Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Its time to finish up these Europe posts: Verona

The center of town in Verona. Full of charming restaurants and shops, and later on a classic car show.

Verona's ancient Roman arena in the background. I believe that it is the 3rd largest in Italy, and is among the best preserved.

The Lamberti Tower, which you can see from just about anywhere in Verona. It cost something like 10 euros to climb, which I figured was a rip-off. Since its one of the coolest structures in town, why pay to climb it and look at a skyline missing the best piece?

Inside the Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's house). This is a statue of the literary beauty herself, with a very worn (polished) right breast. Apparently it is good luck to touch it. I did not partake myself, but watched many tourists cop a feel. I found this whole tourist trap very strange. After all, Juliet was not a real person, so who decided that this was her house? Did they just pick a random house with a balcony and put up a gift shop? This was also the day after Valentine's Day, so the place was pretty busy.

Inside the Arena. This was definitely worth the 6 euro entry fee. On a previous trip to Italy I had gone inside Rome's Coliseum and Pompeii's Arena, but this was my favorite of the three to venture inside of. Of course nothing compares to the grandeur of Rome's mighty Coliseum, but Verona's smaller version is preserved far better and you can really explore just about every inch of it. They actually still hold concerts in the structure (note the wooden stage in the center which can rise out of the ground).

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