OK – long post today. I am way behind in processing my European photographs. Well, I do have around 6,000! But today I worked on it. If you follow me on Twitter (not that I post much) you will see that I am also tired from having swum a kilometre yesterday. I am really not up to that.
So today I carry on with the adventure of a lifetime, my European Cavalcade from late 2015.
The next stop was Verona. Now what I know of Verona is not much. Sure it was the scene of Romeo and Juliet and that was about it. Not surprisingly, we were told that the first thing that we would visit was the Juliet balcony. Cool. :)
However when the coach dropped us off, it was not in sight of any obviously fifteenth century balcony. It was in a big square (the Piazza Bra) with a Roman theatre to one side. Here is the view we saw when stepping out of the coach.
Ah – that’s my experiment with black and white. Here is a different colour one.
Actually the Roman theatre was very impressive. Apparently it was a First Century edifice.
Naturally we had to have a picture in front of it. Then at the other end of the Piazza Bra I turned and took a picture of where we had entered Verona.
Then we slipped down a little laneway next to the theatre, chasing after the tour guide.
As I was beginning to discover, old European cities and towns tend towards tiny passages that are crammed full of people. Sure, the place might only have a population of around a quarter of a million, but I reckon that there was double that in the number of tourists clogging up every thoroughfare.
So we shouldered our way through, following our gallant tour guide and then turned a corner and voila!
Yep – a small but crowded courtyard above which hung the famous balcony. Here is a better shot of it.
So we took the obligatory shots and found out that there is a local custom. For you see, underneath the balcony and a bit to one side is a statue of Juliet. Luck befalls all who perform a little action – that of cupping and rubbing the breast of the statue. OK – I can do that.
Ah – Nicole. That’s her voice I am writing.
“I don’t want you cupping her breast.”
“And I am especially not taking any photos if you do. You’ll probably put them on Facebook or that blog of yours.”
She knows me well.
“Imagine your reputation.”
What, that of a virile and fun middle aged bloke?
So what was my response?
Yep – I’m all masculine.
Anyway, here is a photo of me standing beside the statue.
At that point I noticed what I thought would make a nice arty shot. Hence:
After that the tour guide gave us the usual free time to explore. And so we headed out and soon stumbled into all manner of piazzas.
The key one, it turned out was the Piazza dei Signori. It was here that all of the city’s former government buildings and palaces had been located. It was indeed very grand with large arches on one end.
And the imposing tower of the Palazzo del Comune (the former city hall) overlooking it.
In the middle was a statue of the poet Dante. I was particularly taken with this.
So we wandered through some of the arches and found another huge but somewhat less crammed courtyard.
Here I could see the old clock on the other side of the tower. But as we explored more I started to see symbols that I recognised – those of Venice – specifically the Lion of St Mark. Apparently Venice had once controlled Verona.
Ok – that was interesting to know as Venice would be our next stop.
And so we kept wandering. Truth be told, I took around 300 photographs in a very few hours. I won’t bore you with them all. Just take my word that Verona is very photogenic. I did like this church door though. Oh- and be warned – these days so many churches want your money if you want to enter them.
And more nice piazzas and towers.
We ended up resting in a little park with a monument to Garibaldi. If you are unfamiliar with Garibaldi, he was a general who was central to the unification of Italy back in the 1800s. I remembered learning about him in History at school, so I was pretty happy to see it. It was also a pleasant spot to think and contemplate.
But then we had to turn back. Time to seek out the coach again.
So yes, the tour really delivered this day. I really had a great time in the hustle and bustle that is Verona. In retrospect I wish that I had paid the money to go in a few churches and into the Roman theatre. I guess that I figured I would be seeing the Colosseum in Rome so why bother. But I should have.
I hope you liked some of the pictures.
Thanks for reading.