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Paula Apr 26th, 1999 05:26 PM

Hotel in Verona
 
I'm in need of a place to stay June 24-June 26. It's the start of the opera festival and I'm having trouble at all price ranges. I've faxed Hotel Torcolo, Residence San Zeno, Hotel Victoria, Colomba d'Oro, Gabbia d'Oro, and Hotel Accademia and can't get a reservation. Any suggestions?

Paul J Apr 26th, 1999 09:42 PM

Hi Paula: Last Fall we stayed at the Hotel Firenze in Verona. It's close to the rail station and also close to the center of town. We were able to make instant reservations and confirmation via the Best Western Chain. Cost was around $125 per nite, double, including breakfast.. It's fairly new, clean, very nice and convenient. Try typing in Best Western. If you have any problem contacting them you can email me directly and I'll check my records for the exact address. Enjoy your stay in Verona....Paul J <BR>

Paulo Apr 27th, 1999 06:26 AM

Paula, <BR>It's usually very hard to get a room in Verona for the opera festival opening day. This is so because tour operators block entire hotels (and then go about selling packages). In consequence, your first priority should be to secure any room you can find in the area and then shop around. If you find something better you may always drop your first reservation. You may try to contact the Croccione Hotel Rizzi (no relation &lt;g&gt;) at http://www.traveleurope.it/h8.htm This is nothing special, a basic 3-star in Bussolengo, a 20-min drive from Verona. We stayed there a couple of years ago. Considering that the Aida ends around 1:30-2:00am, a car is just about a must. We had no problems whatsoever parking in one of the two big garages post signed on Corso Porta Nuova. Contacting the hotel by email, you should get a prompt answer. <BR>If you intend to rent a car anyways, you may consider staying at Lake Garda. The drive from Verona to any place between Sirmione and Torri del Benaco after the opera is reasonable. Once we stayed at the very nice Hotel Gardesana, in Torri del Benaco. <BR>In Verona itself, we stayed once at the conveniently located Residence Hotel Castelvecchio (tel 045-594755; fax 045-595304). <BR>Most of Verona hotels are listed at http://www.verona-apt.net/util/hotel_en.htm <BR> <BR> Good luck, Paulo

jen Apr 27th, 1999 12:57 PM

hi paula, <BR> <BR>I stayed at the Hotel Romeo and Giulietta...a very conviently located nice three-star, great accommodations, reasonably priced...I have a friend with family in Verona and that's where they put their visitors up whenever they come to town...it's lovely.

Paula Apr 27th, 1999 06:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Hotel Firenze and Romeo and Giuletta are booked. I saw Aida last year and can remember booking a hotel in early June for July(Hotel Torcolo). Paolo, you are right. They are all booked for opening night. I'm still working on the other suggestions(can't read the website you suggested), but we really want to stay in Verona. I'm on a waitlist for Hotel Accademia for the 25th and am going to try for something outside of town. Does anyone know of any small, well-kept pensiones that I can call in Verona? I'm running out of hotels. I need a hotel that actually has a room available. <BR> Everyone on this forum has been so helpful. I was in Italy last year and loved it so much, we're going back...but this Verona thing is making me crazy.

Paulo Apr 27th, 1999 08:56 PM

Paula, I didn't yet fully understand if you indeed are going to attend tha Aida on June 25th, the Tosca on June 26th and/or Carmen on June 27th, or if you just will be in the area at a "bad" time. If you have the tickets for one opera, you'll have to find something, right. <BR>Bussolengo is some 16km outside town. Other towns that might be considered are Grezzana (11km), Villafranca di Verona (16km) and Sommacampagna (12km). <BR>Regarding the web sites of my previous post, all you need to do is a copy and paste. In any event, I will mail a copy of this directly. The APT site <BR>http://www.verona-apt.net/util/hotel_en.htm <BR>lists most hotels in town and neighboring comunities. You may either use the map (on the left, start in Garda not to loose yourself) or the province listings (on the right, click Verona). Anyways, you may try the following hotels that are more or less 6-7km out of the center (easy taxi ride): <BR>***MINI HOTEL BRENNERO Tel 045-941100 Fax 045-941797 <BR>***BORGHETTI Tel 045-941045/942366 Fax 045-942367 <BR>**GELMINI Tel 045-540240 Fax 045-540355 <BR> <BR>The first 2 are in Parona and the last one in Ca' di David. <BR> <BR>Repeating the site address fro the Croccione, http://www.traveleurope.it/h8.htm <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>

