The Romantic Verona, City of Love
The city of Verona is located in a strategic point of the Pianura Padana, just a few hours away from the sea, the mountains, and other important Italian cities such as Venice, Bologna, Trento, and Milan. Verona is crossed by the Adige river, that was used as a way of exchanging goods and passenger transport until the 1882 flood. The development of the city over the centuries has resulted in the presence of architectural styles from many different periods, as evident in the many squares, arches, palaces, bridges, villas, archaeological sites, and gardens. The famous Arena di Verona is the most spectacular monument: thanks to its excellent state of conservation the arena is still an active cultural venue, hosting many musical and artistic events capable of attracting thousands of people, especially during the summer.
But Verona's fame is old and established and goes beyond its appearance. Ironically what made Verona famous was not one of its citizens, but a poet and playwright: William Shakespeare. Shakespeare decided to set his most representative tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, in this city. Such a popular work couldn't but feed rumors, legends, and myths on its two main characters, still alive in the memory of the residents of Verona. The adjective “romantic” with which Verona is called, refers to Shakespeare's tragedy: after all, what other story is more romantic than Romeo and Juliet's? A good starting point for a visit in Verona is the balcony of Juliet's house, that has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers, tourists, and curious people.
DOWNTOWN VERONA: A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
It is a real pleasure to visit downtown Verona, especially if you are walking or riding a bicycle. There are many must see places, but a couple of days should be enough to visit most of them. First stop is the Arena, the third largest amphitheater after the Colosseum and the Santa Maria Capua Vetere amphitheater. Second stop is the archaeological site of the Roman theater, so well preserved that every year it becomes the set of many shows of the Estate Veronese. Then there are the Basilica di San Zeno, Palazzo del Governo, Porta Nuova, Ponte di Castel Vecchio,, and the three squares: Piazza delle Erbe, dei Signori, and di San Zeno... such beauty has earned the city the inclusion in UNESCO's World Heritage list.