Our destination today was Verona, home of Romeo and Juliette. Brad drove again and we were doing alright until we got to Verona and could not find where to park the car for Europcar. A couple of awkward intersection cross overs (who knows if we were in the right or not) and we finally found out we had to park in a car park about 10mins from the Europcar office itself. Something that they could have told us when we picked up the car. Anyway we made it.
We checked into our room, very nice but with an extremely narrow bathroom, and then headed out to explore the area for the afternoon. This was only an overnight stop so we hit the ground running. I had completely underestimated Verona when planning as it was such a lovely place we would have liked to stay a little bit longer. We were pleasantly surprised.
We checked out some of the major sites and enjoyed walking in the older part of Verona. The first piazza we came across was Piazza Bra, the largest piazza in Verona, Italy, with some claims that it is the largest in the country. The piazza is lined with numerous cafés and restaurants, along with several notable buildings and is a very picturesque site.
It is also the location of the Verona Arena, originally an amphitheatre built nearly 2000 years ago. The building itself was built in the first century AD on a site then beyond the city walls. While it can now host crowds of up to 22,000, the original amphitheatre could seat 30,000 spectators. This is now a world-famous music venue with regular operatic and contemporary music performances including Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Muse. Unfortunately because it is a commercial venue it was covered with advertising signs and scaffolding.
In the centre there is a lovely garden, which offered some shade on this very hot day, the fountain of the Alps and a bronze statue of Victor Emmanuel II. This monument to the first king of Italy, in which he is sat atop a horse, was inaugurated on 9 January 1883, five years to the day after his death.
It was a lovely vibrant piazza to start our mini tour of Verona and we were already in love with the city. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring more of the sites while trying not to get too hot. We were just not prepared for the heat here. Luckily, like most Italian cities, there are fresh water fountains throughout the piazzas to refill our water bottles.
We finished our night with a very delicious dinner at Locanda degli Scaligeri, a restaurant not far from the hotel. Not sure if they had their translations right but there was gnocchi with overcooked horse meat on the menu. Needless to say, I did not order that. After dinner we enjoyed another stroll into the main square to admire it at night.
The only thing that could have improved was the weather. It was very hot and humid, not what we expected for this time of year. What a lovely stop on our way to Venice.Read more