Verona, in the Veneto, exudes sophistication
that comes from being a significant centre, long before the Venetian
Empire presumed to swallow it up. It was dominated by feudal families,
having had a rich Roman and Etruscan past. The Venetian Republic took
control between 1402–1797 after which it was ruled by Austria
until the end of World War I.
As the setting
for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet the city draws innumerable number
of lovers to its bosom. It is a prosperous city with streets paved
with precious marble and lined with restaurants and chic boutiques.
It's aesthetically pleasing with the swathe of pale pink stone curling
along the banks of the River Adige.
Walking around on foot is the best way to see
Verona but there is a mini train tour should you need help. The
Roman Arena provides the
backdrop for Italy's most theatrical open-air operatic theatre.
The elliptical amphitheatre is the third largest in existence and
dates from the 1st century AD.
delle Erbe reveals the cosy heart of the city occupying the
site of the Roman Forum. It's littered with cheerful market stalls
and flanked by impressive palaces. Casa
di Giulietta is the supposed home of Juliet. Sant'Anastasia
houses a fresco by Pisanello and is the city's largest Gothic church.
The Roman Theatre, Teatro Romano, has wonderful views from the terraces
and is used for summer festivals of dance or opera.
Verona is the hub of a thriving wine producing
region and plays host to VinItaly, the country's major wine fair.