Situated about two hours from busy Milano and tourist-packed Venice, Verona presents a welcoming blast of authentic Italy. Made famous by Shakespeare work, this city is the fourth most visited in Italy. The locals are astonished by the fact that about 1600 groups of Japanese tourists come here annually only to stand for a while in the courtyard in front of Juliet’s house. The romantic courtyard, where the real Capulet family once lived, is a sight on its own indeed. The visitors find themselves touching the finger of the bronze statue of Juliet pinning their hopes to be lucky in love.
The city is so famous for love that it repeatedly receives letters addressed simply to “Juliet, Verona, Italy”. There are even volunteers who respond to these wishful letters. Since the movie “Letters for Juliet” hit the cinemas, these volunteers have been busier than ever.
However, Verona is definitely not only about romantic stories and fiction but also full of real history. It had been popular among the Romans, who considered it ideal place for relaxation and therefore many structures of that time have been preserved. Take a look at the preserved amphitheatre, for instance, where many events, such as the famous Arena di Verona Opera Festival, have been taking place so far. It is the third largest Roman arena worldwide.
Piazza delle Erbe or Green Market has been the main gathering place for the people of Verona since the Roman times. Nowadays, the regular markets take place and the local youth enjoys sparkling beverages, olives, and crisps in the local bars. The square is also captivating with its colourful facades of the surrounding houses.
Another, no less famous square, Piazza dei Signori, houses a statue of the Italian author, Dante Alighieri, in its centre. According to linguists, it was he himself who laid foundations of the contemporary standard Italian language. If you feel like chilling in peace and quiet, then head for Piazza San Zeno, where you can visit the original Roman basilica of San Zeno Maggiore and take a rest in the local park. Another Verona’s attractive place of interest is the Roman theatre – Teatro Romano. And if feeling like climbing up the hill, then visit the lookout at Castel San Pietro and enjoy the views of not only the historical part of the city.
Whether you are travelling as a couple wishing to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the city of Juliet or just simply to take delight in looking at the historical sites and enjoy the authentic Italian atmosphere, Verona will surely be no disappointment.