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©John R. Turner

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May 29, 2014

“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene” -- it’s wondrous, the magic image a great writer’s words can create. Ever since I first read these as a teenager, I have wanted to go to Verona and see if Shakespeare was right.
Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

Now I have. And he was. The city of Romeo and Juliet is still there, and when you walk its streets it becomes impossible not to feel the sentiment from Act III, Scene 3: “There is no world without Verona’s walls,” which we found engraved on a plaque near the city’s center.
On the morning we got up to go to Verona, our host at the vineyard villa where we were staying told us it’s a human-sized city, and he, also, proved to be right. You can drive into Verona and drive out without getting horribly lost.
It turned out that on the day of our visit, the city was hosting an event called “The World Run,” and so was decked out in all sorts of festive banners and posters. But they didn’t detract from the city’s charm; they simply added to its cheer. We spent the day wandering through narrow streets, each with thousands of architectural delights to take in. We ate our lunch sitting on a curbside, as most of the other visitors seemed to be doing, while fearless pigeons pecked the crumbs at our feet.
We poked into the area back of the square to find the Capulet house, where Juliet came out on the balcony to plead her famous question. There’s a balcony there now-- added, I’m afraid since Juliet’s time -- where girls, for a small fee, can walk out, smile, wave, and for a brief moment be a Juliet. All the ones I observed seemed to rise to the occasion.
We toured the ancient Roman arena, where public events are still held. A floor was being laid and seats set up for an upcoming concert. You might think that would take away from the venerable grandeur, but I think that seeing something ancient still in practical use gives it an added splendor.
We walked along the banks of the Adige, and watched the waters of the grand river flowing on towards Venice. And then, with, I admit, a bit of difficulty, we found our car park, redeemed our little Fiat 500, and drove back to the vineyards of San Giorgio, to drink much of the bottle of wine waiting for us there. It was about as good a day as one can expect.