Friday, August 7, 2015

A Favourite Town in Italy: Verona


I took so many pictures on our recent trip to Italy! I can't possibly share them all here, but I'd like to keep showing you a few along the way, probably until the end of August.
  Is that okay with you?  Or it is boring already??
Todays pictures?  The lovely town of Verona - home to Romeo and Juliet.  

We had been in Italy for 7 days and I had been looking for a pink Vespa since we arrived.  Finally, in Verona, I found one!
This man was painting in the main square of Verona.  The fruit and veg market was in full-swing, just as his painting shows. 
The ancient Roman theatre still stands proudly in the centre of town and is used every summer as a venue for  live opera performances.  Currently, the Egyptian-themed Aida is being performed nightly so the huge stage set was being stored just outside the theatre. 
The wealthy Scaligeri family ruled Verona for nearly 100 years in the 13th and 14th centuries.  In one churchyard, several of their  memorials still stand. 
Above is a picture of monuments built in memory of well-loved members of the family.

And if you weren't a favourite, you got a plain stone box like this one.  Oh dear.  I guess you knew where you stood, even in death!

This was the view for our lunch picnic, looking over the River Adige. If you look carefully you can see Roman ruins, a medieval monastery and some million dollar villas.

And this is what we ate!  It might have been the yummiest meal we had the whole trip!

The yellow stones in this bridge are original Roman bricks.  Of course, the bridge has been modified and widened since then, but the fact that is  still used everyday by modern Italians is pretty spectacular. 

What are these delightful treats, gifted to us by our tour guide?  Vanilla meringues called Juliet's kisses and chocolate hazelnut cookies known as Romeo's sighs. They  are the sweet local snack of choice.
While we were in Italy, I read this book, written by Lois Leveen. It tells the story of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Juliet's wet-nurse who raises her from birth to womanhood after losing her own infant baby girl.  It was brilliantly written and touching. I loved being able to match places and people I read about in the book with actual locations in town I would recommend it to anyone, especially those with a penchant for Shakespeare or historical fiction.
 Isn't Verona wonderful?  Less touristy. More real.  Yet with elements of exciting history and literary clout.
I'd go back there at the drop of a hat. And, hopefully, I will!
Have a wonderful weekend.

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