Italy boasts the romantic and historic cities of Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples. However, in terms of authentic Italian charm, and even historical architecture, Verona is one of Italy’s wealthiest destinations.
Of course, Verona served as the setting for literature’s most famous romance, the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. And you can take part in the centuries-old literary tradition by visiting the House of Juliet, standing in its courtyard and peering up at the balcony where she called to her Romeo. You can even catch a photo op with Juliet’s bronze statue, resting within the courtyard.
Once you’ve had your fill of star-crossed lovers, move along to some of Verona’s historical sites. You’ll have plenty of options to explore as the small Italian city features a myriad of ancient remains. Its Verona Arena, though smaller than Rome’s Coliseum, is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters. In fact, the venue still hosts operas within its ancient walls to this day.
A stroll across the “Stone Bridge” or Ponte Pietra provides an opportunity to take in the Adige River from above, enjoy an outstanding panoramic view of the city, and appreciate one of its oldest structures. The bridge was initially constructed over two thousand years ago, but don’t let its age deter you. It has been restored many times since it was first built, and today it stands as one of the most prominent, and reliable features of the Verona cityscape.
Any trip to Verona warrants a visit to the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore. The centerpiece of the Piazza San Zeno contains a number of architectural styles all in one building, Built in the 9th century in honor of what was then Verona’s patron saint, the Basilica was restored in the 12th century and later expanded upon in the 13th and 14th centuries. You can admire the Basilica from outside and within, as you explore the grand structure.
Finally, when visiting Verona, take advantage of the true charm of the city by ambling along its many great pedestrian walkways in Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe. Enjoy the shops and indulge in a local specialty or two. And be sure to leave room for dessert, as there is sure to be a gellateria nearby, regardless of the neighborhood you’re exploring.
Experience the allure of Verona for yourself on an extension of VBT’s Cycling the Dolomites vacation. Andiamo!