O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? That’s right, in fair Verona, the city made famous by William Shakespeare, you can visit the balcony where Juliet pined for her lover. Yes it’s fiction and yes neither Romeo or Juliet probably ever really existed, but hey, it’s one of the greatest love stories (read tragedies) of all time, and if you visit Verona, it’s a must. So, pull up with your lover and snap a photo beneath the balcony. And, for all you lonelyhearts, don’t dismay. It’s believed that rubbing the right breast of the statue of Juliet, that sits in the courtyard beneath the balcony, will bring you luck in love. If you venture into the house, you can look at costumes from MGM’s 1936 version of Romeo and Juliet as well as step out onto the balcony itself. This is one of the most popular Verona sites year round, so maybe steer clear on Valentine
You can never get tired of seeing a colosseum. They are incredible feats of engineering that are a marvel to look at. Throw in what they were actually used for and you get swept by history and imagination as you visualize the bloody battles of gladiators and beasts. The pink stoned Arena di Verona, which survived a devastating earthquake and was once the 8th biggest amphitheater in the Roman Empire, no longer plays host to those sorts of shows. No, now one of the great Verona attractions is an open-air theatre that puts on concerts and they’re pretty spectacular too. Can you think of anything better than sitting, alfresco, in the warm summer air late one night watching an opera like Carmen, Aida or Turandot? If you can’t, it’s quite simple, head to this legendary open-air opera house, one of the best places to visit in Verona and catch a show.
Sitting right next to the Piazza delle Erbe, which like the cooler, older brother garners much more attention from the tourist crowds who flood through Verona, is the Piazza dei Signori. But, the Piazza dei Signori is not to be missed, and should definitely be included on your “what to see in Verona” lists. If you pick up a Verona city guidebook, you’ll be quick to learn that this square is referred to by the locals as Verona’s “living room” and plays host to many Renaissance palazzi. The Loggia del Consiglio is one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in northern Italy. And, while you can’t go inside, you can get lost in the splendor of its exterior. You may, however, go into the Palazzo della Ragione, in which young couples sometimes get married. Also located in the square is a statue of Dante Alighieri, writer of the divine comedy.
In the Middle Ages, the city managed to become one of the independent communes in northern Italy which were always at war with one another. Its period of independence lasted until 1405 when Verona became part of the Venetian Republic, and the city entered a period of wealth and importance.
While Verona changed rulers and allegiances many times, it never truly suffered from war or deprivation. Precisely for these 2000 years of uninterrupted development, the town became famous for its stunning historical architecture representing each period in its winding history. In fact, Verona’s Roman ruins are among the finest. For instance, the magnificent Arena, the original Roman amphitheater in Verona, was re-discovered in the mid-19th century. Today, it hosts spectacular music and opera performances. It’s the second largest Roman amphitheater right after the Colosseum in Rome.
All in all, Verona is a city many delights, spiritual as well as those a bit more down to earth. You can enjoy strolling through the old town, shopping at outdoor markets, sipping a local wine, tasting local delicacies and admiring millennia of imposing art and architecture. After you are done with Verona sightseeing, venture beyond its borders and visit the stunning Lake Garda refreshing swim or hike! We can promise you that you won’t run out of things to see in Verona!