Verona Journals

Verona: La Citta d'Amore

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An August 2001 trip to Verona by gosusan

La torre dei Lamberti Photo, Verona, Italy More Photos
Quote: Verona is a small city that was once a major Roman and Medieval metropolis. I lived here for over a month while learning Italian and fell head over heels for this city of lovers.

Verona: La Citta d'Amore

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Overview

Ponte Scaligero at Sunset Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Verona is the Italian city with the second most numerous and complete Roman Ruins. (Guess which is the first?) Explore them, both the big (L'Arena) and small (fountains in Piazza dell'Erbe, Arco dei Gavi, etc.). If at all possible, see an a production in L'Arena, the nearly intact Roman Amphitheatre. Even if you don't normally like opera, the pagantry of productions like Aida will keep you entranced. The banks of the Adige defines the contours of Verona. Try to follow one of the riverside streets and cross several of the bridges (including the Roman Ponte di Pietra and medieval Ponte Scaligero) to get marvelous views of the city and its river. This journal primarily focuse...Read More

Walking Tour

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Attraction | "Walking bridge to bridge on the Adige"

Walking Tour Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
This entry describes an easy, short walking tour that provides wonderful views of Verona and its river. It can be done at any time of the day, but evenings are the most romantic, either early for the sunset, or later to view the illuminated towers of the city against a starry sky. Start at the medieval Scaligeri fortress of Castelvecchio. The sphere of influence of this warring clan extended far into the Veneto and Lombardia, and one can still find fairy-tale perfect castles, with the classic fish-tail battlements in Malcesine, Sirmione and Soave. But this castle is unique for its beautiful bridge, which arcs over the Adige. Never mind that it was built by the Scaligeri warlords as a last-di...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Walking Tour
Old Town
Verona, Italy

Sant'Anastasia

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Attraction

Sant'Anastasia Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Sant'Anastasia may look like another Romanesque church from the outside (and after a few, you too, may yawn). However, the inside is a glorious riot of frescos and other artwork. Check out the chapel with the terracotta panels- you will never look at a simple flower pot again the same way. Some of the frescos have been damaged by everything from fire to so-called "renovation." It is a miracle this gothic artwork survived the few hundred years when art from the middle ages was considered backwards and was removed. (Although a quick Renaissance plastering-over job usually helps preserve these pieces for those of us who now appreciate them.) Even the floor is inlaid in ornate Escher-es...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Sant'Anastasia
Vicolo Sotto Riva, 4
Verona, Italy 37121
+39 0458004325

Piazza dei Signori

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Attraction

Piazza dei Signori Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
This Piazza is lined with palazzi of the former ruling families of Verona, many of which are bedecked with statues of famous men, hence the name "dei signori." Of course, the grandest of these luminaries is Dante, whose stern statue stands in the center of the square. Notice the frescos on the Loggia del Consiglio, somewhat restored from the Renaissance. Enjoy the signature fish-tail battlements of the Scaligeri palace. The facades of the Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo della Ragione (palace of reason, or justice court) are also noteworthy. Also not to be missed is the archeological cutaway to the old Roman street that led to here. It would be easier to drive than some of the city's pres...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Piazza dei Signori
Piazza dei Signori
Verona, Italy 37121

S. Maria in Organo

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Attraction | "Santa Maria in Organo"

S. Maria in Organo Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Perhaps at this point you are wondering why you have to traipse out to the Veronetta to visit yet another church. Trust me, this one will have even the most over-churched tourist agape with amazement. For the panelling on the walls of the choir and sacristy are some of the finest examples of intarsio (wood marquetry) in the world. Different types of wood were set in by Fra Giovanni da Verona. He took over a quarter of a century to complete these excruiciatingly detailed masterpieces. At first glace you will think they are paintings, but everything is inlay. Other rooms of intarsio were made for the Dukes of Urbino and Gubbio (the latter now on display at the MMA in New York...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

S. Maria in Organo
Piazzetta S. Maria in Organo
Verona, Italy 37129
+39 045591440

Il Giardino Giusti

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Attraction | "Giardino Giusti"

