A splendid city of art inextricably associated with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, straddling the winding Adige River where ancient and modern times meet.
Though just an hour from Venice, Verona lacks its neighbour’s crowds and is a wonderfully relaxed place to visit, manageably human in size and thoroughly welcoming.
In the historical centre, modestly grand piazzas and a maze of streets are dotted with quietly humming cafes, tucked away osterie (old inns serving wine and simple food), artisan shops and high couture boutiques.
Historic ruins are scattered throughout the city, from the incredible Roman Arena amphitheatre – where performances can still be seen during the popular Opera season – and Porta Borsari gate, to Medieval towers, grand cathedrals, romantic castellos and remnants of Austrian rule. Collectively they comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For lovers of Italian art, a visit to Verona is a must as the rich collections held in 12-Century churches and art museums here encapsulate the transition in Western European art from late-Medieval to early-Renaissance styles.
Just outside the city, rolling hills blanketed in vineyards give way to beginnings of the Alps. The beautiful Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, is half an hour away.
When to go
Verona is a year-round city. Summer and spring are the most popular times to visit because of the sunshine and the cultural activities on offer, including the opera season.