Fair Verona

Verona Travel Blog

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It was a perfect day to walk around Verona, with crystal clear skies and a warm glow from the sun. The Piazza Bra and Roman Arena were a wonderful first taste to the city, full of life and activity, ancient monuments from Rome and stylish cafes. From Piazza Bra we walked up Via Mazzini to Piazza Erbe, wandered the markets, ate fresh fruit in the sun and watched a sausage dog puppy be coaxed across the park. This week in Italy I have developed my “Puppy Index” measure of a city - the higher the number of people walking dogs the better - refecting a population that has time to live life and a relative dearth of tourists. Verona and Trieste scored very well on the Puppy Index, while Venice really needed to lift its puppy game.

The tourism hub of Verona is very concentrated, to essentially one house which is portrayed as the home of Juliette. Ignoring the fictional nature of Romeo and Juliette, legions of young kids crowded the house, writing love messages on the walls, touching the statue of Juliette on her right breast and taking photos of the balcony where they imagine a very young girl was pressured into making extremely bad decisions by an impetitious boy who confused lust with love.

We skipped the Juliettte museum and made for the Church of Saint Anastasia. The church was built from 1290 in Italian Gothic style. The beauitful frescos inside give it a surprisingly light and airy look. I was very interested in the restoration that was taking place of the Centrego Alter, dedicated to Thomas Aquinas, where the thin veil allowed us to see the craftswomen carefully restoring the ancient carvings.
We also visited the Duomo and viewed the Roman Theatre from Ponte Piestra, before returning to Piazza Bra for lunch.

I guess at some point some relation of mine lived in Verona, as the café street on Piazza Bra facing the Roman Theatre is called “Via Liston” and one of the cafes was Liston 12. Fortunately the café was a pizzeria / bar, so I was quite happy to endorse my distant relative’s choice. We had excellent pizza and pasta (actually the best we’ve had in Italy so far) accompanied by a mojto, beer and a clown. Next time I’ll have to try the Liston cocktail (Succo d’arancia, ananas, S. Bitter).

Following lunch we visited the Castelvecchio and the Basilica of San Zeno. The Basilica was built in 806 to house the remains of Saint Zeno, the African Bishop who converted Verona to Christianity in 362 CE. Luckily Saint Zeno didn’t visit northern Italy today, when an African immigrant preaching their native religion would be villified and perscucted by the State. Finally we walked back along the old fortifications to the train station, very satisfied with fair Verona.

Adrian_Liston says:
Who seriously believes that Romeo and Juliette was the greatest love story ever told? And many of the comedies are basically stapstick, Charlie Chaplin-style.
Posted on: Apr 09, 2010
troysgonewalkabout says:
When it comes to Shakespeare you sound as cynical as me!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2010
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photo by: wilber85