Romeo & Juliet in Verona

February 07, 2008


“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” Mozart read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as we drove from Graz, Austria, through Slovenia once again, towards Verona, Italy. We had watched Zeffirelli’s beautiful film version the night before. Yes, Verona is the city of the most famous lovers in history, but is also a UNESCO World heritage site and  some say, one of the prettiest towns in Italy. We had not necessarily planned to go there, but it looked like a good choice when we had to abruptly change our plans due to my hospital visit and recovery.

It was late October and much too cold at night to be so far north and DaVinci was worried about running into snow in the mountains. We were so sorry to miss our friends in Milano that we had met in Turkey and my opportunity to share Villa Desti at Lake Como with my family, which I had loved when I first stayed there in my twenties. Verona seemed like a good compromise as we had lots of distance to cover and wanted to head south as soon as possible. We were itching to get back to Spain, but felt a need to see a little more in Italy before heading “home”.

Verona is famous also for its ancient Roman amphitheater, the Arena where wonderful operas take place in the summer. It is an exquisite place to see an opera, so we hoped there might be a chance, but we were too late in the season. We enjoyed walking around on the pedestrian only streets and found a great place for a nice Italian dinner by asking locals. Mozart had macaroni and cheese like only an Italian place could make it.

We couldn't miss the famous Juliet house and balcony and Mozart said the famous lines, while I caught a picture. There is a bronze statue on the premise where touching one Juliet breast is suppose to bring luck so we did that with a chuckle, polishing it up a bit more. Then we made our way to Romeo's house, although it is not open, there is a nice plaque. It was a fun few days.

The campsite we had planned on staying at was closed when we arrived near dark, so we stopped at a nice looking small hotel nearby. She was full, but called one down the road for me and we headed off again, as darkness took over. We had trouble finding it, but saw a little tiny sign saying “camping”, next to a dirt road. We cautiously bumped down that road wondering what we were getting into, but it turned out to be one of the biggest delights of our stay.

It was a small and wonderful “Agrituristica” that was just a year old, run by the sweetest multi-generational family on their lovely farm. It looks horrible on their poor website ( but is really a charming spot with a very accommodating family. They had a free washing machine, everything was new and pretty, they let us use their computer in their nearby home and even helped us fix an electrical problem we got suddenly (a bad cable). Mozart had a blast playing with the kids, birds and cats or on the playground eating fresh picked grapes off the vines. We also enjoyed the pastoral scenery and views to the nearby town through the fig branches.

We ended up spending lots of money in Verona because there was a nice outlet store nearby where we bought Mozart’s clothes for school in Spain and an RV store where we bought some really nice chairs. We have only had the second hand chairs that came with the RV, yet had been lustfully eyeing the nice ones
as we roamed, but could never find them anywhere. When the great outdoors is your living room, it  is important to have very comfy chairs. We even splurged on a fancy lounge chair for reading or snoozing in the shade with your feet up!













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