I’ve been horrible about posting the last few months, buuut moving to a new country will do that to you. A lot has happened and after nearly 4 months, I think I’m starting to feel… More
I love Christmas. It’s hard not to. So many things happen during this year. There’s snow and hot chocolate. There’s skiing and Christmas trees. There’s Christmas lights and music. My favorite thing about this time of year though? Christmas Markets. Germany has some of the best ones! Definitely tops my list of things I miss about living there. However, Italy has some pretty great ones too! There are plenty in my local area to go to, but sometimes it’s fun to venture out and take the train somewhere else. So, my friends and I decided we needed to see Verona at Christmas. It’s a two hour train ride, so perfect for a middle of the week day trip! I have been to Verona a few times before, but this was my first trip to their Christmas Market, which was huge by the way. The city center is a 10 or 15 minute walk from the train station. If you are just looking for a day trip I highly recommend it.
So, if you have never been to Verona, or even if you have, I made a short list of some must do’s! To include sights close to the center, and where the market is located, as well as, food that must be eaten!
Things to do at the Christmas Market in Verona
1. Arena di Verona- This is a must because you can’t miss it as you walk into the city center from the train station. It looks like a smaller version of the Colosseum in Rome. To be fair it is a Roman amphitheater, so it makes sense. If you are into history, then this is definitely a must see! Even just to marvel it from the outside.
2. Torre dei Lamberti- This is the tall clock tower in the Piazza delle Erbe. It’s the main piazza in Verona. Part of the Christmas market is also located in this piazza. You can climb up to the top and get an amazing view of the city. I think it was about 8 euro for the full tour (don’t quote me on that), either way it wasn’t too expensive and worth it! I didn’t climb it when we went to the market, but I did that last time I was there. You can’t beat the amazing view and since you’ll be there anyway, why not?
3. Vin brule- While you are in the Piazza delle Erbe, you should stop and get some vin brule. If you have ever had Gluhwein, then this will be the Italian equal. I will say the best vin brule I’ve had, has been at the Christmas market in Sacile. However, it is nice to shop and hold something warm, and this wine will do the trick!
4. Roasted Chestnuts- At the same stand where you bought the vin brule, you can also get some roasted chestnuts. Again, I remember eating them in Germany, and was glad to discover they sell them at their Christmas markets as well. They are so good and warm. A nice snack to have on a cold day.
5. Kathe Wohlfahrt- The Verona market has more of a German feel to it, you will notice this in most of the vendors and the items they sell. One such vendor, or store, is Kathe Wohlfahrt. This is the ultimate Christmas destination. If you leave the main piazza and walk over to Piazza dei Signori, you will find more of the market, as well as, this store. They have hand made wooden items, from ornaments to nutcrackers. I will say, this store is a bit more pricey, but the quality is great! If you go during the week there is no line to get in. If you find yourself there on the weekend, it’s a different story. The line may be lengthy and will wrap around the building.
6. Pane Patate e Formaggi- I actually don’t know the exact name of this bread, I’m just going off of what I ordered. In the same piazza as Kathe Wohlfahrt, tucked in the corner, is this stand where they are making fresh bread. They had patate e formaggi (potato and cheese), or cipolla e speck (onion and a type of ham). I got the potato and cheese and let me tell you, I could have eaten 10 of those. I honestly regret that I didn’t it was so good. I’d say get at least one of each. Best. Bread. Ever.
7. Casa di Giulietta- Because who can say Verona and not think of Romeo and Juliet? Some people may hate the story of Romeo and Juliet, I however, love it. Sure, in this day in age, it’s a little far fetched, but I think it’s a lovely story for that time. Anyhoo, if you walk down Via Cappello, a street directly in front of Piazza delle Erbe, you can’t miss it off to your left. It’s not as romantic as “Letters to Juliet” made it, so let that thought go. There are some letters, but mostly graffiti, it’s still a must any way. You can see her balcony and a statue of Juliet in the courtyard. And if it really compels you, you can grab her breast because that is a thing. I do suggest going into the little museum they have. The entrance is under the balcony. It’s interesting and has some items from the various movies that have been made.
8. Nutella Crepe- Before you leave, get yourself a Nutella crepe. Even if you think you’ve had a proper one, do it anyway. I know some places might serve a thicker crepe, this to me is not a crepe. It should be very thin, with whatever you want inside, folded, with powdered sugar on top. It is so gooood! It’s chocolaty and delicious. Perfect dessert and a good end to any Christmas market experience.
As you read the title of my blog page, you’re probably wondering, “What exactly is “fernweh?” It’s a word to describe a feeling. It’s one of my favorite words. A word that a lot of you may be able to relate to.
This word is a German word, where the ‘w’ is pronounced as a ‘v.’ I love it because I come from a German background, both my Oma and Opa were born and raised in Germany, and I was lucky enough to have lived there for 5 amazing years. The German runs deep in this one. But this word, I think, is the most beautiful. With the most beautiful translation…
fernweh – the ache for distant places; the craving for travel
How beautiful is that? The ache for distant places. The craving for travel.
If you have ever traveled then you might be familiar with this ache. Once you step outside your world, go travel, and experience other places, you come back changed. And each time you leave and come back, you change more. You might even find yourself after awhile, getting this aching feeling inside you. The feeling that you need to go see and experience more of what the world has to offer, because this world has SO much to offer.
Moving to Germany was the best thing that could have happened to me. It’s where my love affair with traveling started. Our love affair is nearly 20 years strong. 30 European countries, parts of Asia, and Australia….. that ache is a constant pulse pumping through my veins. I’m constantly craving for the next adventure. The next corner of the globe to discover.
Before we knew other places existed, there was one tool that aided travelers in their explorations of the world (other than stars). The compass. It helped early explorers find where they were going, even if they weren’t sure where they were going.
Be like them in your travels. You don’t have to be sure of where you are going. Just go. Even if you’ve never traveled before. Even if you just travel to the state next to yours, or even a town near yours that you’ve never been to. The point is go. You won’t regret the places and experiences you’ve had. You’ll only regret the places you don’t see or the experiences you let pass you by. But once you go, I guarantee you will also find your “fernweh.”