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In contrast to its neighbors Venice and Milan, the north Italian city of Verona exudes a subdued charm. Affectionately known as Little Rome during the time of the Roman Empire, the city bursts with baroque architecture and ancient relics, but is perhaps most famous for its association with Shakespeare’s greatest love story. Delve into the legend of Romeo and Juliet on a history tour, master local specialties during a cookery class, or explore beyond the city on a guided bike ride through the vineyards of Valpolicella wine country. Following a few days of food, wine, and culture, you’re guaranteed to fall madly in love with the city of star-crossed lovers.
In summer, Verona overflows with tourists—it’s Italy’s fourth-most visited city–—in search of Juliet’s House, of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet fame. Savvy travelers know that the best times to visit are in spring and fall when there are fewer crowds. The heart of summer is opera season, with open-air, evening performances held in the spectacular Roman-era amphitheater, a real treat for culture lovers.
Verona’s main train station, Verona Porta Nuova, sits on the busy Milan-Venice rail line. From there, the old quarter is comfortably explored on foot. If you’re traveling by car, keep in mind that the city center is a restricted traffic area: most non-residents must leave their cars outside the center. Bikes, e-bikes, and scooter rentals are plentiful, just make sure to drive or ride on the correct side of the road and avoid dedicated bus lanes.
Just across from the historic center, on the eastern bank of the Adige River, lies Veronetta—or what locals call the “other Verona.” Cross the Ponte Nuovo or Ponte Navi bridges, and the tourist crowds tend to disappear. The neighborhood is known for its lively street and pub scene catering to university students, a riverside Roman theater and adjacent archeological museum, and the terraced, 16th-century public garden, Giardino Giusti.
A hopeless romantic at heart, Italy-based travel writer Rebecca can never stay away from this city of star-crossed lovers and opera under the stars for long.
check the Arena schedule to see if you can catch an evening performance at this spectacular Roman amphitheater while you’re in town.
starts with breakfast in Piazza delle Erbe before a walk through the old town to browse the shops. Later, hop on a bike to pedal along the River Adige and up to Castel San Pietro for sunset views.
posting a love letter at Juliet’s Balcony. Sure, it’s silly, but you’ll get an earnest reply back from one of Club di Giulietta volunteers.
linger in the square fronting the Church of San Zeno to blend in with retirees gossiping on park benches, children chasing soccer balls, and locals on their lunch break paging through the L’Arena newspaper.
scale the 368 steps (or purchase a ticket for the elevator) to the top of Lamberti Tower for 360-degree vistas over the terracotta-tiled roofs and River Adige.
is thinking that it’s hard to get tickets to the Arena. Sure, some blockbuster shows do sell out, but there are often last-minute day-of spots for each evening’s performance up for grabs at the amphitheater's box office.
Ancient history buffs may know Verona for its spectacular Arena—an intact Roman amphitheater dating from the first century—but the world’s romantics recognize this UNESCO-listed city as the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Enthusiasts can still visit the iconic balcony at Juliet’s House in Verona’s historic center....More
Verona is quite compact, making it easy to see the top sights in a day. Save time with skip-the-line tickets to the Arena then spend the rest of your day exploring highlights including Juliet’s House, Castelvecchio fortress and bridge, and dazzling churches such as Sant’Anastasia and St. Zeno Maggiore....More
Juliet’s House is certainly charming and a top city sight, but the Arena is Verona’s true cultural headliner. This Roman amphitheater was used by the ancient Romans for games and gladiatorial battles, and today opera and other music and dance performances here entertain audiences of up to 15,000 people....More
Yes. Verona offers world-class cultural sites, a historic center with lively squares, and a more authentic feel than tourist hot spots such as Rome or Florence. It’s located on the main highway and rail line between Milan and Venice and can also be a day trip from Bologna or Lake Garda....More
Verona is a very walkable city, so stroll through the old town to take in the two main squares (Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe), Arena, and Porta Borsari. Skirt the Adige River that cuts through the city to admire Castelvecchio and climb up to Castel San Pietro for bird’s-eye views....More
Verona is ideally located for a day trip from a number of major northern cities—including Milan, Venice, and Bologna—and you can see the city’s main sights in a few hours. To catch a performance at the ancient Arena, however, you should plan to spend the night....More
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