InterRail #12: A Day in Verona

Leaving Padua behind us, we travelled across country to Verona. Although the journey was not far, we set off reasonably early and arrived in the city just before 09.30. After some slight confusion, we eventually got our bearings and found the hotel, checked-in, deposited the bags and then set off to re-discover Verona. We walked down the Corso Porta Nuova to the Arena di Verona (the amphitheatre) and on into the city.

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A short walk from the amphitheater brought us into the beautiful, Piazza delle Erbe where we stopped for a cup of coffee. From inside the cafe I watched the trading of the morning market; all sorts of things from fruit and vegetables, little souvenirs and of course, technology accessories. I must say that the traders seemed to be enjoying good business, with flocks of tourists huddled around the stalls, all leaving with cups of fruit drizzled in copious amounts of chocolate sauce or whipped cream. It may not have been so healthy, but at least they are getting their five a day, right?!

A few steps from the square was the next stop, Juliet’s house. The famous balcony was empty but the onlookers seemed more than satisfied to soak up the atmosphere and read some of the hundreds of scribbled declarations of love on the walls of the entrance, not to mention the wall of coloured chewing gum (classy!).

Naturally, there was also a gate of padlocks which provided much entertainment and by the looks of it, plenty of photo opportunities.. one which I also took up. I just can’t resist colourful shiny things!

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With no Romeo to be found, we left the madness behind and enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the less frequented streets which provided us with a number of window-shopping opportunities.

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After that it was a search, once again, for a suitable lunchtime stop so we wandered away from the town and across the Ponte Nuovo to the other side of the river. As luck would have it we quickly found a small restaurant offering a two-course menu plus water for a reasonable price (11 euros). Once again it was a welcome relief to sit down and rest our legs which were still complaining about the many kilometres walked around Venice the day before.

Before long however we were on the move again, along the river as far as the Ponte Pietra. Above us stood the Castel S. Pietro and although tired we could not resist the challenge of climbing the steps to the top to see what views were available and to investigate the castle. After many halts ‘to admire the view’ we made it to the top but the ‘castle’ was disappointing and the panorama over the town not quite what we had expected – few towers or church domes, few points of interest and no real focus to latch on to – but pleasant all the same. The canvas in front of us was that of terracotta roof-tiles hiding whatever lay beneath, with only the occasional tower raising its head ‘above the parapet’. After the skylines seen previously on this trip and others, it was rather underwhelming. Anyway we had successfully reached the ‘summit’ and could now tick this off the list.

Once back down on the level we crossed over the Ponte Pirero and re-entered the town. A walk along the Via Achille Forti and the Via Francesco Emilei brought us to the Ponte della Vittoria and from there we took the Via Guglielmo Oberdan back to the Arena. We had thoroughly re-explored the city and were keen to return to our hotel for some rest and recuperation before the onward journey to Munich the following day.. Schnitzels and Sausages await!