Shakespeare’s famous “Fair Verona” may have been the ideal setting for his story about the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, but modern Verona has become a city with a wonderful mixture of those historic elements and contemporary Italian culture. It is one of the larger cities in the Veneto region, yet it is also a very livable city. The location of Verona is ideal to explore the region, nestled against the foothills of Valpolicella, sprawling across the Adige river, and just a stone’s throw away from the bustle of Venice by train.
Well-known and well-loved as the city made famous by Shakespeare’s three plays that were set there, it has become known as a venue for top-notch opera productions at the historic 1st Century A.D. Arena di Verona, and is recognized as a superior area for wine-tasting in the nearby Valpolicella region.
The Piazza delle Erbe, not too far from Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s house), teems with a mix of locals who wander through on their way home at mid-day and tourists taking in the sites. Without the crowds, it would be easy to walk right by the now famous early 14th-century house at Via Cappello no. 23, which purports to be the Capulets’ house and has become a tourist attraction.
Dining in the charming little towns along the roads through the Valpolicella foothills can be very enjoyable. The Italian country-style restaurants with al fresco dining afford excellent cuisine and panoramic views of the city.
The city of Verona is filled with lovely places to stroll. You can walk along the river near the Castelvecchio castle or pass by lovely Medieval Basilicas like the San Zeno Maggiore or San Lorenzo in Romanesque style. On a clear day you can’t beat the views of the city from the hillside of the elegant Giusti Garden. There are a wealth of cozy little piazzas to discover along the way.
Any trip to Northern Italy can easily accommodate a visit to this great city where you can choose to take in the sights or just wander.