Verona, Italy - September 2009:
Situated in Northern Italy near the largest of the Italian Lakes, Lake Garda, is the City of Verona. Much of the ancient architecture of the city remains and the city itself has been named a World Heritage site. Home of the Montagues and Capulets, the town is the fictional setting of Romeo and Juliet. Under this backdrop, the city of Verona experienced a visit from the Dublinbusstuff paparazzi.
ATV 1211, a Van Hool A300, on Route 31 (VIA CARINELLI - SAVAL) seen with the backdrop of the Castelvecchio on the 21/9/2009 .
ATV 1537, a FIAT 8220.12 Iveco 471 U-Effeuno, on Route 33 (SAN FELICE - BASSON) is observed at the Castelvecchio stop heading for Basson on the 21/9/2009.
Buses 1211 and 1537 are shown above at the Castelvecchio. Built on the shores of the Adige River during the middle ages, it is now the home of the Civic Art Museum.
ATV 1212, a Van Hool A300, on Route 12 (BORGO NUOVO - CAMPAGNA/SAN MICHELE SUD) is seen at the Piazza Bra' on the 21/9/2009.
A large proportion of the city buses are low carbon emission Compressed Natural Gas buses made by BredaMenariniBus, an Italian bus manufacturer based in Bologna. They are given a distinctive Blue/Green livery to denote there environmental qaulities. This provides a nice contrast from the normal orange livery of the city fleet.
ATV 1228, a BredaMenariniBus M240 CNG LU Exobus, on Route 12, is observed at the Piazza Bra' on the 21/9/2009.
ATV 1238, a BredaMenariniBus M240 CNG LU Exobus, on Route 11 (CHIEVO - SAN MICHELE NORD) is seen on Corso Porta Nuova on the 19/9/2009.
ATV 1225, a BredaMenariniBus M240 CNG LU Exobus, on Route 12 is seen at the Piazza Bra' on the 21/9/2009.
ATV 1265, a BredaMenariniBus 240 Avancity CNG LU Exobus, on Route 21 (PALAZZINA - PARONA) is seen on the Ponte Vittoria on the 21/9/2009.
Buses 1225 and 1211 above show the typical setup of Verona Citybuses. Of prime importance is the number of doors within the vehicles allowing for quick extry and exit. Less seats are available than would be the case with single deckers that would ply their trade in Ireland, with specific emphasis on standing room. Both of these features cope well with the crowded nature of the city buses. However one could not help considering whether double-deckers might have been the best option.
The most interesting buses around the city were the little minibuses. Low floor, yet small and nippy, a prime example of how proper bus design can accomodate accessibility into something small enough to operate around narrow city streets. And they don't get narrower than Verona. ATV 1019 is observed on Corso Saint Anastasia, not the narrowest street on the network but one where it was possible to stand, take a picture and allow the bus to pass. The gothic styled church of Saint Anastasia is seen at the end of the street. There are four routes that operate through the centre of the old town the 70/71/72/73, and combined they offer a 10-min interlaced frequency. Such a concept, of interlacing routes that share some of their principal sections, has yet to find favour in Dublin Bus.
ATV 1019, a CAM Autodromo Ale', on Route 71 (CIMITERO - OSPEDALE MAGGIORE) on Corso Saint Anastasia on the 21/9/2009.
ATV 1010, an Iveco Europolis, on Route 70 (OLTRE ADIGE - OSPEDALE MAGGIORE) at the Piazza Duomo on the 21/9/2009.
ATV 1011, an Iveco Europolis, on Route 70 at the Piazza della Erbe on the 21/9/2009. This market Square gets so busy on Saturdays that it would be more crowded than Grafton Street. Little concern is made to the buses, which crawl along through the square on their 10min combined frequency.
ATV 1002, an Iveco Cityclass, on Route 73 (PIAZZA ISOLO - STAZIONE PORTA NUOVA) at the Piazza della Erbe on the 21/9/2009.
City Sightseeing appear to be everywhere nowadays. They also have a franchise in Verona operated by Baldense. Two routes tranverse the multitude of city sights both on an hourly frequency. Line A is operated by a Double-Deck bus, but due to the narrowness of some of the roads in the city centre, Line B is operated by an open-top midi-coach.
City Sightseeing Volvo B7TL Ayats Bodied Open Topper is seen at the terminus of Line A on the Corso Porta Nuova on the 19/9/2009.
City Sightseeing Man Mago open-top midi coach, seen at the Piazza della Erbe on the 21/9/2009.
City Sightseeing Man Mago open-top midi coach, seen at its terminus at the Piazza Bra' on the 19/9/2009.
Verona is also a bustling hub of inter-city / inter-town suburban routes. The bus station is located next to the train station at the Porta Nuovo Train Station. It is quite run down and full of unsavouries unlike the rest of Verona City Centre.
ATV 2725, a Setra SG321 UL articulated bus, is seen loading at the Portanuova Train Station on the 19/9/2009 operating a service to Brescia.
An unidentified mini-bus seen at the Portanuovo train station on the 19/9/2009. This photo shows the true contrast in length between a standard size bus and one of these little city-buses.
Verona was a very interesting place to visit, however I don't think I could recommend it for the Bus Enthusiast. The regular order of things in Ireland doesn't apply. Jaywalking might be commonplace in Ireland but in Italy everything is so random. In a city of such large tourist numbers, the people of Verona have no qualms about walking in front of a shot, and I mean literally in front of you no more than a foot away. High tourist numbers are also an issue with old German and English tourists doddling around dazed and cofused at still being alive. Scooters are common place and dart in and out of everywhere. Many perfect shots are just ruined by auto-focussing on a speeding scooter. However traffic in general is also chaotic. So not really the ideal conditions for the bus enthusiast, however some real interesting operations. ATV 2605 is seen in Malcesine departing for Riva del Garda on route from Verona. It typifies the problem of taking photos. A group of tourists have angled themselves into the way of the shot, one of few spots were there is an opportunity. Bus has only stopped a second or so and people have already started to quickly overtake it in the face of oncoming traffic.
A nearside shot of ATV2605, a Setra S417 UL Tri-Axel bus, seen at Malcesine on route to Rive Del Garda on the 20/9/2009.