A walk in Verona

View of Ponte Pietra and Verona from the roman ruins
View of Ponte Pietra and Verona from the roman ruins

One of the best coffees I’ve ever had was an espresso from a little hole in the wall in Verona. The coffee beans were Guatemalan and as we downed our coffee a few people ducked in for a quick alcoholic beverage, it was late afternoon and wine o’clock for some. Hubby and I had been walking the streets since our arrival in Verona and needed a little something to pick us up. There was only one barista and he did it all, the cafe was a small place, perfect for just dropping in although if you wanted to stay for longer there were a few seats along the wall.

For people like me who enjoy looking at old stuff, a walk through the old town is a must. Castelvecchio is a former military structure on the Adige River, it now houses a museum and the medieval bridge is perfect for getting a bird’s eye view of the surrounds. On the other side of the Adige river, carved into the side of a hill is a first century B.C.E. roman theatre which was excavated in the 18th century. Above the theatre is an Archaeological Museum however it was closed for restoration so we settled for wandering through the roman ruins in the small area surrounding the theatre. If you are romantic you might enjoy a visit to Juliet’s House to see the balcony featured in Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the building itself dates back to the 13th or 14th century but the balcony is apparently a more recent addition. I wasn’t really enamoured with the attraction, lots of people rubbing the statue’s breast, a wall of graffiti and shops selling tacky souvenirs of love but it was worth taking a photo or two. Hubby and I preferred wandering through the quieter streets between Piazza della Erbe and Ponte Pietra with window displays of art and antiques, views of the river and the roman ruins on the other side.

The best sandwich menu ever
The best sandwich menu ever

Not far from Juliet’s house is a small and delightful chocolate shop where you can by delicious chocolate by the bite or in bulk. We stood at the bar at the end of the shop to consume our drinks, the hot chocolate they made me was divine, rich and thick, perfect for an afternoon pick me up. The food was good in Verona, we ate very well. The most delicious, value for money sandwiches or panuozzi were at the tiny Paninoteca Mordimi not far from Castelvecchio. Handwritten signs covered the walls, these were our menu options and it took longer to make a decision that it did to eat the sandwich which was like a cross between a pizza and a panini. For something less casual, the L’Osteria Dal Cavaliere serves dishes that are typical of the region as well as a few from other parts of Italy such as Insalata Caprese made with buffalo mozzarella. If you’re really brave you could try the donkey or horse, however I recommend the duck ragu with pappardelle and the veal cheeks with creamy polenta. The interior of the Osteria is cosy and inviting, the staff were friendly and extremely helpful especially when it came to translating the menu and helping us select a wine from the region.

We spent two nights in Verona and stayed at the lovely Hotel Giulietta e Romeo, a minute walk from the famous Arena and reasonably close to everything else that a visitor to Verona would want to see. For shoppers, Verona offers designer labels, antiques and art, but we spent most of our time browsing the stalls at the Christmas markets and drooling at the delicious treats for sales in chocolate shops and bakeries. With a drop in temperature, I couldn’t resist buying a couple of knitted beanies, they looked so cute with a fluffy little ball on top and they kept my ears and head warm of an evening. Walking around Verona at night seemed perfectly safe, people were very obliging when it came to helping us find our way around and like most of Italy the nights were popular for strolling the main streets and piazzas. I would happily return for a longer stay, if only to make it a base for exploring the surrounding towns and lakes.

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10 thoughts on “A walk in Verona

  1. Debra Kolkka March 12, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    I love Verona! Juliet’s balcony is tacky in the extreme. What about the chewing gum blobs stuck to the wall?

    • twoblackdoggies March 13, 2016 / 5:32 pm

      It is a wonderful city to explore. Juliet’s balcony is tacky and I had no desire to see it, but it was close to a chocolate shop I was keen on visiting 🙂 The chewing gum blobs are disgusting, I just don’t get the appeal of sticking gum to the wall but then I’m not an ‘attach a padlock’ type of person either.

  2. Samantha Faloon March 13, 2016 / 3:19 am

    Stunning! Verona is definitely on my bucketlist 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies March 13, 2016 / 5:28 pm

      Thanks! It is a city worth spending a little time in, certainly more than a quick trip to see Juliet’s balcony 🙂

  3. kareninhonolulu March 13, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Ah, Christmas time in Europe. Beautiful. I love the chocolates. The best thing about American chocolate is that it is so bad that it won’t even hurt the dogs if they eat it. Why anyone eats it is beyond me.

    • twoblackdoggies March 13, 2016 / 5:37 pm

      It is a magical time to be in Europe and it seems more like Christmas than it does here. The chocolate is divine, we have nice chocolate in Australia but alot of it is imported from Europe. Haven’t tried much American chocolate, only Hersheys and I wasn’t keen on it, much prefer the donuts 🙂

  4. margieinitaly March 15, 2016 / 11:05 am

    Verona is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited in Italy. Lots to do and see. Great post and thanks for the tips on places to eat!!

    • twoblackdoggies March 15, 2016 / 11:12 am

      You’re welcome! I love my food 🙂 So glad you enjoyed my walk, I think Verona is underestimated by many travellers/tourists because all they ever really see is Juliet’s balcony.

  5. megtraveling March 16, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Beautiful Verona – how wonderful you got to spend some quality time there!

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