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Venice attractions

Verona

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If you want a good all day trip or you're prepared to leave Verona for one or two days, the city of Verona is ideal. Verona is classy and cultured and takes just over an hour by train or road trip from Verona (114kms).

Most of us recognize the name from Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, and the locals play this fact up big time to the hoards of tourists who want to see where Juliet stood on her famous balcony.

Of course there was no real balcony, but because the demand for one was so strong, it was constructed in the 1920's and since then has attracted sightseers by the thousands annually.

Verona


Verona is a large city but like a lot of the old towns very compact and walkable. The Adiage river snakes through Verona and on either side are well preserved buildings and good views of the hillsides surrounding the city.

If Opera is your thing, the Verona Opera Festival, which runs from June to August, draws opera lovers from all over Italy and the world. They come for the performances but, it's the venue that is the most outstanding.

Arena di Verona
Known as the mini coliseum however, it is not so mini and is in far better condition than it's Big brother in Rome. A stunning sight beholds the visitor to Verona when they first stumble on this arena in the Piazza Bra, the centre of the city. The original four upper arches are still standing, which is amazing as The Arena dates back to the 1st century.

It seats 20,000, with most of those seats being the stone steps. A trip to the opera here is a special event, everyone on the steps are huddled in very close and it's a case of don't move too far forwards or backwards or you may knock someone off their step. The acoustics are amazing and the performances are all performed without microphones.

Even if you are not an Opera buff it is well worth joining in this outdoor spectacular, the crowds are enthusiastic and jovial, which all adds to the atmosphere. The high priced seats are on the ground level in the middle of the arena, but try out the cheap, stone steps just to get the feel of how it was done centuries ago. A big tip is to take a cushion with you, your backside will thank you for it, especially after three hours of sitting on unforgiving stone.
Piazza Bra (045 800 3204).

Casa di Giulietta

We don't care whether she really resided here or not, we just want to know that Juliet stood on a balcony while her sweetheart hiding in the garden below professed his undying love. It's easy to find Juliet's house just follow the crowds that are heading up a tiny little alleyway off the main street Via Capello. You can walk through the rooms of Juliet's house and of course stand on her balcony and look for your own Romeo. During tourist season a reenactment of the famous balcony scene is held in the little square, twice a day, much to the delight of the hundreds crammed into the small area. There is also a gift shop selling souvenirs of love. Via Capello 23 (045 803 4303).

Castelvecchio

No Italian city is complete without it's castle , the best thing about Verona's castle is it's in the heart of town and is an art museum as well. You can walk around the castle walls for free and admire the pristine gardens and views from the top walls. Or you can pay an entry fee to view the top class Veronese art and sculpture on display, and once again enjoy the panoramas from the castle windows. Corso Castelvecchio, near Via Roma (045 594 734).

Churches

Verona's churches are well preserved and well worth viewing. The Duomo, built in the 12th century has impressive art works; the largest church in Verona is Basilica di Sant'Anastasia and although never completed it is known for it's near perfect Gothic architecture; Basilica San Zeno is named after Verona's patron saint and is famous for its huge bronze doors and their decorations; and the 11th century Basilica San Fermo still houses the remains of some of Italy's saints.

There is an admission fee to view the churches but it is better value to purchase a group ticket that allows you entry into all churches.
Duomo, Piazza Duomo
Sant'Anastasia, Piazza San Anastasia
San Zeno, Piazza San Zeno
San Fermo, Stradone San Fermo, Ponte delle Navi
Ticket sales (045 592 813).

 
 
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