Pam Apr 28th, 1999 05:23 PM

Hi Paula and friends: I have purchased a ticket to Aida on the 25th of June but can not find a hotel room either! I was planning to travel to Verona by train and am wondering if an adequate number of taxis run to hotels outside town after the performance (assuming I can find a room somewhere!) <BR> As this is my first opera in Italy, can someone who's been please tell me how to dress for the Verona festival? I am an American woman traveling alone, and most the Italian I know is from opera librettos! Any help I can get before hand will make the journey easier!

Monica Richards Apr 29th, 1999 03:36 PM

Dress comfortably for the opera if you have general seating arrangements. You will be on a stone bleacher! Also buy the optional mat--you will be glad you did. I went to an opera in Verona on my honeymoon and it was not at all what I expected (but still one of my favorite memories). Get there early, early, early. We only had one day in Verona so we sight-saw up until one hour or so before the performance--big mistake. We wound up sitting parallel to the stage, so all we could see was the sides of the performers. It's a good thing we didn't go later, or we would have been behind the stage, literally! Before the opera begins, there will be vendors hawking goods, much like at a baseball game. Imagine, in this romantic setting in a roman colliseum before a famous opera in a historic city, and the sounds of "Birra. Beer", "Coca Cola" and "Panino. Sand-weech" echoing across the crowds (we named our kitten Panino in memory of this!). One thing they sell that we didn't understand were these skinny candles. Buy them! As it gets dark, directly before the opera starts (and the see and be seen crowd is seated in the priority seating--they dress up) everyone lights a candle. Just beautiful. Bring a camera with a tripod if you can so you can capture this. Another tip--the opera goes very, very late. Way past when the last train departs the station. So don't plan on taking the train back to where you are staying. We had to leave the opera early to catch the last train to Vicenza, which was the closest place we could get reservations. It was 11:30, and they hadn't even reached the first intermission yet. It was also a major, major faux pas to leave the opera early. In retrospect, I wish we had just stayed up and caught the first train in the morning. Oh, also, don't drink anything during the performance. The only bathroom is outside the theatre in a park and it's not at all clean.

