16 November, 2007

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow

The jury is still out on whether or not Romeo and Juliet were real figures (here you can see what is supposedly their family homes, including the famous balcony, along with Juliet's tomb), but regardless, Verona exceeded all of my expectations. The city itself is stunningly beautiful: wide streets, bright colors, and that landscape of rolling hills and cypress trees that seems so quintessentially Italian.

There's a great deal of variety to see here. Verona is home to the third largest Roman arena in the world. While smaller than the Colosseum, it is better preserved, and is still used for operas and musicals today.

Across the river we came across the Giardini Giusti, a suprisingly non-publicized renaissance garden. The lower level of the garden is a roughly 50 m x 50 m traditional space (hedge mazes, statues, etc). However, at the end of this area, the garden becomes uncharacteristically imaginitive as it climbs up a cliffside in a series of terraces and footpaths. Inspired by mythology, carved into the cliffside are grottos, pseudo ancient ruins, a tower that takes one to the upper garden, and, at the very top, a large and rather imposing beast head that, at one point, used to spout tongues of flame for the benefit of the guests.

If you find yourself in Lombardy, don't overlook Verona.

I wish I could upload my own pictures, but that's not an option at this point... so enjoy one from the internet. Hopefully I won't get sued.

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