Verona is a city breathing with love, affection, and embraced with romance. This town is where Romeo fell in Love with Juliet.
"A Hundred shades of romance are beautifying the walls of Juliet’s house were love would charm your heart with just a single touch." ~ Lilit Mkrtchyan
As a hopelessly romantic girl, I could never reconcile with the undeniable reality that not all couples are meant to be together forever. That love can break your heart and love can bring you down. The more you devote yourself to someone, the more they will hurt you. The more you chase someone, the further away they will run away. Oh but no! And again no. That is not my kind of truth. Love can move mountains; love can grow you up and love may give you wings.
The beautiful story of Romeo and Juliet has shown us that love can last forever. Even though it was a tragedy as per se, the story itself brings hope and gives angel-like wings to those waiting for love. The famous novel and the movie based on Shakespeare’s novel had inspired me infinitely to believe in the power of love.
My excitement was so intense, and it had no boundaries. I was armed with a wish to have a glance at the very place where the story of eternal love began. With a suitcase in my hands, I stepped off the Milan-Venice train to grab a slice of past love. Just for a couple of hours, only a few precious moments that would last a lifetime.
I met with the City of Love twice in my life, and both visits were realized during Spring - when romance is in the air. Inspired by the story of eternal love, I stepped into the gates of the ancient town, Verona.
Along with being a city of love, Verona is likewise a small piece of cultural heaven, a pure artistic jewel embracing gently one's soul in its arms. In addition to art and culture, architecture stands in the core of one’s attention just from the very beginning of one’s trip. As a Roman city, a myriad of ruins is well preserved in Verona. The first sight I spotted when getting out of the train station was the stunning Arena. It is thought to be the third largest amphitheater that was constructed in ancient times; third largest after Colosseum and Capuan amphitheater. Built in the first half of the 1st century A.D., it is probably the greatest architectural construction in Verona, which is literally impossible to dismiss. Presently, the famous Arena hosts world-class events ranging from symphonic concerts to rock and pop style concerts. The acoustic properties of this construction are worth to be witnessed.
When you turn left from facing the Arena, you will find a narrow alley that will take you to the most special sights of the city: Juliette’s House and the nearby Romeo’s House (which is presently closed for visits). That is what I did and got stuck in a tourist traffic jam. I got stuck with no chance to get through the tourist crowd. On that rainy day, a myriad of umbrellas was putting barriers along the way. While moving forward with slow turtle steps, I had no other option than to observe the alleyway with its historical buildings. Doing this, I spotted nicely-decorated flowery balconies and took some shots to make use of every idle minute spent in a traffic jam.
Finally and luckily, at the end of the alleyway, the tourist crowd dispersed towards different directions, and I eventually arrived where I wanted to be: the Juliette’s House and celestial balcony of Juliette. Despite the rainy day, it was crowded there as well. In the courtyard of the House, you will find a glorious statue of romantic Juliette. It is believed that you need to touch the breast of Juliette’s statue if you want to attract love into your life. No one knows if it works or not, but an array of enthusiasts was waiting for their turn to try that magical touch. And so I missed it. Does that mean that I missed the chance of attracting love into my life? :) Let’s wait and see. Similarly, there is a wall on the house designated especially for love notes: it is like a gentle play of letters. You simply write a note or a wish seemingly directed to Juliette and attach it to the wall. They say the notes will be read and delivered. Who knows? Perhaps that is true. Maybe we shall try to fancy a little more magic to come true.
So I took my dose of romance and continued my way through the ancient streets of Verona. While walking around, it seems you are swallowed by the past, as if the monuments, the streets, and buildings are all coming from antiquity. Taking steps further away, you will get into the Middle Ages. The buildings, the bridges along the River Adige will give you a feel of the Middle Age lifestyle; in particular, the Castelvecchio (meaning “Old Castle” in Italian”) will grab your attention. My companion in a few-hour trip through Verona- a pocket size travel guide told me many interesting facts and stories about the city, illustrating its historical sites most prominently. For example, it said that Castelvecchio was initially constructed as a defending tool, with an idea in mind to protect its residents. It was built in the year 1354 and was restored in 1957. Adjacent to the fortification, there is one of the most impressive bridges in Verona – Ponte Scaligero. Some say you will taste deep romance along the intimate corners of green environments. If that is the case, to indulge better in romance, visit Giusti Garden in Verona- a fabulous garden encased in green art, architectural marvels, comprised of an infinite number of trees and gargoyles, and charming fountains. The garden was designed in the 16th century but adorns the city till the present days.
As a final touch in your tour through romantic Verona, I would advise you to climb up the Lamberti Tower and embrace the panoramic view, which is said to be unbelievable. I sincerely missed it, but am convinced to be back one day and produce artwork from that scenic view. The tower is 84 meters high, built in 1172 by Lamberti family. It initially was lower, but in 16th century Venetians raised to its present height by building a few more features on the tower. Lamberty Tower stands pridefully on Piazza Erbe, a square wielded by Verona’s tallest towers.
Cherishing those few moments of romantic inspiration, I left Verona with a lingering promise to return one day with my very special other. As someone once said: “We don’t fall in Love, we grow in Love” With this very essence in my thoughts, I am ruled in this life.
Final remark: It is quite easy to visit Verona if you are traveling in the North-Eastern part of Italy, as the city sits tenderly along the River Adige in the region of Veneto. Combining a honeymoon in Venice with an inspiring romantic trip to Verona could be an idyllic pastime for a couple.