- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Verona, Italy
Verona is a city on the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy, with approximately 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven provincial capitals of the region.
Shakespeare's "Fair Verona," the setting for Romeo and Juliet, has a reputation for being romantic—especially around Valentine's Day, when a four-day Verona in Love festival amps up the already high amore level with special concerts, art exhibits, and other themed activities. This easy to negotiate, achingly beautiful city also has enough history to have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation and enough charm to give neighboring Venice, just 70 miles west, a run for its money. Need more reasons to go? Read on.
Verona’s well known as the city of lovers, thanks to the William Shakespeare and his play, Romeo and Juliet. You’ll find beautiful displays set up that recreate some of its scenes, and can be perfect settings to take a picture. Here, love’s actually in the air. It’s not a matter of coincidence that couples from all over the world travel to Verona to seal their love.
The city’s architecture is outstanding. You’ll find great tributes to the Roman design that still stand in perfect conditions today. Walking through Piazza delle Erbe will make you feel as if you had traveled back in time and are experiencing a revived past period. You can admire the antique tower, the amazing fountain and some frescoes that make this piazza so photogenic. Furthermore, Verona doesn’t fail to amaze anybody when visiting the stunning Arena, which was built about 2,000 years ago.
There’s a reason why this amazing city have earned UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
You’ll be able to explore local shops, giving yourself the opportunity to absorb even more of the culture, and also to buy unique souvenirs and products. Besides, being less than two hours away from Milan, you’ll find that most fashion stores sell the latest in Italian fashion; Verona is a true shopper’s paradise.
Arena of Verona
Built in the 1st century A.D., this amphitheater was Verona’s answer to Rome’s Colosseum (although actually, it predates the Colosseum by almost 50 years!). Still remarkably well preserved, today it’s home to Verona’s summer opera festival. (Check out our earlier post on attending opera in the arena of Verona!).
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
This beautiful church dates back to the 4th century, although most of the current building was constructed between the 10th and 12th centuries. Other churches in Verona drew much of their inspiration from its early Romanesque style. Don’t miss the bronze door, with 48 elaborately-carved panels of scenes from the Bible, dating back to the 11th century.
With seven towers, a castle keep, and four separate buildings, Verona’s 14th-century fortress, Castelvecchio, is the city’s most imposing building. Today, it’s also home to a museum of art, sculpture, coins, and other artifacts, with a collection of paintings that includes pieces by northern Italian masters Mantegna, Bellini and Pisanello.
This ancient Roman gate, which once marked the southern entrance into Verona, is a great—and beautiful—example of the way in which ancient ruins are layered into the modern city of Verona.
Duomo of Verona
Verona’s main cathedral, or Duomo, is stunning. But don’t just see it from the outside: The interior of this 12th-century church is incredibly elaborate and filled with artistic gems, including a painting by the Italian master Titian.
Tombs don’t get much more elaborate than these! Just around the corner from Piazza delle Erbe, these five Gothic funerary monuments, considered some of the best examples of Gothic art in Itay, are hard to miss. They belong to members of the Scaligeri, who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries. Make sure you duck into the tiny, lovely church of Santa Maria Antica behind them.