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Verona - Veneto region of north-eastern Italy - Gateway of Italy - Romeo & Juliet - Roman Amphitheatre -
The Piazza delle Erbe - UNESCO World Heritage Site - Shopping at Via Mazzini, Via Roma, and Via Capello

 

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Travelling can be one of the best ways to learn more about new places, cultures and traditions followed in different parts of the world.

 

 

Verona - The City of Love

   

Verona is not as famous as the other Italian towns like Rome, Pisa, Florence or Venice. But this town treasures the most famous love story in history: Love Story of Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare has immortalized the town of Verona in his famous novel featuring the love tragedy of lovers Romeo Montecchi e Giulietta Capuleti perhaps, better known worldwide simply as ''Romeo and Juliet''.

While in Verona you will be surprise to see that Casa de Giulietta, or Juliet's house is an actual house, with an actual balcony, just like you imagined while reading the play. The background is perfect with ivy growing off of the neighboring walls, and the balcony is the perfect height for any Romeo to try and romance a Juliet. Romeo's house is only a short walk down the road, but it's not as impressive as Julietís.

Despite the debate as to whether the characters actually existed, tourists continue to flock to the famous balcony, and to participate in the strange tradition of rubbing the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet for good luck.

Location: Verona is located in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy, approximately 70 miles west of Venice. The city was originally a Roman settlement, but along with other such cities, it suffered a major decline during the fall of the Roman Empire. Verona became a city-state in the 12th century. In 1405, it became part of the Venetian Republic. Following a period of Austrian rule, officially an Italian city during the Unification of Italy in 1866. Today, Verona is the largest city on the mainland of the Veneto, and it is a major agricultural and industrial center.

Verona is known as Piccolo Roma
which means little Rome and aptly so. Verona also known as Urbs Nobilissima, and it is the second biggest city in Veneto (after Venice). During its golden era in the 13th and 14th century, the city flourished as a capital of culture and art. Verona is situated on the foothills of the Alps and at the mouth of the Adige valley. The city is blessed with music especially when it hosts the summer opera festival every year (July to August) in the Roman Arena.

Verona is often called "the gateway of Italy".
Verona has lots to offer, right from its monuments, squares, churches to its ancient treasures that present the history and art through the centuries. The city is most famous for its Roman Amphitheatre, the Arena, completed around 30 AD. The Arena is the third largest in the whole of Italy, after Romeís Colosseum and the Arena at Capua. The splendid and famous ĎArena of Veronaí can hold the seating capacity of around 22,000 people. Itís used today to house the opera, fairs and various other events.

   

While exploring this beautiful town you come across many historical buildings, among them is the Castelvecchio, or the old castle, which was built in the 14th century and contains a fine art gallery. Castelvecchio had witness the several wars that took place throughout the years. Even Napoleon had his hands on this castle for a period of time. Constructed entirely of stone and featuring a massive clock this castle houses a museum where you can find all sorts of artifacts from its original time period.

The Piazza delle Erbe
is considered one of the most historic and beautiful squares in Italy, while the Piazza dei Signori contains buildings built by Andrea Palladio. In addition to this Verona has lot to offer, the Romanesque basilicas, the gates (Porta dei Leoni), the bridges (Ponte Lapideo or Ponte Pietra and Ponte Scaligero), while standing on these bridges gives you a beautiful view of Verona.

Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its value and importance for many historical buildings, rich artistic and cultural heritage.

Eat & Drink:
A trip to Verona would not be complete without experiencing the local cuisine of the Veneto. Verona is home to both world-renowned restaurants and the more traditional trattorias, where typical regional dishes such as bean soup and the handmade pasta "bigoli" can be enjoyed. Polenta and risotto are plentiful in Verona restaurants. Verona is at the heart of great wine-making areas and produces notable Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave, Custoza, and Lugana.

 

Shopping: The shopping in Verona at Via Mazzini, Via Roma, and Via Capello is absolutely wonderful, except it's quite expensive. This area is known for its elegance and expensive designer clothing and it shows. You can find some great gift items that are much lesser in value, but still great gifts in general.

Accommodation:
The city of Verona and the surrounding areas offer guests a wide variety of accommodations in all price ranges. While Verona is often a day-tripper destination, one can get a much better feel for this city by including at least one overnight stay.

Getting There:

By Air:
The Verona Valerio Catullo Airport (VRN) is located 12km from Verona's city center.

By Train:
Italy's national train company, Trenitalia, services Verona. The main station is the Verona Porta Nuova, which offers lines to Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence and more.

By Car:
Verona is accessible by the Serenisssima Highway (A4) and by the Brener-Moderna Highway (A22).

Verona, this splendid city is truly a city for all seasons, and one which welcomes its visitors to explore all that it has to offer. Plan your next vacation to Italy! And enjoy a memorable holiday in one of the most monumental, artistic, elegant, romantic and full with interesting sight-seeing town.

Come and witness the memory and the image of the balcony onto which Juliet stepped out to talk to her beloved Romeo; the tomb on which their bittersweet affair was finally burnt out, the tormenting reminder of a beautiful yet tragic love story will linger on above all. A story and a tradition have given Verona the name "city of love".

Contributing Writer:  Swapnil Gunjal, Travel Writer swapu02@rediffmail.com

 

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