Apologies to my readers who are getting my posts via email. With the loss of my computer, I’m writing my posts partly on my phone and partly on an ancient computer. I noticed that the email version of my last post was a complete mess but I couldn’t work out why. So for now, please go to my site (karmaroma.joydaz.ca) which appears to be displaying correctly. Unfortunately, until I return to Toronto and get a new computer, my posts will be of a lesser quality in terms of presentation.
I had a lovely weekend in Verona this past weekend. I belong to the Canadian Club of Rome which organizes various events and last Saturday, they organized a wine tasting dinner in Verona which is the home of wines such as Amarone, Valpolicella and Soave. Many of us went for the weekend so that we could enjoy the sights. The last time I was there, was on Boxing Day in 2012 . As you can imagine it was cold and crisp with Christmas lights everywhere making it look magical. This time, it was spring and sunny. Verona is a beautiful little city with medieval and Renaissance buildings and the famous Roman Arena which still hosts opera and concerts during the summer. It is the location of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which is based on a true story and which I wrote about when I was last there.
The main churches are Romanesque and Gothic so more simple in decoration than many of the baroque churches one sees in Rome. The one I liked the most is one of the oldest, San Fermo (San Fermo was a christian martyr in 304) and consists of two churches one above the other. The paleochristian church below the main one has frescoes dating back to the 5th cent. The main church built between 1065 and 1143 has an extraordinary wooden ceiling put together with interlocking pieces of wood and adorned with the painted images of 416 saints. Unfortunately, they are not clearly visible from the floor but a video shows their faces in close up, all of which are represented by different faces. I’m sure the artists had fun trying to attribute a face to a particular saint.
The church of Santa Anastasia is the largest of the four major churches and also impressive but I think what I found the most fascinating were the holy water fonts which featured two hunchbacked men bearing the basins. They looked quite modern but one of them is thought to have been built by Paolo Veronese’s father Gabriele Caliari in the 1500s.
I enjoyed the food in Verona which is typically northern Italian featuring risotto and polenta. Lunch in the Osteria Verona Antica on Friday was quite an experience as there weren’t many people and the proprietor gave us an olive oil as well as a pepper tasting. I hadn’t realized how the taste of pepper varies depending on the source. I tasted a delicious polenta di Storo made from late harvest corn which has a reddish hue and was delicious. Our wine tasting included 7 wines, from sparkling (Durello) to Soave to the reds, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Amarone and finally a sweet wine Recioto. Of course, there was appropriate food to go with each wine. Even small and casual restaurants serve good food and for lunch on Sunday, I had polenta with salami and gorgonzola and baked vegetables, at a small neighbourhood restaurant. It was a three hour journey by train from Rome and if I go again, I would like to go to also go to Lake Garda which is nearby and visit the small towns on its shore.