John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Thursday 21 June 2012

[Wednesday 20 June 2012]
Another hot night, where mostly I slept without covers, though it did cool off somewhat and I pulled the sheet over me. We had breakfast and were ready for an 8.30am pick-up, but that didn’t happen till ca.9.00am because of a delay caused by a road traffic accident.

08:42:03 “Eddie Lizzard” in Assenza, seen on the low lakeside wall as we waited for the coach to Verona

The coach let us off near the city wall built by the Scaligeri. It was very hot again. Lynn had said that very many swallows made their nests in the walls. After we got off the coach I said to her, “I hate to contradict you, Lynn, but those are swifts.” Her commentary en route had been so informative that I felt it was a case of “Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still” (Proverbs 9:9). She led most of us, by way of Piazza Bra and the Roman arena, along the pedestrians-only shopping-street Via Mazzine, to its end, then right, and into the courtyard of “Juliet’s house”. She told us that the balcony wasn’t original, but had been fashioned out of a sarcophagus!

09:57:30 Swifts, nesting in holes in the Scaliger city wall, Verona

09:58:52 Scaliger city wall, Verona

10:06:10 Roman arena, with props used in opera productions there

10:07:26 Roman arena, with fake Roman soldier

10:08:42 Living statue

10:09:23 Another living statue

10:09:36 “Mitte gladium in vaginam!” (Ioannes 18:11) — one might say to the one waving his sword around.

10:11:57 Via Mazzine

10:15:56 Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf

10:18:50 Lamberti Tower seen from Piazza delle Erbe

10:19:06 Piazza delle Erbe (Herb Square)

10:20:36 Entrance to Juliet’s putative house

10:21:30 Statue of Juliet (bottom, approx. two-thirds right); balcony (above, right — an old sarcophagus added in 1936)

10:22:00 Much graffiti on the entrance wall

10:22:46 The sarcophagus/balcony


10:23:36 And there she is, at the window to the right of the balcony. “Oi, Jules, I thought you were dead!”


After that, Janet and I went off on our own, stopping first at a sidewalk café just off Piazza delle Erbe for a Coca Cola Light. I went to the loo there — a hole in the floor — so I recommended to Janet that she not go to it. We wandered through the market stalls in Piazza delle Erbe; I bought some cherries and Janet bought a fan.

10:39:18 View from the café just off Piazza delle Erbe

11:08:20 Interesting wall-decorations in Piazza delle Erbe

11:14:16 St. Mark's Lion, symbol of the Republic of Venice, atop a pillar in Piazza delle Erbe

11:14:28 Gardello Tower in Piazza delle Erbe

11:16:08 Piazza dei Signori

11:18:10 Lamberti tower from the courtyard of the Palazzo della Ragione (town hall)

11:18:32 In the courtyard of the Palazzo della Ragione — situated between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori

We paid for entry to Lamberti tower, and went up in the lift. For some reason it gave me the “willies” to be up there. There were steps up to a higher level but we didn’t go up. Despite feeling trembly and sick, I went to the rails at the openings in the tower and took photos.

11:36:04 Views from Lamberti tower

11:36:46 Views from Lamberti tower

11:37:12 Views from Lamberti tower

11:37:50 Views from Lamberti tower

11:37:58 Views from Lamberti tower

11:38:16 Courtyard of the Palazzo della Ragione from Lamberti tower

11:38:16 Bells in Lamberti tower

Janet went back down in the lift, but I used the stairs.

11:40:52 Descending the stairs of Lamberti tower

11:42:26 Looking up at the stairs and lift-shaft of Lamberti tower

We retraced our route back to Piazza Bra, then followed signs to a McDonald’s round the corner and about a block down Corso Porta Nuova. I had a Big Mac and we both had a ca.500ml Coca Cola Light, and I started to feel myself again. Only €9.00 too! (At the café earlier the two 330ml Coca Cola Light cost us €7.) And we got a free “Euro 2012” Coca Cola glass.

12:35:28 Refuge from the heat in a McDonald’s

12:46:28 Hotel Mastino, Corso Porta Nuova, Verona, franchisee of McDonald’s

I lost my sense of direction somewhat, but we found our way through to and through the Scaligeri wall to our rendezvous point. It was very hot, but there was a roadside bench under some trees. We left Verona ca.1.30pm and arrived back at the hotel ca.2.30pm. Again the shutter had been lowered in the room, but it was nevertheless like an oven in there. I’m under the impression that a portable air-conditioner was available — for a fee. Because the heat in Verona had been exhausting, we didn’t go out again that afternoon. Transferred today’s photos to the computer system; ran them, 37 in number, through Photoshop (15:04–16:07); then did the same with 23 of yesterday’s (16:18–17:06). Then, weary, I lay down and fell asleep for an hour or so. Still felt groggy when we went for dinner ca.6.30pm. We were joined at the table by Anita and Doreen. Occasionally one found food in one’s salt! I guess my feeling of animosity is fuelled mainly by the uncharitable attitude of the waiting staff to the thirsty, but my abiding wish for that establishment is that it perish in the next earthquake or burn down to the ground. Later we went out to the lake-side to what Janet termed “our bar” for a couple of rounds. Initially the sun was still up, but there was a refreshing breeze. Back in the room, Janet sat on the balcony and I edited 24 more of yesterday’s photos (21:34–22:13). When Janet turned in for the night, I lay on the bed and read Leaving Alexandria. Went to the balcony the take the photo below, though.

23:10:48 Night view southwards from our hotel window in Assenza di Brenzone

[Friday 22 June 2012]

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