Fair Verona

The Roman Arena in Verona.

The Roman Arena in Verona.

Ponte Pietra, the oldest bridge in Verona. It was destroyed by the retreating Germans in 1945, but rebuilt stone by stone, mostly using the original materials.

Ponte Pietra, the oldest bridge in Verona. It was destroyed by the retreating Germans in 1945, but rebuilt stone by stone, mostly using the original materials.

“Fair Verona” as Shakespeare describes it in Romeo and Juliet is one of Europe’s most attractive cities. Like many places in Italy, it has several different faces. Taking in an opera in the Roman Arena is a great cultural experience, and Verona also has numerous beautiful churches. As the setting for one of Shakepeare’s greatest plays, a visit to Verona also provides encouragement to get to know Romeo and Juliet, or to revisit it if you know it already.

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Going to an opera in the Arena was the highlight of my visit, but Verona is also a beautiful place just to walk around, as well as visiting the obvious tourist attractions. One of my favourite walks is down Lungadige, the road which runs parallel to the river, on the far side from the tourist centre. My first evening was beautiful, with bright sunshine, and a fresh breeze blowing from the river. The Adige is fast-flowing, and rushes under the bridges. My grandparents lived in Verona for a year some time in the early 1960s, and their flat was somewhere around here. My parents went to visit, soon after they were married, driving all the way from England in their little blue mini. So it was good to connect with family history, and see that my grandparents had based themselves in one of the most beautiful locations in the city. While walking down this side of the river, you can also take in the Roman theatre, and the Giardino Gusti.

There are numerous attractive churches in Verona, and I went to most of them. I would single out  Sant’ Anastasia as one of the most beautiful, and I also rather liked the under-chapel in San Fermo Maggiore, which had a rather pleasant arrangement of greenery arranged around the crucifix, symbolising life. This was the church where I lit candles for parents and grandparents, as it was probably the nearest church to my grandparents’ flat.

The Sant' Anastasia Church.

The Sant’ Anastasia Church.

A good evening walk is from Piazza Bra (the big square with the Arena) up Via Mazzini towards Piazza del Erbe. This is the favoured location for the passegiata when Italians come out, dressed up, to walk up and down and meet people. This is where Francesco da Mosta does this in the first part of his series Francesco’s Italy. For good views, go up the Torre di Lamberti or visit the Castelvecchio.

Entrance to Piazza Bra

Entrance to Piazza Bra

Another view of Ponte Pietra

Another view of Ponte Pietra

View of the Adige

View of the Adige

The Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre

View of the Adige

View of the Adige

Via Mazzini, where people do the passegiato in the evening.

Via Mazzini, where people do the passegiato in the evening.

Looking across the Adige

Looking across the Adige

Looking across the Adige

Looking across the Adige

The Arena

The Arena

Inside the Arena

Inside the Arena

Torre Lamberti

Torre Lamberti

Nice courtyard at the entrance to Torre Lamberti

Nice courtyard at the entrance to Torre Lamberti

View from Torre Lamberti

View from Torre Lamberti

Another view from Torre Lambrini

Another view from Torre Lambrini

Another view across the Adige

Another view across the Adige

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *