Friday, March 18, 2011

Italy! Verona!


If you wander the streets of Verona on a winter’s night you might just believe the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet to be true. You’ll find plenty to keep you occupied in one of Italy's most beautiful cities. Known as piccola Roma (little Rome) for its importance in imperial days, its truly golden era came during the 13th and 14th centuries under the Della Scala family (also known as the Scaligeri). The period was noted for the savage family feuding of which Shakespeare wrote in his play. Verona is in the Veneto Region of Italy, on the Milano-Venice train line, 70 miles west of Venice. There is a small airport just outside of Verona. Verona has many attractions to go and see there. Here are a few: Arena di Verona - a 2000 year old Roman Arena and it's still going strong. The opera stage is the largest in the world. In the summer months the arena hosts opera and other performances. Make sure you get tickets early. 2 bridges (ponti) Visit the Ponte Scaligerofor a beautiful view, and the Ponte Pietra, a roman era bridge over the Adige river. Juliet's House (Casa de Giulietta). Ok, we're not even sure that Shakespeare ever visited and the characters come from a story by Luigi da Porto of Vicenza but hey, you can rub the right breast of Juliet's statue for luck and take a picture of the balcony like everybody else. Piazza dei Signori - a central square including a statue of Dante because he resided in Verona for a while. Piazza delle Erbe- It used to be the Roman Forum but now its a wonderful open air market surrounded by historic buidings with frescos and peppered with sculptures. Go here for a cheap meal. Castelvecchio (the Old Castle) Beautiful Views and an interesting art collection inside.

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