Verona was on my “want to visit” list the last time I lived in Italy, but somehow I never got around to traveling out there. So when I saw that the company I had day tripped with before was offering a trip, I jumped on it–despite this not being opera season, when normally I might have chosen to go. Going on the day trip meant that I was obligated to get up at the crack of dawn and ride a bus, but it was definitely worth it–the trip was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed seeing the city. Verona was relatively small and charming, especially for the most part of the day when we were off the main tourist track. It being Christmastime, of course Verona, city of Romeo & Juliet, was overflowing with tourists, but they tended to congregate along one main street, in the Christmas market, and at Juliet’s house (no real surprise there). So all in all, you can visit the city of Verona relatively untouched, should you so choose.
We started off the day with a walking tour of the city where we literally walked the. entire. city. Except maybe not the more modern areas; I’m unsure what the official boundaries of Verona are. But we saw the outside of the arena, two major churches including the Duomo, the old palace (where the prominent family of Verona lived, which had great views of the river), and the “houses” of Romeo and Juliet. The river in Verona is “S” shaped and so you can actually cross it several times walking in the same direction, unlike Florence, where typically you only cross the river once.
In the afternoon I went exploring by myself for a bit. I headed to the Christmas market (I can’t say no!) after we finished the tour at Juliet’s house and then went back to the outskirts of the old town to catch an Impressionist exhibition (something else I can’t say no to). It would have been great if the exhibition had had signs that were bilingual with another major language (English, or French, the language of the Impressionists), as since I don’t read Italian the room descriptions were lost on me. I didn’t have as long as I might have liked to explore since I had to catch the bus back, but it was quite the impressive collection and one of the most fascinating things about it was that there were several occasions where two works by the same artist of the same subject, but housed in museums on different continents were displayed side by side and it was so fascinating to compare them. Impressionism is my favorite artistic movement, and it’s not something you get to see a lot in Italy since Italy is predominantly Renaissance art–still highly skilled, but personally the religious themes can get tiresome after a while, so it’s good to see something completely different to be refreshed!
Because life’s crazy at the moment thanks to the time of year and the number of meetings I’m juggling, you get a lovely photo gallery. Enjoy!
I’m definitely going to try to head back to Verona to catch an opera this summer!