Paulo Apr 30th, 1999 07:02 AM

Hi, Pam <BR> <BR>Just adding a bit to Monica's comments: <BR> <BR>a) the Aida performance should end between 1:30 and 2:00am; <BR> <BR>b) after the opera, Piazza Bra turns into a ant-hill (more than 20,000 people around!); slowly, people start leaving in all directions; although there are plenty of taxis, the demand is very highe, so most of them end up doing several trips; <BR> <BR>c) shouldn't you find a place to sleep (fingers crossed), the following is a parcial list of trains leaving Verona: <BR>2:15am Roveretto - Trento - Munich <BR>2:42am Trento - Munich <BR>3:02am Bologna - Napoli <BR>5:11am San Bonifacio - Vicenza - Venice <BR>5:34am Peschiera - Desenzano - Milano <BR>If you get a hotel in Roveretto you have to take the 2:15am train and you get there at 2:58am. The same train arrives in Trento at 3:13am. The next train arrives in Trento at 3:37am (doesn't stop in Roveretto). Shouldn't you get a taxi on the Arena exit right away, the fast walk from Piazza Bra to the train station takes about 20 minutes. <BR> <BR>d) If you have a numbered seat you may show up at any time; most people dress casualy but quite elegant; if you have a gradinata ticket, indeed you should dress as if you were going to a baseball match in the summer (I would use short and t-shirt, and have something available in the bag should it get colder late at night). Indeed, you should line up in entrance queue around 6pm ... Best places in the Arena are more or less at a 45 degree angle with the stage (frontal view places are quite far from the stage). You may line up just in front of the Arena ticket office. It'll be very hot, and you'll swet quite a bit :-). A mat is a must ... you may either buy or rent; if you decide to buy one, in Piazza delle Erbe they're less expensive (I bought cushions the first time and rented thereafter). <BR> <BR>e) Before queueing up, be sure to visit the piazza delle Erbe; besides the mat, you may get all you need for your Arena night picknick ... there's a delicatessen store at the far corner (this might eventually be in piazza dei Signori) where you can get cheese, prosciutto and various types of bread to choose from for your sandwiches. <BR> <BR>f) I doubt you may do without drinking any ... (specially after sweting it out in the queue) take a bottle of water just in case. <BR> <BR>g) You shouldn't worry much about rain ... a couple of drops is all is needed to stop the performance (which won't resume if the rain stops!). <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. Since you and Paula are in the same boat, you could get in touch to look for a hotel in the Garda Lake and rent a car ... <BR>

Paulo Apr 30th, 1999 07:08 AM

Hi, Pam, just adding a bit to Monica's comments: <BR> <BR>a) the Aida performance should end between 1:30 and 2:00am; <BR> <BR>b) after the opera, Piazza Bra turns into a ant-hill (more than 20,000 people around!); slowly, people start leaving in all directions; although there are plenty of taxis, the demand is very highe, so most of them end up doing several trips; <BR> <BR>c) shouldn't you find a place to sleep (fingers crossed), the following is a parcial list of trains leaving Verona: <BR>2:15am Roveretto - Trento - Munich <BR>2:42am Trento - Munich <BR>3:02am Bologna - Napoli <BR>5:11am San Bonifacio - Vicenza - Venice <BR>5:34am Peschiera - Desenzano - Milano <BR>If you get a hotel in Roveretto you have to take the 2:15am train and you get there at 2:58am. The same train arrives in Trento at 3:13am. The next train arrives in Trento at 3:37am (doesn't stop in Roveretto). Shouldn't you get a taxi on the Arena exit right away, the fast walk from Piazza Bra to the train station takes about 20 minutes. <BR> <BR>d) If you have a numbered seat you may show up at any time; most people dress casualy but quite elegant; if you have a gradinata ticket, indeed you should dress as if you were going to a baseball match in the summer (I would use short and t-shirt, and have something available in the bag should it get colder late at night). Indeed, you should line up in entrance queue around 6pm ... Best places in the Arena are more or less at a 45 degree angle with the stage (frontal view places are quite far from the stage). You may line up just in front of the Arena ticket office. It'll be very hot, and you'll swet quite a bit :-). A mat is a must ... you may either buy or rent; if you decide to buy one, in Piazza delle Erbe they're less expensive (I bought cushions the first time and rented thereafter). <BR> <BR>e) Before queueing up, be sure to visit the piazza delle Erbe; besides the mat, you may get all you need for your Arena night picknick ... there's a delicatessen store at the far corner (this might eventually be in piazza dei Signori) where you can get cheese, prosciutto and various types of bread to choose from for your sandwiches. <BR> <BR>f) I doubt you may do without drinking any ... (specially after sweting it out in the queue) take a bottle of water just in case. <BR> <BR>g) You shouldn't worry much about rain ... a couple of drops is all is needed to stop the performance (which won't resume if the rain stops!). <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. Since you and Paula are in the same boat, you could get in touch to look for a hotel in the Garda Lake and rent a car ... <BR>

