Ah Fair Verona
Trip Start Jan 01, 2012
55Trip End Feb 24, 2012
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Where I stayed
Chateau Porro Pirelli Hotel Varese
There are no steep hills in Verona, so it's immediately a hit with me. It has quiet, winding, cobbled streets (I'm starting to think that the only asphalt in Italy is on the freeways because we haven't been to a single town that is not cobbled), impeccably polite citizens and there was a definite absence of loud, obnoxious teenagers. They simply were nowhere to be seen! Maybe they ship them off to Rome and only let them return when they've become civilized?
As we walked through the streets, we came across a hole in the ground with a railing around it. Stepping up for a look in, we discovered the ruins of yet another Roman city beneath the existing city streets. This is so common in almost every Italian town or city. We were told when we were in Rome that Rome, and most of Italy for that matter is like an historical lasagna, built up in layers. With each new conquest (and there have been many), the victors just knocked down the old town, or old temple in the case of the Christians, and built a new one on top of the old. There are whole cities built on top on whole cities!
We learned two things very fast in Italy. If you don't want to break your neck, look at the ground while you're walking, with a quickly snatched glance upwards every now and again to ensure you don't walk into a pole, but, when you're standing still, look up, always look up and look around you. When we did this in the town square, we discovered that the old 2 & 3 story apartments that surround the square are covered in beautifully painted frescoes dating back quite a few hundred years. Some tell a story, others just decorate, but they are so beautiful that you soon forget to look at the wares being sold at the market stalls as you become engrossed in the art painted on peoples houses 100's of years ago.
Leaving the square, we retraced our steps back to the archway leading to Juliette's balcony. While Shakespeare's play Romeo & Juliette is a work of fiction, it is based on actual families who lived in this part of the country and Juliette's family did come from Verona. The balcony, referred to as Juliette's balcony is on the side of the house belonging to her family in Verona. A statue has been erected in the courtyard depecting the daughter of the family. As with any fresh young thing, she has been the subject of the lust of many men over the years, as the shine on her left breast will attest to. Of course, Stuart, along with every other man within a 100km radius didn't miss the opportunity of having his photo taken with Juliette, breast in hand!
We didn't make it to the end of the town without stopping in at a pastry shop and loading up on some of our favourites to sustain us for the next few nights of hotel imprisonment. Eventually, and reluctantly, we made our way back to the bridge over the Adige River to meet up with our tour again and to move on to Lake Como.
We really enjoyed Verona, for not other reason other than, it called to us to be comfortable within it's walls and we were. It's on the list of must visit again.