Verona: The Irresistible Italian Gem That Stirs the Senses
Romance runs deep in Verona. Embark on a journey with us to the “City of Love” and uncover the wealth of alluring experiences that await.
Romance fills the air in Verona. The largest city in the Veneto region is nothing short of irresistible, boasting a wealth of historical treasures that ranges from ancient Roman sites, to striking medieval towers, and manicured Renaissance gardens. Throw in its intimate osterie taverns, splendid museums, and breathtaking views at every turn – and it’s easy to see why first-time visitors tend to leave enchanted under its spell.
Verona is often referred to as the “City of Love” for its amorous atmosphere and poetic scenery that draws travelers from far and wide. However, its pink-hued buildings and legacy of romantic fiction, while certainly incredible, only scratch the surface of this captivating yet easygoing city.
Verona, which lies just a stone’s throw away from both Milan and Venice, is an enticing place where millennia of history, music, architecture, culture, and high society come together. We invite you to uncover the true essence of Verona, whose proud local people and storied traditions will have you just as lovestruck as its beautiful monuments.
So we’ve curated a number of alluring experiences that speak to the soul of Verona – a place that truly stirs the senses.
Retrace the Footsteps of Romeo and Juliet
There’s good reason why William Shakespeare chose Verona as the setting for his most defining masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet. A visit offers romantics the opportunity to retrace the footsteps of the two young lovers who came from feuding families. Although the story is fictional, it’s full of details that match real places and people – all of which we can see and touch in Verona.
The most famous site lies on Via Cappello through an archway that bears the crest of the Da Cappello family (a name which Shakespeare changed to Capulets in his play). The medieval mansion that appears on the other side is where the Da Cappello family once lived dating back to the 13th century, known to be the birthplace of Giulietta Capuletia, the protagonist, along with her beloved Romeo Montecchi, of the Shakespearean tragedy.
In the courtyard, you can look up to the 14th-century marble balcony, just as Romeo did as he and Juliet declared their love for each other. You can also enter the home, which was restored in the same architectural and decorative style from the medieval period. According to local legend, the bronze statue of Juliet is the keeper of true love, and if couples touch her right breast, they will receive the happy ending that she and Romeo were denied. It’s a place where lovers from around the world come to celebrate their love – and even tie the knot.
While the Casa di Giulietta is the most fundamental site, there are various plaques, sculptures, and places scattered throughout Verona that recall the story of the star-crossed lovers. Continue your journey on the street where Romeo killed Tybalt in a duel, the 13th-century gate he passed through when leaving the city towards exile, and Juliet’s grave. You can also pass by the home of the Montecchi, or the Montagues, a typical medieval house that’s not open to the public, but which is known as Romeo’s house.
Taste Some of Italy’s Most Renowned Wines
Just outside of Verona lies a range of hills known as Valpolicella, which is home to a proud and ancient winemaking tradition that’s renowned across Italy. This beautiful valley borders the hills of Lake Garda to the west and the Lessini mountains to the north – well-suited to growing vine thanks to its mineral-rich soil and a continental climate.
It’s easy to appreciate the region’s gorgeous scenery as you pass through its rolling hills covered in precious vines and dotted with lovely estates and villages stuck in the medieval ages. The area has been shaped by its rich culinary and winemaking heritage, which has given birth to some of Italy’s most famous wines like Valpolicellia Classico, Ripasso, Recioto, and Amarone, a particularly intense and strong red.
Start the day off with a visit to a family-run winery in the very heart of this DOCG region to explore the vineyards, historic and modern cellars, and unique winemaking process that’s been refined over hundreds of years. You’ll quickly see why Valpolicella is considered the beating heart of Veneto’s winemaking scene, as you learn about everything from the fermentation process to bottling.
Hear the stories of the winemakers themselves and you’ll understand the enduring passion and generations of history that go into every bottle you see today. The locals are fiercely proud of their heritage and will eagerly explain how their families have adapted to changing conditions and evolving trends over the decades, while still rigorously respecting regional traditions. Complete the afternoon with a tasting of different vintages set to Valpolicella’s idyllic scenery – a welcome sip of pure, relaxed, and laid-back Italy.
