Day 13 June 4, 2023 (Venice)

Day 13 June 4, 2023

We had a leisurely morning and then decided since the weather was not going to be great on Monday, we would take the train in to Verona and spend the day there. We have been using a lot of Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook and he has his own version of a Verona Walk, which we decided to try. We grabbed an early lunch, which was fresh bream, caught the night before, with fresh vegetables and potatoes. We headed to the train station and the train ride there was about 1 ½ hours and uneventful.

We started at the Piazza Bra (which means big open space) and saw the fountain called “The Alps”. It was a gift from Verona’s sister city Munich, which is just over the mountains to the north. In the middle of the fountain, you see the two cities separated by the Alps, carved out of pink marble from the region.

There is an ancient Roman arena, 466×400 ft, and the third largest in Italy. It was originally 50 percent taller and most of the stone you see is original (pink marble). It dates to the first century A.D.

Porta Borsari is the main entrance to Roman Verona as the gate functioned as a tollbooth (borsari mean purse, referring to the collection of tolls). There is a stone on a curb outside the Caffe Rialto (where we stopped for a café and a pastry!) which is from a tomb.

The Piazza Erbe is a market square was a forum back in Roman times. The fountain has been there for 2,000 years. This is a whale’s rib hanging from an arch in the piazza thought to have brought from a merchant long ago from the Orient.

The Piazza dei Signori, the home of the Scaligeri family, the most powerful family in the 1400’s. There is also statue of the Italian poet Dante. Right outside of their residence is their family tombs. They built them high up so that people would have to look up to them, even though they were dead. They established stability on their own terms and made the other noble families lop off their towers as only the Scaligeri were allowed to keep theirs. To add insult to injury, they paved the city’s roads with bricks from the other families’ towers. They thought a lot of themselves apparently.

We went into the Church of Sant’ Anastasia, which was built from the late 13th century through the 15th century. The façade was never finished, but the inside is beautiful. St. Anastasia is the largest church in Verona with three large aisles supported by twelve impressive pillars in red Veronese marble. There are 5 chapels. The floor (1462) is made up of three colors: white, black and red. The hunchbacks (there were two) held basins of holy water on their backs.

We strolled along the Adige River to the Ponte Pietra. The white stones of the footbridge are from the original Roman bridge that stood there. When the bridge was bombed in WW II, the Veronese fished the marble chunks out of the river and rebuilt it.

It was time to head back to the train station to return to Venice. We arrived early, boarded and were on our way. We had stopped at one of the stops and people got off/on and normally we are heading out again. For some reason we didn’t leave as quickly and then an announcement is made (in Italian) and everybody starts getting off. We have no idea what is happening, and no announcement was made in English. We follow along with what everyone else is doing and then notice people getting back on the train. I jump back on and find someone who speaks English and was told there was a 15-minute delay due to someone being ill (not sure what that meant or was about). I find John and we get back on the train and wait. We should have arrived back in Venice at 7:50 and we got back at 8:20. We head back to the BNB to freshen up then head out for a normal Venetian dinner of salad, pizza, and wine at 9 p.m.

Miles walked – 7.17 Ciao!

Our fresh bream, this was so yummy!!!!
The “kids” that sat across from us on the train – it’s amazing how they can fall asleep anywhere, lol!!!
Entrance to the city of Verona.
Fountain in Piazza Bra – the fountain is called The Alps.
The Roman Arena
Bronze plaque on sidewalk showing Roman city plan.
Porta Borsari and Corso Porta Borsari – the tollbooths in to the city
Part of a Roman tomb sitting in from of the Caffe Rialto
Inside the cafe you can see the original Roman foundations
Our snack inside the cafe
This picture does not do this justice – the beautiful macarons lined up!
In the Piazza Erbe
In the Piazza dei Signori – this is the family residence of the Scaligeri family, who thought so much of themselves.
The whalebone suspended from the arch.
This impressive stairway is the only surviving Renaissance staircase in Verona.
The family tombs.
More tombs
Church of Sant’Anastasia
One of the hunchbacks
He was playing while we in there, it was lovely!
View across Adige River.
Quick stop for a drink before heading back home.
Our wonderful dinner after a long day!!!!

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