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Verona - In the Land of Romeo and Juliet.

snow

Cathedral Nativity Scene. - Verona

Cathedral Nativity Scene. - Verona

Verona.

Verona is a beautiful, beautiful historical city and we should have had a wonderful time there...... but we didn't. And the reason we didn't was all down to the weather. When we arrived it was cold, very, very cold, but not unbearable. Then it started to snow and the snow was soft and fluffy and white and pretty, but our cameras started to fog up and it was difficult to bring our hands out of our pockets and gloves to take photos, but it was still bearable. Then it must have warmed up just a tiny bit and the snow turned to rain, ­ ice-cold rain that went on and on till our clothes were soaked and our hair was soaked. My hair managed to get inside my coat and inside my layers of sweaters and drip icy cold rain down my back. Our cameras which were a bit fogged up in the snow, became so fogged up they were next to useless. Our fingers were like icicles and we should really just have given up and gone to a museum or something, but stubbornly we ploughed on, wandering miserably from sight to sight, getting colder and colder and colder. We saw the Porto Nuova Gate, the old city walls, Piazza Bra, Piazza L'Erbe, Piazza Signoria, the Scaligeri Tombs, Juliet's house, San Anastasia Church, the Cathedral, the Ponte Pietra Bridge, Castelvecchio and the Ponte Scaligero bridge. We had intended to cross the Adige River and explore the other side of it, too, but we did not. We were too cold and too wet and the winter's day got dark even earlier than usual due to the bad weather. Eventually we decided enough was enough and we had seen quite a lot and that would have to do. I would guess that Verona is very, very crowded in summer because even on this dreadful, freezing cold, miserable day there were still quite a lot of people out sightseeing, just like us. Verona is located in the Veneto Region of Northern Italy on the banks of the Adige River. It has a population of around a quarter of a million.

Train and Statue. - Verona

Train and Statue. - Verona

In the first century AD Verona was part of the Roman Empire and it has important remains from this period. The most famous is its lovely amphitheatre which is now used to stage operas. Later Verona fell under the control of the Venetians, then Napoleon Bonaparte. With his departure, it became part of the Austrian Empire. Verona's most famous family were the the Scaligeri or della Scala family. They ruled Verona from the twelfth to the fourteenth century and left behind many important remains, such as castles and tombs. Verona is the setting for William Shakespeare's most famous romantic tragedy ­- Romeo and Juliet. Although these characters are fictitious, they still attract thousands of tourists to Verona each year.

Sculpture on a Verona Wall. - Verona

Sculpture on a Verona Wall. - Verona

Porta Nuova.

Porta Nuova or New Gate is the name of Verona's main railway station. The railway station has this name because it is located close to an old gate in Verona's city walls called Porta Nuova. This gate was built by Sanmicheli in the sixteenth century. In 1854 this gate was enlarged during the Austrian occupation of Verona.

Porta Nuova. - Verona

Porta Nuova. - Verona

Porta Nuova. - Verona

Porta Nuova. - Verona

Statue Filled Square.

Between the Porta Nuova and Piazza Bra we passed a pleasant, though small, statue filled square. Not sure what it was called, but it looked like quite a pleasant place to sit on a warm day. It most certainly wasn't a warm day when we visited.

The Italian poet Berto Barbarani (1872-1945) - Verona

The Italian poet Berto Barbarani (1872-1945) - Verona

The Church Of San Luca Evangelista - Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista .

Before reaching Piazza Bra on the walk from the station we visited the Church of San Luca Evangelista. A big plus for us was this church was heated so we could thaw out a bit and when we had thawed a little and started to look around, we realised it was actually a very beautiful church. It also had a lovely nativity scene. This church unlike many in Verona is free entry.

The Church Of San Luca Evangelista

The Church Of San Luca Evangelista

The Church Of San Luca Evangelista

The Church Of San Luca Evangelista

The Portani Della Bra.

