The afternoon was spent looking around the Castelvecchio (Castle of San Martino) was built in the 1300’s to defend the city. It has 6 covered towers, and one stronger tower, The Keep, and had a deep moat surrounding it. The inside has been turned into a museum with paintings, sculptures and wall hangings.
After a slightly restless sleep got up and checked out the B and B breakfast facilities. Having established that the only thing on offer was packaged croissants, sweet bread and concentrated orange juice (we are such food snobs!).
We found a really cute bakery on our way into town, there were some great looking pastries, cakes and some savoury items. I struggled to find something healthy! There was a slight language issue that we managed to overcome, although when I tried to order a drink the only option I was given Cappuccino. Apparently that is THE thing to have with croissants!
We headed into town without a guide book and wandered around in search of the Arena. I had ordered a guide book over a week before our trip from Amazon, but annoyingly it had not arrived! After walking in a few circles, we came across a newsagent selling city guides and Verona Cards. I would really recommend buying a Verona card if anyone is going to Verona for more than a day. We paid 15 euros for a 2 day pass, this gave us entry to everything that we wanted to see, and was so much cheaper than paying 4-6 euros per attraction!
We eventually found the Arena and by this point it had started to rain (and didn’t really stop for the rest of the weekend)
The Arena is one of the most important monuments in Verona, and only the Colosseum in Rome is the only Roman Amphitheatre bigger in terms of size and importance. The outer wall has almost totally collapsed but the rest of the Arena remains in amazing condition. The Arena was originally used for Gladiator games, and hunts, they now hold outdoor operas there throughout the year.
After the Arena was our first coffee stop of the day. Char’s boyfriend Nick had challenged her to drink a double espresso. She managed a watered down single but didn’t enjoy it. When I asked for a coffee with chocolate (mocha) the waitress looked at me like I was mad. It was just what I felt like.
After wandering around some more, we stopped for lunch at a little corner cafe. Unfortunately we heard our spinach and ricotta pasta being microwaved!!!! We were shocked and a little horrified- how long does it take to cook fresh pasta! It tasted ok but was nothing special!
We thought this guy had a really creepy smile!
Attached to the Castelvecchio is the Ponte Scaligero, a beautiful old bridge that we had pretty much to ourselves!
To be continued….