Around the Corner in Verona

Verona off the beaten path Photo by Margie MiklasVerona is arguably one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Italy. After all it is the city of Romeo and Juliet. Via Mazzini leading to the stunning Piazza delle Erbe is made of pink marble. The old Roman arch bridge, the Ponte Pietra,  dates back to 100 BC. There are endless monuments and architectural landmarks like the Verona Arena and the Torre dei Lamberti.

While wandering around near the Ponte Pietra, I came across this scene as I turned the corner, and was captivated by it. Many times during my travels I find beauty in the old, the simple, and the images that portray everyday life in Italy.

In this particular image, which to me is so classically Italian, I am drawn to the wrought iron balconies which of course are adorned with flowers and green plants in flower boxes – a sure sign that someone lives here and cares for these plants in a loving way.

The crumbling facade would look like it belongs in a ghetto in some American neighborhoods; here it seems to exude charm. If it were freshly painted, this structure would appear sterile and not belonging to this community.

The lower level seems to be a shop of some type, but I can’t tell what exactly.

What do you see here? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please leave a comment.

Grazie and ciao.

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24 Responses

  1. This photo is breathtaking! “The crumbling facade would look like it belongs in a ghetto in some American neighborhoods; here seems to exude charm.” That is so perfectly said, Margie. And I’m always left to wonder, why is that? It’s these crumbly scenes that make me love Italy, but if I came across a building like this in my hometown I might be appalled. Chissa`? I’m so excited to visit Verona for the first time next month! Un abbraccio…

  2. I couldn’t agree more with you Margie, and Stacy…. here we’d see a building like this and consider it trashy, but in Italy? It is perfect and charming and shouldn’t be any other way. I didn’t like seeing anything modern while I was there, didn’t like modern structures, I only wanted to see the old, the beaten and worn. They are beautiful!

    And yes, why is it beautiful there, but not here? Of course, there are a lot more other variables here in neighborhoods with buildings that would look like this. The neighborhoods in Italy (that I saw anyway) are well kept and you can tell people take pride in them. Unlike many here, where there would be garbage, overgrown yards etc. I think that must be the difference?

    Thanks for sharing this photo, it is lovely. I would love to hang out on that balcony and just observe life below.

  3. I see charm, realness and history. Just imagine the stories that took place behind those walls over the years…would love to know each and every one!

  4. Beautiful shot, Margie. In the US we don’t have buildings this old, so I find it difficult to compare. These structures have majesty within themselves and they exude their long histories. This particular palazzo on the corner, however, is saved by its details – the long wrought iron balcony with the greenery sprouting out of the little pots, the entranceway to the store and the rounded doorway, not to mention the slightly better looking building next to it. Who knows what you’d find inside? A brand new kitchen with modern ovens or a large old hearth?

    • Thank you, Karen. I know you appreciate these places especially since you lived in Italy. You are right in that we have nothing old enough here to compare.

  5. dollygoolsby

    Verona is another of my favorite Italian cities. I enjoyed this picture with the peeling facade; nevertheless, potted plants abound on the balcony. In Italy, it seems, one lives with what they have and make it beautiful. Thank you for this post.

  6. The photo is beautiful, just beautiful. Did I say it was beautiful? I can’t read the name of the shop much less discern what business it’s in

  7. Verona is a beautiful city and I’ve been fortunate to go a few times now. The last time I went I spent a week there all paid by the Consorzio to write about wine. Not too shabby! ; )

  8. Although the building is old and needs repair, as you say, there is charm in that. There’s clearly some TLC here – the potted plants along the balcony show that the people living there care about the little things.

  9. I haven’t been to Verona-yet, but I dream of seeing Aida at l’arena. Adele performed recently and she would do too! Beautiful foto! The sign on the shop, I believe says scarabocchio. The verb scarabocchiare means to doodle or sketch. Maybe it is or was an art supply store or stationery shop. It could even be an edicola, a shop selling newspapers, books, magazines and stationery stuff. You will have to go back and solve the mystery! Cristina

    • Thanks so much Crisina for translating the name of the shop and explaining what it might be! I hope you get to Verona one day!!

  10. Lovely photo, we have walked that street and admired the buildings while also wondering what it is about Italy and it’s crumbling facades that we love so much. It also makes me wonder if the owners of buildings such as these just wish they could give the walls a coat of paint and be done with it 🙂

  11. Such elegant decay, so typical in Italy.

  12. Love that photo. Would love to visit Verona one day myself.
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