In the afternoon, meet your storytelling guide at the city’s Arena amphitheater, an ancient Roman artifact that pre-dates the Colosseum and has been in use for more than 2,000 years. From here, set off on a 1.5-hour stroll through Verona's winding medieval streets while your guide offers an overview of the city’s ancient roots and fascinating history. Although the Capulet and Montague families are fictional, Verona’s past is ripe with stories of fatal feuds, romance, and drama that made it a natural setting for Shakespeare's tragedy.
Let your imagination run wild with visions of young love and secret trysts at Juliet’s House, a historic home featuring a much-visited balcony and statue of the doomed protagonist (though any Shakespearean connections here are dubious). Continue on to Herbs Square, lined by a bustling local market and stately palaces. Learn the history behind landmarks including Lamberti Tower, the Madonna Verona fountain, and the medieval Domus Mercatorum, one-time home of the city’s merchant guild.
See evidence of Verona's multilayered past at Signori Square, where Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and modern architecture converge in a fascinating urban landscape. Finally, wind through quiet courtyards and backstreets to reach the tombs of the Scala family, a ruling clan of the 13th and 14th centuries whose scandals and power struggles are reminiscent of the tangled family feuds in Romeo and Juliet.