Verona, Italy

Volume 5, Issue 5; 02 Apr 2002

Verona, Italy

Most of the rest of the day was spent riding from Milan to Venice in the bus. We did, however, stop briefly in Verona.

I think the Roman amphitheater, actively being setup for a presentation of Aida when we visited, and several fine architectural features marked the highlights of Verona. At least the highlight of the attractions that could be seen on foot in a couple of hours with little or no prior planning.

I have to say that Juliet's Balcony was a complete disappointment. (But that was predictable, so I can't claim any great surprise.) Situated in a gorgeous little courtyard at the end of a short alley-cum-tunnel from the nearest street, it is an architecturally charming stone balcony. Unfortunately, every (and I do mean every) square inch of the walls from the tunnel entrance to and around the courtyard is covered in graffiti. And the place is mobbed. And there must be some superstitious benefit associated with making lewd gestures on the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet.

Skip it. It's the tackiest thing I've seen in Europe (yes, it's even tackier than the ferris wheel in Paris) and it borders on the depressing.


If it appears tacky, it is probably the oldest example of tacky in Italy. The graffiti is there for a reason, and is not erased by design: it is left by COUPLES. Get it? Since this IS Giulette's actual balcony, & she lived and died here in the 15th century- i figure between 1430-1470- it is in pretty good shape. You could spend a week exploring Verona - it was a key city with trade routes north to Austria, south, east to Venezia and West during the Middle Ages; some important battles during the 2 Italian Wars for Independance were fought in this area. Monte di Grappa has a huge war memorial; the town of Bassano, location of the Ponte Vecchio bridge, was awarded a medal of honor for her resistance against the German army in WWII. Verona is a great base to visit il Dolomiti, Venezia, Lago di Garda. You'll spend a week exploring; go see the outer walls of the city, Sanctuaria del Lourtes, Castel san Pietro... there are 2500 year old paleoroman sites there as well. The Fiume Adige winds through the city and offers a bunch of spots to picnic. Don't skip it - skip Milano & Napoli & Rome!

—Posted by mallet brigade on 01 Nov 2007 @ 07:47 UTC #