Hello my dear readers,
Wednesday already, this means …
Verona is the second Venetian city, with more than 250.000 inhabitants, spread over a very varied territory: the city is in fact bathed by the Adige river, but it is also located a few kilometers from the very popular Lake Garda, and at the foot of the less known Colle San Pietro, from which you can enjoy a precious view of the historic center.
Verona is known worldwide for being the capital of uneasy love, having hosted the story of the two most famous lovers in the world, Romeo and Juliet. But the city offers also a rich choice of museums, shopping streets, shows and other things to see: starting from the majestic Arena of Verona, which in the summer becomes a spectacular arena for concerts and operas.
Its historic center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its architecture and for its urban, romantic and fascinating structure, with its seven bridges over the river Adige.
From the most famous balcony in the world, Juliet’s, to the wonderful squares and the spectacular Arena of Verona, history lovers will be pleased to see how every era has left its mark, something to see and appreciate, in this city.
Verona is easily reachable by any means of transport: Verona-Villafranca Airport, just 12 km from the city center, is very well connected with Italy and Europe. Verona is also a good starting point for exploring the Veneto region by train or by renting a car to explore the other cities of art in the region.
The Arena is a must see, considered an icon and symbol of the city along with Juliet’s home. This ancient Roman amphitheater, preceded only by the Colosseum and that of Capua, was erected in the first century BC and according to many medieval legends its construction was to be attributed to the devil because of the enormous size, for which it seemed impossible that human beings could have built it. Since then it continues to be the venue for shows and concerts of numerous Italian and international artists. With its 30,000 seats and perfect acoustics, in the summer season it becomes the largest open-air opera theater in the world by hosting the famous Opera Festival.
Piazza Bra is the beating heart of Verona, a square teeming with people, day and night … like Goethe did here too!
In addition to the majestic Arena, the square is embellished with monuments and palaces: the seventeenth-century Palazzo della Gran Guardia, which today hosts exhibitions and conferences, the nineteenth-century Palazzo Barbieri, seat of the Town Hall, and the Maffeiano Lapidary Museum. There is much to see in this square, day and night. Don’t rush, clubs and bars liven up the square. Take a seat to watch the stroll and drink a good cup of coffee or an aperitivo.
A few steps away from the Arena, you can take the central Via Mazzini, a beautiful road that connects the two main squares of Verona: Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra. Via Mazzini is ideal for shopping, or just to get fascinated by the shop’s windows … and not only! It is also dotted with wonderful old buildings: don’t get distracted!
Considered as one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, Piazza delle Erbe is actually a little gem that will not fail to impress you. Built on the ancient Roman forum, the square is a mix of styles, history, smells and perfumes. Take a look at the buildings that surround it, such as the Palazzo della Ragione, the Case Mazzanti, the Palazzo Maffei and the Casa dei Mercanti. The center of the square is dominated by the fountain of the Madonna of Verona, built in the fourteenth century. Also look for the Ancient Column, a marble canopy from where the rulers of the city spoke to the people and where the heads of those condemned to death were exposed after the execution!. The central part of the square is full of food stalls and typical objects. The Torre dei Lamberti towers over the square with its 80 meters high, from which it is possible to admire a breathtaking view of the entire city.
A few meters from Piazza delle Erbe, walking in Via Cappello, one of the most charming streets of the city, you’ll find yourself in front of Juliet’s house, made famous by the pen of the great Shakespeare. Before entering the courtyard you will notice the walls covered with post-it and love letters left by lovers all over the world. Above it overlooks the famous balcony: below, according to legend, Romeo would have declared his love to Juliet, although history mixes with fantasy and lots of imagination! The house is pretty and welcoming, and worth a visit. Before leaving, don’t forget to take a picture with the most famous lover in the world!
From Juliet’s house you can reach Piazza dei Signori by crossing the Arco della Costa, which connects it to Piazza delle Erbe. From its vault hangs a whale rib! It is said to have been there since the seventeenth century. Legend has it that when an honest and pure person of heart passes under the “rib” it will come off and fall to the ground. It is still there … is it ever waiting for one of you? who knows…Symbol of the political and administrative power of the city, this square sees a succession of monumental buildings connected by arcades and loggias. At the center of the square is a statue of Dante Alighieri, who fled to Verona after being exiled from Florence.
The Scaliger Tombs, a few steps from Piazza delle Erbe, are a funerary complex dedicated to some representatives of the Scaliger family, who reigned for a long time in Verona. The Scaliger Tombs are a very special structure: the oldest, in a magnificent Gothic style, dates back to 1277. An imposing iron gate protects the monument, but from June to September it is possible to visit the interior.
The Roman Theater of Verona is located on the left bank of the Adige river, at the foot of Colle San Pietro. Its construction dates back to the 1st century BC, but what remains today is only part of the initial project: with the passage of time the theater was partly destroyed, and other buildings overlapped. Only in the nineteenth century it was decided to recover the original structure. Every year, in the summer period, the Theater lends itself as a setting to a Festival dedicated to the Shakespeare theater.
