Day 51, Thursday October 25, 2017
We drove to Verona today mostly to visit Juliette’s balcony, which is a balcony on the family house that was the inspiration for the story of Romeo and Juliette. Verona is a beautiful city and it had a relaxed feeling, it felt much calmer than Venice. This garden at Piazza Bra is a popular meeting place in Verona. We found bench in the sun and had our lunch before going to find Juliette’s balcony.
Well when we finally get there after a wrong turn or two we are rather dismayed to discover that the balcony is under restoration for the next ten days! What you see below is the canvas hoarding with a reproduction of the balcony. At least Juliette’s statue was still visible. The walls were plastered with notes, many were written on bandaids, or attached to the wall with chewing gum. I think the restoration might have been to free the walls from thousands of these notes.One our way to Romeo’s house we pass this house with lots of planters. Being a gardener in these Italian cities is difficult, there just aren’t many green spaces.
So, we got a bit lost again but when we find Romeo’s house, it is a bit of a disappointment as well. There is just a little sign and a locked gate as the house is now a private residence.We thought this staircase was rather wonderful, and later in the day climbed it to visit an art gallery. We also went up to the top of this tower, the Torre Dei Lamberti which was built in the 1172. Its bells have rung the hours for Verona’s residents since1275! I have to admit we cheated and took an elevator about two thirds of the way up instead of climbing all 368 steps.
The views from the tower were amazing.We decide we won’t even bother with Juliette’s tomb and go visit Verona’s Roman Arena. This is the world’s third largest arena and it was built in the First Century. We climb to the top tier of seats and walk around, high above the city on a 2,000 year old building!Bob notices all the jet streams above the arena.There are workmen dismantling a stage and seating area on the floor of the arena which is often used for musical productions. It holds about 15,000 spectators today but it used to hold 30,000.We take our photo with Verona in the background…and then go explore some of the tunnels inside the arena.When we leave we take a shadow selfie. Note the roads, they are all cobble stones in curving patterns.
I take a photo of these military fellows, and one of them poses for me but it is after I have snapped the shot. I ask them if they are there for anything special and they say no, they are here everyday for security. When I thank them they seem rather pleased.We are treated to a beautiful sunset on the drive home.
Later in the night we received news that Bob’s mother had passed away. She was 93 and we knew there was a possibility this could happen while we were on holidays. We thought we were prepared but I don’t suppose anyone is ever really prepared for that kind of news.