It was another beautiful morning in Florence when we woke up. I was sad to be leaving the amazing city of Florence, but simultaneously excited to see what was in store for me in Verona. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliette in particular, so I was excited to see the scenery that inspired the story of the millennium. The drive into Verona was more like Milan visually because of how much of a modern city Verona looks like from the outskirts. On the outskirts of the city of Verona there were the tall, glass skyscraper buildings that dotted the sky like in downtown Milan. Also like Milan, there are some of the older looking style of architecture present in the houses. Just like Milan, the use of balconies on the apartments are everywhere. In addition to the architecture, there were less tourists on our walk than seen in Florence. I did not have to push my way through crowds to simply walk down the street. The only exception to that would have to have been Juliette’s house; the house and surrounding area were scattered with tourists.
Even though the cities of Milan and Verona are three hours away, the same culture is present in terms of eating. The shops will close for lunch and reopen back up in the afternoon. As we began our walking tour, I right away noticed that Verona is just as much a town of fashion as is Milan. There were luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, just like in downtown Milan. The culture of the two cities were very similar as well, with people in Milan and Verona sitting outside enjoying a house white wine with complementary potato chips on the side. The cars in both Milan and Verona are also very nice, I saw lots of Mercedes and Audis driving about. The fashion styles of the two cities were also very similar, with girls and guys alike dressed very fashionably in cuffed jeans and cool sneakers.
Verona has over two thousand years of history and that history shows itself in their infrastructure and culture. The town is able to boast that it has the second longest river in Italy, one of their many claims to fame. In Verona, they had the famous Scoligen family. The family helped finance the building of many things to enhance the city. Since the city is so old, a lot of their architecture is ancient. However, they never build anything new, rather they simply build over the old. This method of building over the old helps to maintain the beauty of the ruins. This also lets the Roman structure of the city to still be apparent in the layout: a very different look than Milan.
People also enjoy biking a lot, just like they do in Milan. Unfortunately, there is not a reliable bike lane like there is in Milan. When I used to think of Italy, images of columns and coliseums used to be conjured, in Verona my proverbial guide of Italy is actually accurate. I was thrilled to be able to see ancient coliseums that were not present in Milan. The arena we saw is about two thousand years old! A mind boggling amount of time, it was a once in a lifetime site. Verona is also known for its red marble, a staple for Verona that looks very different from Milan. Verona also has a lot of the style of Venice mixed into their look since they were a part of Venice for many years. This style can particularly be seen in the style of the windows. In addition to the Venice style, there is also style from the baroque period. Overall, Verona has a hodge podge of different styles mixed into their town which creates a unique look. However, there is one similarity between Milan and Verona that I do not like one bit: pigeons. The pigeons in Verona and Milan are full of malice and will land on your head without any forewarning. Thankfully, this did not ruin my visit to either cities. Verona, like Milan, is a beautiful Italian city. I am excited to be here and perhaps even more excited for the day trip to Venice tomorrow.