After 2 days in Milan, here we are in Verona, the colorful city of love!
I have to say that this short roadtrip to Milan and Verona was so nice and calm, all the people we came accross were extremely nice, open minded, read to talk with us, which was a bit surprising, but it made me feel so happy. We were in no rush at all, just wandered around the cities, so we even passed over 20 km a day, just like that.
In Verona, I choose the hotel Italia, only 10 minutes away from the notorious stone bridge Ponte di Pietra, walking distance. Once you pass the bridge you find yourselves in the old part of the city, where all the main attractions actually are.
The hotel has a great location, there is also a parking place inside the hotel that costs 16,00 euros a day, the standard rooms are totally ok, even though the bed we had wasn't that comfortable to me like the one in Milan. The food is also good, the lobby pleasant to sit in after all day walking around on the cold, but for 2 nights, to me there isn't anything more you could ask for.
I didn't have any expections when we came here, cuz I did not explore through the internet before arriving, we just took a map and started our journey through the streets of Verona. The old town was beautifully decorated, so small, well preserved, fills your heart. All the houses are colorful and full of decors and details, which is something I adore when I come to Italy. It makes everything feel warmer and more pleasant.
I'll take you through our daily walk from the hotel, over the bridge, to the main square Piazza delle erbe, the house of Giulietta, Piazza Bra where the Arena is, the Castelvecchio, all the way to the best sightseeing spot in the city, castle S. Pietro. You can climb your way to the top, which I highly reccomend because you'll be able to see the favourite street of mine of Verona or take the cable car.
Piazza delle erbe is the main square in Verona, all the Christmas shopping houses are there and on Piazza bra, the so called mercatino di Natale.
If you pass the squre, the road will lead you right to the house of Giulietta and the famous balcony where Juliet used to wait for her Romeo. There is her statue in her courtyard and a wall full of messagges to Juliet that the visitors leave and obviously the wall of love chains where the lovers leave their sign of eternal love. Of course, there is a store right in the yard where you can buy your chain, write something on it and hook the lock.
You can even enter the house and climb to her balcony, the entrance fee is just 6,00 euros.
It was worth paying the entrance, the house is interesting, not that big though, but what I love the most and was quite magical to me is the courtyard, which was too crowded all the time, unfortunately.
Inside the house you can find computers where you can write and send your letters to the secretaries of Juliet. They will allegedly answer to all the letters they receive by mail or through the mailbox you can find just next to the computers.
From the main square Piazza delle Erbe, the road will take you to Piazza Bra, where the Arena of Verona is located.
Verona is actually great because on every corner you have signs and arrows that show you the way to the attractions you want to visit, so you cannot get lost here.
Currently there is Christmas fair on Piazza Bra and this huge Christmas star that goes all the way to the Arena.
The amphiteathre of Verona is not very beautiful, even though well preserved, and it is not even completely finished, which you can deduct by yourself when you see the side wall formed of a few columns that is just the beginning of what was suppoused to be the external area of the Arena.
We went inside and climbed to the very top, a powerful feeling a might add, but my battery died, so I just have a few cellphone shots that will remain for my private collection. :)
The entrance fee is10,00 euros.
For the inner and external beauty, our Arena of Pula is still number1 to me!
What can you still visit in the old town?
There is the Castelvecchio, one of the most important military structure from the family della Scala (Scaligeri) that ruled Verona in the Middle Ages.
Today you can find civic museum inside. The cool thing is you can climb the fort that will open ana amazing view of the river Adige, the inner cour of the fort and the city itself.
Once you visit the old town, you must definitely climb the view point of Castel San Pietro. The road the takes you to the top is located just accross of the bridge of Ponte di Pietra.
We walked all the way up, which I reccomend you do, because the walk isn't that long, but the road is so charming...in any other case, you can take the funicular.
Once you come to the top, you will fall with Verona even more...the way makes me want to buy immediately a small apartment in one of the colorful bulidings of the old town!
Where did we eat and drink?
We didn't search for anything special in advance, just wandered around and when we came accross something we though might be good, just went for it...
1. Little Italy, Pizza & Food, Vicolo Crocioni 6, near Piazza delle Erbe and Casa di Giulietta
Lunch for two, only main dishes and drinks, about 30,00 euros. Nice food, you have pizzas, pasta, meat, salads...pleasant atmoshpere.
2. Ristorane & Pizzeria Liston, Via Dietro Listone 19, behind Piazza Bra
Nice ambience this time of the year, with all the inner decor and Christmas music. The price range is similar to the first restaurant, we had some red wine here, some appetizers, dessert and coffee, and we ate a little better here (in terms of portions and main courses) and the bill was about 60,00 euros.
You will read on the bill of all restaurants and caffes the term coperto, meaning they charge you the sitting place.
3. Caffe Walner, Via Dietro Listone 1, near the restaurant Liston i Piazza Bra, Castelvecchio...
Coffee place + pastry shop, warm ambience, good coffee, pastries nothing special (at least what we tried out), but you have a large variety of choice.
4. Antica Bottega del vino, wine and tapas bar, Via Scudo di Francia 3, near everything basically :D