Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Romeo and Juliet in Verona

Juliet's balcony with the crowd of tourists visitors

Visitor rubbing breast of bronze statue of Juliet supposedly to bring good luck

The legendary lovers famed balcony has become a must see stop for tourists visiting Verona. It doesn't matter if they were fictional characters and the balcony was built in the 1930 since it's fun to dream and imagine Juliet peering out from the balcony waiting for her lover to appear.

Paper messages
Graffiti notes
Chains between lovers to declare eternal love
Chewing gums in different colors
Lovelorn visitors flock to the Casa  de Giuletta as made famous by Shakespeare to leave letters and messages, often using chewing gum to stick them to the brick walls of the courtyard beneath the balcony. This with the belief that good luck will be cast in their love lives.
The result is an unsightly mess of hardened blobs of gum and tattered scraps of paper which deface the World Heritage-listed city’s most popular attraction.

A new decree being drawn up by Verona city council will prohibit the sticking of chewing gum or adhesive Post-it notes to the walls and the consumption of food or drink in the courtyard of the house.
Writing love-struck graffiti on the walls of the courtyard and the tunnel that leads into it will also be banned, apart from on specially-provided, removable panels.
Anyone caught breaking the new rules, which will be enforced by local police, will risk a fine of up to 500 euros.  Source:  The Telegraph 22/Oct/2013
Verona earns a fortune from the legend of Romeo and Juliet, despite the fact that there is little evidence that the couple ever existed.

Historians say there is almost nothing to link the house to Shakespeare’s tragic love story and that the celebrated balcony was constructed out of bits of a medieval sarcophagus in the 17th century.
The only shred of a connection is the fact that the house was probably once the home of the Cappello family — who may have been the model for the Capulets of Romeo and Juliet.
The custom of leaving amorous entreaties or declarations, many of them addressed to the fictional Juliet, was celebrated in a recent film, 'Letters to Juliet’, starring Vanessa Redgrave and the American actress Amanda Seyfried. Source:  The Telegraph 22/Oct/2013

Unlike Juliet's house, the house which is said to have been that of her Romeo has not yet been turned into a tourist attraction. In fact, it's a nice but fairly non-descript house sitting a few steps away from Piazza dei Signori, on Via Arche Scaligere, in the same neighborhood as Juliet's house. The only way you can recognize it is thanks to a plaque on the wall that includes some lines from Shakespeare's play, starting with "O, where is Romeo?". The house is believed to have once belonged to the Montecchi family, which apparently was similar enough to make a connection with Shakespeare's Montagues.  Source:  Virtual Tourist.

Romeo's house today is a private building and can only be visited from the outside. On ground floor there's a typical Veronese osteria, a local restaurant, where traditional local cuisine can be tasted, especially horse and donkey meet dishes. Even if you cannot enter Romeo's house, from the outside you will feel all the gloomy atmosphere of thirteenth century Verona.  Source: Tourism in Verona
Grazie mille to Ron, I learned a lot about Verona.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ron in Verona

Verona, Italy is well known as the setting for the Shakespearean tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and his comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Historic Verona, Italy is a tangle of its storied past and modern industry. Once one of the most powerful cities during the early rule of the Roman Empire, the old city of Verona today contains one of the best-preserved old districts in the country. For this reason, the old district is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Source: Wikipedia.
Ron visited the four main churches in Verona: San Zeno, Duomo, Santa Anastasia and San Fermo.

The Basilica di San Zeno is one of the finest examples of late Romanesque architecture in nothern Italy. Its fame rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Frescoes lining the walls of the central nave
Fresco inside the Basilica

Sant'Anastasia is a church of the Dominican Order and is the largest church  in Verona.  St. Anastasia is a superb gothic building, boasting a majestic apse and a high bell tower. Everything is made in red bricks.

