Verona – Part of our world Heritage
After a few days enjoying the mountains and lakes of Italy, I decided to travel further south to the city of Verona. There are two campsites here: one near the city centre and the other about 5km out of town. I chose the latter – Campeggio Giulietta e Romeo on the N11 Verona-Brescia road. It was pleasant site with shady, marked, pitches and a shop, swimming pool and good facilities. I settled in and then took the bus into the city – tickets were available from the campsite office, and at a fare price of just one Euro. Verona is a world Heritage site and is just as beautiful as I’d imagined it would be. The city is a collection of old buildings, many decorated with beautifully painted frescoes, old balconies often dripping with flowers, cobbled streets and towers. Dominating the centre is the huge arena, built by the Romans and originally used for gladiatorial contests. Today it is a huge open air auditorium and the ancient walls echo to the sounds of rock concerts, rather than the sound of mortal combat.
Home to Romeo and Juliet
Armed with a map of the city I made my way from one fabulous street, alleyway and plaza to another, eventually finding the house of Shakespeare’s ‘Juliet’. Apparently the families Capulent and Montagague (actually Capuleti and Montecchi) really excited but Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters. Juliet’s house with its tiny balcony is just off the Via Cappello and as you might imagine, was crowded with people all anxious to see it and take pictures. It is said that if you stand under the balcony and make a wish about love it will come true. Many people have obviously taken this to heart because the walls of the courtyard are covered with messages – small pieces of paper stuck in the trellis and hundreds of blobs of dried chewing gum stuck to the walls each flattened out and inscribed with a names or messages. This space is almost exhausted now, and so more recent messages have been speared onto the branch of a little tree. Very different to the tombs of the Scaligeri family, rulers of Verona for more than 160 years. The Arche Scaligeri stands in front of the little church of the Santa Maria Antica and the elaborate Gothic monuments are in sharp contrast to the warm, mellow facades of the surrounding buildings