It feels like anytime we travel we have limited time and this Euro road trip was no exception. We ended up in Verona, Italy due to its location and proximity to the Swiss border. We originally thought about Milan or Venice but I heard mixed things about the big city and the city of water proved a bit of a long drive, especially since we skied Davos-Klosters all day and drove to Verona in the night. So we went in the city made famous by the world’s most tragic love story. Verona is the 4th most visited city in Italy and it became a household name after being the location for Romeo and Juliet.
The most visited site is the House of Juliet, where apparently the original Cappello family resided. I doubt that’s true. The house is old but besides a few frescos from other demolished buildings and a bed from Zeffirelli’s 1968 movie it doesn’t offer much. The love sick tourists make the cozy courtyard a joy to remain in for an extra moment. The walls are covered in mad graffiti about love and some express love by sticking gum in a heart shape form, because that makes vandalism all right. The Juliet balcony is an addition made in 1936, but that doesn’t stop the love-struck teenagers snapping photos of their clever poses. We are guilty as well.
Gimmicks aside Verona offers a lot of interesting sites, so many that we bought a day pass that gave us access to over 20 of them. We were champs and boosted through the sites like we were on crack, but after visiting 5th or 63rd church it all became a bit nauseating. Jonathan at one point sat inside a confession booth and pretended to be the naughty Monsignor Finardi. That behavior is totally fine in catholic churches, right? We also gained access to several museum but gave up on them after 2 or 3. The artifacts are great but the lack of descriptions (even in Italian) make the visit seem like I’m at someone’s house looking at the mantle.
The jewel of all the sites in Verona is the enormous, Roman amphitheater. It may need a facelift on the outside, but it is still fully functional today. It was built in 1st Century AD and it is the world’s 3rd largest amphitheater to survive antiquity. You can still see Opera performances take place in it. We went outside of the season and had access to the inside during the day.
The star of that day will remain to be my lunch. I’m not a fanatic when it comes to food but I had the best pizza that day. To this day I’m still looking for a pizza that will take over the number 1 spot. Jonathan and I decided to splurge on lunch and sat down in the Piazza Erbe, seriously if you’re there find that pizza place and order the one with the artichokes and ham.
By the mid afternoon our feet were done for and we used our car advantage to explore the outskirts of the city. We literally fiddled with the GPS and found Lake Garda and decent-ish size town and drove there. We ended up in a gorgeous little town Lazise where we rested our feet and ate our 5th bowl of gelato that day. The town was a very nice and random find with cute streets, buildings and churches.
As the sun started to set, we set off back to Verona. We were planning an early start the next morning so we spent the evening relaxing and watching Italian Deal or No Deal on TV. Surprisingly (or not) you don’t need to understand the language to watch that show.