Written by gosusan on 04 Apr, 2002
Below I have listed some of the terms and distinctions to help you decipher the myriad of terms Italians use to describe their gustatory havens. Of course these are generalizations: a ristorante in a town off the beaten path may be cheaper and less…Read More
Below I have listed some of the terms and distinctions to help you decipher the myriad of terms Italians use to describe their gustatory havens. Of course these are generalizations: a ristorante in a town off the beaten path may be cheaper and less swanky than a trattoria in the city center. And many establishments attempt to capture all the price points and offer a ristorante, caffe, and enoteca on the premises!
Ristorante: Formal restaurant, generally the most expensive. Expect to need reservations and to dress nicely.
Trattoria: Usually cheaper and more casual than a ristorante. Often it is a local hang-out, with the menu written in chalk on a board, rather than printed and handed to you.
Osteria: The word means hostel/inn, but usually they just serve food, in the same vein as a trattoria.
Caffe: Many eating places have Caffe in their name, but are more like a trattoria in the wide selection of food available. The one constant is that you can be pretty sure that they will be open for breakfast and happy to serve you a cappuccino and brioche.
Pizzeria: Not surprisingly, a place that specializes in pizzas, though they often provide a selection of pastas and secondi. Unlike American restaurants, you order one pizza per person, and it will be about 10-12 inches wide. Fear not, it will have a very thin crust. You can eat it in one sitting, but don't expect to eat dessert afterwards. Shops sell Pizza al taglio by the slice (actually by weight) to-go, with a thicker crust.
Bar: This one surprises Americans. Bars (sometimes called caffe-bars) serve everything from coffee to food, like ice-cream treats and pannini. No over-21 signs here either, and kids pop in to buy candy. Yes they do serve alcohol, too. Of course, a decent glass of wine may be cheaper than una Coca Cola. Ironically, many of these multi-purpose establishments bill themselves as "un Bar American."
Pub/ Birreria: What Americans think of as a bar: drinks and sparse food. Disco-Pubs are the Italian equivalent to clubs- open later with music and more expensive drinks.
Enoteca: A wine bar where you sample different varietals by the glass. At some food may be offered, but it is secondary to the wine. Others are more like wine shops that may or may not serve by the glass. Don’t ask for beer here.
Tavola Calde: To-go food (literally hot tables). Generally McDonald's and its European cousins fall here, but some of these places, especially the ethnic ones, serve decent fare. Similar quality food is available in cafeteria and un "self-serve", which offer the additional amenity of seating to eat your repast.
This is only a subset of terms, there are also rosticceria (places selling roasted meats, either to-go or with service onsite), alimentari or mercati are grocery shops where you can buy picnic supplies. A panicoteca makes hot or cold sandwiches to order for you. And you can satisfy your cravings for baked goods or ice cream at a pasticceria or a gelateria.
Written by Go Girl! on 12 Oct, 2000
Verona is an amazing city to walk. From charming boutique lined stores, to the river, to amazing churches -- there's plenty to see. However, the major attraction is the courtyard of Juliet's house which fills with visitors every day. People from all over…Read More
Verona is an amazing city to walk. From charming boutique lined stores, to the river, to amazing churches -- there's plenty to see. However, the major attraction is the courtyard of Juliet's house which fills with visitors every day. People from all over the world are drawn by the romance of Shakespeare's enduring legend which knows no national borders and is for all times. It was a bit of a tourist trap, but still worth visiting. Close
Written by Joy S on 24 Aug, 2008
Verona is a small and compact city and lends itself to just strolling and wandering around. We did this on our first afternoon here and had a great time.We started off at the Piazza delle Erbe - the buzzing heart of the city.…Read More
Verona is a small and compact city and lends itself to just strolling and wandering around. We did this on our first afternoon here and had a great time.We started off at the Piazza delle Erbe - the buzzing heart of the city. This was home to the Forum in Roman times and is still a focal point of the city. It contains the Madonna Verona fountain, the 14th century Gardello Tower and a market, that, while picturesque is a bit of a tourist cliche.We did enjoy browsing the market stalls - our 4 year old loved it and picked up several tacky but to him valuable souvenirs. He also enjoyed taking off his shoes and joining some Italian children playing in the waters of the fountain.We next went to the Lamberti Tower. This was completed in 1463 and is the tallest of Verona's towers. The clock tower looms over the square below.There are 340 steps from the bottom to the very top. You pay 6 Euros to go in - irrespective of whether you use the steps or the lift. My husband, a glutton for punishment, chose the hard route and went up the steps, while my son and I chose the glass walled lift. You do still have to go up 2 flights of steps at the top, but it was a much easier option.The views are amazing and breathtaking. You can see the rooftops and buildings of the city and the countryside beyond - it really is a feast for the eyes.We climbed down the tower and sat on the steps of the Loggia del Consiglio in Piaza dei Signori, where we ate delicious ice cream and admired the architecture.To the north of this square we had a look at the Scaligeri gothic tombs. You get a good view of them from outside the wrought iron 14th century enclosure. We also went into the small, simple and very atmospheric chuch of Santa Maria Antica - the Scaligeri's chapel. It is beautiful and well worth a visit.We carried on in this direction until we reached the River Adige where we walked along the banks of the river for about 20 minutes.We walked back to the Piazza Bra - had a coffee and a rest in one of the open-air cafes there, before strolling back up Via Mazzini and looking in the windows of the exclusive shops to get back to our hotel. Close
