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.
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 façade 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.
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