At the beginning of October I went to Verona for the day with my trusted travel companion Sabela. Going there with high expectations I was prepared to be a little disappointed, but Shakespeare’s beloved city certainly lives up to it’s reputation. It isn’t hard to see why the Bard chose it as the setting for both a comedy and one of his greatest tragedies.
It is a town of many faces which oozes with history, charm and passion. It inspires romance in the most cynical of people and everywhere you look it is possible to see a quaint alleyway or charming shuttered window which somehow the throngs of tourists don’t seem to sully (although I would hate to think how busy it is in August).
The first thing we visited was the Roman arena which is in an incredible condition considering it was built in the 1st century. When we were there a theatre company was rehearsing for a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar which I suppose is quite ironic.
Then we did the mandatory visit to Juliet’s house and attempted to execute pensive balcony poses whilst imagining ourselves as being one half of a pair of star-crossed lovers.
I didn’t realise that a group of women who answer love letters on behalf of Juliet actually does exist (I thought it was just something made up by that really bad film with Amanda Seyfried). Of course in the digital age there are now computers where you can send an e-mail to Juliet in order to find out the solution to your deepest troubles of the heart. For the heart broken who are more old school however, it is still possible to stick letters and pleas for advice on the wall beside the balcony. Some of these made for extremely hilarious reads.
Moving on we visited the Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare which had some beautiful arches and geometrical patterns. I only had my phone to take pictures which frustratingly couldn’t capture the magnitude and grandeur of the church but I tried my best.
After lunch we decided to cross the Ponte Pietra and admire the lovely view of the Adige river and surrounding buildings. It really was a “wow” moment and the pictures speak for themselves.
Then we ascended the steps by the Teatro romano (which unfortunately was closed) to see an incredible vista of the entire city. The grueling climb in 30 degree heat was definitely worth it!
We spent some time here just enjoying the view and marveling at the fact that the trees on the hill in the distance looked too perfect to be real. On the way back down I randomly bumped into my friend Katy from University who is studying at Padova (you can read her blog here) and had come down to Verona just for the day. It was definitely “by some consequence yet hanging in the stars”.
As the day turned to night Verona didn’t lose a shred of it’s beauty. On the contrary it gained a new vivacity and life and it’s nocturnal ambience made me feel as though I was already dreaming.
I love you Verona
Parting really was such sweet sorrow.