“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…” With those words begins the famous tragedy of William Shakespeare. The play was set in Verona, a city located about one hundred kilometers from Venice, another great romantic place. It’s worth a visit if you are travelling in the north-east of Italy. In this article, I’ll show you some interesting places inthis wonderful city. Take a look!
Verona is the city where William Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet, one of his most romantic works. Many tourists all over the world visit this beautiful city to see the home of Juliet and her grave, and to visit other important monuments (such as the Arena, that you can see in the photo below):
The Arena is a Roman amphitheater, which is internationally known for the large-scale opera performances held there. It was built in AD 30 just beyond the city walls. In the same square (and in the same photo) you can see the Musical Theater, which is used in the winter season.
Here, you can see some details of a city gate and its decorations; meanwhile, in the following image you can see the pedestrian zone, where one of the most important squares of the city, Piazza delle Erbe, is located.
The city center is full of medieval houses and buildings.
Piazza delle Erbe (photos below) was a town’s forum during the Roman Empire Era. Today, it hosts the most important vegetable market of the city. In 2012, after a survey, it was considered as the loveliest square in the world.
Here you can find many typical restaurants, or you can taste some sweets or, in the winter season, some nice chestnuts:
But, the most romantic place in Verona is the house of Juliet, situated in the pedestrian area. Here, you can see the famous balcony of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.
With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls,
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt:
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.
Here, hundreds of lovers’ padlocks are locked on a huge grill:
Now, it’s time to leave the city walls, and, as wrote William Shakespeare:
“There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself.
Hence-banished is banish’d from the world,
And world’s exile is death”
Let’s go to Juliet’s tomb, situated in the crypt of the ancient monastery of San Francesco al Corso. Here, you can see the entrance of this site:
This place is now a museum, containing some interesting sculptures and archaeological findings:
Here you can see the cloister. If you descend the stairs on the right side (see the banister in the photo) you will reach Juliet’s tomb:
Even if the story is entirely invented (apparently Shakespeare has never been in Verona), a visit to the grave leaves a sense of bitterness. I can’t show you the actual grave since I couldn’t photograph it due to the poor light available in a late winter afternoon with my FP4+ film roll. Also, because I prefer to remember Juliet as if she were still alive.
All these photos were taken with my Olympus 35RC camera loaded with Ilford HP5+ and FP4+ film rolls.