Italy, Verona – New Year's Eve Celebrations
We chose to arrive on December 29 in the evening already for we would like to do some tour around the city and also visit Lago di Garda. From Milano to Verona you can easily get by train. Many places are reachable by foot from the train station.
We planned a trip for the following day which would take us out of the city to the largest lake in Italy which is Lago di Garda. Many buses ride there right from the arena. It is a very pleasant walk. There is a beautiful promenade around the lake. There are even classic Christmas market during the time of the Advent. A long road is linked with the promenated. It is only up to you how long your walk would be and when you decide to go to the nearest bus stop. Once we returned we managed to do necessary New Years Eve shopping. However, stores are open on December 31.
We stayed in Verona on the last day of the year. The tour around htis beautiful city takes just one day. Still, there are many places worthy seeing. You can start at the most famous landmark in Verona – Arena di Verona. This is the third largest arena in the world. Operas or other performances take place there. Visitors can enter the arena upon paying admission fee. Then you set off deeper into downtown. Alternatively, you can visit Castelvecchio gothic castle made of typical red bricks. Then you can walk interesting places on the other side of Scaligero bridge which spans over the River Adige. Thus, you can get to Castel San Pietro, a beautiful scenic platform from where you can enjoy the vista over entire center of Verona. Moreover, threre is a little Roman amphitheater below the platform.
Once you cross the river back to the side where the arena is, you would explore other gems in the city such as Piazza delle Erbe – a 13th-17th centuries market place. Madona da Verona fountain or a medieval tower rising from Palazzo Maffei are both situated there. When you get on Piazza dei Signori square you can visit the memorial of Dante Alighieri who was a poet of great significance. The Casa di Giulietta residence is a great lure for Asian tourists. There is the famous Julia's balcony. Below, ther eis a bronze statue of Julia. A crowd alwys surrounds waiting to get a picture with a hand on her right breast. Next visit Romanesque cathedral Santa Maria Matricolare (or Duomo di Verona) or San Zeno Maggiore basilica.
The New Year Celebrations begin in the evening already. It takes place on the square next to the arena. There is a podium on which perform various bands and Italian celebrities. A huge white comet looms over the arena. It seems like entire of Verona gathers on the square (it is really difficult to reach downtown by car in the evening). Merry Italians drink champagne and are glad to have a little chit chat with you. The atmosphere is amazing and cheerful. However, the police guards rest and peace. Beatiful fireworks is launched at the midnight at the arena. People then wish one another Felice Anno Nuovo (happy New Year). Once the fireworks are done people leave the square for bars or homes where they continue with the celebrations.
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
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