Following the road from the railway station you will arrive at Verona's main square -­ the Piazza Bra. To get there you pass through a magnificent archway called the Portani Della Bra. It is worthy of a photo.

The Portani Della Bra

The Portani Della Bra

The Portani Della Bra

The Portani Della Bra

Piazza Bra at Christmas Time.

At Christmas time in Verona a huge Comet Star is raised over the arena. Naturally this represents the star which led the three wise men to the stable where Jesus was born. This iron structure is seventy meters high and weighs seventy-­eight tons. It dates from 1984 and was built for the first Verona Christmas Crib Exhibition. It was intended to be used only once but was so popular it has been used every Christmas since 1984.

The Christmas Comet Star. - Verona

The Christmas Comet Star. - Verona

The Christmas Comet Star. - Verona

The Christmas Comet Star. - Verona

Piazza Bra.

Piazza Bra is the main square in Verona. The word bra comes from the German word for broad, because Piazza Bra is a very wide open square. Piazza Bra is surrounded by many beautiful old buildings and there are many cafes and restaurants on this square, too. Part of the square is surrounded by Verona's old city walls and its old city gate. This square is also home to the Gran Guardia Palace, the Lapidary Museum and the town hall. In the centre of Piazza Bra there is a statue of the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II mounted on a horse. However, the most noticeable and prominent building on the square is the Ancient Roman arena. We did not actually go inside the arena. Nowadays it is used to stage operas and at Christmas time it houses an exhibition on nativity scenes.

Christmas Market on Piazza Bra. - Verona

Christmas Market on Piazza Bra. - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Piazza Bra - Verona

Verona Arena - Roman Amphitheatre.

One side of Piazza Bra is completely filled by its wonderful Ancient Roman arena. Verona arena was built in the first century A.D. It could hold up to 30,000 spectators. Nowadays it is used to host operas. Address: Piazza Brà, 1, 37121 Verona VR. Italy.

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Verona Arena - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe.

We walked from the arena along a busy shopping street with several department stores to Piazza delle Erbe. The department stores were great for us because we were able to pop into a couple briefly to warm up. Piazza delle Erbe is a beautiful square which acts as Verona's market place and has done since Ancient Roman times when it was the site of Verona's forum. There are many beautiful buildings around Piazza delle Erbe. These include the Maffei Palace, the Case dei Mazzanti, the Torre dei Lamberti, Palazzo del Commune and the Casa dei Mercanti. There is also a clock tower called the Torre del Gardello which dates from 1370 and a tall column with a winged lion on top. This dates from the days when Verona was under the control of Venice. Piazza delle Erbe also has a beautiful fountain called the Fontana dei Madonna Verona .

Piazza delle Erbe was one of the most beautiful parts of Verona, but the rain was at its heaviest and iciest when we got here and we lost each other and had to wander round and round getting wetter and wetter till we found each other again. Despite the dreadful weather, I took lots of photos of it and so will post even more here. After all each photo taken involved taking my gloves back off and letting my hands get even colder and colder. On this square too we were approached by people asking us to sign a petition against drugs. Ignore these people. It is a con. If you agree to sign, they will ask you for a donation. They were quite annoying.

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza delle Erbe - Verona

Piazza dei Signore.

This square joins on to Piazza delle Erbe. I was expecting it to be just as beautiful and it probably is but during our visit several buildings were covered up for restoration, so it was most certainly not at its best. The Piazza dei Signori is also known as the Piazza Dante as there is a large statue of the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri here. This square was once the centre of power in Verona as it includes the former court and the Palazzo del Governo which was once the seat of power of Verona's leading Scaliger family. During our visit there was a Christmas market here.

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

Piazza dei Signore - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs.