Pam Apr 30th, 1999 08:46 AM

Paulo, <BR> Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice. I have printed it all out and feel much better. I'm glad to hear there are trains so that if I end up roomless, I can at least start my journey back toward Rome and sleep on the train. Does a person need reservations for the train or is it just first-come, first-served? <BR> I am working with an agency on a room but the closest they've been able to get me, so far, is a room in Schio - 50 km away! <BR> I do have a numbered seat for Aida, which cost $120, so I am assuming I don't need to get there at 6:30 pm.The whole experience sounds pretty memorable. Thank you for all your tips! <BR> I have contacted Paula and she will be traveling with family but if there are any other Aida-goers who want to hook up for sight-seeing or dinner - or who know of rooms in Verona - let me know! <BR> Pam

Paulo Apr 30th, 1999 06:03 PM

The train schedules I listed are in error. The German Rail page for the summer has just been updated and there are some changes in the Italian schedules (this doesn't mean that it's correct ... better check before travelling). For the 26th of June, a Saturday, the available trains appear to be: <BR>2:15am to Roveretto - Bolzano - Munich <BR>3:48am to Bologna (connections to Rome and Milan) <BR>5:19am to Venice <BR> <BR>So, should you have to take a train back to Rome, Pam, it's a bit later than I informed previously :-( <BR>As it stands, the 3:48am train arrives in Bologna at 5:28am. A connection train (only sleeping cars and couchettes) leaves at 5:45am, arriving in Rome at 9:22am. This means that you'll have to take a berth in a sleeping car or a couchette and reservations would be automatic. Should you need to take this train, you can go about booking it when you arrive in Italy. <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. take the wrong sleeping car in Verona and you'll wake up in Milano :-)

Pam Apr 30th, 1999 07:34 PM

Paulo, <BR>Thank you again for all the information. The train will be a great backup plan should I fail at finding a room. Is there a website somewhere where I can learn more about train schedules, making reservations, and most importantly, prices? Pam

Paulo May 1st, 1999 06:27 AM

For train schedules I use the German Rail page at <BR>http://bahn.hafas.de//bin/db.s98/query.exe/en <BR> <BR>For info on approximate prices between major cities in Europe I use either: <BR>http://www.railpass.com/ticket.htm <BR>http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/fa...ules/index.htm <BR>The prices here are meant for purchase abroad; when buying locally it's cheaper. <BR> <BR>For prices between major cities in Italy I use <BR>http://www.italyflash.com/italyflash...il/prome.shtml <BR> <BR>So, a 2nd class ticket from Rome to Verona costs Lit 42,000. You have to add the mandatory reservation fee if required (don't know how much it is, presently) and a supplement if you take a fast train (EuroStar or InterCity, respectively Lit 32,500 and Lit 22,000). <BR> <BR>I don't know of any site that lists the prices of berths in a sleeping car or couchettes in Italy. <BR> <BR>In principle, if you're only considering buying point to point tickets, I wouldn't bother to reserve/purchase from home. If you're flying into Rome, just go to the Termini Station and reserve/buy all the tickets you need. <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

Paula May 1st, 1999 05:23 PM

To Paolo and everyone who has emailed me at home, I finally did find accomodations in Verona at the Hotel Victoria for June 24 and 25. We're paying quite a bit, 420.000 lira per night. It's listed in the karen brown book and sounds very nice. There were a couple of places willing to waitlist us for the night of the 25th, but I probably sent out 15 faxes this week. It seems like perhaps the hotels are holding some rooms for tours until May 20, but we didn't want to wait and see.

