Adventures in Verona

Verona might just be the most under-rated city in all of Italy.

Verona
Overlooking the Adige River in Verona.

Ever since I first read Romeo and Juliet, I’d wanted to see Verona. Even just walking through other Italian cities, I often found myself saying something like, “This looks just like how I pictured Romeo and Juliet!”

So after two days in Venice, I hopped on a train bound for Verona. And I’m so glad I did.

When my friends and I arrived, we were greeted by the unfolding festivities around the Verona Marathon. Not only was the atmosphere exciting, but there was an entire piazza filled with marathon-related (and some not-so-marathon-related) vendors. We saw everything from running gear and hand-made crafts to fine cheese, wine and chocolates.

Verona
I knew I’d picked the right day to come!

After wandering around the vendors’ tents for a little while and taking a moment to cheer on the runners, we started to make our way to Juliet’s house. We got a bit distracted along the way, though.

Verona
First, we made our way down a posh-looking street lined with shops…
Verona
…and then found ourselves right in the middle of a Christmas market!
Verona
It was the first Christmas market I’d seen, since the one in Florence hadn’t been set up yet.
Verona
We stopped in a local church to marvel at the decoration inside.
Verona
Then we discovered that a Picasso exhibit was on display nearby, so we routed our GPS and set off. What an experience! (Sorry, I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, so you’ll just have to take my word on how cool it was to see so many authentic Picasso paintings and drawings.)

Soon it was time for the main attraction – Juliet’s house. Of course, there’s no way to prove that it was the real Juliet’s house – and there are actually some pretty solid arguments that it isn’t – but we pretended it was authentic and had fun doing so.

Verona
Messages of love covered the walls leading into the courtyard.
Verona
On Juliet’s balcony!
Verona
The 13th century house was decorated with Romeo and Juliet-themed art and displays.
Verona
Those displays included passages from the play.
Verona
…and costumes from the movie.
Verona
This set was used in the 1968 version of the movie.
Verona
The view from one of the house’s windows.
Verona
A statue of the leading lady herself.
Verona
There’s the famous balcony!

We had a nice lunch and did a bit more exploring before catching our bus back to Florence. We passed by the marathon and the Verona Colosseum again once more, marveling at the enormity and old age of the structure.

Verona
The Arena di Verona opened to the public in 30 AD. I repeat: 30 AD. It’s still in use today, too – mostly for opera performances.
Verona
This cheese was available for purchase at the marathon. How about that as a reward for finishing the race?
Verona
The sun setting over the marathon tents made for the perfect scene to end our adventure on.

Our trip to Verona was like our very own fairy tale. (Or a scene from a Shakespearean play – if you would.)  We did some exploring, saw incredible art, ate some great Italian food and visited La Casa di Giulietta.

Verona
After all, who needs Romeo when you’ve got views like this?

 

Final Gelato Count: 55

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