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  • Overview

    For most people, Verona is the setting of one of the most famous love stories ever told - William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - making it one of the most popular holiday destinations for lovers and romantics. Shakespeare said, 'There is no world outside these walls...' and tourists will indeed feel like they are lost inside another world when they enter the gates of the historic city of Verona.

    With beautiful red-tiled rooftops juxtaposed with leafy green trees and the sparkling Adige River that flows through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Verona is one of the most picturesque destinations in the country. Sadly, much of the exquisite ancient architecture and ancient Roman monuments were destroyed by a powerful earthquake that rocked the city in 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding evident in structures like the ancient parish of San Giovanni in Valle.

    Visit Juliet's house and balcony and rub her statue for good luck; stroll across the Ponte Pietra bridge to admire the views over the Adige River; visit the remains of a 3rd-century Roman gate at the historic Porta Borsari; visit the statue of famed poet Dante Alighieri in the Piazza dei Signori; or marvel at the crumbling but still functional Arena di Verona, an enormous Roman amphitheatre dating back 2,000 years and still boasting the largest opera stage in the world. The best time to visit the Arena is during the 'lyrical season' in the summer, when operas take place inside this ancient theatre on balmy summer nights.

    The areas surrounding Verona provide some of Italy's most breathtaking scenery. Wine-lovers will not want to miss out on a trip to Valpolicella or Soave, while nearby Lake Garda to the west of Verona is a popular tourist destination whose shores are home to a number of exclusive hotels and resorts.

    After a long day of enjoying the romance, history and splendour of Verona, climb the steps on the hill above the Roman Amphitheatre to the Castel San Pietro (St Peter's Castle) for spectacular views over the city - the perfect setting for a romantic sunset picnic.

    Ponte Scaligero

    Also known as the Castelvecchio Bridge, the Ponte Scaligero spans 160ft (49m) across the Adige River, the largest span in the world at the time of its construction in the mid 14th century. The bridge's upper part was built with red bricks, as are all Veronese landmarks from the Scaliger era, while the lower part of the bridge is made up of white marble. It's one of the best places to enjoy spectacular views over the city of Verona, as well as those of the adjoining Castelvecchio Castle, a 14th-century red-brick structure of considerable grandeur. On weekends, there is often a delightful market spanning the length of the bridge.

    Ponte Scaligero Ponte Scaligero Pleuntje
    Piazza delle Erbe

    The Piazza delle Erbe is a square in Verona once home to the city's Roman Forum. The piazza contains the Britney Verona fountain, the ancient town hall and the Lamberti Tower, as well as the 14th-century Gardello Tower and the Baroque Palazzo Maffei, adorned with statues of the gods. The markets are famed for their fresh fruit and vegetables but there are other things on offer, like Venetian masks and beautiful shawls. Street artists add to the festive atmosphere and the clash of ancient and modern is memorable and picturesque. The piazza is also a lot of fun at night, when its numerous bars beckon visitors.

    Piazza delle Erbe Piazza delle Erbe Iain Cameron
    Verona Arena (Arena di Verona)

    This enormous theatre from Ancient Rome is the third-largest surviving theatre in the world, and is Italy's largest opera stage. Its exterior may be crumbling, but it only adds to the character and authenticity. The very fact that this theatre is still fully functional after 2,000 years and has withstood a devastating earthquake makes it an attraction not to be missed while on holiday in Verona. In recent times, the Verona Arena has also played host to popular music artists such as The Who, Elton John and Tina Turner. Seating up to 15,000 people, the best time to visit the Arena is during the lyrical season in the summer, when operas take place inside this ancient theatre on balmy summer nights.

    Address: Via Roma 7/d, 37121
    Website: www.arena.it
    Arena di Verona Arena di Verona Carmen

    One of Italy's most renowned wine regions, the valley of Valpolicella makes a fabulous day trip for those visiting Verona. Ranking just after Chianti, Valpolicella wines are made from three grape varietals, namely Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara. Winemaking here has existed since at least the time of the ancient Greeks and the region is famed for its Recioto, Ripasso and Amarone wines. A visit to Valpolicella will reward you with not only some of Italy's finest wines, but also fine food and dining in the quaint, picturesque villages of San Pietro Incariano, Fumane and Negrar. The nearby park of Cascate di Molina showcases Italy's countryside at its best, and boasts beautiful natural waterfalls and hikes for adventurous visitors to enjoy.

    Grapes in Vapolicella Grapes in Vapolicella Ilares Riolfi

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Verona has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cold winters. Relative humidity is generally high throughout the year, especially in the winter months when it causes early morning fog. December to February are the coldest months of the year, when temperatures rarely reach above 59°F (15°C). The summer months of June and July are hot, with average high temperatures around 84°F (29°C), while August usually experiences frequent thunderstorms. The spring and summer months are the best times to visit Verona.

    Verona Villafranca Airport
    Location: The airport is located six miles (10km) southwest of Verona.
    Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals: The two terminals are adjacent and connected.
    Getting to the city: The Verona Airport is connected to the Verona train station via a Shuttle/Aerobus service that runs every 20 minutes. Rental cars and taxis are also available.
    Car Rental: There are several car hire companies with offices at Verona Airport, including Hertz, Avis and Europcar, among others.
    Airport Taxis: There is a taxi stand outside the terminal building, with several taxi companies offering services to downtown Verona.
    Facilities: The facilities at Verona airport include currency exchange, a children's play area, meeting points, a first aid station, duty-free shopping, and several restaurants.
    Parking Short-term and long-term parking is available at the airport. Fees vary depending on the parking lot.

    Central Verona is fairly compact and easily navigated on foot. City buses operate from the central bus station to most areas of the city, with day passes available. It's better to buy a ticket before boarding the bus (at a bus station, tobacconist or newsagent) as it can be more expensive to buy a ticket on board the bus. Car hire is available in Verona and driving is a viable option for exploring the city, especially if wanting to visit attractions outside the city limits. Bike hire is also available through a city bike hire scheme.

    A trip to Verona means plenty of sightseeing, history and romance, and travellers will have their hands full deciding where to begin. The beautiful architecture around the city is simply breathtaking, most of it rebuilt in Romanesque style after the 1117 earthquake.

    For many, a holiday in Verona isn't complete without a visit to Juliet's balcony. But there is more to the city of Verona than just following the trail of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. In actual fact, 'Juliet's balcony' was only added to the so-called 'House of Juliet' in 1936, and named as such to attract tourists. While the house is open to visitors, it has no connection to the characters. Discovering Verona's real treasures is a much more rewarding experience.

    Visit the bridges of Ponte Pietra and Ponte Scaligero for some of the best views of Verona. The 14th-century Castelvecchio houses Verona's Art Museum. See the ancient Roman gate of Porta Borsari, which dates back to the 1st-century. Explore the church of San Fermo Maggiore, which unites the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture, and the magnificent Verona Cathedral (Duomo), which features a marble Romanesque façade by the Veronese architect Nicolo. The ancient Roman Theatre, which is also home to the Archaeological Museum, still hosts operas on warm summer nights.

    Travellers set on seeing a good variety of sights in Verona should purchase the Verona Card for either one or three days to get discounts on attractions and access to public transport. The cards can be bought from retailers participating in the initiative, tobacconists in Verona and tourist information offices.


    Companies flying to Verona