This is the hotel room we woke up in on the day we were leaving for Verona. It is fairly typical of what our rooms in older hotels looked like. They were generally good size with old style furniture. This one had power and USB outlets on just one side of the bed – which was pretty typical when they were even available. We had taken along some 10 foot USB cords and were glad we had them.
This is just one of the many, sometimes laughable, shower configurations we experienced. Obviously there was an attempt at a shower screen but the bathroom ended up soaking wet! There was a floor drain so they were prepared.
When we arrived at the bus that morning we found we had the best seats right behind the driver. The tour company had a process of assigning rotating passenger seats for fairness. We had the best seats once on our twelve day tour – this was our day! We enjoyed our ride and arrived in Verona.
Verona was once a Roman City. The “Porta Leoni” gate was a main access route into Verona. Built in the first century BC, the gate was renovated in the first century AD. The remains of the gate had been known and were partially visible. The gate became more visible during renovations in 1958-59.
From 1974-1981 additional renovations nearby revealed part of the old city under the current road.
We walked down the road, and above the Roman city, to the Piazza delle Erbe. We saw the fountain and browsed the vendor tents.
We saw ravioli (tortellini?) for sale as this region of Italy is famous for filled pastas.
When we saw the fruit vendor we stopped and immediately bought fresh fruit cups – selecting those with our favorite fruits. We had been enjoying good food in Italy but were offered very few fresh vegetables (usually only eggplant) and almost no fresh fruit. (I know tomatoes are technically a fruit, and they were everywhere, but they are not fruit salad fruit.)
Eating our treat was more of a priority than walking to the Verona Arena or seeing another grand basilica! We were getting a bit churched out by this time.
As a result we just walked around and explored the area near the piazza. This restaurant set up is very typical of what we saw in Italy. We didn’t eat here but did so at several restaurants that looked very similar.
Nearby, a twelfth century castle, with a pink marble staircase, surrounds another piazza, the site of the old market.
By the 14th century, Verona was a city of art and culture. Verona’s most famous literary (fictional) inhabitants were Romeo and Juliet.
Like almost every other tourist we stopped to see Juliet’s balcony – only there isn’t really a balcony in Shakespeare’s play. Nevertheless, we saw it and were glad for it.
You can pay extra to go inside the 13th century house and stand on Juliet’s balcony but we did not.
Another thing we did not do was rub Juliet’s breast on the 1969 statue by Nereo Costantini. Doing so is thought to bring good luck.
The city capitalizes on the literary association and why would they not? Our tour guide was a bit cynical saying “Two teenagers think they are in love and people die.”
And on that cheery note – I end. Next time – Milano!