Famous crooners like Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble sing this song Sott”er Celo de Roma meaning “an evening in Rome” but since this night, I am blessed to be in the beautiful Italian city of Verona, I thought I’d give you a taste of its beauty.
On an evening in Verona, one can experience in this ancient Roman city, a bit of Shakespeare, as well as modern cultural vibrancy.
Verona situated on the river Adige in Northern Italy was a Roman town founded sometime in the 2nd century. The impressive monument which survived to this day attests to the city’s importance. Compact and easy to navigate, Verona remains one of Italy’s most underrated cities (hidden gems), despite the picturesque center of cobblestone streets, medieval pink-hued buildings and well preserved Roman sites and churches, even Juliet’s much acclaimed and visited balcony.
In the city center is an arena or mini coliseum dating from the first century that remains almost completely intact. It is still used today for operatic events and if one was lucky they may catch Andrea Bocelli or Il Volo or something more traditional like Verdi’s “Aida”!
Another tradition is “la Passeggiato” or evening stroll which is done to work off that huge bowl of Bolognese you just finished or work up an appetite for the gelato you are about to consume. Here in Verona, you will do it in style walking along the Via Mazzini, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with high-end shops. You may also want to stop by De Rossi a family bakery that produces specialties like boci di Romeo & Giulietta ( Romeo and Juliet kisses) and almond and chocolate cookie.
For the more adventurous eater's restaurants like Osterio del Bugiardo may showcase a dish like bigoli (a thick Veronese hand-rolled pasta) with a Ragu of horse meat or even donkey! Look out Shrek can’t be too far away!
Like any Roman city, Verona would not be complete without a few special churches to mention. Sant’ Anastasia has fine Gothic architecture, while Santa
Maria has the finest choir stall, San Giorgio has artwork by Tintoretto and of course, the city’s Duomo is a red and white striped cathedral Romanesque at the bottom transforming into Gothic as it ascends.
Finally, a trip to Verona would not be complete without a visit to a few of the city’s best wine producers Sartori and Bolla. And if you are really lucky and happen to be married to a husband in the Italian wine business, that evening in Verona may even be led by none other than Andrea Sartori himself, President of Sartori di Verona a blonde, blue-eyed Italian, Cuban cigar-smoking gentlemen, who is a delightful man with a kind heart, generous soul, that makes an awesome bottle of wine as well.
A toast to Verona “cin cin”!!