Verona: The city of Romeo and Juliet

Verona is inextricably linked to one of Shakespeare’s most famous works: Romeo and Juliet. This city is the setting of this love story. Verona is an ancient Roman trading city, which already has an intact forum and arena which can be visited. Too often this city is overlooked by tourists, but thanks to its rich history and many sights it has a lot to offer. It is more than worth it to pay her a visit.

The city of Verona

The city of Verona is located on the Adige River in northern Italy and is the capital of its province of the same name, Verona. The city is centrally located between the cities of Milan and Venice. With its approximately 265,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in the region. The famous Lake Garda is located about 30 kilometers from the city. Since 2000, the city center of Verona has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Verona is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Northern Italy. This is thanks to its many annual events, shows, operas and its Roman history. The city of Verona has been the setting for a number of works by Shakespeare, a world-famous English writer. The most famous is ‘Romeo and Juliet’, but the lesser-known plays ‘De Twee Veronezen’ and ‘De Feeks Wordt Tamed’ are also set in this Italian city.

Activities

You really can’t get bored in this historic Italian city. The first top attraction is an opera performance in the Roman amphitheater. You immediately kill two birds with one stone. The amphitheater in Verona is one of the largest in Italy. Due to the city’s rich history, there are still many old buildings and squares dating from Roman times. If you are less into history and more into shopping, Verona offers a beautiful shopping center in the middle of the city with an extensive range for everyone’s wallet. You can also admire the balcony from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The woman Julia is based on a real resident of Verona.
If you can’t enjoy yourself in Verona, you can always look outside. There are four amusement parks to visit in the immediate vicinity within a radius of 35 km: Gardaland, Canevaworld Aqua Paradise Park, Movieland Studios and Parco Acquatico.

Stores

Verona’s main shopping street is Via Giuseppe Mazzini. The street is narrow and only available to pedestrians. This street runs from Piazza Bra to Piazza delle Erbe and is approximately 500 meters in length. Many stylish and well-known shops and boutiques with the latest fashion are located on Via Giuseppe Mazzini. It is therefore ideal for shopping for Italian clothing, jewelry, shoes, etc. There is a wide range and prices vary from high, at the exclusive stores, to low, at the more mainstream fashion stores. Big names such as Gucci, Diesel and Bulgari will be found on this street.
If you prefer an indoor shopping adventure, that is also possible. Verona has a number of indoor shopping malls. One of them is Le Corti Venete. This is a large indoor shopping center with more than sixty shops and various dining options. It is located 10 kilometers from the center of Verona and is easily accessible by public transport.
There is also an indoor shopping center called La Grande Mela Shoppingland. This is a modern shopping center located about a 15-minute drive from Verona. There are more than 100 shops to visit spread over three floors. In addition to shopping, you can also enjoy yourself there by visiting the cinema, the bowling alley or one of the many restaurants.

Sights

The Amphitheater in Verona / Source: Pcdazero, Pixabay The Roman Amphitheater
Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheater. It is the third largest in Italy. It is 139 meters long and 110 meters wide and can accommodate 25,000 people. The performances and gladiator fights that took place there attracted visitors from all over the region. The exterior of the Arena no longer has the original white and pink color, but is still in good condition. The inside of the Arena is still completely intact as it was before.
The amphitheater is used for events, markets, performances and operas.
Piazza delle Erbe / Source: Didier Descouens, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-4.0) Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe is one of the most beautiful squares in Verona. During the time of the Roman Empire it was used as a market square and shopping center where you could buy the best goods from the city.
The square is home to many ancient buildings, including an old town hall, the Torre dei Lamberti (a bell tower) and the Casa dei Giudici (the court). The Pallazo Maffei can also be admired. This is a historic palace decorated with statues and Greek gods.
The oldest monument to be found on this square is the fountain in the middle of the square. It was built in 1368 with a statue located on the fountain. This statue dates from the year 380 and is called Madonna Verona.

