We’ve tried to take on board suggestions from family and friends as to where we should visit during the trip. So far, we’ve not been let down. The City of Verona was never on my radar, perhaps Sarah’s, but not a place I’d even think of travelling to. Located in land in between Lake Garda and Venice, it was luckily on our route too.
As we got closer to the centre, the traffic started to build and although not as crazy as the likes of Rome, we needed to have our witts nice and sharp! Especially with the scooters nipping in and out of the traffic and junctions becoming tricky to navigate. Once off of the motorway the camper stop was only a couple of minutes down the road. A shaded spot on the outskirts of town, it looked a good shout, especially for €10 for 24hrs.
Not that I’ve read many of his plays, but I didn’t realise that Verona was the setting for one of William Shakespeares most famous works, Romeo and Juliet. The infamous balcony was added to our hitlist! Whilst doing her research, Sarah read that as a fictional play, it was the City authorities that decided where the famous balcony should be situated in the 1930’s. We’d guessed due to scores of chancers staking a claim at that time.
It’s free to walk in to see the balcony from a small square below, where the walls are covered in messages of love from visiting tourists. As you can see from the picture above, you can walk out on the balcony itself (for €6) Instead of Juliet, we saw Jean from Barnsley blowing kisses to the crowd below. I’m sure Billy would have approved.
Once in the older part of the City there are so many things to see. In the summer months the Roman Arena hosts an open air Opera which we’d missed by only a few weeks. However, the arena itself is impressive enough to see. Built in 40AD for the purpose of entertaining the prosperous folk of Verona, it hosted gladiator style events where competitors battled it out to the death! Sometimes, against Lions, Tigers and Bears (ah ha he he)
It’s difficult to believe that the arena is still standing after over 2000 years! Although the enormous slabs of stone that form its construction look like they’ll still be there for the next 2000. It’s survived earthquakes, wars, invasions and floods. Bizarrely, right across from the Arena, sits a shopping district with Louis Vuitton looking on. Talk about blending the old and new.
We had a good hike around the City, making our way across the river and up in to the hills. It was tough going in near 30 degree heat but we were eventually rewarded with a fantastic view.
Like all of the places we’ve visited in Italy so far, the food and drinks seem very reasonable. It must be to do with the sheer volume of eateries and bars on offer. It’d definately make for a enjoyable long weekend or perhaps a week, especially with Lake Garda only 45 minutes up the road. We saw a bus to Verona from the Lake so you wouldn’t even have to tackle the scooters!
Fortunately, our camper spot was located under a row of tall trees which provided just enough shade to keep the van survivable. We had a much better night thanks to a gentle breeze which started just as we got to bed. Although, we are looking at our destinations now with a thought on the temperature and humidity levels. After all, we are trying to enjoy this part of the trip as opposed to it becoming some kind of heat endurance test! I’m sure everyone back home who has just put their heating back on and started to wear their ‘big coat’ will be feeling extremely sorry for us. Not!!!!