One of the most dominant features inside the church of Sant' Anastasia are two dwarfs by two columns, holding two fonts popularly known as “the hunchbacks” – bending under the weight of two fonts. One of the hunchbacks, as depicted above, is work by Gabriele Caliari.

Verona’s cathedral, the Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare, is a fantastic mix of Romanesque and Gothic elements.

Here ends the interior pictures of Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare to start with the the images of San Fermo church.




Art in the Chiesa San Fermo Maggiore

An especially magnificent feature of the church’s interior is the beautiful wooden ceiling, which extends over the entire nave. The two paintings of the crucifixion by Turrone and Altichieri over the main entrance and above the side entrance deserve special mention. Opposite the side portal you can still see some fragments of the fresco by Stefano da Verona, “Angels holding banners”. In the right-hand corner to the back of the church is the mausoleum of Nicolò Brenzoni. The sculptor Nanni di Bartolo and the painter Pisanello created a masterpiece combining both sculpture and painting. Source of information:  Zainoo.com

Castelvecchio is part of the 14th century castle of Verona on the bank of the river Adige.  Each work of art is displayed with nuance and sensitivity. Source:  BDonline.co.uk  Restoration by the architect Carlo Scarpa, between 1959 and 1973, has enhanced the appearance of the building and exhibits. Scarpa's unique architectural style with a mixture of the old and the modern and the interconnection between craftsmanship and a minimalistic aesthetic is visible in the details for doorways, staircases, furnishings, and even fixtures designed to hold a specific piece of artwork.  The museum displays a collection of sculpture, statues, paintings, ancient weapons, ceramics, goldworks, miniatures and some old bells. Source:  Wikipedia

Castelvecchio Portal

The staircase

 Peculiar and interesting!


A beautiful panoramic view from the Castelvecchio Museum. 
Ron seated on an invisible chair

Just having fun!


Stunning Piazza delle Erbe with market stalls and a number of restaurants /bars/cafes and other attractions.

The Arena in Piazza Bra.



The Piazza dei Signori- The Piazza dei Signori was the former centre of power in Verona. Around the beautiful square all important main buildings of the former city government, including the court and the seat of power of the Scaliger family, are located. A large statue by the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri has dominated the square since 1865 and gave the square the nickname “Piazza Dante”.

I had some fun having a virtual tour of Verona mille grazie to Ron, hope you did enjoy it too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Gift

Nothing in life happens by chance.

If one day when you wake up you will find a cute package wrapped  meticulously with care beside your bed, you probably would open it before washing your face, curious to see what's inside.

Perhaps you will find something you don't like too much and you will put away the gift, which would seem apparently useless.

But if the next day you see another box, once again you will quickly open it, but perhaps this  time you will find something that pleases you very much.

A souvenir of someone from far away... something nice that you have seen in a store...  an exquisite perfume, a warm protection for the days of cold or simply a bouquet of flowers from someone who remembered you...

Unknowingly, that happens every day even when we do not perceive it.
Every day when we wake up, there it is before us, a gift box sent by God; a whole complete  day to use in the best possible way.

Sometimes  it comes with things that we cannot resolve... full of problems: sadness, disappointment, tears...

But other times it comes full of surprises, joys, triumphs and wins.

We must remember that the most important thing is that, every day, God surrounds us with affection, that while we sleep he lays down our gift:

the following day!

He wraps our days with colorful ribbons,  and no matter what is our day ahead

That day when we wake up, we receive God's gift.

Although He does not always give us what we expect to receive or want,
He sends us the best always, always,  of what we need;  much more than what we can dream of...

Open your gift every day, give thanks to Him who sent it no matter what comes inside the box.

Have no doubt of no mistake in the shipment of packages. If  what you expected did not come today, wait...

Open every gift  and tomorrow even with more care, because at any time, the dreams and plans of God could come to you wrapped in a gift.

God may not give us  what we wish for, but He always attends  our needs.

Have a day full of blessings, and may everyone feel the presence of God today and may His gift bring you much

and love