Saturday, November 17, 2018

In Fair Verona

We stopped in Verona for one night during our road trip from Tyrol to the Amalfi Coast. I had pretty low expectations, I thought it would be a big, modern city and Juliet's balcony would be tucked in the middle of tacky tourist attractions (like how the Alamo is in Texas.) While there are areas that are bustling in modernism, Verona is such a charming and romantic town, with so many fun and beautiful things to see. It made me wish we had more than a half day in this historic, Italian town. Verona was the most unexpected and amazing surprise, and I would love to travel back to the City of Love someday.

Reece found Il Sogno di Giulietta, Relais de Charme located in the heart of historical Verona, which is the only accommodation inside Juliet’s Courtyard.  In the evening, the access gate to the Courtyard is closed and the guests can enjoy the incomparable atmosphere of the garden at night attended by Romeo and reach their rooms through a unique path. 

I don't know how to accurately describe how wonderful it was to have the courtyard to ourselves. When the gates are open to the public, the courtyard is wall to wall people, it's loud and chaotic and not enjoyable at all. It was so lovely to spend as much time as we pleased in the courtyard while it was quiet, serene and peaceful. It is a beautiful place, and I'm glad I got to enjoy it instead of worrying about battling crowds to catch just a glimpse of Juliet.

While visitors can tour through Juliet's house, we didn't have time to look into that, it's great to have a reason to go back.

All the rooms in Il Sogno Di Guiletta are decorated with antique furniture and adorned with antique rugs, curtains and fine art objects, all the rooms are characterized by wood parquet flooring and beamed ceilings  The rooms are situated on two sides of the house; some have a direct view of Juliet's balcony, the others look out on Piazza Erbe and the elegant Via Cappello, a pedestrian street in the historical center of Verona.

Each room has a name that came from Romeo and Juliet. My room was named L'usignolo, which translates to The Nightingale. 

"Romeo must run and hide after a night of romance with Juliet, his secret wife. In the fifth scene of the third act, a brief argument ensues as Juliet insists that it was the nightingale that sang prolonging the lover’s time together and not the skylark that heralds dawn.
“It was the nightingale, and not the lark, that pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear”

I absolutely adored this room, and would have loved to have moved right in and lived there for a while. It was an attic room, so it was tall and narrow with the bathroom, seating area and balcony on one level, and the simple, yet elegant bedroom on another level.

My balcony looked out over the Piazza Erbe and Via Cappello

The Madison's room was named Il Pensiero, The Thought.

"In the famous balcony scene of the second act, Juliet discovers
 Romeo secretly listening to his lover’s worried sighs.
“What man art thou that, thus bescreen’d in night, so stumblest on my counsel?"

Their room over looked Juliet's courtyard, but it was a little high up to see the actual balcony.

If you want to take a tour through their other rooms by name, CLICK HERE to visit their web page. Each room is unique and it's fun to see how pretty they all are.

After we had settled into our rooms and freshened up a bit from our drive, we ventured out to explore the historic center of Verona. To exit the courtyard, we walked through the tunnel that connects the courtyard to the street. This tunnel, as well as several areas within the courtyard are covered with love notes left by star-crossed tourists in hopes that Juliet will cast a lucky spell on their love lives. Often times, these love letters are secured to the walls with chewing gum or bandaids. While the sentiment is sweet, the result is a cluttered, unsightly mess. The city of Verona has tried to crack down on this situation, and have made several laws prohibiting the graffiti on the walls and the sticking of love letters. But alas, the tradition continues. 

While walking down the cobblestone street near our hotel, we saw several people with cups of chocolate and strawberries. It looked like such a fun and delicious treat, we just had to try it!

It was so delicious, I literally licked my cup clean. Eating chocolate covered strawberries in Verona, Italy is definitely a buck list item.

Beth and Reece had a couple of errands to run, so V and I got some fun one on one hang out time. We passed by several stores that had balloons, and she would comment on how pretty they were every time. I can't deny this cute gal pal of mine anything, so I granted her wish and got her a balloon of her choice. Her reaction was worth the $4.

Piazza Delle Erbe is one of the most historic and picturesque squares in Italy. In antiquity, it served as a Roman forum; today, it contains many historic buildings, sculptures with a popular and colorful market overflowing with all sorts of fun souvenirs. V and I had such a fun time wandering through all the stalls looking at the fun, colorful things for sale.

I loved this historic market square so much that I bought a small, square painting of it as my souvenir from this charming town.

After our time at the market, Reece and V decided to go back to the hotel to take a warm bath and go to bed early since V hadn't been feeling well the last couple of days, it was her turn to have the cold we had all had at one point during this trip.

Beth and I walked to Piazza Bra to have a fun sisters only dinner. One of the most eye catching structures in this well known piazza is the Verona Arena. This ancient arena was built in the first century and is one of the best preserved structures of it's kind.  It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. In ancient times, nearly 30,000 people was the housing capacity of the Arena. Nowadays, for security reasons, the maximum attendance is 15,000 people.

Piazza Bra, often shortened to Bra, is 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. It is such a fun place to hang out, with it's brightly colored buildings and bustling sidewalk cafes. We walked the entire length of restaurants, perusing their menus and checking availability. We decided on a pizzeria just across the street from the Verona Arena, which made for a gorgeous view during our meal.

Celebratory drinks! My go to order is a virgin mojito, and this one had the perfect amount of lime and mint and was simply delicious.

We took a stroll down Via Mazzini on our way back to the hotel after dinner. The Via Mazzini forms a direct connection between the Piazza Brà and the Piazza delle Erbe. It is not only the largest pedestrian area of Verona, but is also one of the busiest streets of the city and Verona’s shop window. Row upon row of shops line the road, all major Italian fashion brands are represented here. Anyone who is looking for the latest fashion in clothes, shoes and accessories and has a corresponding budget will certainly find what he or she is looking for. If you’re staying in Verona during the time of the Saldi (sales), you will have the chance to find a bargain or two for less money.

We got to say a peaceful goodnight to Juliet and her balcony before heading inside to our cozy rooms.

If you ever have the chance to travel to Verona, I would highly recommend you do. I loved this town with my whole heart and can't wait to go back one day.