Friday, March 24

VERONA, ITALY… BEYOND ROMEO AND JULIET

Although it’s most famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona has much more to offer than its connections to the star-crossed lovers! In fact, there’s little evidence that anything like the Romeo and Juliet story actually took place here… but it is indisputable that you won’t be short of sights in this beautiful city, even if you ignore Juliet’s “balcony” and “tomb.” In fact, the city’s rich culture and history has landed it on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Still not convinced? Here are 7 of the best sights in Verona.

Piazza delle Erbe

By day, Piazza delle Erbe is home to a market; in the evening, it fills with locals and tourists sipping Campari and enjoying aperitivi at the outdoor cafes. But no matter when you’re passing through the square, look around you! With its Renaissance-era palaces and lovely central fountain, this might just be the prettiest piazza in all of Italy.

Arena of Verona

Built in the 1st century A.D., this amphitheater was Verona’s answer to Rome’s Colosseum. It actually predates the Colosseum by almost 50 years!. Still remarkably well preserved, today it is home to Verona’s summer opera festival.

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

This beautiful church dates back to the 4th century, although most of the current building was constructed between the 10th and 12th centuries. Other churches in Verona drew much of their inspiration from its early Romanesque style. Don’t miss the bronze door, with 48 elaborately-carved panels of scenes from the Bible, dating back to the 11th century.

Castelvecchio

With seven towers, a castle keep, and four separate buildings, Verona’s 14th-century fortress, Castelvecchio, is the city’s most imposing building. Today, it’s also home to a museum of art, sculpture, coins, and other artifacts, with a collection of paintings that includes pieces by northern Italian masters Mantegna, Bellini and Pisanello.

Porta Borsari

This ancient Roman gate, which once marked the southern entrance into Verona, is a great—and beautiful—example of the way in which ancient ruins are layered into the modern city of Verona.

Duomo of Verona

Verona’s main cathedral, or Duomo, is stunning. But don’t just see it from the outside: The interior of this 12th-century church is incredibly elaborate and filled with artistic gems, including a painting by the Italian master Titian.

Arche Scaligeri

Tombs don’t get much more elaborate than these! Just around the corner from Piazza delle Erbe, these five Gothic funerary monuments, considered some of the best examples of Gothic art in Itay, are hard to miss. They belong to members of the Scaligeri, who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries. Make sure you duck into the tiny, lovely church of Santa Maria Antica behind them.
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For an easy way to visit the city, try the Verona City Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus. Same concept as the buses in most European cities. You can see the sights and hop off when you want to take a closer look. The Verona City Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus makes 16 stops at the cities main attractions. Such a great way to get around and not miss a single thing! When this article was written the ticket prices for a 24 hour pass was $21.98.

If you still feel the need, swing by and see Juliet's house and her ever so famous balcony!

The Domestic Curator
Ronda

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