Some of the greatest novelists have also written books about their travels. George Orwell’s Down and Out in London and Paris is an easy read, although it might put you off a visit to the French capital, or at least its cafés at any rate. Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens is another searingly honest experiential travelogue. His response is mixed but one place that gets his approval is Verona. Great!
“I had been half afraid to go to Verona, lest it should at all put me out of conceit with Romeo and Juliet. But, I was no sooner come into the old market-place, than the misgiving vanished. It is so fanciful, quaint, and picturesque a place, formed by such an extraordinary and rich variety of fantastic buildings, that there could be nothing better at the core of even this romantic town: scene of one of the most romantic and beautiful stories.”
“Pleasant Verona! With its beautiful old palaces, and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace walks, and stately, balustraded galleries. With its Roman gates, still spanning the fair street, and casting, on the sunlight of today, the shade of 15 hundred years ago… With its fast-rushing river, picturesque old bridge, great castle waving cypresses, and prospect so delightful, and so cheerful! Pleasant Verona!”