Verona’s Arena is Older Than the Colosseum – Keep Calm and Wander

Verona's Arena is Older Than the Colosseum - Keep Calm and Wander

Standing in all its grandeur, this Arena in Verona has been around in the city for well over 2000 years. I have been to the Colosseum in Rome and although it is larger, unlike Verona Arena, it does not hold immense history in its folds. That is fact no. 1.

When I was in Verona I could sense the pink stained marbles still vibrating with the more than 30,000 cries of jubilation as the gladiators slaughtered each other. This thing happens to me, a kind of a time warp where I, for few seconds, get lost in the very imagination of what a historic place would have been like in its full swing.

This arena has hosted thousands of gladiator carnages in the past and, supposedly, that happened for almost 400 years until the emperor Honorius banned the practice in 404 AD.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Verona Gay Travel Resources

The House of Romeo – Keep Calm and Wander

House of Romeo - Keep Calm and Wander

In Verona, after I visited Casa de Giuletta (Juliet’s House), I wasted no time but walked to the house of Romeo. It’s just 3 minutes walk to and from each other. However, it took me 15 minutes to finally figure it out because the street was so quiet. I expected a bit of a crowd but I saw no one. I walked back and forth the narrow street until I asked a fashionable, middle-aged Italian guy who was talking on his phone.

Me: Scusami
The Italian: Yes?
Me: Casa di Romeo?
The Italian: You’re in front of Romeo’s house.
Me: Hmmmm? This? (Pointing at the huge, arched black door)
The Italian: Si! Yes!
Me: Aw, grazie. (Embarrassed)
The Italian: Prego. Parli Italiano?
Me: No.
The Italian: You’re Italian is good.
Me: Those are the only words I know.
The Italian: (Smiling) Ok, ciao. Enjoy Verona.
Me: Thanks again.

I was disappointed when I saw it. This is the house? Really? I have so many questions. But, then, I reminded myself that Romeo is just a fictional character of one of Shakespeare’s plays. So, my brain shut up!

A Day in Verona – Keep Calm and Wander

Verona - Keep Calm and Wander

Verona lies in between Venice and Milan. So, if you’re in these two cities, it’s worth getting on the train and spend a day in Verona. Though most of us know Verona from Shakespeare’s tragic story of “Romeo and Juliet,” the city is more than its fame of the star-crossed lovers. A day in Verona won’t be enough, for sure, if you want to get to know the city more than what it is known for. However, a day is enough to have a glimpse of this peaceful, ancient city.

Travel Tip. Turn on your GPS or Google map for this self-guided walking tour. If you don’t have data on your phone, save the following places on your map so you can still use them even without the data.

As soon as you arrive at the train station, get a taxi that will take you to the bottom of the mountain / hill where the Piazzale Castel San Pietro is. Specifically tell the driver that you want to be dropped of at the bottom, across the riverside. From the base, climb the stairs and enjoy the views of Verona’s skyline as they reveal to you in every step you take. The views from the top is spectacular! You’re looking at a medieval city that seem to be untouched by modernity.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Verona Gay Travel Resources

Inside Juliet’s House in Verona – Keep Calm and Wander

Juliet's House - Verona - Keep Calm and Wander

The charming city of Verona is home to Shakespeare’s ill-fated lovers – Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps, the city’s most famous tourist attraction (or tourist trap) is Juliet’s House built in the Middle Ages.

Did Juliet Really Live Here? Nope, she didn’t. She’s just a fictional character from Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet.” If she doesn’t exist in real life – and so does Romeo.

So, why is this casa called Juliet’s House? According to history, the house was once owned by the Capello family whose surname sounds like Capulet, Juliet’s surname in the story. When the house was bought by the city – this tourist trap was created.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Veneto Gay Travel Resources

No Romeo at Juliet’s Balcony – Keep Calm and Wander

Juliet's Balcony - Keep Calm and Wander

Yes, that’s right – my Romeo didn’t show up at Juliet’s Balcony in Verona. He ditched me.

Perhaps, there’s only one reason why people visit Verona – to see Juliet’s Balcony or House. And of course, Romeo’s House, too! But, don’t get me wrong, Verona is beyond those two fictional characters.

Wait, Who’s Romeo and Juliet? Hmmmmnnn…. I reckon you skipped your high school English class that you don’t have an iota of idea who they are? You must have seen the movie of the same names, right? No? Okaaaayyyy…. Romeo and Juliet is a story of star-crossed lovers (guess who?) written by William Shakespeare. It ended in tragedy but ultimately reunite their two warring families. Sorry for the spoiler.

So, why it’s called Juliet’s Balcony? The house where the balcony is located was once owned by the Capello Family. In 1905, the city of Verona bought it from them. In the story, Juliet’s last name is Capulet which, for some people, sounds similar to Cappello. And then, people started to refer it as Juliet’s Balcony or Juliet’s House. Now, it has become a must-see tourist destination in Verona.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Gay Italy – From Verona to Milan

Gay Italy In my deluded mind, a trip to Milan was an opportunity to sip Negronis by a sun-baked pool, admiring the city’s style and hot, swaggering men. A relentless two-day rain storm changed that plan slightly. An umbrella was firmly in the hand, rather than in the cocktails, but Italian talent was duly ogled and the Milanese remain admirably chic, even when it’s quite nippy and pouring it down. We were in the city for the Quiiky Untold History tour. This wasn’t a guided peek into Donatella’s plastic surgeons or Berlusconi’s favourite escort agencies. This was a journey into an ancient past when alchemy, art, design and religion fused to made Italy a cultural ruler. But before delving into the mysteries and wonders of 15th-century art, we plunged into Milanese nightlife. Lecco Milano is a hip, mixed bar offering food, DJs and a range of cocktails, including one tipple worryingly called GinHB. We also played bingo at L’Elephante while drinking a killer cocktail called the Bin Laden. I don’t remember how I got home.

By Stewart Who – Full Story at Gay Star News

Milan Gay Travel Resources