Verona Italy is probably most famous as the setting for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and is known as one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Based in Northeast Italy, Verona’s mild climate and beautiful architecture (the amount of preserved ancient builds have made Verona a UNESCO world heritage site) makes it a pull for those wanting to find a slice of old Italy.
Verona’s varied history is reflected through the style of the city, where ancient, medieval, renaissance and modern all sit side by side and clamour for your attention. It is a thriving and exciting city to explore by foot, with plenty of opportunities to take a break and watch the world go by on a piazza.
Museo di Castelvecchio
This impressive medieval fort that crosses the river Adige has recovered from damage in world war two and is now home to Verona’s biggest museum. The building is now filled with fascinating artifacts from Italy’s exciting past, from frescoes and jewellery to paintings by classical Italian artists, including Bellini, Pisanello and Veronese, all in suitably dramatic surroundings.
Casa di Giulietta
Definitely one for the romantics, this medieval house has one of the most famous balconies in the world, where Romeo and Juliet supposedly had their forbidden midnight tete a tete. Despite the characters being fictional, the villa captures the imagination of visitors around the world, who write notes to their own beloveds in the courtyard beneath.
Things To Do
Watch an Opera
The Verona Arena is a roman amphitheatre that now functions as a huge opera house that puts on spectacular full scale performances of dramatic operas. The area seats 15,000 and has a popular summer season of operas. Tickets on the original stone steps are a brilliant choice for budget travellers, though you can also buy tickets with padded seats and a brilliant view. The area is famous for its outstanding natural acoustics and world class productions, an unbeatable night at the opera.
Explore Romanesque Architecture
You can’t turn a corner in Verona without witnessing beautiful medieval and roman architecture. The best of the best includes the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, and ode to the patron saint of Verona, filled with colourful restored religious frescoes, and the Duomo cathedral, which houses a spectacular display of Renaissance frescoes which can be toured for just two euros.
Where to Stay
For those looking for a hotel close to the Arena, the Hotel Milano has an incredible location with a roof terrace with views over the ancient arena and chicly decorated rooms. There are cheaper hostels around the city which are smaller, friendlier and more family run than those in larger cities in Italy.
Verona is home to a range of smaller boutique hotels and apartments that fit in perfectly with the vibe of the city. For a grander choice, the Accademia and the Grand Hotel are popular and reliable sites for tourists who want a base in the city centre and high quality service.