The Scaliger Tombs are right next to Piazza dei Signori. These are a group of five very elaborate and highly decorated tombs commemorating the Scaliger family, who ruled Verona from the thirteenth to the late fourteenth century. The tombs are in the courtyard of the church of Santa Maria Antica. You can view them through an iron fence without entering the church. My camera got very fogged up when I was photographing the tombs, so my photos are not great.

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

The Scaliger Tombs - Verona

Juliet's House - ­ Casa di Giulietta.

I had read that Juliet's house was not worth visiting, but I like to judge these things for myself. I must say though, I really did find it pretty awful. Despite the fact it was pouring and freezing there were lots of people there. Entry to the house's courtyard is via a passageway covered everywhere with love notes. It is a bit of a mess. There was a queue to go into the house itself and we did not bother going inside. There was also a queue to have your photo taken with the statue of Juliet. Everyone who gets their photo taken with her has to make a big deal of rubbing or, in some cases even sucking her right breast. That part of the statue is shiny from all the attention it gets. Juliet was of course just a character in a story and this house has been labelled her house because it has a pretty balcony and can be used to extract money from gullible tourists. Obviously from the crowds thronging there, lots of people do like this sight. I have absolutely no idea why though. It is probably the most over-­rated attraction I have ever seen. We had intended to visit Romeo's house after this, but could not find it and were so cold, we both refused to take the map out and look for it. If it was anything like Juliet's house, it did not really seem worth the effort anyway. Address: Via Cappello, 23, 37121 Verona.

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

Juliet's House - Verona

The Adige River.

We left Juliet's house and tried looking for Romeo's but did not find it. It would have been easy to find if we could have been bothered to look at a map, but we couldn't, so we ended up at the river. Despite the icy winds blowing along it, the river was beautiful and we walked along it for as long as we could before we were so cold we could take no more.

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

The Adige River. - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia.

We left our riverside walk to enter into the enormous Church of Sant Anastasia. This is the largest church in Verona. It does not look all that special from the outside, but it is beautiful inside. Entry fee was 2 Euros 50 cents. I had put this church on my to see list as I wanted to see the famous hunchback columns. These were worth seeing as was the rest of this lovely church. Sant Anastasia Church is a Gothic church which was built by the Dominicans between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries. The hunchback sculptures are holding up fonts near the entrance to the church. This church has six chapels and lots of beautiful art work. This is yet another place where I got carried away taking photos. There was a lot to see inside plus it was specially decorated for Christmas so how could I possibly resist?

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Sant Anastasia Church - Verona

Cappella San Pietro Martire.

Cappella San Pietro Martire is a chapel located next door to Sant Anastasia Church. Entry to this chapel is free. The chapel's walls were covered with beautiful frescoes and there were exhibits of various religious scenes in the centre of the chapel. This chapel is dedicated to Saint Peter of Verona.

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Cappella San Pietro Martire

Verona Cathedral.

This was easily far and away the highlight of our visit. For a start it had heating and we actually managed to regain feeling in our fingers and toes after being in here, plus it had a free, clean toilet and having spent hours in the freezing cold, I was very happy to see one of them. I do know these features are probably irrelevant to most people. Verona cathedral is absolutely beautiful. Entry costs 2 Euros 50 cents and was well worth it. Verona's duomo is the Cattedrale Santa Maria Matricolare. A cathedral was first built on this site in the eighth and ninth centuries, but this was destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. The present cathedral was built between 1117 and 1138, however its interior was completely redone in Gothic style in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The cathedral is filled with many beautiful works of art. Off to the left of the cathedral apse a connecting door leads to the Baptistery of San Giovanni which has an octagonal font. Near the baptistery stands the small chapel of Saint Helen, which has the remains of some Roman floor mosaics.

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

Verona Cathedral - Verona

From an exhibition of paintings inside - Verona

From an exhibition of paintings inside - Verona

Mosaic Floors - Verona

Mosaic Floors - Verona

Duomo Nativity Scene.

