Wandering around the streets of Verona can be compared to walking around an open aired museum of Italy’s history. From the glories of the Roman Empire to the beauty of the Renaissance to the brilliance of its recent history, Verona is one of the jewels in Italy’s magnificent crown.
Despite its long history as a prosperous Roman city, Verona gained its shinning reputation under the Della Scala family in the 13th and 14th centuries. During this time the city was the backdrop to the bloody feuding families which gave William Shakespeare the inspiration to his most famous play, Romeo and Juliet.
Verona is steeped in history and there is no danger of visitors running out of things to do. A trip to this beautiful city would not be complete without visiting the Roman Arena. This magnificent pink marble arena was first built during the 1st century CE and has managed to survive the ravages of time, including a devastating earthquake during the 12th century. It is now known as Verona’s renowned open-aired opera house where the legendary Placido Domingo made his debut. Between June and August more than 50 shows are held here featuring the best names in opera, seating an audience of 30,000 people.
Verona is more than just an ancient Roman city; it is a city with a truly splendid medieval history made famous due to the immortal bard. For something a little unusual, the Arche Scaligere is a popular attraction. These amazing Gothic tombs belong to the Della Scala family, and can be found by walking through the archway of the Piazza dei Signori and in front of the Santa Maria Antica church. A visit here invokes the tragic beauty of the two young lovers; when Romeo kills himself at the sight of his beloved Juliet in her tomb, only for Juliet to awake from her fake death to stab herself at discovering her husband dead at her side.
Located on the Piazza San Zeno, the Basilica de San Zeno Maggiore is a true historical masterpiece from the medieval period. It was built in honour of the city’s patron saint, San Zeno, the 8th bishop of Verona who converted the city’s inhabitants to Christianity. As soon as you step through the entrance, your eyes are filled with the magnificent frescoes and artwork of Biblical scenes and characters.
The Castelvecchio Museum is a must-see for all history lovers. In the heart of the city, this museum houses an array of interesting artefacts and exhibitions. These include jewellery, frescoes, medieval artefacts and paintings by Giovanni Bellini and Veronese. For those of are more interested in the Roman period, the Museo Archaeologico on Regaste Redentore 2 will conjure up images of imperial times.
After touring the city visitors can explore what Verona has to offer in the way of culinary delights. Visitors can sample the traditional food of the north in rustic-style restaurants or dine on Michelin star dishes. No matter what budget size you have, you are bound to find something to take your tastebuds to heaven.
When the day is done and your stomach filled, it is time to rest your weary head. Like restaurants there are accommodations to suit every budget. Five star hotels like the Due Torri Hotel will cost a pretty penny but there are many middle-of-the-range hotels, guesthouses and even hostels available.
Verona is a city that shines with a light can that cannot be ignored. This is a city that steals your breath away with its magnificent architecture, its long history and breath-taking beauty. A visit here will draw you back here time and time again without ever becoming bored.