Verona on a rainy day

Rain drums down on the old bridge, its brickwork shiny with reflected lights. A steady ribbon of colourful umbrellas pass along one side, as tourists make their way across the river.

I stand still, umbrella-less, staring across at the old town, water dripping from my hair and beading on my leather jacket, taking in my first view of touristic Italy.

After being based in a quiet mountain town in Trentino, a bustling little city like Verona is a bit of a shock. Even in the rain, the historical centre of Verona is crowded. Umbrellas are on sale everywhere, and restaurants display their menus in English as well as Italian. It’s all a bit overwhelming after quiet Mezzocorona.

People walking around Verona with colourful umbrellas
An old street in Verona
Restaurants in Verona on a rainy day

We cross the old bridge, wander through the narrow streets, and take refuge in a restaurant. Our waiter speaks perfect English, but we pretend we don’t and order pasta and wine in our basic Italian. The carbonara is delicious with a peppery bite, but we look around skittishly, still uncertain of our surroundings.

Braving the rain again, we find the old arena with the ‘gladiators’ outside. The costumed actors shock me a little, and I feel self-righteous disapproval set in, especially when I notice a few wearing thermal underwear under their armour. The historian in me also begins questioning the style of their weapons and I quickly walk away towards the opera house, where we find nothing but more rain and tourists.

Walking along the Adige River on a grey day

Already, I find myself tiring of all the Romeo and Juliet references – Shakespeare was English (obviously) and there’s no records of him ever visiting Verona. It turns out Verona doesn’t agree with my studious side. Perhaps I’m not a true romantic after all.

Despite that, it’s a pleasant day. We both get completely soaked (we should probably have bought an umbrella from that nice street hawker after all) but manage to navigate the crowds and catch a glimpse of the beauty of the city. Next time, I’ll stay in the city for a few days, and discover the Verona behind the tourist centre.

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Roxanne de Bruyn

Author - Roxanne de Bruyn

Roxanne is the founder and editor of Faraway Worlds. She is a freelance writer and guidebook author and has written for several travel publications, including Lonely Planet and The Culture Trip. With a background in communications, she has studied ancient history, comparative religion and international development, and has a particular interest in sustainable tourism.

Originally from South Africa, Roxanne has travelled widely and loves learning the stories of the places she visits. She enjoys cooking, dance and yoga, and usually travels with her husband and young son. She is based in New Zealand.

Last Updated 22 April 2022

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