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Verona: A Romantic Getaway

I've been so submerged in Calabria that I've all but forgotten that I have the rest of Italy to discover! Francesco and I had a quick couple of days in Verona, and I wanted to share.

Casa di Giulietta: Fiction Turned Legend

TBH, I'm not a Shakespeare fan, but when in Verona, I knew I still had to go to Juliet's House.

The interesting thing is...Shakespeare actually ripped off the story from someone named Luigi Da Porto. Not cool, Bill. And the house (which we paid €12 each to visit) certainly didn't belong to a fictional character, though the legend has been built up that it was the home of a lovesick teen. Who knows?

We'd watched Letters to Juliet before coming, and I was disappointed that people could no longer post their letters on the walls in the courtyard. Instead, there are now post boxes to put your letters in.

There's also a wall where you can put your love lock. And yes, I succumbed to this romantic token. Fra had trouble getting ours to lock! Hope that's not a sign!

Basilica di San Zeno

It's pretty much impossible to visit any city in Italy without stepping into a church, whether you're Catholic or not. In this case, we stopped to tour the Basilica di San Zeno, and it was well worth the €4 price of admission!

[By the way, there is an option to buy a ticket to visit three other churches as well, but for me, this was more than enough culture and art for one visit!]

The church was named after Saint Zeno, who, Wikipedia tells me, was the patron saint of fishermen, newborns, and children learning to speak or walk (saints get REAL specific here!).

And while the church itself, built in the Romanesque style, was breathtaking, what really stood out on our visit was the amount of art on the walls. Nearly every space was occupied by a mural, often of Mary, Jesus, the Apostles, or a combination of them.

I also loved the cloister outside, a space of green surrounded by a covered walkway.

Best Sandwich in Verona

Near the Casa di Giulietta you'll find what I am sure is the best panino in Verona at La Prosciutteria.

The sandwiches are served on what's called schiacciate, which means crushed (it's also the word they use for what they do to olives when making olive oil), and it tastes like focaccia. I opted for, what else, prosciutto with burrata and Fra had mortadella. Both were fantastic!

Sunset Aperitivo

On our last night, I planned a surprise for Fra: we took the funicular up to Castel San Pietro, which had a beautiful lookout point and a bar. I almost botched the surprise because initially I hadn't noticed that we were still in winter hours and the funicular would close at 5! We rushed there and made it on the last ride up, then we walked down, later which only took 10 minutes.

There's a bar at the top, so we had (very watered-down) Aperol Spritzes while we waited for the sun to set.

It was a bit overcast, so the sunset wasn't spectacular, but the views of Verona still were amazing.

[TIP: Don't be like everyone else waiting for the sunset at the lookout point. Go down the path that leads down the hill a bit, and you'll have plenty of space and a spectacular view.]

All in all, Verona is a fantastic city to visit. It's clean, has great food, and is easy to get to. We actually have a direct flight from Lamezia Terme in Calabria, so it only took 1.5 hours to arrive.

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