Written by Joy S on 21 Aug, 2008
Verona was our first stop on a 3 centre break and we flew into Venice Treviso Airport from the UK. We were leaving from Venice, so this made sense for us. Verona does have its own airport, but it took us only 1.5…Read More
Verona was our first stop on a 3 centre break and we flew into Venice Treviso Airport from the UK. We were leaving from Venice, so this made sense for us. Verona does have its own airport, but it took us only 1.5 hours to drive there in our hire car from Treviso. The journey was easy and very scenic - we used the toll roads.We hired a car - to use for the remainder of our holiday, but once we arrived in Verona we parked it in our hotel's garage, and did not use it again until we left the city.The city centre of Verona is compact and it is easy to visit without having a car. Over the past few years, the city council authorities have encouraged local residents to limit their traffic circulation as much as possible in the city centre to reduce the level of pollution.The city lies alongside the banks of the S shaped Adige river. Everything of interest is in the Centro Storico on the south side of the river's loop - there is no sight that cannot easily and enjoyably be reached on foot.Verona really does lend itself to walking and strolling and the sights are concentrated in a few blocks of each other. Seek out the narrow, cobblestoned side streets - they are beautiful. Park you car here and let your feet do the transporting. Close
* Because there are so many churches in Verona, an admission charge has been imposed to cover custodian charges and offer longer hours. The churches have banded together and admission to any one of them is 2 Euros - or you can buy…Read More
* Because there are so many churches in Verona, an admission charge has been imposed to cover custodian charges and offer longer hours. The churches have banded together and admission to any one of them is 2 Euros - or you can buy a cumulative ticket for 5 Euros. A better buy though, is the Verona card. It costs 8 Euros for 1 day and it allows you to enter all the main sights, as well as use the local buses. It costs 6 Euros to go into Juliet's house and the same for the Arena, so even if you just visit these 2 attractions, the Verona card is value for money.* For a wonderful view of the city, climb to the top of the Lamberti Tower (or take the lift most of the way up). You get stunning views of Verona and the hills surrounding it.* Verona's famous opera festival is held in July and August. Productions are staged in the glorious Roman Arena. Verona is never overrun with tourists in the way Florence and Venice are, but during the opera season it does get fairly busy.* The weather in August is hot and muggy with average temperatures in the day 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Break your sightseeing with stops for drinks and ice cream as the heat can be oppressive.* Lots of the sights are closed on Mondays, so check this before you plan your itinerary.* You would be unlucky to have a bad meal in Verona. It has high quality and atmospheric restaurants. Bollito Mistro (boiled meats) is a Veronese speciality. Crisp Soave white wine is a great local drink - we enjoyed that! The Veronese are keen eaters of horse meat (cavallo) which is a local speciality - didn't try it though! Be sure to eat ice-cream - it is delicious. Pizzas are not a local speciality.* Service charges are usually included in your bill, so you are not always expected to tip in restaurants. It is common practise though to leave any small change as a tip. Prices in Italian bars and cafes double (sometimes even triple) if you sit down.* Avoid most of the tourists in Piazza Bra and head to Piazza delle Erbe where there are lots of good bars to enjoy a coffee in the morning or a drink in the evening. There is lots to watch - people coming and going.* Look out for architectural details related to the della Scala family - their family emblem is a ladder and appears in many places around the city. Close
Verona is the largest city of the Veneto region in North East Italy. It is 75 miles west of Venice and beautifully situated on the River Adigo. The city was brought to prominence by the Romans who left behind some remarkable attractions for…Read More
