A beautiful ancient city, famous mostly by Shakespeare’s love tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. But to think that it can only offer you a bronze statue of Juliet with worn breasts and THAT balcony under which Romeo declared his love to her, would be a huge shame.
Did you know that here was built Arena in 30 A.D., which is the third largest amphitheater in the world after Roman Colosseum and the one in Naples? And it still serves its purpose. It hosts theater festivals, various operas and operettas (hence you can see there one crane that moves in and out all those vast theatrical scenery), and that it was the main point of our trip to Verona. Yes, two nights belonged here to famous Adele who sang here two concerts of her worldwide tour. And we honestly cannot imagine more iconic place where you can hear her songs, most of them about love. But about that later.
Although at first glance it seems that everything revolves around the Arena, it is not true. Liveliest place is elongated vegetable market Piazza delle Erbe which is lined with beautifully decorated historic Romanesque houses from the 13th to 17th century. There are restaurants, stalls selling fruit, vegetables and souvenirs. But of course, you can eat cheaper in some of the surrounding streets ;). A few steps away is the Gothic tomb of the Scaliger family who ruled Verona for almost two centuries and with them are connected many places not only in Verona. Part of the historic walls that once protected the city can be met everywhere but the most important one which is elaborately decorated gateway Porta Borsari from the 1st century. As everywhere in Italy, also here you can find a lot of small churches and cathedrals, from the one named San Zeno Maggiore or San Bernardino through the church Sant Anastasia to the Duomo di Santa Maria Matricolare (abbreviated Duomo di Verona). All of them has something special and everyone can find something interesting there.
You have to pass Adige river at least once over the bridge Ponte di Castelvecchio which had its name after the castle Vecchio where the bridge leads. Both built in the 14th century with red bricks. The castle is open and in the summer the garden is full of greenery and features also a museum dedicated especially to Scaliger family. And while we’re talking about the bridge, another interesting one is Ponte Pietra, featuring stalls of local artists and from the city center is the entrance via Gothic gate. When you will be passing it with slow pace, do not forget to take some beautiful photos with Basilica of San Giorgio in Braida in the background (we can recommend sunrise or sunset time), and after that continue on perhaps the most photographed stairs Scalinata Castel S. Pietro up the hill to the castle of San Pietro where awaits you breathtaking view of the whole Verona city and distant surroundings.
At first glance it seems Verona is a small town, but on the other you can wander off anywhere, just go through the tiny streets and enjoy the real Italy. We lived, as usual, in a rented apartment through Airbnb (25 EUR for you, same for us) in a building from 15th century with wooden floors, beamed ceilings and a charm that only places like this can have. There is no direct connection from Prague to Verona, so we used the low-cost airline Volotea (10 EUR credit for you as for us) to Venice where we continued with direct train. And as we mentioned in the start, our main goal was the Saturday night concert of Adele. It was total lifetime experience. To hear her velvety soft, yet strong and in all powerful voice in the two thousand year-old amphitheater is something that remains in us until death. And we would rather not regret to repeat it again. Adele promised that she perhaps will tour again in 10 years. So we’ll see.
Text: Mes Hommes
Photo by: Mes Hommes
Source: Mes Hommes