holidays- and-you-didn’t Instagram I would suggest the viewing point just outside Verona’s Castel San Pietro. You can walk up to it or, if you are a lazy human being like myself, there is an elevator that takes you up and down for 1.50 which also gives you a great panoramic view of the city as you rise up to the top. Another spot for “iconic” photos of Verona is on either bank side of the river around the Ponte Pietra. You can get a clear shot of the well-established pointed bridge from either bank side and if you are lucky to have a sunny day the light will make the water of the river so clear that your picture will look like a postcard. Finally, if you want to highlight the beauty of an Italian sunset, there is no better place to do it then in at the Castelvecchio. The light streams through the walls and baths the beholder in its beautiful orange and yellow light. The result? A picture that will, at the very least, annoy your friend who wants to be insta-famous.
In all seriousness, I could not sing this city’s praises more. The history, the myth and the local feel all mingles to produce a stunning city that is waiting for you to make unforgettable memories in. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below. The proof, as they say, is in the edited montage video that I made.
See you next time!
Restaurant and bar recommendations:
Leon D’Oro à amazing pizza place with a beautiful, big courtyard outside. It was really good value as well, two pizzas with drinks cost us about 12.50 euro each.
La Colonnaà This osteria doesn’t look like much but the food they serve is delicious. It is very much a local, family place. If you go you have to try the Bistocco Alla Milanese, it is so tasty that not even Gordon Ramsey could think of something horrendously insulting to say about it.
Archivioà The only thing better than the cocktail’s in this bar are the names that are given to them. I had an ‘Asian Mule’ and Claudia had a ‘Tarzan’. The best one on the menu though had to be the ‘Brexit’. The cocktails ranged from 6-8 euros.