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When a person thinks of the most romantic cities in the world, they usually think of Paris or Venice. If you want to take a break from these bustling cities, though, there is no place like Verona.
“The Guardian” puts Verona and surroundings on the top positions in its ranking of most beautiful places to visit, worldwide. It will be a pleasant stay no matter what are the reasons for your travel, surrounded by history, great local food and the best wines in the world.
Yes, this city leaves quite an impression. Verona streets could be a perfect set for a movie about the Middle Ages with its tiled roofs, similar to tiles of milk and bitter chocolate, marble sidewalks (yes, in Verona, sidewalks are made of marble!), towers, Roman ruins, churches, and cathedrals. The heart of the city is entirely in a bend of the river Adige, that, during the centuries, functioned as a natural defense against invasions. Several bridges cross Adige and all of them have history, like the most ancient: Ponte di San Pietro, the only Roman bridge in Verona, is more than 2,100 years old!
When we mention the Romans in Verona, we have to mention the Arena. This building is included in the World Heritage sites; it is one of the largest and better-preserved amphitheaters survived to this day. In the summer, the Arena di Verona becomes an opera house, throughout the last hundred years the most famous singers of the time graced us with there performances here. The prestigious Lyric Summer Festival calls thousands of people into the city from all over the world.
The Cathedral, in which Titian’s masterpiece, "Assumption of the Virgin Mary," is stored, will simply amaze you.
You will see the beautiful, medieval Piazza dei Signori, the fountain of the Madonna di Verona, the castle of the Scaligeri dynasty and their amazing "hanging sarcophagi" - the scaling arches. The family of Della Scala managed Verona for many years. The three greatest rulers of this family, Cangrade, Mastino and Cansigniori, installed sarcophagi with arched pompous Gothic tombstones. Three of these monuments are set next to the small church of Santa Maria Antica, in which the rest of the Della Scala family rest.
In this city, Dante Alighieri lived for 13 years and, surely, the Gothic church of St. Elena heard his voice, where he held a conference.
You can admire the famous striped Tower of Lamberti. This tower has come a long way before becoming the tallest building in Verona. Its history began in the XII century and, at the beginning of the XV century, a lightning bolt damaged the top. After 45 years, the city decided to reconstruct the tower but at the same time, to build it taller; gradually, it reached a modern height of 84 meters. The stripes of its walls demonstrate the process of "growth" of the Lamberti tower: the lower part consists of a mixture of bricks and tuffs, the middle part is exclusively brick, and the octagonal bell tower is made of marble.
Verona is a city of magnificent palaces; ancient basilicas, famous arches, and bridges, but this city earned the name of “the City of All Lovers” thanks to Shakespeare’s heroes, Romeo and Juliet. You will see "Romeo’s House", a medieval mansion, or you can visit Juliet’s famous courtyard, on Stella Street. Here you can also see the balcony, where, allegedly, one of the most romantic scenes in the play took place. Shakespeare immortalized the families of the Capulet and the Montagues, who once lived in Verona. Lord Byron attests the importance of the play for Verona and of how the locals ended up identifying that place as the one where the balcony scene happened. In fact, it is an interesting thing to know, that it was the city’s administration (which now owns the house of Juliet), in order to match Shakespeare and not disappoint the tourists’ expectations, ordered to install a balcony on the building.
The house is open for tours. Tourists can even glance into Juliet's bedroom. On the second floor in front of the visitors’ eyes there is a bright huge hall completely decorated with ancient ornaments and frescoes. While walking in this enchanted place, the ancient music of a minuet flows from the ceiling. In the grand hall there is a fireplace over which Capuleti's coat of arms was the masquerade, where Romeo first saw Juliet and was delighted with her beauty. Every year, on September 16, Juliet's birthday, there are costume balls. Come and visit the city of lovers yourself!
Places of Interest:
Basilica di San Zeno - Arena - Casa di Giulietta - Piazza dei Signori - Piazza delle Erbe - Casa del Vino - Viale Mazzini - Ponte Pietra - Teatro Romano