"See how she leans her cheek upon her hand
O, that I were a glove upon that hand
That I might touch that cheek."
Romeo, act II, scene 2
With its magical and maleficent power over the human kind, love turns up to be the sharpest tool of all the times. It brings you up and throws you down without even looking back. Unique feeling in its own way, the perfume of love intensifies when you step on the land of the most romantic city in the world... Verona.
Just recently I've spent almost a week in Venice. It was a very pleasant trip but in order to add up some more destionations to my list I bought a 10 euros ticket to Verona and in one hour and a half I was already in Porta Nuova train station having no idea where to go from there. It took me a short time to find out that bus number 31, not far from the station goes directly to the heart of the city and that's where I wanted to be.
If even Julius Cesar chose Verona as the city where he could come and relax, then now I am convinced that I've arrived at the right place to energise myself. Through time, the city managed to keep its importance both economically and historically attracting many visitors from all the corners around the world. With its architectural buildings and nice layout, Verona was awarded by UNESCO the World Heritage Site Status despite the fact that is in the middle of a busy intersection of several commercial roads.
In a hot, humid, subtropical summer day with no maps in my hands, no bags and no worries I started to explore the ancient city of Love which easily captivated me and million other people. Piazza delle Erbe (Market's square) is one of the starting point that leads to the main tourist attractions like : Torre dei Lamberti (Judges' Hall), Baroque Palazzo Maffei decorated by statues of Greek gods, the famous statue of Madonna Verona. On the other side of the piazza you will find Tomba di Giulietta, Arena, Casa di Giulietta and many more.
During my excursion, I faced a lot of tempting distractions. The variety of small,cosy restaurants was so wide that I had some hard times to decide where to have lunch. Instead I opted for a delicious slice of pizza and a refreshing chocolate and vanilla gelato. Two strong, roman warriors of all the times. Enjoying the fresh summer breeze under the cooling trees, I just couldn't stop admiring the Adige River, which separated the history from the reality by the fortified Castelvecchio Bridge.
After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to spot the Capulet's house number 23 on Via Capello which was Juliet's House in early 14th century, I asked in desperation some locals where I can find the place. Apparently I passed by a couple of times and missed it. I guess, I was looking for something bigger. A massive villa covered all in love letters and deep-red roses. Instead I found a normal Italian style building which proudly spoke ancient history through its walls. I wished, for a moment, to magically make all the tourists disappear so I can listen to what is has to say.
Of course I stayed 30 minutes in the que to take a picture at the legendary balcony where Romeo promised eternal love to Juliet. And sure thing I waited for my turn to stroke the right breast of Julieta's statue. According to the legend, the person who does that will have good fortune and luck in love, who doesn't need that, right?
On the entrance walls you can write your name and your beloved once or lock your love with a heart-shaped locker so the whole world will know about your strong feelings. Everybody is allowed to go inside the house at a minimum charge of 6 euros and walk on the same wooden floors where Capulet family once did. I couldn't resist the temptation to write a letter to Juliet on the nicely anciently decorated computers that I found in the old house. Promise, you will be the first one to find out if " Juliet" has replied back.
The city has a very vibrant athmosphere where the organised tourists seem to already know where they need to go. It's one of those places where it doesn't matter how many basilicas, museums and other histocial sights you've seen, there will always be more curtains to opene. I liked the smart combination of the shopping areas in between the sumptuous, historical buildings that catches the attention involuntarily and you might end up like me, having a couple of more souvenirs in your collection.
Headed by some sort of supreme force I ended up in the que for the tickets to Romeo&Juliet show by Shakespeare. It would've been a great opportunity to see how the star-crossed love of the imortal story is illustrated on the stage, but unfortunately I was running out of time. It will defenitely serve as one more reason to come back to the wonderful city of Love.
If there is a place where two worlds collide : one of our ancient roots and the other of our multitude present, then that place is called Verona. No other place has transported me so far back in the past and brought me back with one more piece of golden inspiration.
We are not the makers of the history, we are made by history.
Martin Luther King, Jr.