Il Giardino Giusti Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
From the street facade, one would never know that this palazzo hides a spectacular Renaissance garden. But this place makes a marvelous retreat from the chaos of the city, with its greenery and symmetic order. (Not that Verona is especially congested or paved-over, but Italians do like their parks.) Built in the 16th century, it has been a tourist attraction for over 400 years. The collection of Roman antiquities at the front is laid out haphazardly, with little fanfare, as if it were just a pile of junk waiting to be carted out. The labyrinth of box hedges is cut to Renaissance perfection. Ascend up to the grotto and then go above to what was once the grounds of a temple folly for a panora...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Il Giardino Giusti
Via Giardino Giusti, 2
Verona, Italy 37129
+39 0458034029

Museo archeologico

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Attraction

Museo archeologico Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
First a question: are Roman antiquities Art or History? Given that some of the pieces in the exhibit refer to everyday life, I have classified it as the latter. Many of the pieces here are left over from the continual remodeling of Verona and the surrounding province. The Museo archeologico is above the Teatro Romano. For those wanting to save some stair climbing, take the elevator form the top of Teatro Romano. Built in 1400, it was once a convent of San Girolamo. Some details remain from monastic life, like a delicately fresco'ed chapel. There are delicate mosaics, bits and pieces of tombstones and other markers. Display cases hold a mish-mash of greek vases, delicate glass vials...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Museo archeologico
Via Regaste Redentore, 2
Verona, Italy 37121
+39 0458000360

Cycling Excursions

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Attraction | "Cycling Excursions from Verona"

Cycling Excursions Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Cycling is a wonderful way to experience small-town Italy. Explore the villas, vineyards and villages just outside the city walls. Verona is not a large city, so you will be peddling through the countryside of the Veneto within a few miles. This entry describes my first (and easiest) cycling excursion from Verona. Directions are simple and as follows: 1. Leave the Veronese walls by cycling out of Porta Vescovo on the East (Veronetta). 2. Take the softer left onto Via Col. Giovanni Fincato. 3. This road follows straight out along a valley for several miles. You'll see some vineyards, a lovely palazzo, and you will cycle through some small towns. If you wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 10, 2002

Cycling Excursions
Porta Vescovo
Verona, Italy

Rocca Scaligeri in Soave

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Attraction | "La Rocca Scaligeri in Soave"

Rocca Scaligeri in Soave Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Soave is a wonderful half day excursion, by car or train, from Verona. This town is famous (infamous) for its white wine, but just like we used to scoff at Chiantis, the quality of this varietal has improved in recent years. But the main attraction here is La Rocca Scaligeri a huge sprawl of a fortress that dominates the hill above walled town. There's a parking lot near the top for motorists, but those who arrived without wheels have a bit of a hike up the hill. This is yet another example of a 14th century fortress built by the Scaligeri family in their attempt to consolidate power in the Veneto. Although the Scaligeri did not make the best military decisions, noone can faul...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 7, 2002

Rocca Scaligeri in Soave
Via Castello Scaligero
Verona, Italy

S. Maria Antica

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Attraction | "Arche Scaligeri at Santa Maria Antica"

S. Maria Antica Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
The small Romanesque church of Santa Maria Antica is dwarfed by the ornate gothic tombs of the Scaligeri family. The Scaligeri were the powerful family of Verona in the early middle ages. Rather than construct their tombs at the Duomo or another big religious edifice, they instead chose to be buried at their small parish church. There is a small fee to enter the courtyard. If possible, take one of the tours that periodically passes by the tombs. There are lots of interesting historical and decorative details that you will likely otherwise miss. However, you can't fail to notice all of the depictions of ladders. This was the heraldric symbol of the Scaligeri, since their name derives from De...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 2, 2002

S. Maria Antica
Via Arche Scaligere, 3
Verona, Italy 37121
+39 045595508

Arco dei Gavi

Attraction

Arco dei Gavi Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
The graceful Arco dei Gavi is one of the oldest of Verona's Roman remains.

At one point it arched over the Corso Cavour, but it was blown up by Napoleon's forces at the storming of Castelvecchio in 1805. The outline of the original placement is marked in white paving stones, but I don't recommend venturing out into this busy street for a closer look.

