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Just hearing the name of this legendary city; Verona. It makes you curious, what's it all about? So far we've been there three times, and we long to go back again.

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Verona 1994
Verona 1997
Verona 2001

Verona 1994

My first visit to Verona was in 1994, as representative for the local newspaper Kristianstadsbladet. The journey was an answer to an earlier visit in Sweden by local representatives from Verona. The Italians were very keen on our early connections to Lithuania. At one point kristianstad had both a ferry line as well as regular flights to Lithuania. These has since been neglected by the local government; both in Kristianstad as well as in Skåne.

Anyhow, I was part of the delegation consisting of both politicians and leading people from the local business world. In addition, a number of students from the local music school came along. We flew direct from Kristianstad to Verona. Once in Verona, there were numerous receptions. We had dinner at the restaurant Tres Corona in the center of Verona. In case you don't know, three crowns are also the symbol for Sweden!

The music students performed, among other, a very much appreciated Lucia procession (this was in December). On the way back home, they gave an extra performance at the airport!

Lucia procession at the airport in Verona.

Verona 1997

In 1997 we saw an advert in Dagens Industri about a trip to Verona; flight from Copenhagen and then two performances at Arena di
. That was of course very tempting!

We joined at the airport in Copenhagen. There was this guy reading a whole bunch of books related to Verona. We thought it was a bit to late to study Verona on the airport. It then turned out that this was our guide! He had to stand in as guide since the original one got prevented to come. The bus driver didn't know his way around in Verona either, he kept on driving to the wrong places over and over again...

But the city of Verona is a truly amazing place as such. So it was easy to excuse the issues with the guide and bus driver.


Giuseppe Verdi, 1813 - 1901.

First visit in Verona. The city flag looks very much like our own Swedish flag!

Myself on the streets of Verona.

Visit to the county governor in Verona.

Portrait in Verdis home.

The theater in Busseto was Verdis first employment. In 1836 he became Maestro di musica.

Piazza San Marco in the summer 1997.

Venice - bridges, channels and gondolas.

We stayed in the city of Vicenza, some 37 miles from Verona. This is a photo from the theater in Vicenza.

Verdis place of birth in Busseto. Not much of a building, but of course today it draw a lot of tourists.

Getting ready for Aida in the summer of 1997. The performance starts at 9.15 pm and ends at 1.30 am.

Arena di Verona is full of exited
spectators as always.

Aida, in the middle of the night.

The strongest impression gave of course the two operas we enjoyed at Arena di Verona. It was built by the romans in the 9th century and is similar to Colloseum in Rome. We first saw Aida by Verdi, which was stunning to say the least. Sitting together with 17.000 people and listen to this performance. Worth noting, there were no microphones or loudspeakers - the acoustics is incredible.

The evening started at 6 pm when we were queing for tickets in the hot sun, then struggled to get through the crowd to get to our seats (on stones) high up. After the show, we entered the streets of Verona about 1.30 am. Together with 17.000 other, we were very joyful and happy. And unlike football hooligans, we didn't break any windows or burnt any cars...

The next performance was Carmen by Bizet. This time with more than 20.000 spectators. And again, a stunning performance!

We did manage to do some more things while in Italy as well. We went to visit the birthplace of Verdi, his old school and the small theater were he started his amazing career. We then visited Lago di Como, and the pretty little town of Como itself. We ended this visit in Italy with a quick tour in Venice.

Verona, what a view!

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Verona 2001

In year 2001 we decided that it was time to go to Verona again. this time with our good friends Birgitta and Ido Leden. We flew to Milan and then went by bus to Verona, where we stayed. I've never seen such intense traffic as on the highway between Milan and Verona. So I was glad to be on a bus, not having to drive myself.
The difference between north and south of Italy is striking. You can't really belive that Milan and Verona belongs to the same country as Naples. Northern Italy is very intense, the whole area is teeming with activity.

On our second evening in Verona, it was time for the first opera performance. It was again Aida! The performance started with three beats on a gong-gong. After that, there were thousends of candles lit by the audience. This time we were at least 23.000 at the Arena!