My dad and I travel well together, we like the same things – food, wine, history, and napping – and usually at pretty much the same time. And even on the few non-city trips we did, he proved adventurous beyond his years and followed me willingly up an active volcano and even shed his socks to not look like a German in Namibia.
For this year’s trip, however, we went back to the good old faithful mix and added in some extra culture: an opera in Verona. My dad had been many times and so he became the official tour guide for our trip, a welcome change for me the traveling
control freak organizer.
Salute, Romeo & Giulietta! – What to do in Verona
I was only in charge of finding us a hotel in Verona, the Palazzo Victoria, which was smack bang in the center of the old town and came with one of the best hotel bars in Italy I have seen. We arrived before noon and as our room wasn’t ready for check-in yet, we went in search for the first proper Italian aperitivo with a view.
On the way to the Piazza Erbe I grabbed myself a Romeo e Giulietta macaron, after all, we were on their home turf and that needed a proper introduction.
If you think this was orange juice, you don’t know me at all…obviously this is how Bellini should be served: with fresh peach puree and a gigantic glass! For lunch, I begged for pizza and heaven heard my calls – we ended up in church… which luckily came with a pizza oven and wine.
Back at the hotel, our room was finally ready which could only mean one thing for us: nap time. Unfortunately, we were in a bit of a pizza coma and realized too late that not only our room was tiny, but also the shower. While it is one of the best hotels in Verona, if you are staying at Palazzo Victoria I’d recommend you ask to see the room first. We simply became accustomed to squeezing our Italian food bellies into the tiny shower cabin.
La casa di Giulietta & Gelato
In the afternoon, we were off to pay official homage to the most coveted woman of Verona: Giulietta. And while I already knew that she had, of course, never lived here, the house was still a bit of a letdown. Too many people everywhere which could be separated in two groups: those who wanted to be her and those who wanted to touch her. Definitely a must do but still not one of my favorite things to do in Verona.
Whether it is for good luck or simply because some people can’t keep their hands to themselves, everybody was touching Juliet’s bronze breasts which have faded over time. Why even the girls posed, boob in hand, for pictures I didn’t get and I was in no hurry to become one of them.
Even the balcony was a bit sad, though I did like this lady posting, I think her headscarf made her look like a proper Juliet.
But isn’t this house below so much prettier? You would think they choose a nicer setting for a fictional story..
I did, however, like the entrance where people can write love notes. While it resembled a giant bathroom stall full of hearts and A+Ps and R+Ts a bit, there was something nice seeing that everybody who came here still seemed to believe in everlasting love.
I refused to visit Juliet’s tomb, because while visiting a house where nobody ever lived is one thing, seeing a tomb with no body seemed rather pointless, though.
Instead, we opted for gelato and shopping on the Via Giuseppe Mazzini. If you expect Prada, La Perla & Co here, you too, will be disappointed. My wallet was happy though and my dad as well.
A night at the colosseum
Instead, we headed towards the Piazza Bra’ with the heart of Verona: the colosseum. Even if you are not an opera fan, the building is grand and the atmosphere before and after a performance is quite exciting. It was even more fun to see all the props standing in front of it and we were trying to guess which opera they belonged too. Boy was I wrong about the back to the future car…
To stay close and soak up more of the vibe, we went to Tre Marchetti for dinner. You are paying ‘you can see the colosseum from your seat’ prices, but the food is really good and the waiters are amazing. Have I mentioned I have a thing for ALL Italian waiters? I really do… So when someone ask me what to do in Verona the answer is definitely going to include food and staring at waiters. Sorry, but not sorry!
We dragged ourselves home with full bellies, enjoying the magical city by night. Then a last prosecco at our hotel bar before I crawled into bed to dream of truffle pasta and Romeos.
What to do in Verona