The arch was rebuilt nearby in a small, shaded riverside park. Several benches provide seating for you, should you bring some pizza or gelato from the nearby shops on Via Roma.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 2, 2002

Arco dei Gavi
Piazzetta di Castelvecchio
Verona, Italy 37121

Shopping

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Attraction | "Gateway to Shopping Paradise: Corso Porta Borsari"

Shopping Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
The entrance to this pedestrian-only shopping district is the Porta Borsari, part of the old Roman walls. Crossing under the bleached marble, you will find yourself in a narrow street lined with a variety of shops. There are plenty of pricy boutiques for clothing and shoe/leather goods. As Via Mazzini is where to find the brands like Versace, Gucci and Benetton, Borsari has shops that aren't household names, at least outside of the Veneto region. Many gourmet shops sell wine, pastas and canned goods from the Valpollicella wine region and other local food producers. These shops are a delight to browse through and are great places to pick up edible gifts and souvenirs. Also be sure to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2002

Shopping
Various Locations
Verona, Italy

La Casa di Giulietta

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Attraction | "Casa di Giulietta"

La Casa di Giulietta Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Well, I suppose that one cannot visit Verona and miss Juliet's House and Balcony. It is only a few minutes from Piazza dell'Erbe, and is best visited early in the morning, before swamped with tour groups. Follow the signs (or the masses of Let's Go backpacking teenyboopers) to the small courtyard at 27 Via Capello. There you will see a bronze statue of Juilet and the balcony supposedly immortalized by Shakespeare. On the rare times when it is empty, the courtyard has a romantic air, with leafy vines overgrowing the attractive graffiti-bedecked walls. Visiting the courtyard is free, but there is an entrance fee to the building, which has a mediocre museum. (Fret not, you wil...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 2, 2002

La Casa di Giulietta
Via Cappello, 23
Verona, Italy 37121
+39 045 8035645

La torre dei Lamberti

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Attraction | "Climbing the Torre dei Lamberti"

La torre dei Lamberti Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Like her aquatic sister, Verona is city bejeweled with elegant narrow towers. The Torre dei Lamberti is Verona's highest. It was started in the 12th century by the Lamberti family, and gradually finished over the next several centuries, which accounts for the change in style.

Pretty as it is, the main reason to visit is to ascend the 368 steps (or take the elevator) to get a bird's eye view of the city. On clear days, you can see into the foothills and perhaps a couple stone and snow peaks of the Dolomites. Don't forget your camera!

There is a nominal entry fee, which is well worth the price. The tower is open during standard museum hours and closed on Mondays.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2002

La torre dei Lamberti
Piazza dei Signori, 2
Verona, Italy 37121
+39 0458032726

Opera at L'Arena

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Attraction

Opera at L'Arena Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
The grandest event during my month-long stay was experiencing the final night of the 2001 opera season. It was Aida, of course, performed at L'Arena, the third largest Roman Amphitheatre and the one still in best working condition. We had a pre-performance dinner about 50 meters away at "Le Catine de L'Arena" so we could see the people milling about, ranging in attire from American Casual to elegant formalwear. Performances at L'Arena draw regularly draw people from all around the region, and even futher. This harkens back to the days of the Roman empire, when the seating at L'Arena was larger than the population of the city. Rome used free admission to the games as a way to keep their citi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2002

Opera at L'Arena
Piazza Bra
Verona, Italy

Duomo S. Maria Matricolare

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Attraction | "il Duomo"

Duomo S. Maria Matricolare Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
Every medium-sized city in Italy has one (and only 1) Duomo, serving as the bishop's seat (a.k.a. cathederal.) Verona's present day version was started in 1139 and is a nice example of Romanesque architecture. As with most Romanesque edifices, the stone carvings are lively and worth closer inspection. While the interior is plain compared with San Zeno or Sant'Anastasia, it has a certain austere charm. Many just come to see Titian's Assumption (not as famous as the one in Venice, but still lovely) and leave. They miss the entrance at the far left to the cloister. Here one can find the excavations of earlier religious buildings on this site. There was an 8th century church, S. Gi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 4, 2002

Duomo S. Maria Matricolare
Piazza Duomo, 13
Verona, Italy 37121

Modern Art in Ancient Palaces

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Attraction

Modern Art in Ancient Palaces Photo, Verona, Italy
Quote:
With all the Roman ruins and Medieval edifices, not to mention Baroque Palazzi, that abound here, you might be tempted to think that the Veronese live only in the past. Not so, for they have a sharp sense of design and asthetics, and they appreciate modern art as well. Two different palazzi- Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Piazza Bra and Palazzo Forti near the Duomo often host travelling exhibits of 20th and 21st century art. In order to see the event schedule and daily hours (which are somewhat erratic, so check ahead.) go to their website. Unlike the traditional museums, these are often open in the evenings, when they draw the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 4, 2002

Modern Art in Ancient Palaces
In city center
Verona, Italy