Spending 24 Hours In Beautiful Verona

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Hey everyone, hope you’re all well and enjoying the sunshine! Or snow for that matter, depending on where you’re currently reading from. Luca and I are in Italy visiting his family and since they’re just a train trip away from amazing places like, Milan, Verona, Venice etc., we decided to make the most of our time here and do a few day trips out. First up was Verona! A beautiful location, ancient roman ruins and home to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I knew I was in for a treat.

Arrival… early starts and a scary situation

Our journey to Verona started early. Five in the morning early. So you’d think by the time we arrived our grumbling stomachs would have taken us to a nice cafe. Well, out of all the places we could have eaten you’ll never guess where we ended up… McDonald’s! To be fair, we were starving and Luca really wanted me to try a breakfast toasty they only make in Europe.

Sitting outside in the courtyard of McDonald’s was actually quite nice. The toasty, not so much. Just tasted like a whole lot of plastic cheese melted between two slices of bread to me. But Luca enjoyed it, and I was happy with my second order of a bacon and egg McMuffin. We had a great view of the Porta Bra and I was enjoying watching the locals pass by. Well, that was until Luca headed inside for a quick bathroom break.

Within seconds of him leaving I was approached by three guys. One who I could see was eyeing Luca’s camera. My instincts kicked in and I quickly picked up the camera from our table and placed it in my lap, holding onto it for dear life. With a map of Verona laid out in front of me, it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t a local. The guy eyeing the camera asks me in English if I need any help and I politely decline. The way the guys have positioned themselves, they’re clearly blocking me in, and I know if I want to get up and away from them, I’ll have to push my way through.

With his eyes still locked on the camera, he responds “but you have a map, you need help.” I’m offended that just because I have a map he thinks I automatically need help, but also because he doesn’t actually want to help, he just wants the camera in my hand. I can see him assessing the situation, probably thinking of the easiest way to get the camera, so I follow my instincts again and respond “no, I’m fine, my boyfriend is Italian and he’s just over there,” as I point towards the door. Thank god, that at the exact same time Luca was heading towards our table. Hesitating briefly, no doubt trying to asses if I was telling the truth or not, the guy decides to move on, indicating to the others to follow him.

I hate everything about that situation. The way the guys were positioned, blocking me in. The fact I had to mention the word boyfriend and that he was Italian, for them to leave. I wish I could have handled the situation on my own, but I could tell that without the presence of Luca, they wouldn’t have left so easily. It’s a disappointing to say, but female solo travellers can often be an easy target for theft, and in certain cases much worse. I shouldn’t have experienced that and neither should anyone else. It makes me so mad that people think that kind of behaviour is okay. Because it most certainly is not! So to all women travelling solo, just be aware and don’t be so accepting of help.

Checking In… Airbnb with class

One thing I love about travelling, is staying in different styles of accommodation. Especially ones that enhance the beauty of the places I visit. For Verona, we booked an Airbnb. Located only a five minute walk from the city centre, it was the perfect combination of rustic charm and modern industrialism.

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Exploring the city… ancient ruins, plus Romeo & Juliet

As we only had one day in this beautiful city, so we wanted to make the most of it. I waisted no time at all, pulling out my list of top sites we wanted to visit and first up was Arena Di Verona. Reminding me of the Colosseum in Rome, it was big, beautiful and full of history. A roman amphitheater built in the first century, it accommodated around 30,000 people and is still in use today. It was an incredible feeling to be in the presence of such architecture and it turned my not so great morning, into a great start for the rest of the day.

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After admiring the arena we headed over to Cash Di Giulietta. Or more commonly known as, House of Juliet. The crowds of people that flock to to get a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony is insane. I’ve never seen so many people huddled together, selfie sticks out, to get that perfect picture. Not wanting to suffocate amongst the mass group of tourists, we got a few pictures and then quickly moved on. What I found to be quite unique and slightly bizarre for this attraction, was the wall leading to Juliet’s balcony. The entire wall was covered in band aids! People had written messages on them such as, Heather was here and Amelia 2017. But I mean band aids… really?

