June 15, 2015

Opera and Shakespeare in Verona

This week I’m back to my posts about Italy, picking up in the north as we journey from Lake Maggiore towards the Adriatic coast. At mid-day we stopped for lunch in  the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Verona, a city best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet as well as its Roman ruins and summer opera festival.


The Verona Arena


The city's largest square is Piazza Bra, which means "big open space". Props for the next opera production were being moved into the Verona Arena. The Arena di Verona Opera Festival runs from June to September each year, with performances taking place in this Roman amphitheatre built in the first century A.D.


The Verona Arena

Opera Props at the Verona Arena


Pedestrian shopping street Via Mazzini is paved with large slabs of marble and runs from Piazza Bra through the historic centre of Verona to Piazza delle Erbe. Where Via Mazzini begins there's a column with a medieval aedicula, or small shrine, which blessed the market that once stood here.



Aedicula, or Shrine, on Piazza Bra

Via Mazzini, Verona

Via Mazzini Paved in Marble

Alley off Via Mazzini


Once the site of the Roman forum, Piazza delle Erbe (Square of Herbs) is the modern city's market square. Grand Renaissance palazzos line the perimeter while vendor stalls and restaurant tables fill the centre. There's another aedicula here too.


Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Aedicula on Piazza delle Erbe

Lamberti Tower


St. Mark's Lion, the symbol of Venice, sits atop a column in front of Palazzo Maffei at the north end of the piazza. It commemorates the Venetian Republic's conquest over Verona in 1405.


Palazzo Maffei, Piazza delle Erbe

The Lion of Venice

Gardello Tower, Piazza delle Erbe

Madonna Verona Fountain, Piazza delle Erbe

Market Stalls, Piazza delle Erbe

Zucchini Blossoms


We took refuge from the heat at a restaurant with misting fans and after lunch headed back to our air-conditioned motor coach which was waiting for us near the old city wall.


Restaurants on Piazza delle Erbe

Bronze Statue, Piazzetta XIV Novembre



House of Merchants


Piazza Bra has a lovely little park shaded by mature cedar and pine trees. Unfortunately all the benches in the shade were taken. The Alps Fountain at the centre of the garden was a gift from Verona's sister city Munich and depicts the two cities separated by the rugged mountain range.


Piazza Bra Garden

The Alps Fountain, Piazza Bra

Colourful Building of Verona

Old City Wall of Verona


I haven’t forgotten about Romeo and Juliet – for photos of Casa Giulietta, the city’s shrine to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, see my earlier post “J” is for Juliet”.


Statue of Juliet, Verona

And next time we'll arrive in the final destination on our tour of Italy, the magical city of Venice.

Next:  The 6 Neighbourhoods of Venice

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4 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your photos. So clear and so bright. Makes me want to book a trip to Italy.

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    1. Thanks so much, Denise. We were blessed with sunny weather. It made all the difference.

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  2. What a delightful city. Beautiful shots. We talked about going here, but ended up not going to Northern Italy at all. The statue of Juliette is cool, although she looks different than I had imagined.

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    1. The north of Italy is so different from the south – and it's all so beautiful!

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