After an amazing (and very relaxed) first day on our surprise trip to Verona (all booked through what I now call our personal travel concierge – srprs.me), I woke up almost unbelievably well-rested and so eager to get out and explore Verona!
We gobbled down breakfast at record speed and headed off to explore one of Verona’s most famous sights – the Arena di Verona.
This almost 2,000 years old Roman amphitheatre is every bit as impressive as it sounds.
It’s almost pretty easy to get lost in its labyrinth-like walls! 😉
Till date, this arena is still very much in use, albeit less so for gladiator matches (and other Roman favourite past times) and more as a music venue.
The Arena also has one of the best views of the nearby Piazza Bra and is a great place for people watching… 🙂
We left the Arena and headed down to the Piazza, in search of gelato and other treats from Verona.
All along Piazza Bra, there were lots of sports cars parked – thrilling and delighting the locals and tourists in equal measure. I still have no clue why the cars were all parked there but as it turns out, this is not something unusual in the Piazza – there’s always something on the other going on here (as we got to find out in the days that followed).
On the corner of Piazza Bra, stands Gran Guardia – a palace, which looks perfect for exploring. We wandered in, amazed by the architecture… that is until, one of the guys who worked there stopped us speaking in Italian.
It took a while (and a whole lotta Google translating) for us to realise that what he was saying was that Gran Guardia is not for public exploration like we’d initially thought. It’s actually a convention centre (one of the fanciest convention centres in the world, if you ask me) and that it was limited to attendees to whatever conference was going on. So, you know, if you’re in Verona soon, you might wanna skip this one… 🙂
We hit the streets of sunny Verona again, stopping off briefly for a gelato fix, before carrying on to Chiesa di San Nicolò (‘Chiesa di’ pretty much translates to ‘Church of’ so…).
I, like many other travellers, have a thing for Italian churches. They’re just so impressive inside and (most times) outside.
Chiesa di San Nicolò was no different in that respect…
As soon as we left the Church, my tummy started its war cry – apparently, it was way past lunch-time – a fact that totally took me by surprise.
Usually, to avoid disappointment, I like to try to find out where to eat in advance (not too far in advance but at least, to have a little look) and Mazzini27 was our brilliant find of the afternoon.
One of the joys of being on the surprise trip we’d booked with srprs.me was things like this – a throwback to my old ways of travelling where the best plans were no plans at all. Just winging things and see where the journey across the city took us. 🙂
In this case, the journey took us to pizzas, buttery pasta (I kid you not, it was pasta swimming in melted butter – so indulgent and so delicious) and another pasta dish in a tomato sauce I can’t remember the name of.
Dessert for me was Panna Cotta (another good old fave of mine)…
before wandering into Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Scala…
…and heading off again in search of more of Verona’s delights.
By this point, I was absolutely smitten with Verona and couldn’t phantom why I’d never thought to visit before our surprise trip! 🙂