Verona, a city to fall in love with

“There is no world for me outside the walls of Verona, except purgatory, torture, and hell itself. So to be banished from Verona is like being banished from the world, and being banished from the world is death.” –  William Shakespeare

 

Worldwide known to be one of the most romantic cities all over the world and famously cited by Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet’s tragedy, Verona is a must see in Italy. Located  only 1 hour and 10 minutes from Venice and Milan this beautiful city is very easy to reach.

Just after becoming a Roman Colonia in I century BC, Verona became the strategic point due to its central position among several Roman’s roads. In 1259 Della Scala family became the most powerful family in the city for a century and after being incorporated under various families’ powers, Verona ended up belonging to the Venice Republic. Later being under Napoleon’s kingdom it passed to the Austrian Lombardi-Venetia Kingdom. Just in 1866, after cruel battles, Verona and Veneto region were absorbed by the newly born Italy reign .

Many identities and a lot of history are soaked in this city and today you can feel it in the air of Verona, in every little corner of the city named an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shakespeare was just one of the many artists and poets who fell in love with the city, with its drama Romeo and Juliet he did honor the town and still today millions of people come just to visit Juliet’s balcony and to leave love messages on the famous wall. It is said that touching Juliet’s breast brings good luck, which is why tons of photos are taken every day with the girl statue, you don’t want to miss it!

Verona is the perfect city to visit just by walking around; taking a right from Juliet’s house you can see Piazza delle Erbe, the ancient Roman Foro. Beautiful and prosperous façade fresco buildings surround the square; the main house in front is Maffei palace which today is one of the most famous restaurants in the city.  A standing lion on top of the pillar is a Venetian symbol.

Piazza delle Erbe is the perfect spot if you want to buy some souvenirs or enjoy a real “aperitivo”. From there you can pass under the famous whale bone and enter into Piazza dei Signori, a Renaissance square with Dante Alighieri statue in the center. In February, during St. Valentine ’s Day, the soil will be covered by a huge red heart. Remember to take a beautiful picture of the city from top of the Lamberti tower, the ancient town hall. Stroll all over the streets and shops and be sure you walk on Corso Portoni Borsari and Via Mazzini, the main shopping streets.

Piazza Bra is the main square where dozens of restaurants and bars lead you to the most spectacular architectural construction in the city: the Arena. Completed in II century AD, this magnificent building is a perfect union between ancient beauty and current art. This Roman theatre hosts the Opera Season every year from June to September with various Opera performances and of course the classical Aida, which in 2017 Season will be performed in the 1913 historical stage design.

Another pearl of the city is Castelvecchio connected to the opposite river shore by a middle age bridge that passes over the Adige river; following the river you can reach San Zeno cathedral.

For a breathtaking view of the city just before sunset take a short hike to San Pietro Castle and make sure you have your camera ready.

Watching just below the hill you can easily see Ponte Pietra bridge and Teatro Romano, another Roman theatre from I century B.C, before the Arena was built. This theatre during summer is place for drama and ballet shows.

Verona is not just a nice and cozy city center it is much more.  From its location you can easily reach Lessinia Mountains, Garda lake and Valpolicella Wine Region.

If you like hiking, skiing or just walking Lessinia is the best spot for outdoor activities both in winter and in summer.

Garda Lake is a perfect summer retreat from the city in spring and summer. Lots of hotels and camping host tourists from all over the world for holidays. Bardolino, Lazise, Garda are the most lively cities with many bars, discos and restaurants, perfect spots to live the nightlife. At the same time Garda lake is perfect for families and children as well. Gardaland is the amusement park, first in the Italian parks ranking , the magic atmosphere is worth visiting.

 

BEST PERIOD TO VISIT: Spring, Christmas and St. Valentine period.