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Trip List by gillbug

Verona: Gateway to Northern Italy

Jan 1, 2007  One year spend studying at the University and living in Verona
4.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

Verona is simply beautiful architecturally, easy to get around, a mix of urban/lived-in with a university and high numbers of immigrants and a picture perfect tourist-protected town centre. Verona is a layered city, where you can experience what you like depending on which surface you scratch. It has a cocooned, small town feel, has arguably the most beautiful Arena (certainly beats that half-baked, half-fake job Rome are stuck with) that functions as a terrific venue for open air operas from springtime and also has some fun bars in and around the city. The veronese are known for their preening and snobbery, like any proud small town tends to, and they are never more amusing than all dressed up with no where but the giro of town to go for the weekly sunday passeggiata: this is a ritual not to be missed, and quite frankly, the veronese do it with such solemnity, sincerity and sheer zeal, you have to love them...grandma's in their best furs, little kids all dressed in suits and fathers in regulation black or tan boots. Perhaps the strongest argument for Verona is its proximity to other popular areas in the north- Venice being the chief destination. It's a mere 1hr1/2 journey on an enjoyable and economical train ride, but there are also the peschiara beach fronts nearby, fine shopping in vicenza (who don't receive the favourable write-ups which the advantages and easy-going nature of the town deserves), Milan or for travelling southwards once the northern-leg of a journey is over. I stayed in verona for a year, so I have been spoilt with regards to having the time to get a feel for the place, but that is also why I say the town is absolutely charming and lovely and best visited in the balmy springtime or winter months.