“In a labyrinth, one does not lose oneself;
In a labyrinth, one finds oneself.
In a labyrinth, one does not encounter a Minotaur;
In a labyrinth, one encounters oneself.” – Unknown
Although it was Casa Di Giulietta that brought me to Verona, the most memorable experience from this city was actually its architecture and urban structure.
I have to admit that this trip was completely unplanned, my friend invited me to accompany her for a girlie weekend break whilst I was in Milan for Salone Del Mobile, so I just said ‘yes’, hop on a train, and actually did not have time to do any research about the destination at all prior arriving, apart from reading a Wikipedia page about Verona on my train journey! I know, I know! How very disorganised right?!? Yet sometimes, it is these spontaneous decisions that brings you the most memorable and inspiring experiences.
This ancient Roman trading centre left quite an impression on me. The ‘Old Town’ city centre – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – might have been quite small, but it was a wonderful environment for exploration by foot, both during the day and at night. Walking around the streets of Verona at night with my friend, I finally understood why William Shakespeare based three of his plays in Verona, namely Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew. By day, Verona was a labyrinth, full of balconies, endless undulating terracotta rooftops and layers upon layers of stairs. It was almost like being in one of M C Escher’s impossible Objects.
By night, the narrow alleyways juxtaposed with dark piazzas and its faded frescoes, amidst the soft glows from street lanterns, against a starry sky of mid-summer Italy with its warm gentle breeze would have been a perfect setting for secret rendezvous. So it came to no surprise for Shakespeare to be inspired by this city and placed his star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Verona – a cosmopolitan crossroad – where romance, drama and fatal family feuding had been the city’s hallmark for centuries.
It is hard to describe the beauty and complexity of this labyrinthine city in words, so here is my photo essay of Verona, an attempt to capture its beauty and hope that this series of photographs speak for themselves…
Photographer: May Naruemannalinee
Photo Editor: Julia Jevzikova