Friday, March 24, 2017

Pictures from Verona

"Pleasant Verona! With its beautiful old palaces, and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace walks, and stately, balustraded galleries. With its Roman gates, still spanning the fair street, and casting, on the sunlight of to-day, the shade of fifteen hundred years ago. With its marble-fitted churches, lofty towers, rich architecture, and quaint old quiet thoroughfares, where shouts of Montagues and Capulets once resounded....." Pictures from Italy, Charles Dickens, Chapter 8
The walls of Verona
When Romeo was forced to leave Verona, he despaired: "There is no world for me outside the walls of Verona, except purgatory, torture, and hell itself. So to be banished from Verona is like being banished from the world, and being banished from the world is death."  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Arena di Verona

Still standing since the first century AD, the Arena no longer hosts gladiator fights but it still draws a crowd. It is the venue for large events like the Verona Opera Festival during the summer months and concerts throughout the year with headers like Andrea Bocelli and Adele. (Read Arena article here). 
Piazza Bra
The colorful Piazza Bra is the largest square in Verona.  Its cafés and restaurants have the the best views of the Arena and preferred seats for people watching. 


Walking around Verona is like walking back in time. Turn a corner in the busy city center and you might find another layer of its rich history. 

Via Mazzini leads to Piazza delle Erbe and Casa di Giulietta (Read the full article about Juliet's house), possibly the most popular attraction in Verona. But that's not all. It is also a fun shopping street and it's easy to get distracted here. 

Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe has all the ingredients for a fulfilling afternoon of exploration. The square is an architectural timeline - there is a Roman statue of the Madonna Verona from the 4th century crowns a 13th century fountain, the medieval towers of Lamberti and Gardello, the frescoed façades of the Mazzanti houses from the 13th century, the crenellated Casa dei Mercanti from the 14th century, the Baroque palace of the Maffei family from the 17th century. And if you thought you had evaded the shops on Via Mazzini, well there's a thriving outdoor market here where you can buy pasta, olive oil, clothing, souvenirs and all kinds of things you may or may not need. It's best to take it all in with a cool drink from one of the outdoor cafés.

Santa Maria Matricolare
The Duomo Catedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare dates back to 1187 and stands on the site of a basilica from the 8th-9th century which was destroyed by an earthquake. This Romanesque church has seen multiple structural interventions over time and has incorporated a Gothic inspired interior.

I was drawn to the side chapels primarily due to their sheer size and the faux niches with portraits of saints and men of the Church. The two chapels above show the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (center) and the taking down of Jesus from the cross. Note the pilasters that frame the arched altars and the pediment above.

Sunset over the Adige River in late November. The Adige originates from the Alps and flows down northeast Italy through Verona before continuing its journey to the Adriatic Sea.

Too early for dinner or calm before the arrival of hungry bellies.

"I had been half afraid to go to Verona, lest it should at all put me out of conceit with Romeo and Juliet. But, I was no sooner come into the old market-place, than the misgiving vanished. It is so fanciful, quaint, and picturesque a place, formed by such an extraordinary and rich variety of fantastic buildings, that there could be nothing better at the core of even this romantic town: scene of one of the most romantic and beautiful of stories." Pictures from Italy, Charles Dickens, Chapter 8

Several trains connect Verona with Milan, Venice, and Florence daily. Check the train schedules here. https://www.italiarail.com/train-schedules

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie


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