Etched forever onto the history of Verona is the story of its most famous lover’s - of the world’s most famous lovers; Romeo and Juliet. Verona pays homage to these star-crossed lovers.
While both eternal romantics can leave messages on the wall of Juliet’s House beneath the balcony where hers and Romeo’s fates were sealed, there is more to Verona than Shakespeare. It is also a place of extraordinary beauty and divine history.
Combine the two with a visit to the magnificent Cortile del Mercato Vecchio, the site of Romeo’s banishment before hastening to Juliet’s tomb in the crypt of the ancient San Capuccin Church - also housing the magical Antonian Fresco Museum.
The city’s overwhelming quantity of Roman, medieval and Renaissance architecture has earned it UNESCO heritage status. The Arena, an astonishing solid marble amphitheatre designed to seat 25,000 spectators, has remained intact for over two centuries and today hosts breath-taking summer opera festivals.
Known as ‘Little Rome’, Verona is indeed a miniature version of the capital with streets simply stuffed full of ornate architecture and historic facades. Whether having a coffee or shopping for fashion, everything in Verona takes place within the most beautiful of surroundings.
At every turn a Roman wall, gate or ruin leaps into view like the stunning Porta Borsari (overlooking the wonderful shopping street of Corso Porta Borsari), Lamberti’s Clock Tower in the Piazza delle Erbe or 11th century Verona Cathedral. Even the spectacular Renaissance/Mannerist gardens of Giardino Giusti come with grottos and fire-breathing faces carved into the hills.
Though, perhaps none of these can quite match the imposing majesty of Castelvecchio that towers above the city in all its red-brick glory. Nestled among the Valpolicella vines of the rolling countryside, astride the River Adige, don’t miss the chance to soak up this magical place and the idyllic landscapes that surround it.
Via Mazzoni, or the ‘Golden Mile as it is known, is lined with boutiques that show of the exquisite Italian craftsmanship from leatherworker to fashion design, while Piazza delle Erbe has a lively market in which to hunt for bargains before relaxing with a coffee in one of its many sunny cafes.
Verona in summer promises al-fresco dining, open-air opera in Roman amphitheatres and romantic strolls over the Garibaldi Bridge, while cosy restaurants, warm wine, church tours, Christmas markets and Midnight Mass by candlelight announce that winter has arrived. Verona may well be Italy’s ‘hopeless romantic’, but it is all the better for it.
The following information is correct as of November 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Verona Airport is located just 6 miles from the centre of Verona and takes just 15-20 minutes by car. Regular bus and taxi services operate from outside the airport terminal to Verona city centre taking between 20 and 40 minutes.
What you need to know
Currency: The Euro (€)
Visas: UK and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter Italy however a passport valid for the duration of stay is required. Nationals of other countries may require a visa – more information can be obtained at a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: Only those 18 or over may purchase and consume alcohol. Smoking is prohibited across Italy in all indoor public spaces including cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants as well as on all public transport.
Best Time to Visit
Verona’s connection to Romeo and Juliet makes it a very popular tourist destination. June to August – also being opera season – is considered to be a peak time in terms of tourist numbers. It is also the hottest time of the year with temperatures often reaching up to 30 degrees. Spring is not only milder and quieter but hosts the Festival of Romantic Film and the spectacular Vinitaly wine festival while Easter brings Carneval and 15,000 kg of sweets that are thrown into the crowd. September, another pleasant and peaceful month, plays host to the Festa dell'Uva a Monteforte or ‘grape festival’ with the main attraction being the grape crushing contest and even winter promises revelry with the beautiful nativity scene and plenty of festive cheer.
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