“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” – Act 1, Prologue
As part of my holiday in Florence (you can see my previous post about it here!) we went on a day trip to the city of Verona. It was really easy to get to: just get the train straight from one to the other. But I thought that Verona was such an interesting and special place that it deserved its own post!
In the literary sphere, Verona is the city attributed to the story of Romeo & Juliet, the famous star-crossed lovers. The city itself thrives off this publicity, with shops, restaurants and gift shops referencing the story. Interestingly though, Shakespeare himself probably didn’t visit the city (although there is much speculation about this). The story for his famous play was taken from older Italian versions, although the two feuding families it is based upon are believed to have existed. Nevertheless, I am sure Shakespeare would have been suitably impressed with the city if he had been able to see it.
The most impressive part of the city, for me, was the “arena” (the Roman amphitheatre), which sits proudly next to the main shopping street and the city square, and opposite the road into the city. A huge juxtaposition to its surroundings, and yet it still seems to fit perfectly? It was an enchanting structure, built even before the Colosseum in Rome (which I saw last autumn), and is still used for concerts and operas today!
We also visited some other pretty (and smaller) squares, including one with a statue of Dante…
Finally, I don’t think you can really go to Verona without visiting Juliet’s Balcony. Obviously, this is not the actual balcony of Juliet Capulet, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the tourist frenzy! The writing and notes on the walls of the courtyard below were fascinating to me – the romantic symbol this place is, and the characters, for so many.
If you are ever near here then I would recommend visiting for the day – it’s simple enough to get to from all over, and easy to see everything you would like to in a few hours.