Today we traveled to Verona and took a walking tour of the city. I did not know what to expect before the tour because I had never really heard much about Verona prior to this trip. It turns out, the city is a beautiful representation of original Roman structure with a combination of many other architectural styles. There are also more modern parts to the city, such as the shopping streets we visited. There are many elements that make the city similar to the city of Milan, but also many that differentiate the two locations.
First, Milan and Verona have several things in common. They are generally both newer cities, especially compared to those such as Florence, with their own historical backgrounds. They both are able to show their unique histories through their respective landmarks; Milan has the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall and Verona has the amphitheater and the Roman ruins. Both of these sets of landmarks are able to make the cities unique through their incorporation in the cities. These sights complement the modern aspects of the cities that have been incorporated over time. Milan has many hotels, newer apartments, and a plethora of nice shops. Interestingly enough, Verona has the same newer amenities, just to a lesser scale. In contrast, there are a few important aspects that differentiate the cities. First, the histories their respective landmarks represent are very different. Milan’s Duomo and Galleria represent Catholicism and family rule. The Duomo was actually made to represent the wealth of a powerful family at the time. The Galleria was dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, but also had many elements within it of dedications to wealthy, powerful families. The amphitheater and the Roman ruins of Verona tell a different story. They show the structure of the original Roman city that was built in its place; for example, the amphitheater was built outside of the main area of the city. Also, the ruins that are underground such as the Roman streets not only show the original city plans but also that Verona has risen three to four feet above sea level over the past several hundred years. Also, the various other architectures shown such as Gothic from France and Venetian from Venice allow the influence of various other parts of Europe to be seen. This is another difference from Milan; it does not have as much of an eclectic history as Verona does. Another difference between the two cities is that Milan has skyscrapers and Verona does not; taking this and the relative newness of the apartments and buildings of Milan into account, Milan is generally a newer city.
In addition, comparing and contrasting Verona and Milan have helped me to develop my current attitudes toward traveling. Since this is my first time traveling abroad, I did not really know what to expect. So far, I have been blown away by the differences between Italy and the US. The architecture of the two countries are completely different; the US is almost entirely modern, while Italy has many older style elements included in their buildings. Italy also has much more history to show through its cities. There are many famous artists from here, and Italy’s background with royalty and the Roman empire fascinate me. These artifacts tend to be scattered about in every city we visit here. However, the US does not have much original history to display, and if there is any, it is in a confined, specified spot that you most likely have to travel to. I originally wanted to travel to Italy because I had always thought it was a beautiful country, but the fashion aspect of the trip is what really made me want to come. I ultimately would like to work in the fashion industry, and I believed this trip would give me some excellent background on the industry. However, before I was selected for the program, I did not know much about Italian culture. I knew the citizens to be very family oriented, friendly, and accommodating since my uncle is quite Italian, but that was about it. I am thankful I have been able to learn more about the culture firsthand.
In conclusion, it was very interesting to see the differences between Milan and Verona. They are both unique cities with various combinations of history and modern architecture. I was able to learn much about the cities while also learning about my attitude toward traveling abroad. It may be hard for me to go home.