Verona is the largest city of the Veneto region in North East Italy. It is 75 miles west of Venice and beautifully situated on the River Adigo. The city was brought to prominence by the Romans who left behind some remarkable attractions for today's visitors. It is said that Emperor Caesar came here to relax.The city's golden era was during the 13th and 14th centuries under the Della Scala family (also known as the Scaligeri) who were true patrons of the arts. Many of the finest monuments date from this period. This was however a time noted for savage family feuding of which Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet.Verona has plenty to recommend it, but we particularly enjoyed just wandering the streets where Capulets and Montagues once fought, Romeo pined and Juliet sighed from her balcony. Strolling along the streets, you could be forgiven for believing the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet to be true. It is not, but never mind, Verona is one of Italy's loveliest cities. There is immense pleasure to be had wandering along the stylish marble lined streets.Verona has a locked in time character that recalls its Medieval and Renaissance heyday and the magnificient Medieval palazzi, towers, churches and piazzas you see are testimony to its centuries old influence and wealth. Highlights of our trip were our visit to Juliet's house, despite all the grafitti; going inside and exploring the magnificient Arena; wandering along the river but most of all just wandering and coming upon the most beauiful squares, streets and buildings by chance.For some reason, visitors spend remarkably little time in this beautiful medieval city. It has a short list of attractions, but is a wonderful place to stay in and visit at a leisurely pace. Close
Written by Liam Hetherington on 27 Mar, 2007
If Verona is famous for one thing, it is the story of the two 'star-cross'd lovers' Romeo and Juliet. Offspring of two feuding families (the Montagues and Capulets respectively) their ill-fated love results in their tragic death, but peace between the two households. If I've…Read More
If Verona is famous for one thing, it is the story of the two 'star-cross'd lovers' Romeo and Juliet. Offspring of two feuding families (the Montagues and Capulets respectively) their ill-fated love results in their tragic death, but peace between the two households. If I've given away the ending there, I apologise. The story has influenced many things, and has been represented in the movies in different ways, from the pastels of Zeferelli's production to the kinetic hyperactivity of Baz Luhrman's 1990s version set in 'Verona Beach, California' and to the technicolor dance sequences of Leonard Bernstein's 'West Side Story'.The man who made the story famous was of course William Shakespeare, a provincial English merchant and playwright. Despite theories that he was a roving spy in the service of Queen Elizabeth there is no evidence that he ever visited Italy. However, this north-eastern corner of the country saw more than its fair share of his plays - Verona has 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' as well as R&J. Venice has its infamous Merchant, and also features in Othello. Romeo is banished to Mantua. And 'The Taming Of the Shrew' is set in Padua. Shakespeare was widely-read however, and tended to 'borrow' plots from other writers. The basic storyline of Romeo and Juliet he took from Luigi da Porto, a native of Vicenza just down the road. Maybe it is a sign of the pervasive influence of English / American culture that Shakespeare is commemorated throughout Verona, whilst poor old da Porto barley gets a look in. Indeed the two featured families, the Capuleti and Montecchi, did exist. There is no clear evidence that these two clans did feud, but the internecine conflict in Renaissance Italy makes it possible if not likely. However, the story of Romeo and Juliet (Giulietta in Italian) seems to be entirely fictitious. It is important to bear that in mind if you are touring Verona in the hope of tracking down the sites associated with the lovers.Yet there is power in a myth. One only has to view the love notes at the 'Casa di Giulietta' (23, Via Capello) to see that. This has become one of Verona's premier tourist attractions. Off a busy shopping street an archway leads into a courtyard. The house did indeed belong to the Capuleti family, and it even has a balcony, so it is no wonder the association was made. However, the traditional version of Romeo hidden in a garden seems more credible than him stood right outside the front door of his mortal enemies, as he would have had to here.The archway is wallpapered with scraps of paper, prayers from modern-day romantics come here to beg the blessing of the two famous lovers. In the courtyard there is a bronze statue of Juliet. Her right breast has been burnished by the hands of thousands of visitors. The balcony above was fashioned in the medieval period from an even older stone sarcophagus. Now how's that for dramatic irony? You can enter the building for €3.10, though I didn't bother. It is open from 9am to 7.30pm, Tuesday through Sunday, and from 1.30pm on Monday afternoons.So, if Juliet 'lived' here, what about Romeo? A couple of streets away a private residence at 4, Via Arche Scaligere has been designated as his domicile. As I say, it is private, so other than a sign on the wall there is nothing much to see. But at least Shakespeare was right - there is a plaque on both their houses... (I'm sorry... I'm truly sorry...)One other location of note is the Tomba di Giulietta (Tomb of Juliet), well-south of the centre in the cloister of San Francesco al Corso. It is closed on Mondays, but otherwise costs €2.60.For die-hard fans there is one further site you might care to visit for completeness-sake. An hour-away by train is the city of Vicenza. A plaque on the wall of 15, Contra Porti makes the house in which Luigi da Porto died in 1529. On the way to Verona's train station pass under the Portoni della Bra. To the right you might see a musing Shakespeare warning you, in Romeo's words:
