I suppose that you would regard the Milano as a “bijou” Hotel. The room is tiny but well appointed and very comfortable and it is but a stone’s throw from the Verona Amphitheatre.  Turn right and, if you like fish, stop at the Trattoria “Tre Marchetti” and you will not be disappointed. If you prefer pizza, a few paces in the opposite direction will offer you a veritable buffet of that dish.

After siesta, the traveller adjourns to the roof terrace for a cocktail, in preparation for “Un Melodramma Buffo in due Atti” which starts after dusk. Funny, charming and with a cheeky leaning toward political incorrectness: says Figaro “…una ragazza bella e spiritosa” (..a girl should be like a wine glass, shapely and full of spirits…)

The amphitheatre was constructed during the reign of Emperor Tiberius and was finished just 3 years before the crucifixion of  Christ. It was made to house 30,000, now reduced by half on grounds of security. As you are shown to your seats, you walk down the corridors of the arena and you cannot but help feeling a chilly tingle down your spine as you consider that you are following in the footsteps of the gladiators.

And the next morning it would be remiss not to visit a present time “barbiere di qualita” at the “Parucchiere”, open each day from 8:30 till 11:30 for a haircut and a shave. He has been doing this the last 40 years and he is one of the very few hairdressers who still offers a shave with a cut-throat razor. He said he made me look “…dieci anni di meno” but perhaps that was to justify the rather hefty bill.

 

And if you still have a couple of days then a drive to the sleepy town of Gargnano on the Lago di Garda will reward you with lemon trees, bougainvillea, pastel coloured houses, peaceful church sanctuaries, and delicious Italian ice-cream.

Vincent van Walt, Verona, August 2018

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