Thursday, January 20, 2022

That Night in Verona. . .

 'Romeo, Romeo. . .wherefore art thou Romeo?' Juliet called out in Shakespeare's tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers.

Verona Italy street scene

Romeo was in Verona, Italy, as was his love, Juliet. 

And on a chilly weekend not so long ago, so were we.

Verona at Night

We were here as part of our 10-day Italian Escapade that began in Bologna (see previous post) and ended in Venice.  Both cities have charmed us on past visits. We'd decided to include a one-night stay in some place we'd never visited before - one located along the train's route between our two old favorites. A mix of nostalgia and new is always a good travel combination.

Verona - a stop between Bologna and Venice

After much pondering and a bit of research we decided that night would be spent in Verona, a city of 265,000.  

That Night in Verona

Rooms, considering it was late November, seemed surprisingly scarce and rather expensive. As it turns out we were visiting on the weekend of the Verona Marathon - an annual event that traditionally draws a couple thousand runners to the town.

We ended up paying a bit more than we had planned for a hotel room, but in return, got more than we ever could have imagined. Due Torre Hotel was a few blocks from the city's main square, a few blocks from the winding Adige River and opened onto Piazza Sant' Anastasi. 

Piazza Sant'Anastasia - Verona

In other words, a perfect location for setting off on foot to explore.

Lobby Due Torre Hotel - Verona, Italy

I have to admit that I could have spent my short stay just sitting in the lobby of our hotel, a former palace of the Della Scala, a Middle Ages clan who are remembered for both being murderous tyrants and patrons of the arts.  Quite honestly it felt we'd stepped back in time (despite all the modern conveniences) and were staying in a palace!

The Lobby Bar - Due Torre Hotel Verona, Italy

The Italian hotel group that operates the hotels outdid themselves on restoration of this facility. The lobby and its elegant bar were among the most stupendous we've ever seen. Breakfast, included in the room rate, was served one floor above the lobby in an equally elegant dining room..  And I just have to add for all my fellow pet lovers, the posh palace welcomes animals. These two four-footed guests were adorable!

Four-footed guests are welcome at the Due Torre Verona

Romeo and Juliet 

Back in 1562 when Shakespeare created the two lovers, he had no idea of the 21st century marketing tools they would provide this northern Italian city. Souvenirs of every size and shape pay tribute to Romeo and Giulietta, as Juliet is known here.

Now we all know that they were imagined characters, but that didn't deter city authorities back in the 1930's when they selected a house and added a 14th-century style balcony to it and for good measure put up a bronze statue of Giulietta out front.  

Waiting for entrance (under the star) to Casa di Giulietta

Today this tourist attraction continues to draw hordes of people. If you are willing to stand in the incredibly long lines and buy a ticket, you too, could stand on the balcony. It didn't appeal, especially after seeing the massive number of tourists waiting to get in on a late Saturday afternoon.

Exploring Verona 

We not only bypassed 'the' balcony, we didn't seek out any of the other tourist attractions here. We opted, instead, to simply enjoy the city. Our plan was simple: stroll around the town until we tired, then we'd rest up, and head out again in the evening: 

Verona's porticos

So under ancient wood-beamed porticos we went, past charming restaurants and retail stores.

Piazza's were teeming with people in Verona

Then across piazza's lined with cafes; their outdoor seating areas overflowing with people enjoying the sunshine while sipping afternoon beverages. 

This rainbow of temptations caught my eye in Verona.

It seemed this city had a bakery with windows filled with tasty temptations, on every block. And had we not been 'saving ourselves' for a pasta dinner, it would have been most easy to give in to temptation!

Section of the Adige River in Verona, Italy

We left the bustling central area and made our way back to the hotel through the quiet residential areas fronting the river. The horse-shoe shaped Adige River cradles the city on its route to the Adriatic Sea. The empty sidewalks at river's edge were a striking contrast to the busy piazzas.

Saturday night in Verona

Following our pasta dinner we strolled back to the hotel on once-bustling streets that had nearly emptied. The pace of those few folks who were still out had slowed. It was so quiet that. . .  

Evening in Verona 

. . .with a bit of imagination you could almost hear Giulietta calling out in the distance, 

'Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?'

                                                                             ******

That's it for this Italian stop, we were off to Venice the next morning. And that will be the topic of my next report.  As always, thanks for being with us for this segment of our Escapade and we hope you'll be back for the next installment.  Until then, wishes for safe travels to you and yours~

Linking soon with:





 








15 comments:

  1. I do love the way you explore off the beaten path and tell a story.

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  2. We had a short stop in Verona a few years ago when we were on a bush tour of Italy. Unfortunately it didn't inspire me, mainly because we only had time to find something to eat and left to our own devices. Looks like there was much we could of enjoyed. ps your hotel looks scrumptious! Safe travels and thank you so much for visiting my blog this week. I really treasure our friendship across the oceans! hugs x

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    1. Hi Jill, I too treasure this long-distance friendship. And I can see how Verona on a real quick stop wouldn't inspire. It isn't a place of 'tourist sites' as is Rome and Venice and such, but it does appear to be a delightful Italian town - I think it would take more than our single night to really enjoy all it had to offer.

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful one-night adventure! Is it a place that you wished you'd had more time in, or was one night enough?

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    1. Definitely could have filled a few more days without problem. Might make sure the Marathon wasn't happening at the same time though.

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  4. This sounds like a perfect one night trip within a trip. I like to plan trips, but I also like to plan for some serendipty as you did with your 1 night visit to Verona. (Is "planned serendipity" an oxymoron?)

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    1. It may be an oxymoron but it describes it perfectly!

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  5. lovely write up about your experience in Verona #ourworldtuesday

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    1. Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for taking the time to let me know that you did. x

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  6. Beautifully captured in pictures and words.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment - so glad you enjoyed it. Hope you will be back for the next installment! x

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  7. What a beautiful place. I’d love to visit. Thank you for sharing.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  8. It is a lovely place and you would enjoy it! Thanks for commenting!

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  9. Verona is definitely one of my favorite cities in Italy and has so much architectural beauty and history, thanks for the tour.

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