I know I'll be thought of as a complete philistine but even surrounded by all those wonderful works of art my favourite feature of the duomo was its nativity scene - ­especially the sheep. I loved it because it was so simple and childlike and well just so pretty. This was the best nativity scene I saw all holiday though the Church of Sant Andrea in Iseo came close.

How could you not love those sheep? - Verona

How could you not love those sheep? - Verona

Duomo Nativity Scene - Verona

Duomo Nativity Scene - Verona

Duomo Nativity Scene. - Verona

Duomo Nativity Scene. - Verona

Ponte Pietra.

When we left the cathedral, we walked back down to the River Adige to see the Ponte Pietra Bridge. When Verona was founded around 90 BC, a wooden bridge was built at this site across the Adige River. When Verona was occupied by the Ancient Romans, this wooden bridge was later replaced by a stone bridge. The Ponte Pietra Bridge has been destroyed many times by floods and later during the Second World War by bombs. Its most recent restoration was in 1959. This is an attractive bridge in its own right. Plus it has excellent views up and down the river. On the far side of it there was a castle, a beautiful church, the remains of an Ancient Roman theatre and an archaeological Museum. As we were soaked through and freezing and we knew we would soon run out of light, we had to leave all that for a future visit.

Ponte Pietra - Verona

Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

View from Ponte Pietra - Verona

Castelvecchio.

Castelvecchio means Old Castle. It is located on the banks of the Adige River. It consists of four main buildings and seven towers. It used to be surrounded by a ditch. Castelvecchio was built by Lord Cangrande II della Scala for defensive purposes between 1354 and 1376. The castle is connected to a fortified bridge across the River Adige. This is called the Ponte Scaligero Bridge. This was built as an escape route for the della Scala family if they ever had to flee their home. It even slopes downhill so they could run down it faster. The castle is now a museum.

Castelvecchio - Verona

Castelvecchio - Verona

Castelvecchio - Verona

Castelvecchio - Verona

Ponte Scaligero - Verona

Ponte Scaligero - Verona

Ponte Scaligero - Verona

Ponte Scaligero - Verona

Porta Borsari.

We were not looking for Borsari Gate. In fact we did not even know it existed, but we stumbled upon it as we walked to Castelvecchio. The Borsari Gate was originally called the Lovia Gate. In Ancient Roman times this gate was the main entrance to Verona on the Postumia Road.

Porta Borsari - Verona

Porta Borsari - Verona

Porta Borsari - Verona

Porta Borsari - Verona

Shakespeare Bust.

This bust of William Shakespeare is located near the Bra Gate. The inscription comes from Romeo and Juliet and reads:

"There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence ­banished is banish'd from the world,
And world's exile is death."

These words were said by Romeo as he left Verona after being exiled. He was supposed to have left the city through the Bra Gate.

Bust of William Shakespeare. - Verona

Bust of William Shakespeare. - Verona

The Lion's Gate.

I saw this and photographed it without even knowing what it was. In fact I still had no idea what it was until I started writing up my Verona page. It was between Juliet's house and the river. We were wandering around looking for Romeo's house but we were so cold we had kind of lost interest in anything other than warming up, so we just glanced at this site as we passed. We also just glanced at the excavation of Roman remains nearby. Lion's Gate was once situated on the Ancient Roman Cardus Maximus Street. The gate is called Lion's Gate because of a nearby sarcophagus which had two lions depicted on it.

The Lion's Gate

The Lion's Gate

The Streets of Verona.

We saw lots of beautiful buildings as we were just wandering by. I did not photograph all of them because my hands were so cold I did not want to keep taking off my gloves, but every now and again I just could not resist. There are other photos that I like and nearly got frostbite taking. If we get the chance we will revisit Verona in better weather. It is a very beautiful city.

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

The Streets of Verona - Verona

Posted by irenevt 05:14 Archived in Italy

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Comments

Verona is my birthplace.

by Maurizioagos

Lovely place to be born, Maurizio. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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