Noise at night
I don't think it would be a good idea to live right in back of the Arena in the summer.
After the opera is over and all the spectators have left, they turn on their crane and start lifting pieces of the stage set out of the Arena so the day shift can start building up the next stage set first thing in the morning.
Since I took these photos in the middle of the night, at about quarter to two, they are a bit dark, LOL, but in the first one you can perhaps see a huge element of the Carmen stage set dangling from the crane.
Second photo: Here they have lowered that element to the ground behind the Arena, and are about to go back for another piece. I didn't stay around for the rest of the night to see what happened, but I expect they had to spend several more hours clearing the stage so the next crew could start setting up for Madama Butterfly in the morning.
- Theater Travel
It's a long way from the station......
...to Piazza Bra, where one might say Verona's historical centre 'starts'.
I'm a great walker, but even I thought this was too far (probably around 15 minutes' walk), especially as much of it is along busy roads and there is a huge (and busy) roundabout to negotiate on the way.
So take a bus to Piazza Bra instead. Buy your bus tickets from the tabacchi/newsagents in the station entrance. Buy some return tickets too, so that you don't have to spend time looking for a tabacchi/newagent when you want to go back to the station (I didn't see any tabacchi/newsagents near the Piazza Bra bus stop).
Buses to Piazza Bra stop in the bus station outside the railway station, and there are signs in English to help you find out which ones go where. Lots of buses serve the station and Piazza Bra...we took the 12 both ways.
The Verona bus website below has an English version, so you can see timetables and route numbers.Related to:
- Family Travel
Walking along Via Mazzini (the main route from Piazza Bra into the historical centre) I realised how very smooth and worn the marble street surface is.
It's quite slippery when dry, but will be really treacherous (like all marble) when wet.
So do take care and, if you are visiting on a wet day, make sure your shoes have good grips.Related to:
- Family Travel
You'll find 'gladiators' lurking around Verona's Arena in the same way as you find them lurking around Rome's Colosseum.
I surreptitiously watched them for a while. The ploy is this...they approach someone they consider a viable target, then perhaps kiss the lady's hand or 'attack' the person with their sword.
Of course, lots of people wanted to take a photo of their friends/colleague with a 'gladiator', which is absolutely fine. But lots of people clearly *didn't* realise that they would be expected to pay for the privilege.
I did see one lady being photographed who managed to get away without paying and, to be fair, the 'gladiator' was not abusive or unpleasant to her. But even so, it's best to be aware that it *is* a ploy to make money...just another type of busking really.
You may also come across gentlemen garbed in 18th century clothing, who will kiss your hand and bow to you etc. I'm not sure they were 'gladiators' in their afternoon costumes or a separate set of...well, 'street artists' would be a kind description.
It's no problem at all if you want to have your photo taken with 'gladiators'. But do realise that you will be expected to pay for the privilege!Related to:
- Family Travel
Be careful crossing the street
I was in Verona at the end of almost 5 weeks in Italy and I had become accustomed to drivers respecting the pedestrians in crosswalks. Well this is not true in Verona. Crossing the street in Verona is akin to crossing the street in Boston. If you are in a crosswalk you have thrown out a challenge to every driver in sight to try to run you over. My taxi driver came within a millimeter of running a nun over in a crosswalk. Now this is Italy and if the nuns aren't safe in a crosswalk, no one is.
Verona - very safe town
Verona is very safe place, you can walk around all alone day or night and nothing will happened to you. In fact, according to the police statistics, it is one of the safest towns in whole Italy. I used to walk all over the historic center, late in the night and alone, found nothing but very friendly people.Related to:
- Family Travel
Beauty with Rough Edges
Verona felt like a safe city, and felt much smaller and friendlier than its quarter of a million inhabitants would suggest. The busy streets were lined with beggars, but none were aggressive, although a few would hang around outside the cafés to make people feel guilty. There were also some signs of drug abuse on the steps leading up from the Ponte Pietra to the Castelvecchio, but apart from that there was little to concern me in my time there.
A bit more risky with Verona-supporters
A bit more risky to go a Verona-game, but still quite safe. Stay away from the curva sud if you aren’t used to the life there, and remember that it could be some fights with supporters vs police or supporters vs supporters when Verona meets Napoli, Livorno or any of their other enemies.
But on 99 per cent of the Verona-games it’s no problem at all.
Breakfast included...for 5 Euro each
This is a warning, not a danger...unless you eat the donut !!
Our hotel offered an option of breakfast, at 5 euro per person, and I stupidly convinced Ma Kettle that we should go for it. The following morning was Easter, and I wasn't sure if restaurants or bars would be open or not, and I do need caffine to get my heart started.
Big mistake. We had read comments from other travellers about not buying the breakfast option, but we (I) thought they were just comparing Europe standards to North American standards. Maybe so, but not in this case.
Our breakfast consisted of a cello wrapped donut affair, which tasted like a twenty year old Hostess Twinky, a package of commercially prepared 'dry' toast, a thimble sized portion of spreadable cheese, a pack of jelly, a pack of Nutella, a pack of butter, and a cup of coffee, a napkin, and a plastic knife.
Everything was laid out at each table, and the desk clerk wandered about watching that you didn't take an extra serving. (this is only 'my' assumption)
This BREAKFAST cost 5 EURO per person.
DON'T DO IT !!!!Related to:
- Food and Dining
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