Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Verona - Day 4

Off south to Verona in the sunshine. This is a region of fast cars, no respect for speed limits, tailgating and common use of mobile phones when driving. The road traffic stats in Italy have been described as 'diabolical', 'a war out there', 'collective madness'. Few motorists seem to be fined for offences, which occur at an astonishing frequency. You can barely go for a few minutes without spotting some obvious violations of the law. The traffic police seem big on sunglasses and sharp uniforms (riding breeches and black knee-high books).

Verona is a walkable city with the arena as its focus and a maze of pedestrianised streets hemmed in by the Adige river. We started in the arena (free entry for some reason) and could see why it's a great venue for Opera and pop music. The outer wall was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake in the 12th century. The limestone seats have many ammonites and the acoustics are excellent. It's two main Piazzas (dell Erbe and Signori) are also beautiful. We ate in a Trattoria on the other side of the river that specialise in horse meat and Veneto cuisine - lots of polenta and meat.