Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Verona, Italy (9/10/2013)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The other thing about our hotel is that we had a curfew, or rather a lockdown. From 12:30am top 7:00am, you could not enter or leave. So we knew we couldn't leave until 7:00 to catch a train to Verona!
Kent checked out and we walked to the Stazione FS (Ferrovia del Stato) di Santa Lucia. We bought drinks to have with our dolcetti/sweets. We had a package of three large scone-size cookies, containing one dolce del Doge, one dolce del Moro, and one dolce del Redentore. All were topped with almond halves, but the Doge was pistachio green with almonds in it. The Moro was chocolate, and the Redentore/Redeemer had raisins. But I think these are made up names for different flavors of the Pan del Pescatore/Fisherman's "bread."
Some of the trains in the station:
The fast train takes an hour and 10 minutes to travel from Venice to Verona's Stazione FS Porta Nuova.
Kent checked his suitcase, and then we started walking, past the city walls and bastions:
Porta Nuova/New Gate (1540, by Michele Sanmicheli, and altered by the Austrians in 1815):
The city wall was quite thick:
A view down Corso Porta Nuova/New Gate Boulvard:
After four days in Venice, it was strange to see cars.
We did not enter town along the Corso, but along a parallel street of Via del Fante.
Hmm, a lawyer's office:
Recycling bins were everywhere:
It seemed no one would have to walk more than a couple blocks to access them.
Our first stop was the Tomba di Giulietta/Juliet's Tomb:
William Shakespeare made Verona famous with his play about Romeo and Juliet (Verona was the setting of two other of his plays):
Even though they were fictional characters, Verona found enough "evidence" for tourists to visit. People all over the world can relate to this love story. Even in China, where the city of Ningbo (a sister city) donated this sculpture of the Butterfly Lovers: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (2008):
I don't know who donated this one:
The tomb is located in the Convento di San Francesco al Corso/Convent of St Francis at Corso. The site is also home to the Museo degli Affreschi/Museum of Frescoes.
The cloister:
A sarcophagus (Juliet's "tomb") in the convent's vaults:
Bronze reliefs of the story of Romeo and Juliet:
Take note of the second panel down on the right.
A fancy copper downspout:
Approaching the Roman-era city wall:
The purpose of the brackets?
A memorial that was a gift from Roma (hence the she-wolf suckling the twins):
To remember the members of the Pasubio division of the army, who had fallen in the land of Africa and the Russian steppe from 1866-1943.
A little three-wheeled dump truck:
There could be several reasons why this picture was taken:
We arrived at Piazza Bra (supposedly the name is derived for the German term for broad: breit) which is surrounded by important buildings, like Palazzo Barbieri (1848), the town hall:
Palazzo Gran Guardia (completed 1853):
In the center of the Piazza is the Fontana delle Alpi/Fountain of the Alps:
Donated by sister city Munich in 1975, it depicts the Alps with the city crest of Munich on one side and of Verona on the other. The locals call it strucca limoni/lemon juicer.
Here one is allowed to feed the pigeons:
An equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, the Father of Italy:
It also seems to be a teen hangout.
Looking towards il Liston/the promenade:
Now the whole square is for pedestrians, but once the promenading was done only along the wide sidewalk along these buildings.
The promenade is paved with slabs of marble:
The biggest structure on Piazza Bra is the Arena Romana/Roman Arena (1C):
It is the third largest Roman amphitheater in the world, and it used to be larger.
A Roman gladiator?
Since 1913 the arena is used for the Verona Opera Festival. We missed the opera season which takes place June-August.
Still set up  for the opera:
The tunnels of the arena:
The outer wall of today (this used to be surrounded by at least one other wall):
It looks like someone built a house into the wall:
Netting nailed onto a housefront:
Horsehead door knobs:
Moving a glass case:
Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore/Church of St Fermo Major (1261-1350):
The interior:
Fresco of the Crucifixion (14C) by Turone di Maxio:
Fresco remnants:
The stepped keel-shaped roof:
Roman ruins of Porta Leone/Lion's Gate in the middle of Via Cappello:
Stucco with exposed brick; on purpose?
