Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Verona (Italy) - Places Worth Exploring

4 days in Italy (Rome, Florence & Venice), followed by Verona - a city that dates back to the Romans, Verona today is a delight of medieval palaces, winding streets, ancient ruins and elegant churches. Noted as one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy owing to its artistic heritage and historical buildings, Verona has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The starting point of our tour in the absolutely favourable weather was towards Adige River. Truly pretty and fits in perfectly with a flowing river, Adige flows between strong embankments, built after the 1882 flood to contain the devastating river water. The view from the bridge to Adige River and the hills at the opposite site is amazing. On the banks of the fast-flowing river, Verona has timeless monuments, a picturesque town center with numerous bridges and Medieval architecture, a romantic reputation, and every bend in the Adige River offers the most unique-wonderful sceneries. As we leisurely strolled by the walkway, the Italian guide came by to take us around the city.  

The nearest from the river was the Saint Anastasia Church - a Gothic church, the largest church in Verona, built by the Dominicans between the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries and has six chapels. The church was packed with people, so I didn't want push my way through. I stood so close to the entrance to have a glimpse of the interior - high vaulted ceiling decorated with beautiful frescoes that bring light and originality to the church. There are also many works of art by Italian masters on display in the church and leaflets are available in many languages describing the most significant paintings and architectural features. So, even without a guide, you should be able to understand the underpinning facts of this church.  

Not too far from the church is the Scaliger Tombs belonging to the important royal family of Verona. Built above ground level, the group of ornate is the Gothic funerary monuments of five notable members of the Scaliger family who ruled Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century. The architecture of structure and the sculptures are truly impressively for their very finest stone-carved sarcophagi. The most famous photographic motifs of the city of Verona, the family's tombs are located in a courtyard of the little Santa Maria church. Separated from the street by a wrought iron enclosure and decorated with a ladder motif referencing the family name Della Scala which means staircase in Italian, one of the tombs is in the wall of the church.

On the way from Scaliger tombs and before arriving at Juliet’s balcony, we stopped by to view Romeo’’s house. While the location of Romeo's house has been changed along the years, this current one is permanently recognized and the thirteenth-century house articulated around a series of internal courtyards is surrounded by a romantic atmosphere. Rather than as a palace, Romeo’s house looks like a castle with its squat tower and high defensive wall. On the ground floor there’s a typical Veronese restaurant where traditional local cuisine can be tasted, especially horse and donkey meat dishes. Since the interior of the house cannot be visited, within less than 10 minutes we walked to Juliet’s house - a must see when visiting Verona, obviously draws hundreds of visitors throughout the year. 
Entry to the house's courtyard is via a passageway where the walls are covered with love notes. The legendary lovers famed balcony built in the 1930’s and Juliet’s statue are in the courtyard. The balcony is the most photographed attraction whereas with Juliet’s statue, visitors rub the right breast for luck, knowing or not knowing it is a fairytale belief. Be prepared to wait in a long queue before taking a picture. Similarly, a photo of the balcony without couples in the way will be hard as they wouldn't want to leave and continue with the longest kiss. Entry is free into the courtyard but you have to pay to visit the museum. 

In the afternoon, while on the way to Porta Borsari and Piazza Delle Erbe, we viewed the Massanti houses.The best preserved example of Verona painted town in 1500s, the houses of the important families of Verona  are painted with bright colored frescoes and the fresco on the fa├žade of Mazzanti houses is by Cavalli, pupil of Giulio Romano. 

Porta Borsari was the next stop, it is one of the city gates dating back to Roman times. Porta Borsari was built in the year 80, restored with local white limestone in 265AD by Emperor Gallieno and is conveniently located along the way from Castelvecchio to Piazza delle Erbe. All that remains of this entrance way to the Roman city is the double arched gate, still, it is  impressive with its height and double story windows. Leading up to the gate is Corso Porta Borsari, one of Verona’s most elegant shopping streets. the Piazza delle erbe, a  great place for architecture, sights and murals, the Lamberti Tower, the beautiful Madonna Verona, restaurants and stalls.  

Ending our sightseeing in Verona ended by 6pm, we then had dinner and couldn't wait to hop in bed while looking to the last two days in Milan.

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  1. I been here too!

    Did you notice that certain parts of the bronze statue of Juliet seemed to shine? It was the most touched (worn out) part of the statue. This maybe because there is a legend that if a person strokes the right breast of the statue, that person will have good fortune. Now the question would be how come even the left side seems to shine? =P

    By the way, did you go to rome and try out Pompi Tiramisu? I thought that it was great!

  2. Why am I not surprised you're still working on your Rome posts? I would be too, if I'm there again for my holidays. Hahaha! Bet you've a lot more for us to drool on, haven't you?

  3. fascinating place, worth to visit even once in a lifetime...
    lucky you!

  4. Loved to see Verona through your eyes!! And you looks beautiful :)

  5. Stunning images of a beautiful city. Love that you included the last one too!

  6. The town is so beautiful, you are so lucky u got to visit all these places
    Good day
    Keep in touch,

  7. have seen this only in MOVIES.Wonderful

  8. Hhi Nava, this almost everybody's dream holidays! And you look so beautiful beside the Juliet statue!

  9. All of Italy is worth exploring, Verona is wonderful :D


  10. lovely place to visit....stunning click of you...

  11. Italy is such an amazing place. The more I see pictures, the more I desire to visit. Thanks for sharing your experience...the pictures are beautiful!

  12. Looks like an awesome place, should visit it some day.


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