Day 15: To Verona

Of course our travel day turned out cloudless.

We were heading to Verona in the Veneto region on the Adige River with a population over 250,000. Its ancient Roman amphitheatre is one of the reasons it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was ruled by the Della Scala family whose monuments can still be found in the city. Much of Verona’s history is characterized by battles. And of course, it’s famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But folks, Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters. I don’t understand why there’s so much fuss about Juliet’s balcony, which by the way, is not mentioned by Shakespeare.

Vicenza train station

The Vicenza Verona trip is only 30 minutes. We were able to check in early to our hotel then head out towards the Duomo while looking for lunch en route.

Piazza delle Erbe
Santa Anastasia
View from the outside tables of La Locanda Verona

We had lunch near Ponte Pietra which spans the Adige river.

Castel San Pietro on the hill

From there it was a short walk to the Duomo.

I just wanted to see inside the Cathedral Santa Maria Matricolare but you have to buy entry into the entire complex that includes another church, baptistery and monastery.

I wanted to see Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin, which is later and much more modest than his Assumption in Venice’s Frari church.

On our walk back we checked out some shops. Scott found another English language book. We stopped at a wine shop described as historic.

The guy inside was no youngster and didn’t speak English. We bought wine including a 1991 Brunello. The bottles had so much dust on them, we’ll have to vacuum out our backpacks. It seemed historic referred to both the wines and the staff 🙂

The dinner reservation I made weeks before got cancelled because the restaurant had to close for repairs. Relying on the Michelin guide website and the location near the hotel, I booked Yard.

The menu was pan-Italy with some Japanese-Asian items like sushi and ramen.

Scott’s veal cutlet is a Milanese specialty. He did not think it was as well done as what we have had in Milan. And it was way too much food.

My Amatriciana is a Roman specialty. Scott found it too al dente but I thought it was properly cooked but too much quantity especially because it included chunks of bread for scarpetta which is the term used for mopping up the sauce with pieces of bread shaped like a little shoe. It used to be considered bad manners to scarpetta in a restaurant but for this dish it was obligatory.

This was one of the least successful dinners we have had this trip in part because the music in the restaurant was really loud and consisted of reworkings of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tunes done in an elevator music style. Sitting two tables away from the bathrooms door did not help either.

Walking back we passed the Porta Borsari which was the main gate in the Roman built city wall.

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