Now we are at Casa di Giulietta/Juliet's house:
The house was once owned by the del Cappello or dal Capello family, which is close enough to Juliet's surname of Capulet.
There is a long white (or it was white) wall in the passage leading to the courtyard:
Juliet's balcony:
Touching the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard will bring you luck in finding your true love (who comes up with these ideas?):
You can purchase many types of souvenirs machine-embroidered with your name and your loved one's name:
Street performers:
How are they doing that?!
We arrived in Piazza dell'Erbe/Square of Herbs, with the Torre dei Lamberti/Tower of the Lamberts over the Palazzo della Ragione or del Comune/former Town Hall (rebuilt 1219):
Case del Ghetto/Houses of the Ghetto which are considered tower houses, with an aedicula/small shrine (14C) in the square:
Some of the houses retain remnants of frescoes:
The market in the square:
The Capitello (13C):
Here the ancient market was overseen and any cheaters were supposedly chained here.
The Domus Mercatorum/Casa dei Mercanti/House of Merchants (1301):
Piazzetta XIV Novembre/Square of November 14th with a memorial to those who died when Austria bombed the square in 1915.
Fontana di Madonna Verona/Fountain of the Madonna Verona with a 380 CE Roman statue:
Case Mazzanti (up to 16C):
These houses show what was typical for Verona in the Middle Ages, with all the frescoes:
Torre del Gardello (14C), Palazzo Maffei (1668, Baroque style) and the Colonna di San Marco/Venetian Column of St Mark (1523):
A sculpture garden on a balcony?
We had lunch at the Osteria Verona on the Piazza dell'Erbe:
Caprese salad and Trofie al pesto (trofie are little squiggly doughy pastas):
You went upstairs to the restroom, and once in the restroom, you went up more steps to the toilet:
A closed stall at the market:
On to Piazza dei Signori/Square of the Lords with a statue of Dante (1865) by Ugo Zannoni:
Going around the square clockwise, there is the Loggia del Consiglio/Loggia of the Council (1476):
Palazzo del Governo or del Podesta/ Palace of the Government or Mayor (14C):
Palazzo del Capitano or dei Tribunali or del Cansignoro/ Palace of the Captain or Courts or ? (up to 16C):
Remnants of the square from the Middle Ages:
Palazzo della Ragione or del Comune/former Town Hall (rebuilt 1219):
This building is then facing two different squares (dell'Erbe and dei Signori).
Inside is the Cortile Mercato Vecchio/Courtyard of the Old Market with the Scala Ragione/Steps of Reason:
Back in the Piazza dei Signori, the Domus Nova/New House:
We went  through the arch on the right of Domus Nova, which brought us behind the frescoed Case Mazzanti:
The well can be accessed from the upper floors with the metal rods.
There is also a staircase behind the Case Mazzanti:
Returning to the Piazza, we exited through the diagonally opposite arch to Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica/Ancient Church of St Mary's (1185 in Veronese Romanesque style):
It was the private chapel of Verona's ruling family, the Scaligeri (from 1277-1387), whose tombs (Arche Scaligere) can be seen at the side of the church. Note the equestrian statue (a replica) on the tomb Cangrande I della Scala (1291-1329) over the church portal.
The tallest tomb is that of Mastino II della Scala (1308-1351); you can see his toes peeking over the edge of the sarcophagus:
The most ornate tomb belongs to Cansignorio della Scala (1340-1375):
You can see depictions of scale/ladders:
Around the corner on Via Arche Scaligere at #4 is Casa di Romeo/Romeo's House:
A real Montecchi/Montague family once lived in this area, but we know Romeo himself is fictional, right?
And remember the bronze panel at Juliet's tomb? Here is a copy at Romeo's house:
Continuing northward, the Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia/Church of St Anastasia (1280-1400):
And behind the church is the Adige River, crossed by Ponte Pietra/Stone Bridge ():
The white stones are remnants of the Roman era bridge.
