CASTEL SAN PIETRO / THE OTHER SIDE OF VERONA
The best thing I did in Verona was to walk across one of the several bridges connecting the two sides of the city. I wanted to get the best view (as I like to do in all places) of Verona city and the Castel San Pietro was a perfect (and free) option. It was perfect because nobody else seemed to want to do it. I walked across the bridge, over the fast paced river and past some beautifully picturesque river-side houses to the base of the hill that leads to Castel San Pietro. There are several flights of stairs to ascend to the top but it takes no more than 10 minutes. I was joined by maybe 10 other tourists compared to the hundreds that scurried around the main centre of Verona. This side of the city is very quiet so it is nice if you like to get away from the crowds for thirty minutes or so, and then it’s a short walk back in to the action and the sea of tourists .
CASA DI GIULIETTA – JULIET’S HOUSE
On arrival in Verona it appears that Juliet’s balcony is a bit tricky to find (Via Cappello), that is until you find it and then you realise how obvious it is. It’s obvious because there is a swarm of tourists spilling out of the archway to the house and the balcony. This is supposedly where the famous Romeo and Juliet love scene on the balcony takes place but it is more likely that it is just a tourist gimmick. It is worth seeing just for the connection to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in this beautiful city, but it is not the most noteworthy sight in Verona. The walls are scrawled with graffiti, bandaids and chewing gum from star-crossed lovers all over the world. You can even get your lovers name stitched on numerous kitchen items (tea towels, heart shaped oven mitts, aprons) whilst you wait. It’s kind of cool and sweet but at the same time kind of very gross. Chewed up chewing gum and bandaids?! Not my kind of romantic gesture, but hey … when in love!