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Things to do in Verona, Italy

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The ‘fair Verona of today compares favourably with the one portrayed in Shakespeare. There are more tourists nowadays but the gang warfare between Montagues and Capulets has subsided, leaving an appealing and relaxed place to visit. While neighbouring Venice has a greater number of sites to see, Verona is more laid back and lacks the stress and mania attached with Venice, especially in the high season.

The Roman Arena

In my opinion, the best thing to see in Verona is the Arena. This enormous amphitheatre dates from Roman times and is still in use today, if you time your visit right you will be able to watch one of the world famous operas in one of the last remaining working Roman amphitheatres in the world. If, however, there is no show on when you visit you can still tour the Arena and see the majesty of this incredible performance space. Even viewing the Arena from outside is amazing as the ancient, cracked and crumbling walls can tell fascinating stories of the past two thousand years.

Juliet’s Balcony

The most popular sight in Verona is, somewhat inevitably, the house where Juliet supposedly lived. This is one place that the crowds of tourists can rival Venice and the jostling as every love struck couple tries to get photographed on the balcony can rob the moment of some of its magic. If you can suspend your logical cynicism (the balcony was added to the house in the twentieth century as a means of attracting tourists) then the house is a fun place to visit but be wary of coming on your own if you easily feel lonely.

Castelvecchio

Another of my favourite places in Verona is Castelvecchio. This is part castle, part art museum and like so much of the town is steeped in history. Kids of all ages will love climbing the castle walls, making this the ideal place for families getting wanting a break from too much antiquity. On the other hand, the Castelvecchio museum has an interesting collection of sculptures and other exhibits from pre-Roman times to the Renaissance.

Piazza delle Erbe

I have fond memories of the Piazza delle Erbe, the central square in the town, as it had remained picturesque and a great place to stroll and explore. The square has been the main meeting place since it was the forum of the Roman city and there are huge numbers of restaurants, bars, cafes and all manner of other shops to visit. I have heard from people who have visited Verona more recently that the piazza has changed now, possibly due to ‘improvement works’ by the city authorities in an attempt to bring in more tourists. However, unless they have removed the tower over the piazza and its merry fountain then I doubt that the atmosphere has changed greatly.

Top 3 Hotels in Verona, Italy:

Photo of Verona’s Arena by xiquinho

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4 responses to “Things to do in Verona, Italy”

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  1. Alicia Kok Yu Ming says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 09:24

    would like to go to Verona when I go to Italy for the 2nd time. Thanks for the article, cheers.

  2. Susan says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 11:29

    I loved Juliet’s Balcony and the Arena, it’s smaller than the Colosseum in Rome but much more preserved. I really recommend seeing one of the operas performed there in the summer.

  3. Michelle says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 11:34

    I’ve been to the Arena when I was small…it was great! The seats are a bit uncomfortable though and they sell cushions.

  4. Marion says:
    March 3rd, 2010 at 21:29

    I visited Verona on a school trip to Italy when I was a teenager. I really enjoyed the city and loved the arena, but was a bit disappointed by Juliet’s Balcony. That might be because I’ve never been a romantic girl nor a big fan of the Romeo and Juliet story… :D


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