Sunday, November 23, 2008

Verona - Love at First Sight

Yikes, it's been a while since my last post. The last few weeks have been busy and I'll admit I've been lazy as well.

There's a special place that we happened to visit that I'd like to share with you. It was the first weekend in November and we were in the Veneto region in the north-east of Italy. We finished what we had to do and it was still early in the day. Since we were in the area, we decided to visit the city of Verona on the way back to Milan. I had never been there before even though it is only 1.5 hours from Milan. Stef had been there once many years back.

We got off the highway, parked and walked towards downtown Verona. My first impression as we walked across a bridge over the Adige River was, 'Wow..' It was a crisp and sunny fall day and the colors were beautiful.

We didn't have any maps with us so we just wandered around the narrow streets.

There were outdoor cafes and street vendors at the busy Pizza Erbe.

I loved this fountain right in the middle of the piazza.

We kept walking and ended up at the very center, Piazza Bra, where the impressive Roman arena sits. It's hard to imagine that this amphitheater was built in 1 A.D.

In the summer, the annual Verona Opera festival takes place here. It must be a magical experience and it's now on my to-do list.

Every where we turned, there were historical sights to admire.

The bridge from Castel Vecchio over the river.

Finally we had to swing by Casa di Giulietta, Juliet's house, of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet story. Even though the story is fictional, but supposedly a real Veronese family had lived here and was the inspiration for Shakespeare's story. The entrance to the courtyard was covered with love notes left by romantics.

Inside was quite the spectacle. There were lots of tourists posing for pictures on the famous balcony where Juliet was said to have spoken to her lover Romeo.

And underneath is a bronze statue of Juliet, where more tourists jostled to stroke her right breast, for it is said to bring good fortune. Haha. No, we didn't.

Our impromptu visit to Verona turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Too many tourists head straight to Venice and miss out on this beautiful city.


Long said...

Much better looking than Venice. That's some beautiful architecture. I'm just surprised there was no food pictures.

leng said...

Yeah... no food pics! Unfortunately we were only there for a couple hours and we already had lunch. A friend actually recommended some places to eat but we'll save it for when you come visit!

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