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  • gloria139

We spend some time in the Italian city of love …

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

I started this trip saying my goal was to find a tall, dark, uber-rich Italian man who would sweep me off my feet. You might think that, if that was going to happen anywhere, it would be in Verona, Italy’s city of love. I am sad to report no success in that regard. But we still had a great day.

We said goodbye to Cinque Terra and took off back over the scary switchbacks and through the Italian countryside. The Italian freeways, where the speed limit is 130 kph, are actually a great fit for Cyn who is a naturally speedy and aggressive driver (and pretty good behind the wheel, despite my jitters).

We went through a lot of tunnels and then over much flat land to get to Verona. In truth, we picked this stop because it is partway to Venice and we decided we were not going to spend more than a few hours in the car on any given day.

Verona is a city, set in a bend of the River Adige, that dates back to the pre-Roman era and has been conquered many times over the centuries. This is us with our first view of Verona and the River Adige in the background.

Our AirBNB is on the other side of the river from the old town, in a University area, and is quite functional - two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and an outside sitting area for about $100 CAD. And there are no stairs!

After dropping off our bags, we headed across the bridge to the old part of the city. I had been expecting less of a tourist town than we had seen previously, but I was wrong. The Piazza Erbe, a former Roman Forum, is full of tourists and tourist shops .. but fun. We got a table at a shady cafe - we have yet to eat indoors on this trip - and shared Bufflata cheese pizza and white wine.

Then we went to ‘Juliet’s house’ - which is a tourist invention. It is a former brothel purchased by a city father and tarted up to represent the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lover. Even though we recognized that it is totally hokey, Cyn is a drama major and wanted a picture from the balcony.

We headed to the Piazza Bra where we met up with our small food and city-sights tour.

We were taken to all of the places I read about in Rick Steves‘ guidebook. The Roman influence is still very visible here, from the Arena to the piece of the city wall located in the basement of the Benneton Store.

The Verona streets are literally paved with marble. We had wine in a tavern that was built during the Middle Ages, along with a nice selection of traditional appetizers.

We saw the tombs of the della Scala family who once dominated Verona, and the main square with the statue of Dante, and then we stopped at a shop that sells only local wines for a tasting. The Amarone was lovely and we decided we would return here on our way out tomorrow to pick up a few bottles for our trip.

We crossed back over a Roman bridge that had been blown up by the Germans during the war but reconstructed brick by brick by the people of Verona.

Finally, we took a funicular to the top of the hill, the site of an old Roman temple., for a view of the city and more pizza at a small cafe where the guide left us to chat with the British couple who were the only other participants on this tour.

We walked home along the river in the early evening and crashed. Tomorrow we head to Venice.

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