Verona was the setting for William Shakespeare's heart breaker Romeo and Juliet. And with its opulent architecture, quaint streets and grand monuments, it’s certainly an apt setting for a tale of rebellious love.
Though smaller than its neighbour Venice, Verona is well-known for a having a distinctly authentic feel. Its compact size means it can easily be explored by foot, and its excellent transport connections mean it's the perfect place for exploring the wider region.
The city has a vibrant history. Having been occupied by the Romans two thousand years ago – the city still boasts many well-preserved attractions. There are also many pretty Renaissance and Medieval architectural styles present around Verona – a real treat for lovers of all things classical. From the Roman amphitheatre to the fortifications that remain from the domination by the Austrians, there is plenty to explore in this epic Italian city.
Verona is the second city in the Veneto region – Venice being the largest. A day trip to the city of canals is a must when you're spending time in this beautiful and traditional part of Italy. The city of love, Venice is one the most beautiful places in Europe, and with sights like St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge, the reality more than lives up to the hype.
For ultimate romance points, hop on a gondola when you're in Venice. The centre is also small enough to traverse by foot if you prefer to stick to something more traditional. A cheaper alternative to a gondola ride is to simply take the water taxis around the canals. They cost a fraction of the price and you still get to marvel at this wonderful city from the water.
The Jewish region of Venice is still one of the most vibrant and interesting districts in the city and it's well worth spending a few hours there to see a different side to this traditional Italian gem. Grab yourselves some fresh pasta in a cardboard box (a common lunch on the hoof in Italy), sit by the water, and enjoy this stunning city.
As well as bubbly city centre, Venice offers a great place to kick back with a cocktail and relax on some of the most stunning beaches in northern Italy. Venice Lido is one of the most prestigious stretches of the area and is brimming with trendy bars and restaurants frequented by a local, cosmopolitan crowd. Despite being so close to the city there is a multitude of outdoor pursuits to enjoy. From golf to tennis, there's always something to do in on this perfectly placed island. The Lido isn't short on more traditional activities either – there are plenty of small churches, squares lined with cafés and fantastic waterside restaurants that you can take advantage of when you visit.
Lake Garda is an easy day trip by train from Verona. Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is doubtless one of the most beautiful that you'll find anywhere in Europe. Sailing is hugely popular pastime here, and you can easily spend all your time offshore. If you'd rather keep your feet on dry land, there are many opportunities for exploration and adventures. There are many treks in the exquisite surroundings of the lake, or if you prefer you can simply explore the many small towns and villages which are located around Lake Garda.
The house of Juliet Capulet
Possibly the most frequented attraction in Verona is the house of Juliet Capulet. Though there is no concrete evidence that Shakespeare actually based his famous love story on the house in Verona – it's a wonderful experience nonetheless. A nearby building has also been adopted as the house of Romeo.
The Arena is another popular attraction in Verona. This stunning Roman amphitheatre is thought to be the world's third largest and still hosts tonnes of concerts. If you're around in the opera season (generally end of June to end of August) then getting a ticket to this spectacular venue is a fantastic evening’s entertainment.
Castelvecchio is a red-brick castle that is now home to the city's best art museum. There are a variety of works, primarily from the Renaissance period, that will engage any art lover. The remains of the castle are also available to be explored – a perfect hands-on activity for those travelling with children.
While beaches are not the primary attraction in Verona (the city is inland), there are plenty of options close by for those who want to soak up the sun on Italy's wonderful golden sands. Venice Lido and Lake Garda offer the best beaches in the area, and are both just over an hour away. The fast train will whisk you from Verona to Venice in an hour and ten minutes. If you want to explore the area a little further then you can head to Jesolo or Bibione.
Translated to The Roman Theatre in English, the Teatro Romano is a striking open-air ancient theatre in the north of Verona. Found just over the Adige river, any visit to this incredible monument really does provide entertainment with a view. Built during Augustus’ reign, in the late 1st Century BC, it’ll certainly earn its place on your to-see list. Featuring a traditional Roman cavea seating area complete with steps and a statement main stage, it’s the perfect place to host show-stopping events. From drama to music, starting in June and ending in September, you’ll find something on the agenda to enjoy. And there’s also the archaeological museum to explore too.
From classic cultural constructions over to a stunningly serene site, the Giusti Palace and Garden is another spot to explore. Located slightly to the east of Verona, this glorious oasis is just a short distance from the Piazza Isolo. Planted in the 16th century, you’ll find a textbook example of the finest Italian gardens found across the country. Wander around the Renaissance gardens and take in the striking parterre, a formal symmetrical garden. For a bit of fun, find your way through the impressive hedge maze to really enjoy this small slice of heaven in the city.
Arco dei Gavi
One of the most alluring sides to Verona is the ancient architecture. And while in town, save some time to see the Arco dei Gavi. This age-old structure was built by a noble Roman family, the gens Gavia, and it’s as every bit as impressive as you’d expect it to be. The family commissioned L. Vitruvius Cerdo to construct the landmark during the 1st century AD and the arch is as every bit impressive today as it was then.
Italy is famed for its food, and the north of the country takes much of its influences from its surrounding European neighbours. There are many fantastic restaurants in Verona, so bring a healthy appetite! If you're looking for something a little different, then opt for the Pastissada de caval (braised horse meat). Of course, perfected fresh pizza and pasta are readily available.
Jet off to this classic Italian city with easyJet holidays and save money when you book your flights and hotel with our packages! There are wonderful hidden gems to discover as well as the famous attractions, such as Juliet's house and the many museums. If holidays to Verona aren't quite what you're looking for then take a look at these other great Italian destinations.