A picturesque city in northern Italy, Verona was the inspiration and setting for not one, but three of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, and it’s easy to see why he fell in love with the place. Home to his world-famous fictional couple Romeo & Juliet, Verona is a perfect place to visit for couples. But because of its grand architecture, amazing entertainment and culinary hotspots it is also a place worth visiting no matter who you’re travelling with. With its cobbled paths and amazing cafés, Verona was made for aimlessly wandering around and discovering the city by foot. Exploring the colourful markets and sampling the regions many delicious food items are the some of the purest and satisfying things you can do in this idyllic city.
To inspire tales as dramatic as Romeo & Juliet, you’d expect Verona to be equally as dramatic in its landscape and architecture. After getting your first glimpse of top attraction Piazza delle Erbe, you’ll realise that it certainly is every bit as dramatic as Shakespeare’s old writing. This square, previously Verona's Roman forum, has so much happening that you will need to take some time to the side just to take it all in. The centre section features covered market stalls selling everything from vegetables to scarves, making it an ideal place to pick up some trinkets as souvenirs. In addition to these gifts, there are also some earlier-era gems to seek out, such as a fountain which harks all the way back to 1368 which has a 4th-century statue of the Madonna. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during the holiday season, then you’ll also be able to take in the majestic nativity scene. Locals and tourists alike stroll everywhere around his square and you’ll want to stay for as long as possible. A similarly picturesque square in Piazza Bra is also a tourist favourite and a Roman arena built in the first century is its main draw. In addition to these amazing sights, the city also has a number of elegant cathedrals and of course a beautiful canal running right through the city.
Wine and Dine
Italian cuisine is known the world over and Verona is certainly no slouch for providing authentically delicious dishes. Also considered as one of the principal wine towns of the Veneto wine region, Verona is not just a destination for eating, but also fine wine. One of the most famous tipples made here is one of the most powerful wines in the region, Amarone della Valpolicella. A red wine made of grapes that are dried for three-to-four months before fermentation; it is an intense red with flavours and aromas of dried fruits, tobacco, and dried spices. Not content with resting on its laurels, the people of Verona combined this beautiful wine into a an equally beautiful risotto, Risotto all’Amarone. Speaking of food, the food of Verona is simple and hearty to match the robust, fruity wines. With an abundance of rice, peas, beans, polenta and meat, dishes in Verona are refreshingly simple but delicious. Risottos are very popular in the city as there is a lot of rice grown locally. Equally popular is the signature pasta of Bigoli, which is usually paired with salted sardines and onions.
Although known more as a destination for couples, Verona is also a great city to visit when traveling with kids as well. There is an abundance of activities for families to experience together in Verona and you will be able to make wonderful memories as an entire family here. The cobbled stone streets and majestic castles are picturesque and surreal no matter what age you are. Although this City will always be known and remembered for the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet, it’s truly so much more as well. Verona actually rests up against the Adige River, which swirls in and out of the city, and is known as the ‘Gateway to Italy’. The background of mountains and the decadent stone streets create a fairy tale experience that youngsters will love. The beauty is grand, seemingly endless and definitively priceless. Verona has emerged as the cultural and art capital of Italy and this is something to be enjoyed and savoured as a whole family.
Action and Adventure
In addition to the many man-made wonders in the city, Verona also has a number of amazing natural opportunities to experience the city’s beauty. The amazing route of Lessinia Stone, crosses the villages of Prun, and Fane passes through numerous quarries which show off the architectural tradition and culture of the city. Through many tunnels in a mammoth hill, you can embark on a number of different walks varying in both difficulty and length. The longest of the walks can take up to 4.5 hours while the shortest is just 30 minutes, meaning no matter your preference you can get out and busy with some physical activities during your time here. Alternatively, another great active way to see the city is by bicycle. For those wanting to work up a sweat during their time here, there are many routes accessible by bike which give you a fuller picture of the city and surrounding areas. One of the most popular routes is from Garda to San Zeno di Montagna. Starting from the Municipality of Garda, follow along the lakeside Regina Adelaide, northwards for breath-taking lakeside views. Down the path you will pass some amazing archaic architecture and revel in its beauty. Moving from roads to dirt paths, this route really does take you across all imaginable parts of Verona.
Life's a Beach
Although Verona isn’t a beach destination, it’s beautifully winding canal fills the city’s marine quota and there are plenty of spas and high-end hotels that offer opportunities to swim. Verona also sits very close to the Adige River which of course provides some spectacular water-side landscapes.
When the sun goes down, holidays to Verona have plenty to offer. Dine on gourmet cuisine in romantic candlelit restaurants, dance the night away in fashionable discos or drink with the locals in cosy tavernas; whichever you choose, you're sure to have a night to remember.
Perhaps the most marketable trait of this amazing city is its attraction of lovers. Home to the hopelessly romantic duo of Romeo & Juliet, many couples flock to Verona to experience the sights of the classic play and who can blame them? One of the most famous sights from the tome is Juliet's Balcony. This site has seen tourists flock to get a glance at the spot where Romeo declared his eternal love for decades. Known as Juliet's house, the 13th century home is now a museum that bears the 'Dal Cappello' coat of arms, who are said to be the inspiration for the Capulet family from Shakespeare’s great tragedy. And if visiting wasn’t enough, tourists are actually permitted to stand on the famous balcony. When you’re done with this romantic setpiece, you can wander the beautiful streets of Verona and find a quaint restaurant to live your very own romance story.
Verona has one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres and operas and concerts are held here regularly particularly in the summer months. Even if you are not an opera aficionado the setting makes the experience well worth it and if you are then it is one of the best places to enjoy Madame Butterfly or Othello. Tickets range in price so you can usually find cheap seats at the last minute. Every year for Shrove Tuesday, Verona hosts a huge carnival which has been going on for centuries, floats and processions and spectacular costumes thread their way through the ancient streets and make for a fantastic experience. At the end of the carnival period there is a night parade as well. Throughout the summer various religious festivities occur and all will include the pomp of Catholic festivals with costumes, masks and processions.