Two Gentlefolk of Verona
Sept. 1 & 2
European train travel is amazing. Six air conditioned hours from Zurich to Verona. Gorgeous vistas of lake Lucerne, alpine forests, tunnels burrowed through mountains and first Italian views at Lake Lugano. We amused ourselves on the journey with torrents of photos shot and lots of tasty snacks ingested.
And then we arrived in Verona which couldn’t be more different from big city Zurich ( although also blazing hot). First stop, our historic bnb, Corte Rialdi Verona, smack in central old town. We have a private suite with a balcony that puts Juliette’s to shame (more on that later). Antiques, chandelier, gilded mirrors, breakfast in our quarters, and did I mention our garden balcony!
Verona is like Venice’s shy little sister. It’s cobblestone, winding streets hold mysteries to lose yourself for hours. But no crowds, no sewage and no gondoliers. It has roman ruins, period churches and an ancient Roman arena where we will go tonight not to be thrown to the lions but to be serenaded with opera. Aida to be exact.
Our first night in Verona we wandered the Medieval alleys in sunset light looking for a restaurant. Today we explored all the other tourist spots, stopping to ooh ahhh and shoot gorgeous nooks and corners of Renaissance and other architecture and to cross all their bridges and trod all their stones. And we had wonderful pizza in a hidden galleria. An, of course, gelato. We are back in the land of Mimidom where every vacation day includes at least one serving of decadent gelato ( of which one scoop must be coffee for Andy)
Oh yes, about that balcony of Juliette’s. The town guides freely admit that neither Capulet nor Montague every set foot in fair Verona. Nor did their creator, one William Shakespeare. However, legend has it–and lovers believe It– and so one porch has become the designated balcony of the fordoomed lovers. It’s a lot less aggravating a myth than the “Seven Sacred Falls” of Hana that took all day to drive to in Maui. Here it’s just a few steps off the Piazza Erbe. The biggest draw is the graffiti that lovers scrawl in the crowded archway. We only stopped by this last tourist spot just so we could tell you “don’t bother.”
We were told Verona is a fair city. It absolutely is. It’s a respite from hurried cities and tourist hordes. It hides its beauties behind corners and cornices and cupolas.
I would never sit through an opera in the U.S. Yet I’m looking forward to tonight’s open air performance. We saw some of the props being loaded to the stage this morning. It should be amazing. And hey, Janet, there’s an Opera Museum here! Just saying….