"There is no world outside Verona walls,But purgatory, torture, hell itself.Hence banished is banish’d from the world,And world’s exile is death…"
Written by moatway on 09 Apr, 2004
Verona, like many Italian cities, has a surfeit of churches… one often wonders how they could have used, much less built, them all. Most Italian churches don’t require an admission fee, but five churches in historic Verona do… and they are well worth it. The…Read More
Verona, like many Italian cities, has a surfeit of churches… one often wonders how they could have used, much less built, them all. Most Italian churches don’t require an admission fee, but five churches in historic Verona do… and they are well worth it. The five churches are Basilica San Zeno (off Stradone Porta Palio), Chiesa San Fermo (Stradone San Fermo), Chiesa Santa Anastasia (Via San Pietro Martire), the Duomo (Via San Gusto), and Chiesa San Lorenzo (Corsa Cavour). To see them individually will cost you two Euros each, a combination ticket will cost only five Euros. Now here is my admonition: when I got to the first church, they really wanted to sell me the combination ticket, but I just couldn’t see getting to five churches. Now the good news is that I didn’t… the bad news is that I got to four… let’s see, two people times three Euros… that’s a nice bottle of wine.
The Chiesa San Fermo is easily the most compelling. It sits on the site of the torture and death of saints Fermo and Rustico in 304. The original church was built in the 5th and 6th centuries. Between 1065 and 1143, the Benedictines built two Romanesque churches, a lower church for the relics and an upper church for services. Since then, a lot of renovation has been done, but the upper church you see was finished by the mid 14th century. The relics now sit in its altar.
It’s the ceiling. The ceiling of San Fermo was built to represent the inside of the hull of a boat. Around it were painted the faces of over 200 saints. It is unique… it is worth seeing. Otherwise, it is a single nave church with a number of side chapels, two of which are significant in terms of size and decoration. There is the Brenzoni chapel on the right which contains the hanging tomb of Barnaba da Morano (d. 1411) and Our Lady’s Chapel, which is filled with 17th-century art.
Towards the transept, on the right hand side is the door that will take you to the Lower Church. Here you will find a Romanesque church with murals that date to the 12th to 14th century. It contains the stone on which Sts. Fermo and Rustico were apparently killed and the whole place has an air of solemnity.
The Church of San Lorenzo was originally built in the 4th century and rebuilt in the 12th century after an earthquake. Its most noticeable feature is the women’s gallery that sits above the nave. It’s a small church with a nave flanked by side aisles. There are altars at the end of each aisle and altars at the end of the transepts… five altars in all. Other than that, it has some decoration, but its salient point is its age, which it wears rather gracefully.
The Cathedral or Duomo is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. The building you see was damaged by the 12th century earthquake, reconstructed and its interior renovated in the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the things you will notice as significant are: the side chapels are all marble and of the same structure, but the murals on the walls around them are different, making them look like individual churches or temples. The Memo chapel in the right transept is all marble with a rotunda and classical features. The rotunda has a narrow gallery, I couldn’t tell if it was actually meant to be used or if it were just for show. The chapel presents very well, as it was last redone in the 18th century. The chancel is fronted by columns which come out into the nave in a semicircle; the effect is very nice. The organ cases are quite extraordinary, there is one on each side of the chancel. As one would expect of the Duomo of such an important city, there is a lot to see… it is worth the visit. Nearby is the Chiesa Santa Anastasia.
Santa Anastasia is a 15th-century church with a central nave and wide side aisles. Along the aisles are four side altars on each side before the transept. Each is different is shape and style. This church is really beautiful, with highly decorated vaults and a magnificent organ case. Perhaps its most charming features are the marble holy water stoups as one enters. Each sits at the foot of a column. One is obviously a hunchback supporting the bowl, the other is known as Pasquino or Easter because it appeared on Easter, 1591. Flanking the chancel and in the transepts are seven chapels… all in all, a very nice church.
I did not have a chance to see the fifth church, San Zeno, but we did drop into San Nicolo all’ Arena (Via san Nicolo) and we quite liked it. This church is neoclassical with its barrel vaulted ceiling and faux Corinthian columns. It’s easy on the eyes, all in white and gold with a single nave. What it does have are 16 niches with larger-than-life saint statuary. The side altars, there are four on each side before the transept, all feature a heavy use of marble. The altar in the chancel is quite significant but the organ case at the rear of the apse is not. Only the floors in this church indicate its age… I would guess late 17th century, possibly 18th, but a very nice church nonetheless.
