The hidden little gems of the town, Verona
One of the best ways to get a fantastic view across the city of Verona with the mystical Dolomites rising around Lake Garda behind, is to ascend the relatively undiscovered Torre dei Lamberti next to the Piazza Erbe. The views are spectacular, and unless you fancy climbing the hundreds of steps, it is easy to ascend too, with a large lift built into the centre of the tower, carrying you almost to the top. The fare is minimal, and certainly it is worth it for the views over the piazze, streets, terracotta tiled roofs, church spires and domes. The tower is quite difficult to find along a small, maze-like alleyway off the Piazza Erbe, although it actually stands above the Piazza dei Signori. If you get lost, ask one of the friendly locals for the Torre dei Lamberti- they're sure to help.
At the back of the Cloister of Juliet's grave is a wonderful bronze frieze of 10 panels depicting the story of Rome and Juliet. It is the work of the artist Sergio Pasetto - modelled first in clay; having made a mould in silicone rubber, wax models made and then fused in bronze. The 10 scenes are:
2. The Meeting
3. The Kiss on the Balcony
4. The Marriage
5. The Duel between Romeo and Tebaldo
6. Night of Love
7. Romeo runs away to Mantova
8. Fra' Loroenxo delivewrs the phial
9. Juliet's burial
10. Romeo and Juliet joined forever.
Each one is beautiful in its own right - often copies of these are available as souvenirs.
The Italian version of Santa Barbara's "Sideways" - the Valpolicella wine country - San Pietro in Cariano, Pastrengo - the Po Vally - to Lago de Guardia and the family fun destination Lazise -- all worth the adventure. Camping is big at Lazise and below you find a good web link.
There are many various wine cellars or it's better to say "Enotica". This is probably the nicest one and you have a plenty of wine here which you can taste by the glass! :)) They serve even some food finger which we liked sooo much! :) This Enoteca is on the right side facing Chiesa del Duomo (Cattedrale S.Maria Matricolare & S.Giovanni in Fonte).
I got off the beaten path and saw lots of cool stuff, well actually I was lost, but that's not the point. Anyway, Verona has tons of tiny winding streets full of beauty.
Just take a left turn instead of a right sometime. You might be surprised at what you find.
Most people will make their way to Juliet's house to see the famed balcony but few make thier way over to the other side of town to see her grave.
Juliets grave is found in the crypt below the cloister of an old monastery (which now houses a fresco museum) at Via Del Pontiere 5. This church - San Fancesco - is also reputed to be the location of the secret marriage of Romeo and Juliet. There's quite a gruesome tale here. Apparently the nuns got tired of people visiting the said Juliets grave, and treating her almost as a saint, even though she committed suicide, so they opened up her sarcophagus and threw out her remains -how horrid :-S
The Holy water stoup from 1591 was carved by Paolo Orefice. It is known as "Pasquino" (from Pasqua, Easter in Italian) because it first appeared in the Basilica at Easter in the year 1591. This hunchback is slightly larger and more ornat than the one next to it.
To be honest, I've discovered this what used to be a Market place only by chance when strolling around. It is situated in Via Marcini, left of Corso Porta Nuova and now it looks very neglected and in a poor conditions. I hope it wont be pulled down.
Just a foot from the Old Market you can find this defending tower which is hidden and interpolated in between new buildings. It was obviously a part of the city walls and defending system of the town. In fact, it is in the same line as the Hexagonal Tower of Portoni Bra and the city walls behind the Vecchia Guardia.
When passing through Sanmicheli gateway of Palazzo del Capitano, one enters in the huge inner courtyard. Opposite to the gateway there is a famous Porta Bombardiera, while on the left side you can find this splendid statue to Mathias von der Schulemburg (1661-1747) who was the Venetian Captain.
The bust of Felice Cavallotti, 1842-1898, stands on the wall in the passage of Scaliger palace. He was Italian politician, poet and dramatic. In 1860 and 1866 he faught with the Garibaldi Corps. Cavalotti was killed on the 6th of March 1898 in a duel with Count Macola, editor of the conservative Gazetta di Venezia, whom he had assailed with characteristic intemperance of language.
The modern house shown in this photo was built directly on top of 2000 year old Roman ruins. Brick support columns for the house were erected in the middle of the ruins. I don't know much about these particular ruins, but I believe them to be part of a Roman hillside apartment complex. Most Roman citizens of the day were apartment dwellers. More info. later. There are fascinating gems like this scattered around the city. If you are an avid hiker like myself, the best way to see them is on foot.
This site is located about 200 meters northeast of old town Verona across Riva Adige. It is just one of the fascinating sites you pass while walking to Hotel / Hostel Villa Francescatti.
By the way Villa Francescatti is 450 year old restored Italiano villa right out the storybooks. It is now a clean and well maintained hostel with many doubles and family rooms. It is in an idylic park like setting. You can sit in the gardens, dine, drink, and relax. It is the best lodging deal in Verona.
Okay, who was Garibaldi??? He was an Italian hero who fought for the unification of Italy during the wars between 1848 and only finished in 1870. He was actually born in Nice and at one point immigrated and became a citizen of the USA between 1849-1854. He returned to Italy in 1854 and in 1859 invaded Sicily and Napels with his troops called the "Red Shirts" and freed them from Spanish rule.
When strolling around the old core of the city, take a look at the balconies of Verona. Most of them are decorated by the flowers and plants, especially those in Via Porta Borsari and Santa Anastasia (on the picture). It looks like a kind of the competition between the local citizens.
The statue to Garibaldi stands on the little square, Piazza Indipedenza, right behind the Piazza dei Signori.
Giuseppe Garibaldi is the most significant politician in the history of the country and each and every Italian town honour him by the monument.