Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nanaw and Papa Visit Italy {Flashback to August 2012}: Visiting Verona


Okay, so when I last left off, we had been in Nove. The day after our shopping spree at Nove, we went to the nearby town of Verona. It's about 45 minutes from our house and if it sounds familiar, it's because Verona is the town that Shakesphere used as the setting of Romeo and Juliet.


William Shakespeare

“Two households, both alike in dignity
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.”

So Verona was a town that we had heard a lot about but hadn't yet visited. We knew before my parents even arrived that August was the busiest month for tourism in Italy. We were warned that places would be crazy packed. But up until Verona, nothing else had been very busy. Pisa is always busy, as is Venice, so we expected that. But Innsbruck, Garmisch, Bassano del Grappa, Lucca....those places weren't too bad. Lucca was hotter than hell that day but the crowds weren't horrible and it was Market day.

The same cannot be said for Verona.

Parking was a bitch. We drive a minivan so most spots here in Italy are a tight fit. We couldn't park on a side street, we couldn't fit into the spots all marked with a "P" and named (well we could have parked but we wouldn't have been able to open our doors). We finally found the underground parking garage and after several arguments between B and I, we parked there. (He swore we couldn't fit, I argued that we could because our friends who drive a Suburban park there as well). In the end, I was right.

So after ALL that mess and drama, we were ready to go inside the walls of Verona.





Verona, much like all of Italy, was once populated by the Romans. There is a Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, that remains today. It is the third largest in all of Italy. For a small fee, you can actually go inside the Arena. Well when we got to Verona the line was loooooong. We took a bunch of pictures outside of it and thought ''We might go in later''.

 


Now when I say "Verona was packed'' I mean...Verona. was. packed.



This road, is on the way to see Juliet's balcony. Verona's most popular site is the balcony, said to be Juliet's in Romeo and Juliet. The house said to be Juliet's house is in a courtyard. The road and the courtyard, were packed.
 
For a small fee, you can go inside the house and up to the balcony but again...it was crowded and there was a long line. We did however, rub Juliet's boob as it is suppose to be good luck to do so. There was a line for this as well, but it was pretty short.


In this courtyard is a rod iron gate and on the gate, couples have attached padlocks with their names written on them. It's suppose to symbolize and ''lock'' their love of one another. If anything, they sure were colorful!


So after Juliet's balcony, we moved on to Piazza dei Signori and found a spot for lunch. We ate while taking in the sites of the Lamberti Tower and the various building and monuments.

By this time, we were over Verona. It was so hot and humid and crowded and we started to walk back to the car.
Pretty sure this wasn't originally built for a Rolex shop.

Just as we had decided to ditch Verona, we noticed that the line to the Arena was gone. (Probably because everyone else had enough common sense to not go walking around a stone theater in the heat of the day). But nonetheless, we decided to go inside. B and Sissy waited outside in the shade as Sissy was napping and B was in a grumpy mood.

It was quite a sight!
The theater is still very much in use, for operas concerts and plays, from my understanding. They were setting up the stage for an Opera the day we were there. The show was that night.

Overall we left Verona hot, tired, cranky and needing personal space. I will say that I have been back to Verona since and we had an absolutely WONDERFUL time. (I'll blog about that trip later)....

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