Well, you can avoid them or enjoy them… they are everywhere. At the risk of sounding cynical, a seat in a pew is a nice respite from the day of walking.
The city has an excellent tourist map. It will probably be available at your hotel or at tourist information in Piazza Viviani. It suggests four walking routes including a central route that takes you to most of the popular sites in 3.3 kilometers. You…Read More
The city has an excellent tourist map. It will probably be available at your hotel or at tourist information in Piazza Viviani. It suggests four walking routes including a central route that takes you to most of the popular sites in 3.3 kilometers. You can make excursions off that route to see other sites, the duomo for instance.
We chose the central route with detours to allow us to soak up the city core as much as possible. It suggests starting at the Roman Arena, which is still in use and is currently undergoing substantial renovation. In its new life it doesn’t feature lions, it features Verdi. Next to it is the lovely restaurant-lined Piazza Bra with its fountains, trees and statues.
From there, it’s a short walk down Via Roma to Castelvecchio with its museum of antiquities and artworks. I confess, it was a lovely, sun-filled day, and I couldn’t bring myself to go in. I do suggest, however that you take a walk across the fortified Ponte Scaligero; it offers nice views of the city’s riverside. The tour takes you up the Corso Cavour with two possible church visits: Chiesa San Lorenzo and the Chiesa Ss. Apostoli. At San Lorenzo there is a 2 euro charge or a 5 euro combination ticket that is good for five churches. . . it’s a good buy, these churches are worth the visit.
Continuing on, you pass beneath the 1st century Porta dei Borsari. Not much further up the street you will pass into the Piazza delle Erbe. There is a little magic in this huge public space with its cafes and outdoor vendors. You will want to spend some slow time here – it’s very pleasant. Continuing on, you will want to go into the Piazza Signori with its imposing buildings. The tower that dominates both piazzas is climbable, and even better than that, there is an elevator. It’s the Torre dei Lamberti, and for only 2.40 euros, you can go to within a flight of stairs to the top for wonderful views of the city.
Just off the Piazza Signori is the Arche Scaligere. The rich really knew how to bury themselves in the decorative tombs on a street corner between their church, the Chiesa Santa Maria Antica and their palace. Then it’s back to the Piazza delle Erbe and down the Via Cappello. At one point you will pass the gates of Verona’s best-known tourist trap, the Casa di Giulietta. It doesn’t have to be open. . . you can see Juliet’s balcony and her statue from the street.
The Via Cappello is the center of Verona’s promenade – where people go to see and be seen, to shop or just hang out… an interesting street. Before you get to the river, turn right and visit the Chiesa San Fermo – again 2 euros or a combination ticket. It really is a wonderful church.
And those are the sights on the central walk – back to the arena (or not) and you are done and you’ve had a satisfactory day with time left. Off the walk, but near the Piazza delle Erbe are two more churches on the combination ticket: the Duomo and Santa Anastasia. Both are worth your time. To get a more far-ranging tour of the city, you might consider using the bus service. . . the tour bus is called Romeo. Verona is truly a wonderful city.
Written by Sarah97 on 06 Sep, 2000
Verona is called Piccolo Roma which means little Roma. And indeed there are many historical remnants to see.
Firstly, there is the Roman Amphitheatre in the Piazza Bra. Even though it is build in 1C AD, it is very much well preserved. It is using…Read More
Verona is called Piccolo Roma which means little Roma. And indeed there are many historical remnants to see.
Firstly, there is the Roman Amphitheatre in the Piazza Bra. Even though it is build in 1C AD, it is very much well preserved. It is using as an opera house recently. During my stay there were no operas palying in this theatre but I have heard from many people that they have enjoyed watching Opera at Summer Night. So, check the performance schedule if you are interested in Operas.
Other Roman remnants are Roman Theatre and Piazza delle Erbe. And especially around this Piazza delle Erbe you can find many places to visit including Tourist office where you can get nice maps. These places could be Palazzo Maffei, Torre del Grandello, Casa Mazzanti... Simply stroll around this area.
And near the piazza there is via Capello where you can meet Juliet's House at No. 23. There is a even statue of Juliet inside this house.
If you are in a mood for shopping then from Juliet's house in via Capello find the road called via Mazzini. This is the place to shop.
And like all Italian cities it also has Duomo along the river near Ponte Baribaldi. Check this out too. Close