Welcome to Verona

One of the most attractive cities in northern Italy, Verona is best known for its association with William Shakespeare’s tragic lover’s tale, Romeo and Juliet. Indeed, Verona continues to attract tourists in search of romanticism and the city does not disappoint. Verona is dotted with ancient churches, Renaissance period palazzos, cobbled squares and multiple art galleries.

Best known for its Shakespeare associations, Verona attracts a multinational gaggle of tourists to its pretty piazzas and knot of lanes, most in search of Romeo, Juliet and all that. But beyond the heart-shaped kitsch and Renaissance romance, Verona is a bustling centre, its heart dominated by a mammoth, remarkably well-preserved 1st-century amphitheatre, the venue for the city’s annual summer opera festival. Add to that countless churches, a couple of architecturally fascinating bridges over the Adige, regional wine and food from the Veneto hinterland and some impressive art, and Verona shapes up as one of northern Italy’s most attractive cities. And all this just a short hop from the shores of stunning Lake Garda.

Main sights

Because of the value and importance of its many historical buildings, Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Verona preserved many ancient Roman monuments (including magnificent Arena), no longer in use, in the early Middle Ages, but much of this and much of its early medieval edifices were destroyed or heavily damaged by the earthquake of 3 January 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding. The Carolingian period Versus de Verona contains an important description of Verona in the early medieval era.

In the heart of Verona, you will find the well-preserved pink-tinged marble amphitheater that dates back to the 1st century AD and which attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city’s annual summer opera festival. A masterpiece of Renaissance landscaping can be found in the sculpted Giardino Giusti, made famous by the German poet Goethe, and a destination for lovers attracted to the legends of the gardens. The ancient Basilica di San Zeno, renowned for its excellent Romanesque architecture and frescoes dating from the 12th to 15th centuries, is also home to the exquisitely revived Majesty of the Virgin altarpiece. The impressive Castelvecchio fortress, first built in the 14th century, has been reconstructed and exhibits well-preserved frescoes, ancient glassworks and an impressive collection of art. Visitors can climb out onto the ramparts for a wonderful view of the river and city. However, for an even better view of the city, a visit to Torre dei Lamberti watchtower should not be skipped. This 84m high construction, started in the 12th century, provides some of the most panoramic views of the city, especially if you are willing to walk the last few stories.

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