Next up was Castelvecchio. Walking the streets from Juliet’s balcony to the bridge of Castelvecchio, it became apparent to me that the locals hardly seemed to notice the breathtaking beauty that surrounded them. From the marbled walkways to the apartments covered in wisteria, even the ancient Roman Gate wasn’t acknowledged as many passed under it on their way to work or school. I however, was in awe and took in every little detail I could.

As we approached the bridge, to see the construction of it up close, was just incredible. I’m not easily scared by heights, so I made my way up to one of the openings in the wall and perched myself on top for an amazing view of the city.

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The last site on our list for the day was Piazzale Castel San Pietro, which showcases the best view of the city. An easy walk from the city center, we planned our day so we would arrive around sunset. When we reached the top we immediately knew others had the same idea, with crowds of people situated along the castle’s ledge. Finding ourselves a spot we set up a little picnic and took in the magical views.

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Dinner… a hidden gem of Verona

After watching the sun set over the city, we made our way back to the centre for dinner. I had come across a place called Alcova del Frate whilst doing my research on Verona. A lesser known tourist spot, but a popular one with the locals. Always wanting to go where the locals go (because that’s usually where the best cuisine is) we sat down at a cute little table for two and ordered almost everything off the menu. It all looked so good! Well except the one item popular in Verona that I was making sure to avoid… horse. Yep, they love it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

Every dish we ordered was perfection, reasonably priced, and with a great atmosphere and friendly and prompt staff, we honestly couldn’t have asked for more.

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Departure… off to Venice

Waking up early, we checked out of our Airbnb and headed back to the train station. Next up was Venice! I had visited Venice once before when I was 19 and with fond memories intact, I couldn’t wait to explore it with fresh eyes.

20 thoughts on “Spending 24 Hours In Beautiful Verona

  1. thegetawayjournals says:

    Verona looks so romantic, I can see why Shakespeare chose it for Romeo and Juliet! Your photos at the Castelvecchio are my favorites! So heavenly!

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  2. Rated by Hanna says:

    Beautiful photos of Verona! We didn’t make it there when I visited Italy. Haha the story of McDonalds was funny noted to avoid that. We passed by one of those in a mall in Naples too.

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  3. Annie Soul says:

    Such a shame that you experienced the guys preying on tourists. Did you report them to the staff or the police? Good that you have given people a warning about these potential thieves.

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    • Nerissa Templin says:

      No I didn’t, they took off pretty quickly and I didn’t have much to go on because nothing was actually stolen. I’ve been told that police over there quite often just dismiss things so I just went about my day.

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  4. Nicole says:

    What a scary encounter to put a small blemish on such a beautiful city. It’s a shame that things like that happen. It actually happened to me in Geneva, I was looking at the cool water spout in the lake and three young guys were following me. A man came up to me and said “i am not trying to scare you but you are being followed by three guys.” The man helped me get out of the situation, thankfully he wasn’t another trying to take advantage, though I made sure to make a quick exit as soon as I thought was safe. But it can be very scary traveling as a woman alone. Verona however, looks amazing.

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    • Nerissa Templin says:

      Oh wow, that’s so nice that the guy came to assist you. I would have been cautious too, making sure he wasn’t with the other three, but I’m glad he wasn’t and it turned out fine for you. It’s such a shame that women can so easily become targets, I mean we just want to travel and do so at ease, I hate that some people take advantage of that.

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  5. Shibu S. says:

    It’s a shame being an Italy fan I haven’t heard about Verona until I stumbled upon your post. I’m also Airbnb fan just like you, and thus will follow your advises surely. Thanks for the heads up for the last bit of the story, because I’m actually planning to travel to Italy solo. Hoping not to be scared and rather conscious.

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    • Nerissa Templin says:

      Verona is a hidden gem, I’m sure if you go you’ll have a great time. And yes, Airbnb is so great! I think Italy as a whole is fairly safe, you just need to be aware of your surroundings and try not to look like a tourist. If I’m following google maps or something, I like to stand out front of a shop and get my bearings, opposed to looking lost in the middle of the street. You’ll have an amazing time though, I’m so excited for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. kateandkris says:

    Intimidating situation. I try to keep my camera away from view when we’re sat outside to look less like a tourist. Looks like you had a lovely time otherwise though

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