Take in a Show at the Arena di Verona
The Arena di Verona is the hallmark monument of the city. Built in 30 AD, the amphitheater is the third-largest in the Roman world and still retains most of its original stone. Over the centuries, crowds of up to 30,000 spectators have come to cheer on Roman gladiator battles, medieval executions, and classical plays.
Not only is the Arena di Verona one of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind, but also it’s still in use today, nearly 2,000 years later, as the magnificent site of some of the purest forms of entertainment. In addition to a guided tour of the monument, it’s worthwhile to take in one of the world-class shows that are held here.
Today, the Arena di Verona hosts a variety of different performances, including opera, ballet, and musical concerts, that make good use of its world-renowned acoustics. If you plan to visit during the summer months, the Verona Opera Festival is an unmissable event to experience the beauty and wonder of opera – an open-air experience made even more memorable by the extraordinary ancient setting.
Uncover the Living Layers of Verona’s 2,000-Year History
Founded in the 1st century BC, the city of Verona is packed with genuine awe-inspiring history. This is a place where you can explore echoes of the past through the different time periods in its history, each of which has played an important role in the development of Verona. Wander the streets and you will notice that Verona’s architecture reflects the evolution of this fortified town over its 2,000-year history – home to an abundance of preserved monuments from the antiquity, medieval, and Renaissance periods.
During the times of the Roman Empire, Verona was considered to be an ideal place to rest before crossing the Alps, and many remarkable ancient monuments remain ripe for exploration to this day. Stroll through Corso Porta Borsari, which was once the main drag of Roman Verona, and its nooks and crannies unfold like an ancient scavenger hunt. Verona also thrived under the rule of the Scaliger family in the 13th and 14th centuries, and later as part of the Republic of Venice from the 15th to 18th centuries.
Meader the labyrinth of streets with your expert guide and uncover the stories that exist within Verona’s corridors – many of which are hidden in plain sight. Here, you will tour the city’s remarkable monuments, but also learn about the small details and personal stories that visitors tend to glance over, such as the mysterious whale’s rib hanging from an archway in Piazza Erbe that’s said to fall when an honest and pure-hearted person passes under it, or the beautiful spots that once inspired Berto Barbarani, the poet of Verona.
Fall in Love with Veronese Flavors and Traditions
There’s no better way to understand a place and its inhabitants than through its culinary traditions. And Verona, unsurprisingly, has tons to offer when it comes to serving up good food and fine wine. Like other parts of Italy, this region offers visitors the opportunity to fall in love with its unique flavors and culinary traditions.
When it comes to eating out, the osteria is the quintessential Veronese institution. Rustic, cozy, and informal, an osteria is halfway between a restaurant and a taven. They’re the preferring meeting point for locals – whether that involves enjoying a glass of wine as a way to wind down after a long day, or soaking up the sun while catching up with friends. A visit to an osteria is simultaneously a taste of the traditional flavors of Verona and a culinary experience in itself.
The delectable culinary experience extends from the ubiquitous family-run osterie and into the kitchens of local residents who also carry on regional traditions year after year. Step inside the home of a passionate local cook and learn to prepare traditional Veronese meals using the freshest ingredients and local traditions that enhance the natural flavors. End the experience with a tasting of your favorite local creations, such as Monte Veronese cheese, risotto all’Amarone, lesso con la pearà, Sorpressa sausage, pastisada de caval, fritole, and of course, tiramisu.
Soak Up the Allure of Verona
In Verona, love is deep and all-embracing. Look beyond its romantic allure and you’ll find a place that embodies a genuine love for history, art, culture, tradition, and beauty. Love is everywhere in Verona. You feel it in the heart of a chef as he serves you a big bowl of gnocchi in his cozy osteria, in the hospitality of the hotelier that ensures every little detail of your stay is perfect, and in the passion of the performers who entertain spectators from the Arena di Verona. It’s a romantic, elegant, and thriving city that’s waiting to be explored.
Meet our local insiders, hear their stories, and understand the beating heart of the city that most tourists never get to experience. That’s the See Italy difference.
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