Wander the streets of Verona on a winter's night and you might just believe the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet to be true. Fictional though they may have been, you can still gaze up at her balcony.
Beyong Shakespeare however, Verona has plenty to view and was known as 'little Rome' in its heydey for its importance in imperial days though its true golden era came in the 13th and 14th centuries.
27 Nov 2004 - Verona, ItalyWith the advent of budget flights, a day trip to another country can be done cheaper than taking a day trip to a city in the same country. Who cares if it kills the planet? The airlines will only do something about it once it starts hitting their bottom line along with the government but woe betide any government that makes flying too expensive for the masses. Who is really going to stop travelling and broadening their experiences because of their own carbon footprint? The answer will only be when the oil has run so low that jet fuel is prohibitively expensive but that will only act as the driver for new technology to keep travel possible for the masses. What should we as the traveller do?
Do nothing and go to Verona. Go and see the impressive amphitheatre, Roman ruins, the supposed balcony used by Romeo and Juliet and generally just enjoy being in Italy! Do you really need a reason to go?
Verona - Piazza delle Erbe, northern part.
Originally the site of the Roman forum, this piazza remains the lively heart of the city. The piazza is lined with sumptious buildings; in the photo are the Palazzo Maffei (built in 1630) with the adjoining Torre del Gardello (1370).
Verona - Piazza Bra
The Roman arena is located in this large piazza.
Verona - The Roman Arena
This pink marble amphitheatre was built in the 1st century AD and is now Verona's opera house. The third largest Roman amphitheatre in existence, it can seat around 25 000 people. It is remarkably well preserved despite a 12th century earthquake that destroyed most of the outer wall. Still, when this happened it was already over 1000 years old and the city immediately set about repairing the damage.
Verona - The Castelvecchio 'old castle'
On the banks of the River Adige is the 14th century fortress built by the Della Scala family in 1354 -1356 and and restored in 1969 and 1975. Today the castle holds a museum containing medieval frescoes and sculptures, weapons and jewellery.
Verona - Castel san Pietro
Across the River Adige and along the Ponte Pietra (bridge) is this fortification built by the Austrians on the site of an earlier castle. Next to it are also the remains of a Roman Theatre which is still in use for concerts and plays. An archeological museum is also located here and houses a collection of Roman and Greek pieces.
Verona - Castel san Pietro from Ponte Nuovo
Looking North up the River Adige with the Castel san Pietro on the Eastern bank.
Verona - Casa di Julietta I
Romeo and Juliet may have been fictional but here you can stand beneath what popular myth says was her balcony. The walls around this courtyard used to be covered in Graffiti post it notes with scribbled love messages stuck on with chewing gum.
Verona - Casa di Julietta II
If you have come here alone and have a need of a new lover, approach the bronze statue of Juliet and give her right breast a rub for good luck.
Verona - Porta dei Leoni
Porta Leoni is the 1st century BC ruin of what was once part of the Roman city gate. A substantial portion is still standing as part of the wall of a medieval building. The street itself is an open archaeological site, and the remains of the original Roman street and gateway foundations can be seen a few feet below the present street level. As can be seen from there, the gate contains a small court guarded by towers. Here, carriages and travelers were inspected before entering or leaving the city.