There are also remnants of the Roman river embankment wall:
Behind the green fence is the Teatro Romano/Roman Amphitheater (1 CE), and above that is the Convento di San Gerolamo/Convent of St Jerome (15C).
A peek into the theater:
At this point we headed back south to Corso Porta Borsari/Borsaii Gate Boulevard where we caught a bus to the train station. Kent retrieved his luggage and I put him on a bus to the Verona airport. He was on his way to Germany for business.
I went back into town along Via Citta di Nimes and Via Carmelitani Scalzi towards Castelvecchio.
An Alfa Romeo, appropriate for Verona?
Ponte Scaligero/Bridge of the Scala Family (c. 1354-56, reconstructed after WWII)
A fortified bridge which was the largest of its time. It does incline downwards away from the castle to facilitate an escape in case of revolt in the city.
View on the bridge:
Castelvecchio/Old Castle (1354-1376) as seen from the bridge:
It functioned primarily as a military fort, and is now home to Museo Civico di Castelvecchio/Civic Museum of the Old Castle.
Items from the Romanesque period were displayed in the first series of galleries, including the Sepulchre dei SS Sergius & Bacchus/Tomb of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus (1179):
One of the most famous examples of paired saints, they were Roman soldiers who were martyred for refusing to enter a Temple to Jupiter.
The upper floor had artwork of Veronese painters from Medieval times to the 18th century, including a whole raft of Madonnas with names like Madonna of the Quail and Madonna of the Oak.
Here is Madonna del Cardellino/Madonna of the Goldfinch by Liberale da Verona:
Sure enough, that is what a Carduelis carduelis/European Goldfinch looks like!
There isn't any Verona Biennale exhibition, but apparently mixing old and new is a common feature of Italian art museums:
The original equestrian statue from the tomb of Cangrande I della Scala:
Although it is under a roof, it is still outdoors, so I wonder about true preservation of the statue.
Drawbridge over the now dry moat:
Continuing along Corso Cavour, the Arco dei Gavi/Arch of the Gavi Family (mid-1C):
Chiesa di San Lorenzo/Church of St Lawrence (12C):
Ponte della Vittoria/Victory Bridge (1928-31):
With the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes/Sanctuary of the Madonna of Lourdes (1958) on the hilltop.
Bronze statues on Victory Bridge:
Took a right turn onto Via Armando Diaz back to Corso Cavour to the Porta Borsari/Bursars Gate (1C):
I returned to Sant'Anastasia to view the interior and its gobbi/hunchbacks:
It is good luck to rub a hunchback (maybe not in person). This one is named Pasquino:
The vaulted ceiling:
The Duomo di Verona/Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare or Santa Maria dell'Assunta/Cathedral of Mary the Matriculate or of the Assumption (1187 in Romanesque style):
Okay, did Mary go to the university? If one digs further into the meaning of matriculate, you come up with "breeding female."
I crossed the Ponte Pietra to the Teatro Romano/Roman Theater (1C) with the Convento di San Gerolamo/Convent of St Jerome (15C) above it:
The convent houses the Museo Archeologico/Archeological Museum, which was closed for restoration.
The Roman Theater is set up for the Verona Summer Theater (July-August):
The Adige River and Ponte Pietra/Stone Bridge:
An ancient stone on the bridge:
A bridge gate tower:
Knockoff Longchamp tote (only $7 or so) at the top:
On my way back to the Verona train station, I went through Piazza Bra once again, this time to see David, no... The statue Monumento al Partigiano or Ai Caduti per la Liberta/Monument of the Partisan or to the Fallen for Liberty (1946) by Mario Salazzari:
Portoni della Bra/"Doors" of Bra (14-15C)
Took the fast train back to Venezia, which was under storm clouds:
L'euro negozio/The dollar store:
Tomorrow, I fly home.

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