Paulo May 2nd, 1999 07:53 AM

Glad to hear that you managed to find a hotel room ... considering its excellent central location, 100mts from the Arena and Via Mazzini (the nicest shopping street), the fact that it's a 4-star and that it'll be the height of high season in Verona, I would say that the price is just about right! You're also right about the reason of room shortage ... tour operators block almost everything available and later on they let it go if not able to sell their packages. <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR> <BR>

Pam May 2nd, 1999 08:27 AM

Hi Paulo and Paula, <BR> I am happy to report that I too have found a convenient room - though not in Verona. I am at a 3-star hotel (according to Michelin) about 6 km outside Verona called the Alla Campagna Hotel San Giovanni Lupatoto. Would you believe I got a single for about $65? I assume it's a closet with a sleeping bag inside, but they assure me otherwise. Paula you may want to check on this hotel for rooms, though your hotel sounds quite charming, and in a great location. I got the info. for my room at www.eurhotels.com and the hotel has bigger rooms available, from what I can tell. <BR> Paulo thank you for all the train info. Do you think it would be cheaper for me to buy a round-trip train ticket from Rome-Verona and take cabs back and forth to the hotel, or to rent a car? I'm a bit nervous about driving in Italy but others have assured me it's quite safe (except in Rome). If I rent, should I rent from an American rental car agency for insurance protection? <BR> Last question: you have both said it's quite steamy in the daylight hours. But will I need a coat/wrap/anything once the sun goes down? What is the temperature like (fahrenheit degrees) at 2 am in Verona in late June? <BR> Ciao! Pam <BR>

Paulo May 3rd, 1999 06:55 AM

You should expect temperatures in the mid 90s during the day, lowering to around 80 during the night. Last time we were there, though, temperatures got to the low 70s at 2am, with a bit of wind. I would advise you to take something in a bag to cover you, just in case. <BR>You hotel seem to be ok. It's very small, with its 13 rooms (A/C, tv, frigo bar, etc), safe box, restaurant garden and apparently even a tennis court! San Giovanni Lupatoto is more like 8-9km away from the Arena, than the 6km you've been informed. <BR>Regarding renting a car or not it might depend on how "heavy" you're travelling and on your travel plans. What is the plan, exactly? Are you staying a single nightin Verona? Are you comunting back and forth from Rome or are you going to the opera "en route" to Rome? If you're travelling back and forth from Rome, I assume you'll be using the same hotel and you may leave most of your stuff there. Considering you're travelling single, if you were to travel very light, you may cut the trips to the hotel in San Giovanni to two (one around 6pm to get dressed for the opera - you should be back at 8:30pm) and another at 2am) and use a taxi. If you arrive early in Verona and/or if you depart late the next day, you may leave your small bag in a train station locker while strolling and visiting the city. Don't know exactly where the hotel is located and how easy it is to find a taxi to take you to the city, though (you may call them and ask +39 045 545513). You shouldn't consider driving to/from Rome, unless you're interested in visiting in between (e.g., Orvieto). The trip takes about 5 hours, which is a bit too much to do without company. <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>PS. Arriving in Verona, I would rent the smallest car available ... but I'm very familiar with the city, and wouldn't need a "navigator" ...

Pam May 3rd, 1999 09:48 AM

Paulo, <BR> I will be staying at a friend's apartment in Rome for most of my stay. The trip to Verona is a one-night thing, unless I can somehow get a ticket to La Scala's "Barber of Seville" and then I may make it a 3-day round trip. So I anticipate I will need to pack very light for my Verona trip, just a small overnight bag. I was thinking I'd just visit the hotel twice - to drop off my things and to stay the night. Sounds like the train remains the best bet for me. <BR>I appreciate the weather advice. I didn't realize it would be that hot. Last time I was in Italy was during the springtime, years ago, and it was much cooler. <BR> Appreciate all your help! This website is a godsend! <BR> Pam <BR> <BR>

Becky May 3rd, 1999 03:47 PM

<BR>Just an aside; I've visited Verona several times and I know the opera is attended by many tourists as well as Veronese. Dress casually for general seating, but dress nicely. Not fancy, doesn't have to be Escada; however, these are some of the most elegant people I've seen anywhere in Europe and I felt very self conscious when sitting in the Piazza Bra, the evening passagiata was happening around me, and I was "underdressed." Throw a nice scarf around your neck and wear dark trousers or skirt. You'll be happy you did. Have a wonderful time!


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