There is a reason if William Shakespeare set one of his most famous plays in Verona: Romeo and Juliet made this city the emblem of love. The city is located in the North East of Italy, in the region of Veneto, and it has been established that the first settlement can be dated back to the Neolithic era. Verona has been then developing during the Roman Era, Middle Ages and Renaissance till now, when it was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. We bet you know the Arena, but here is the list of 10 things to do, visit and eat in Verona, seen by inhabitants.
1-Visit Juliet’s house and write to her. In the city center there is what is believed to be the house of Juliet, from the Shakespeare’s tragic play “Romeo and Juliet”. In this house you can see the balcony where Romeo declared his love to the girl. There is a copper statue of her where unmarried couples can touch Juliet’s breast (a kind of good-luck ritual). If you feel some love pain, you can write to Juliet and the official club will answer you with love advice and support.
2- Watch Verona from Castel San Pietro. Castel San Pietro is a military building in Verona. The building stands on the San Pietro hill, on a plateau where, in Roman times, there was a temple linked to the Roman theatre. To reach the summit of the hill there are some stairs that start behind the old roman theatre. Climbing them will require some effort and it might leave you breathless, but not as much as the view of Verona you can have from there.
3- Spend the happy hour in the Tennis Club. The Tennis Club is situated on the outskirts of the city, in the neighborhood of Torricelle. If playing tennis is not your cup of tea, you can just easily chill during the happy hour with a drink, hopefully a spritz, in your hand. During summer it is a fresh break from the city center’s heat.
4- Drink Mandorlino. Mandorlino is a liquor obtained by the infusion of bitter almonds. It is mostly sold in a tavern called Zampieri la Mandorla, very close to the city center. The tavern is really small and characteristic, with barrels serving as tables and huge corks in the place of chairs.
5- Enjoy the Roman Theatre Summer Season. Every summer the ancient Roman Arena is transformed into an open air theatre for plays, dance shows and lyric concerts.
But there is also another open air theatre that is overlooked by many: the Roman theatre. Situated on top of the hills, it was built at the end of the 1st century BC and now it can host up to 1860 people. With this romantic Roman view, you can enjoy Shakespearean plays, dance shows and a lot more.
6- Visit the Monumental Cemetery. During Napoleon’s invasion, a law established that all the cemeteries should have been built outside the city. Also in Verona, likewise other North Italian cities, a new cemetery was needed since all the graves were placed right next to the churches. It was built in 1829 in neoclassical style. The majestic entrance seems intimidating, but inside, an unusual peace can be found. In this cemetery, you can find the graves of writer Emilio Salgari or painter Umberto Boccioni, among others.
7- Fall in love with bridges. The Adige river divides the city in two, therefore bridges have always played an essential role for Verona. Today there are seven of them and they all share the common fate of having been destroyed by the Nazis and then rebuilt in later years. The oldest of all is the Ponte di Pietra (the Stone Bridge). Built in the Roman era, it still connects the Roman Theatre to the city center. After World War II, stones and bricks, projected into the river bed by the explosion, were recovered and used to rebuild it, as much faithful as possible to the original one.
8- Admire le Arche Scaligere. The Scaliger Tombs, located in the historic center of Verona, next to the church of Santa Maria Antica, near the Piazza dei Signori, are a monumental funerary complex built in the Gothic style by the Scala family, intended to contain the graves of some distinguished representatives of the family, including the one of the great Lord of Verona, Cangrande, to whom Dante Alighieri dedicated the Heaven part of his Divine Commedy.
9- Sunbathe in Lake Garda. Not far from the city center there is the biggest lake in Italy- Lake Garda. It is just enough to take a train to Peschiera del Garda and in less than 15 minutes you can enjoy the beauty of this lake surrounded by mountains.
10- Take a walk. And then, when the sun goes down there is nothing more beautiful than taking a long relaxing walk in the sidewalks along river Adige. The colours of the sunset reflecting in its waters will make Verona even more worthy to fall in love with.
Written by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Verona with inputs from Angie Zandonà, AEGEE-Verona
If you want to tell 10 things to do, eat and visit in your city (even where there is no AEGEE), you can fill this form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s create a small travel guide for AEGEE people!