Monday, 28 March 2011

In fair Verona, where we lay our weekend break

BA cabin crew permitting, I hope to enjoy a long weekend with my son and daughter in Verona early in September.
In my February 14th post Venice or Verona? – that is the question I pondered which city in the Veneto region to base my break.
My choice reflects my cautious – alright, pessimistic – approach to holidays.
I have no expectations about Verona – in fact I only recently discovered its proximity to Venice in an Italian guide book. I know now it is famous for its ancient remains, open air operas, and the bronze statue of Juliet whose right breast you rub to be lucky in love. Much to the delight of its tourist board, Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona, as if you didn't know.
I anticipate much there will delight and little disappoint. I fear, on the other hand, that my hopes for Venice will not match my dreams.
I have thought about visiting Venice all of my adult life. My brain teems with images set there by great artists – Canaletto, Turner – great, albeit sombre, movies Don’t Look Now, Death in Venice, The Wings of the Dove (but not Casino Royale) – as for books I’ll settle for Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi).
The Grand Canal, St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, the Gritti Palace, the Cipriani, Harry’s Bar, the vaporetto, and the Biennale all resonate in my imagination.
But I worry that once my initial awe at the canals and buildings has passed, Venice in the flesh will prove to have been invaded by an army of tourists; everywhere will be overpriced; and may be sweaty and whiffy.
Verona will be my bolt-hole. We’ll be seeing a lot of the city’s railway station. The schedule allows a second day trip to Venice as well as a visit to Lake Garda and still leave plenty of time to enjoy Verona itself.
Why have I waited this long to take what after all is just a two hour flight? Better late than never, don’t you think? Any travel advice will be gratefully received.

4 comments:

  1. But you have already ignored the advice of your old friend from Down Under! And though I am sure it will not spoil your holiday, which I hope will be a fine one, I predict that you will regret not staying at least one night in some characterful pensione, perhaps behind St Mark's close to La Fenice, so that you can walk on a balmy evening through the Square and join the promenade beside the Lagoon.

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  2. Thank you anon for your advice. I'm not done living and can always return to Venice. Finding an affordable triple in the city was proving difficult. Having taken frequent holidays with my kids, I feel being based in Verona will suit us all best. GC

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  3. Don't be too pessimistic, Grapefruit. After all it is a holiday. MC

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  4. Verona is a gorgeous city, a real cultural hub with an amazing heritage.

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What do you think? GC