In Via Roma, lying on the banks of the Adige, is the Castelvecchio, the Verona castle built in the mid-fourteenth century by order of Cangrande II della Scala. A visit here will take you back to medieval Verona, in a romantic and fantastic atmosphere: the structure is divided between the large courtyard, in the center a strange dog-shaped fountain was built, a symbol of loyalty, and the Scaliger Palace. Once impregnable fortress, today Castelvecchio hosts the Civic Museum of Verona not to be missed! The offshoot of the fortress is the Bridge, one of the seven in the city. Rebuilt in the fifties with the original stones and bricks recovered from the bottom of the Adige after the explosion that destroyed it by the Germans, it crosses the river giving a perspective view and breathtaking shots of the city, especially at sunset.
Verona is one of the most romantic cities in Italy. Venue for important concerts that take place in its Arena, Verona offers those who visit it all they could wish for. From shopping to museums, through historic buildings and entertainment, Verona is the ideal place for a vacation at any time of the year.
In Verona you will find a warm and temperate climate, with frequent rainfall throughout the year. In the colder months the temperature can even drop below 0°C, while in the warmer ones the temperatures rise but still remaining below 30°C.
To save something for your trip to Verona, visit it during mid-seasons, when the temperature is not too high or too low. Then fortunately there are many ways to reach Verona, so you can easily take advantage of the offers for flights and train.
As in almost every Italian city, staying in the historic center allows you to stay close to the main historical attractions and thus proves to be the most comfortable area to sleep, especially if it is the first time you visit the city. On the other hand, this solution often turns out to be the enemy of your pocket: you pay for comfort! However, the average price of a double room in a hotel in this neighborhood is around 100-120 euros per night.
If it is not the first time you visit Verona and therefore you already know the main points of historical interest, or if you simply want to avoid spending a fortune during your stay, you can consider staying in the districts adjacent to the center. Borgo Trento, Veronetta, and the area of the Porta Nuova station, here it is easier to find availability, and the average price of a double room in the hotel is around 50-70 euros per night.
Verona, the romantic city par excellence, home to the most famous lovers in history, as well as the most unfortunate, Romeo and Juliet. A timeless place, a jewel in the heart of the Veneto region that does not attract tourists from all over the world just for the Shakespearean tragedy, for the curiosity to climb on the balcony of the young Capulet or for its famous Arena, but above all for its beauties, its alleys, its evocative atmosphere and, not least, for its cuisine made of traditional dishes with a unique taste that you cannot miss to taste in a trip to the city of Verona.
Since ancient Roman times the noble families of Verona were famous throughout the empire for the tasty meals they offered during memorable receptions, and even in medieval chronicles it is said that the Scaliger princes often amazed the guests of their court with rich and delicious dishes.
Typical dishes of Veronese cuisine are bollito con la pearà, beef accompanied by a sauce based on grated bread, cheese, marrow, broth and black pepper. Gnocchi, an exquisite dough made with potatoes, white flour and eggs, to be enjoyed with tomato sauce or with sage and butter. Pasta e fasoi, a robust and massive pasta and beans dish, almost muscular, roughly plebeian, devised by the imagination of poor. Polenta, the typical nourishment of the poor peasants of the Po valley, which is prepared with corn meal cooked in salted water. To taste it Veronese it must be eaten with well-cooked beans, polenta infasola or as an garnish to game, polenta and osei.
In the land where Nano Vialone Veronese IGP rice is produced, excellent risottos are also enjoyed: first and foremost the famous rice al tastasal, with its delicious mixture of pork. And then riso coi bisi, boiled rice with peas; the Radicchio Rosso and Monte Veronese risotto; the risotto all’amarone, with the precious red wine of Valpolicella.
The sopressa, a special and very tasty “salami”, made by mixing pork with garlic, red wine, salt and pepper.
Among the desserts, pandoro stands out, the Christmas cake par excellence based on flour, eggs, sugar and butter. It has a tall and slender shape, with a ribbed design; Covered with vanilla sugar, it is very appreciated for its soft and light texture, for its delicate flavor and its fragrant scent. In the other seasons you can taste the frolle di Santa Lucia, Russian pie, crostoli, frittole, Sfogliatine di Villafranca and the Mandorlato of Cologna Veneta, a dessert made with toasted almonds and then cooked with the addition of honey and egg whites.
And then there are the excellent wines: Bardolino red, Custoza white, the red Valpolicella, Soave white and many more.
Have you every visited Verona? I find it a very romantic city with a lot of things to see and plentiful of dishes to taste 🙂
Thank you all for reading.
Join me next time as it’s time for a delicious breakfast 🙂
And if you enjoy traveling as much as I do, you may visit my other posts and discover our world one step at the time.
Photo credit: Google Images, edited by Popsicle Society