I haven’t posted in a while now, but here comes an all time favorite destination of mine which deserves to be talked about: the beautiful Italian city of Verona! I first visited Verona last September and I had the pleasure to go back 2 weeks ago for a quick escape week-end.
Verona is a magical city, lost in time, as the old town, which makes the most important part of the city, has countless beautiful old colorful buildings and palazzi. One can understand why Shakespeare chose this place to write about one of the most famous love stories of all time: Romeo and Juliet. Every corner, every walk by the river Arno shows how romantic this place is. If I could, if i had the guts to leave everything behind, I would definitely move to Verona and enjoy la dolce vita :)
So let’s see what makes this beauty so worth visiting!
1. Arena di Verona
The Arena is probably the most important attraction of Verona. Most famous for it’s opera festival during the summer, a concert or a show in the Arena is simply a must. Both times I visited the city, I enjoyed concerts by one of my favorite bands: Il Volo. The music, the architecture of the Arena, the sky and the lively Italian people make a night in the Arena an unforgettable experience.
2. Casa die Giulietta & Club die Giulietta
The second hot spot of Verona is probably the house of Juliet Capulet. Overcrowded with tourists in the front yard in order to see and admire the famous balcony, I would recommend just a quick stop at the site. The house can also be visited and is very nicely decorated with objects typical for the 15th century.
Now if you have seen the movie “Letters to Juliet” starring the amazing Amanda Seyfried, you will be pleased to know that Juliet’s Club really does exist (since the 1980’s!!). The Club is run by volunteers and the letters can be thrown in red mailboxes placed at sites related to Romeo & Juliet. I find this a beautiful idea and I was so happy to see that it really existed. The women volunteering are from different countries and are therefore able to reply to letters written in various languages.
3. Arena Museo Opera (AMO)
This is the museum of the Arena about everything related to the art of Opera. It hosts many interesting varying exhibitions. When I visited two weeks ago they hosted an exhibit about the life of the one and only Maria Callas and it was so worth visiting. They had many personal objects, dresses and costumes. (exhibit until 16.9.2016)
4. Giardino Giusti
This beautiful and big garden of the Palazzo Giusti is a very nice place to stroll through. It is private and so you have to pay a small fee before entering, but the beautiful maintenance is worth it. If you have the courage to walk up to the top of the stairs, you have a wonderful view over the river and the city.
5. Castel San Pietro
While walking along the river, the castle on the top of a hill can be seen from everywhere. If you feel like doing a little bit of exercise, walk up the many many stairs which lead to the castle. Once up there you will be rewarded with the most amazing view over the city! A little cafe next to the castel will help you refresh and rest while enjoying the view.
6. The old city
Now the most beautiful and important part of Verona is of course the old part of the city. You just have to stroll through the streets and the piazze and just get lost in the beauty of past centuries. Walk through the Piazza delle Erbe with it’s little market, visit the many churches, among them the amazing Duomo Santa Maria, which is definitely worth a visit or stop by the Ponte Pietra and observe the sunset over the Arno and the many people crossing the bridge.
Of course, a very central part of an Italy trip is the food! Here are some recommendations for Verona:
1. Ristorante Maffei (Piazza Erbe 38)
This is one of the best restaurants of Verona. Located at Piazza Erbe in a beautiful old palazzo with a little courtyard it is right in the middle of the most lively place of the city, while still being very classy and quiet. The food is excellent and the service is professional and very friendly. Perfect for a special meal before the Arena.
2. Ai Lamberti (Piazza Erbe 30)
Here I ate the best spaghetti with lobster I ever had! Perfect for a lunch while enjoying the daily liveliness of the piazza.
3. Casa Mazzanti (Piazza Erbe 32)
You can tell, I loved the Piazza Erbe ;) We had breakfast at this cafè/restaurant, as we weren’t staying at a hotel but had rented a nice apartment (Palazzo Negri) just steps away from the piazza. The service is very nice and the food is great! They have a big variety of breakfast choices and of course, their coffee choice is also amazing. Definitely worth a try!
4. Trattoria Fluviale Vecio Mulin (Via Sottoriva 42/a)
This was my favorite restaurant in Verona, as it is perfectly located by the river and it has a nice quite terrance where you can enjoy a perfect truffle ravioli dish with a nice glass of white wine (at least, that’s what I had :) ).
5. Pretto Gelati
Gelato is a must while in Italy! And if you can, several times a day :) Pretto is by far one of my favorite ice-cream spots in Italy. They have an amazing variety of flavors which all want to be tried out. Don’t miss it! My favorites: Raspberry and Stracciatella.
6. Piazza Brà (Arena area)
On the piazza Brà just in front of the Arena, there are many nice restaurant that are nice for an Aperol Spritz or a Pizza while enjoying the animated piazza. We went to the “Cantine de l’Arena” and had a 1. long Pizza which was excellent.
Let me know if you have any other spots that must be visited while in Verona!