Piazza Bra

Piazza Bra is the largest square in Verona. This square has many cafes, restaurants and buildings worth seeing, including the Roman amphitheater. Other historic buildings include Gran Guardia and Pallazzo Barbieri (the current town hall).

Piazza di Signori

Piazza dei Signori is another square in Verona with beautiful historic buildings to admire.
Basilica of San Zeno / Source: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons (PD) Basilica of San Zeno
The Basilica of San Zeno is a minor basilica located in the center of Verona on the square Piazza San Zeno. The basilica is best known for its crypt where the fictional wedding of Romeo and Juliet took place.

Castelvecchio Bridge

The Castelvecchio Bridge is a bridge that runs to the castle of the same name. The bridge crosses the Adige River. It was built in 1354 by Cangrande II della Scala and was the longest bridge in the world at the time with a length of 48.7 meters. The bridge was built as a kind of emergency exit so that Della Scala could escape safely if his castle was attacked. During the Second World War, the bridge was completely destroyed by the withdrawal of German troops, but in 1949 it was decided to completely rebuild the bridge.

Castelvecchio

Castellvecchio is a castle that served as the main military base for the Scaliger dynasty in the Middle Ages. The Scaliger dynasty were the leaders of Verona in the Middle Ages. The building is not elaborately decorated. It is a solid castle made of red bricks. This is a classic example of a Gothic style of the time. The castle contains a museum dedicated to the castle and its history.
The Scaliger tombs / Source: Didier Descouens, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-4.0) Scaliger tombs
The Scaliger tombs are a collection of five monuments dedicated to the Scaliger family, who ruled Verona in the years 1300 to 1500. They are located in a courtyard close to the Santa Maria Antica church.

Teatro Romano

Teatro Romano is an ancient Roman open-air theater in Verona. However, the building is no longer completely in its original state. Only parts of the stage, the stands and the backstage area are still intact. The rest has been restored. Performances and performances still take place regularly in the theater.

Romeo and Juliet

If you are in Verona, you cannot ignore the fact that the love tragedy of Romeo and Juliet took place there. The character Julia really existed and also lived in Verona. Her house ‘Casa di Giulietta’ can be visited and is located in a small courtyard. If you don’t know where exactly it is, you can easily miss it. It is a popular attraction in Verona because of the statue of Juliet that stands there and the story behind the statue. If you touch Julia’s breast, you would have luck in love.
The house itself is also accessible to the public and you can go onto the balcony. You can also write a letter to Julia. You hang this on a wall and it is then answered by one of the many volunteers of the club, il Club di Giulietta.

Verona nightlife

Verona also has a lot to offer for people who like to go out. The nightlife in Verona is conservative. It is healthy and adult nightlife. There are cafes and pubs in abundance, where live music is played at the weekend. Nightclubs are hardly represented in Verona. They can be counted on one hand. This is in contrast to the quantities in Rome or Naples, for example. On the other hand, Verona very regularly offers concerts that take place in the city. There are also regular opera and theater festivals that attract many visitors. Some of these festivals and events run all year round. So there is always something to do in Verona.

Stay overnight

Considering that Verona is a lesser known tourist attraction than nearby Venice, the prices of hotels and other accommodation are considerably lower than Venice. The cheapest place to stay is in youth hostels. Although the prices are virtually the same, the quality of the overnight stay still differs considerably. First read reviews of the different options before making any decisions.
In addition to the commercial options, it is also possible to opt for private overnight accommodation in Verona. You can request a list of families who offer such an overnight stay at the Verona Tourist Office. If you prefer freedom and privacy, you can opt for a holiday home or an apartment. The range is wide and the prices are relatively low.

The climate in Verona

The weather in Verona can be described as a humid subtropical climate. The weather in Verona is influenced to a lesser extent by the Mediterranean Sea. Winters are colder closer to the coast and temperatures can be high in summer. The average temperature in summer is around 30 degrees Celsius. The humidity is relatively high all year round.