Archive | September 2015

What’s not to like about Verona?

Verona has a pleasantly laid-back feel to it. Much of the centre is pedestrianised, paved with shiny local marble. Substantial townhouses and palazzi with intricately carved doorways and balconies line the narrow streets. The central square, Piazza del Erbe, is a feast for the eyes and the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee and people-watch.

Ignore the spurious Romeo and Juliet attractions. There is much else to see! It’s a great place to wander aimlessly in, especially if you remember to stop and look up. Carvings and frescoes decorate many buildings. The great churches are impressive and well worth seeing inside, especially Sant Anastasia where there is a stunning Pisanello fresco of St. George and the Princess on an arch about 20 metres up. You can’t see it properly with the naked eye, but the video presentation just below it reveals the extraordinary fineness of the detail.

Who did Pisanello think would appreciate the full beauty of his work?

The other side of the green Adige river are the Giusti Gardens, reputed to be among the finest formal gardens in Italy. The Belvedere at the top is a good view point.

We came partly to see an opera in the massive Roman Arena. Even if you are not an opera lover, the sheer spectacle of Aida with Franco Zeffirelli’s amazing sets is an unforgettable experience. As the opera drew to a close at midnight, a copper-coloured moon rose over the stage, completely colour-coordinated with the set!

And, of course, it’s a great place for food-lovers! There is no shortage of good gelato to keep you cool as you walk around and my own particular slice of heaven was a trattoria that specialises in cheese and reckons it serves the best tiramisu in the world. I can vouch that it does taste pretty darn good!