Verona is a small city in the west of Venice. It is an old city ruled by the Della Scala Family in 13th and 14th century. Its old history could be traced back to the Roman Empire. Nowadays there are many monuments in the city center built during these periods. That’s why it is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The famous love story of Romeo and Juliet is set in Verona so it attracts many touristes to visit every year.
I arrived at this city on the noon of July 23rd 2020 and afterwards I would catch the train towards Turin in the evening so there are only several hours for me to visit it.
This is the statue of gladiator outside the Verona train station. When I left the station and walked towards the city center, I could see this statue. It seems to tell the visitors that this city has an old history and the culture inherited from the Ancient Rome.
The Portoni della Brà is the town gate, enclosing the Piazza Brà to the south. Originally the Portoni della Brà was not designed as a city gate but as a passageway between the Castelvecchio and the Citadel. Now the last remains of the walls of the former Citadel could be seen. Both the archways and the former citadel were built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti in the 14th century.
Brà 之门是城镇的大门，Brà 广场就在城门南部。最初它并不是作为城市大门而设计的，而是作为旧城堡与城墙之间的通道。现在依稀可以看到以前城堡遗留的痕迹。这座拱门和曾经的城堡都是由吉安·加莱佐·维斯孔蒂（Gian Galeazzo Visconti）于14世纪建造的。
When I entered the city gate, I could find this palace at the Piazza Brà. The Palazzo Barbieri looks like the Roman building but it is actually the neoclassical style; it now serves as the town hall. It was designed by Giuseppe Barbieri and was completed by 1848.
当我进入城门时，这座宫殿在Brà广场赫然出现。这座巴比耶宫（Palazzo Barbieri）神似罗马建筑，但实际上是新古典主义风格。现在作为维罗纳的市政厅。它由朱塞佩·巴比耶（Giuseppe Barbieri）设计，于1848年完工。
In the north of the Piazza Brà, it is the famous Verona arena which is the third largest Roman amphitheatre in Italy. The arena was built in the 1st century AD by the Flavian emperors. The gladiators fought here bloodily for 400 years until the emperor Honorius prohibited the gladiator games in 404 AD. Nowadays, it became a perfect place to see the opera and theatre performances.
This was one old church nearby, the chiesa di san fermo maggiore. Its history could be traced to the 8th century.
这是附近的一座古老教堂San fermo maggiore。它的历史可以追溯到8世纪。
The campanile was completed in the 13th century and contains six bells cast in 1755. It rung with the Veronese bellringing art which is a unique style of ringing church bells that developed around Verona from the eighteenth century. The bells are rung full circle, being held up by a rope and wheel until a note is required.
Near the church I could find the statue of Umberto I who was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his assassination on 29 July 1900. Under his reign, the Triple Alliance with the German Empire and Austria-Hungary was formed. Also Italy has expanded their colonies in Eritrea and Somalia at that time.
Next I visited one square with very old history. The Piazza delle Erbe (Market’s square) was once the town’s forum during the time of the Roman Empire. Now it becomes one crowded marketplace selling clothes qnd small articles. The fountain in this picture is the Fountain Madonna Verona built in 1368 by Cansignorio della Scala. The statue called Madonna Verona was a Roman sculpture dating to 380 AD.
接下来，我参观了一个有着悠久历史的广场。香草广场（Plazza delle Erbe）曾经是罗马帝国时期的广场。现在它变成了一个熙熙攘攘的杂货市场，出售衣服和小物件。这张照片中的喷泉是维罗纳圣女喷泉。它由Cansignorio della Scala于1368年建造。这座雕像是公元380年的罗马雕塑。
In the square, there is one 84 m high bell tower. The Torre dei Lamberti was constructed in 1172. This tower could be seen from the city streets very far away. The main color style of city is brownish red, the tower and archway on the square also follow this pattern.
On the north-western side of Piazza delle Erbe, we could find this Baroque style building Palazzo Maffei in the 15th century. It has five arcades. Over each arcade there is a window with an elegant balcony separated by Ionic semicolumns. There are six sculptures of Greek god on the top of the building. In front of the palace, we could see a white marble column. It is St. Mark’s Lion, symbol of the Republic of Venice.
Near the Piazza delle Erbe, there is another square, the Piazza dei Signori which was surrounded by the main buildings of the former city government, including the court and the seat of power of the Scaliger family. There is one statue of Italian poet Dante Alighieri in the middle of the square. Behind the statue, the yellow building is the Loggia del Consiglio. The Venetian Renaissance style house was built in 1476 by Fra Giocondo. It was decorated with columned double windows and small statues on the roof . The loggia with this kind of decoration is quite popular in Italy.
The Scaliger family ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century so it has left deep imprints on this city. This is the view of the tombs of Scaliger family. The gothic style tombs are located in a court outside the church of Santa Maria Antica, separated from the street by a wall with iron grilles. The rule of the Scaliger reached its peak during the period of Mastino II (1308-1351) and his son Cansignorio (1334-1375). A statue of the knight locates at the top of the tomb of Cansignorio.
The Santa Maria Antica church is Romanesque in style and dates to 1185, rebuilt after the earthquake of 1117. The original building could be dated back to the end of the period of Lombard domination in the 7th century.
The church has a small bell tower with three bells cast during the 17th century ringing in the Veronese syle.
‘Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene ‘; this is the prologue from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. For visitors especially lovers, it is meaningful to follow the steps of Romeo and Juliet and visit their houses. This is the house of Romeo located in an alley, just behind the Scala Family tombs. It looks like a brick castle.
In Shakespear’s play Act 1, Romeo has tested Juliet’s feeling towards him using the metaphor, he said ‘ If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. He uses the metaphors of shrine, and pilgrim which is romantic in the poetry.
This is the Juliet’s house with the most romantic balcony in the world. It was a beautiful Gothic style house from the 14th century. The city of Verona bought the house from the Dal Capello family in 1905 and made it to be a touriste attraction. It was said that the lovers who write down their love vows and stick them on the wall of the house will stay together for the rest of their lives.
In Shakespear’s play Act 1, Juliet answered Romeo with metaphor as well, ‘ Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.’
在莎士比亚的戏剧第一幕中，朱丽叶也用一个暗喻回答了罗密欧 “ 朝圣者，莫把你的手侮辱，这样才是最虔诚的礼敬，神明的手本许信徒接触，掌心的密合远胜如亲吻。”
The so called Juliet balcony actually never existed. It was famous because there was the well known scene ‘ when the moon shone unusually bright, that whilst Romeo was climbing the balcony, the young lady … opened the window … After this they have a conversation in which they declare eternal love to each other. ‘
Of course people are willing to talk delighly of this romantic story for thousands of years and Verona have attracted many touristes looking for romance because of this. There is a bronze statue of Juliet in the small courtyard of the house. It is believed that touching the right breast of the statue will bring luck to all who are trying to find their true love.
When I walked northwards, I arrived at the river side of the Adige River. The five-arch bridge was originally built in the 16th but it was destroyed during the second world war. The bridge nowadays was restored in 1959 based on previous design. It was also a testimony of the city’s history.
I took this picture on the stone bridge. The sight of the city from the bridge has brought my memory to the time of reading Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet. Shakespear has never gone to Verona in his life but he could write such a good story and whelm so many readers in the world. For me I was lucky enough to visit this wonderful land under the pens of Shakespear. My life is always full of imagination and travel is like a way to convert rich imagination to reality.