When I saw you in Verona…

Italy

It’s a bit sad, but from the moment we got off the train in Verona I had Elemeno P’s Verona spinning round and round in my head thanks to Em and Andrea. But Italian Verona has a bit more going for it than the Verona in the song.

We’ve stayed in a few apartments now and find them pretty good value for money. Verona turned out to be the best apartment accommodation so far. We were met by young first year uni student Enrico, who practiced his English by explaining all the good stuff in town. His dad Rudolfo then joined us for a coffee and talked about all things Kiwi and Americas Cup. We met Luisa (actually the owner) in the morning for another coffee. Luisa was super interesting – a lawyer who was very well travelled (knew all about the Bay of Islands etc) and was happy to give us her view on Italian life and politics. She even invited us to go skiing in the Dolomites sometime.

Must sees in Verona:

– 1st century Roman Arena (mini Colosseum) used every year for the famous Verona festival (which we just missed). It’s had some pretty amazing concerts over the years – Pink Floyd, The Who, Muse and Pavarotti, who is a native of Modena down the road.

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– More street performers. The best was a guy dressed as a baby in a pram. Hard to describe, but very clever.

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One for Dad and Nicky

– Balcony, which is supposedly the one used by Juliet in Shakespeare’s famous romance. Could show you the photo of just the balcony in black and white (very romantic)…

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…But the reality was a tiny courtyard jammed with tourists, kids pashing, love notes all over the wall, and people trying to get their ten seconds alone on the balcony. Chances are it’s not even the right balcony.

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– Robert Capa Exhibition. This was excellent and my favourite exhibition of the trip. Robert Capa was a Hungarian war photographer, whose work included five wars. His most famous pictures are probably those of the D-Day landings in 1944. Through his work he constantly put himself in unbelievably dangerous spots and once said “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. It was the ability to tell a whole story through a single photograph and a five-word caption that makes his work so incredible. In addition to his war photography, he had an illustrious circle of friends and snapped many celebs and other famous names (such as Pablo Picasso).

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The best things about Verona:
– The back streets with an abundance of coffee shops and bars hidden away.
– Rustic Veronese cooking.

A great place to see the best of northern Italy.

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