We invited our Italian friend Mara de Marchi to write about the beautiful city in Northern Italy, Verona, where she has been studying for the past years.
My name is Mara and I turned 22 years in December. I’ve lived in Vicenza my whole life, a nice small city close to the beautiful and inimitable Venezia. However, for the past few years, I’ve been studying at the University in Verona and will finally be graduating soon, seeing as it has taken me an extra year to finish my degree.
What fascinates you about the city you’re living in?
Verona is very famous world wide thanks to William Shakespeare – he never had the chance to go to Verona during his life, but he knew it through several artists’ writings, which inspired him to write the Romeo and Juliet tragedy. For people who know their dramatic love story, seeing the balcony from where Juliet appeared to communicate with Romeo is a must!
The tourist attractions that are actually worth seeing.
Verona is magical! A part of the city centre is actually surrounded by a Roman wall. The main and most famous attraction of the city is the Arena (Piazza Brà 1), which is the third biggest Roman amphitheatre in Italy. Castelvecchio (Corso Castelvecchio 2) and Ponte Scaligero were both built by an important family of Verona, the Scaligeri family, the Lords of Verona. Sadly the Germans destroyed the Ponte Scaligero bridge when trying to cover their military withdrawal during WWII. In addition, there are many beautiful squares to see such as Piazza Erbe, Piazza Bra and Piazza dei Signori.
If you’re meeting a group of friends to have a good time, what would you suggest doing?
When I lived in Verona I used to hang out with the girls I was living with. Usually we would enjoy the aperitivo and we always had it together on the weekends. So what is an aperitivo? In Italy it is very common to go to a bar with friends around 7/7.30pm to enjoy a glass of spritz (a glass filled with Prosecco, Aperol and a little bit of selz or water). In Verona the places where you could get your aperitivo are countless, I suggest you find something in the area around the University. The places are nice and if you’re lucky you could get away with paying only 2€ for a spritz.
Where is the one place you would avoid being seen at all costs?
I really don’t know how to answer to this question… Well maybe, since I lived in this city for one year and I met so many people living there for the same reason, I’d avoid being seen coming out from a house in the morning (that isn’t mine) after a huge party the night before!
Describe the perfect lazy Sunday.
When I was younger, I remember one time when my parents took my brother and I to Verona for the day. We spent the day walking in the sun and discovering new beautiful parts of the city that is not possible to discover by car. The river that crosses Verona is called Adige. Walk along the river to the outskirts of Verona for a nice view and listen to the sound of its flood – it’s truly relaxing. My perfect lazy Sunday would be just like the day I spent with my family, walking or riding a bicycle around in Verona on a warm spring day.
Where would you take someone on a first date (or like to be taken)?
For a first date I’d like to be taken to a nice restaurant to have dinner, preferably a Japanese one. Like Synne and Celina, I love sushi! But before dinner I’d like to get an aperitivo, the part of the day that I like the most. Sitting at the bar with a glass of spritz after an intense working day, that’s when I relax. It’s a feeling of the world smiling – at least that’s how I feel! My favorite bar in Verona is called Aquila Nera (Galleria Pelicciai 2) and I love it because the aperitivo is served with plenty of food, everything from pasta dishes to dessert, including fruit and ice cream. During the Happy Hour you pay 8€ for a spritz and you can eat as much as you manage. This way your date/boyfriend can save money for sushi till next time.
In need of a new outfit for the night. Where would you go?
If you’re in need of new clothes and you find yourself in Verona, you’re in the right city! Verona offers a large amount of shops; from shoes to clothing and jewellery. I have a friend who works at a very cute shop called Amelia (Piazza Erbe 33) located at one of the main squares Piazza Erbe. If I need anything, I usually pay the shop a visit and ask her for suggestions.
After midnight, you would find me…
I love dancing and partying with my friends. This month my calendar is packed with exams so unfortunately I’m not going out too much at the moment. However, when I’m done with my exams it’s time for celebrations. I plan to celebrate at a club called Dorian Gray (Via Belobono 13). I’ve been there twice before, one time at Medical School party and the other time at a Law party. I had such a great time and I’m looking forward to going back there soon.
Where do you go to cure your hangover?
Well, everybody knows that a hangover can be cured with an aspirin, but my go-to hangover cure varies with the days of the week. If I go out on Wednesday or Thursday and have lessons in the morning the day after I usually grab a coffee before I need to head off. During the weekends, however, everything changes. I wake up very late in the morning with my head suffering from the too many cocktails I had the night before. Again, I opt for a coffee, but a long shower and an aspirin is needed as well. If I’m home I put on a fake smile and pretend to pay attention while sitting around the table for lunch. After lunch, I see some friends for an ice cream at Piazza Bra (where the Arena is). Hopefully, my hangover will be cured by then.