Verona is not always on the top ten list of places to visit in northern Italy as many people prefer to go to Milan or Venice. It is, however well worth a visit as I found out when I went to Verona last month.
I stayed in Franciscus Relais, (a guest house) less than a 10 minute walk from the train station on the Vicolo Calcirelli. It was a perfect location, half way between the train station and the old town.
I would recommend spending at least two full days in Verona. If you want to make a few day trips to Lake Como and Venice, spend a couple of extra nights as well to give you enough time. There were many interesting places and I have noted a few you must see on your next trip to Verona.
The balcony where Juliette and Romeo first met has to be the most famous and photographed balcony in the world. It was a very busy courtyard. On Mondays, the house is open only in the afternoon, which was when I visited. It costs 7 euro to see the House and Juliette’s Tomb, which is about a 20 minute walk away. I was not that impressed with the house as there was very little factual information inside and the rooms were nearly all bare.
This piazza is the most famous square in Verona. When I arrived on a Sunday, the restaurants that were showing the Euro 2012 live games were the busiest. In the summer, this place is teeming with tourists. There are many gelaterie and restaurants, but they are more expensive than those on the small side streets.
Arena di Verona
The arena is in the middle of Piazza Bra and is great value for money at 6 euro entrance fee (it is advisable to have the correct change). The Roman amphitheatre, built in 30 AD, is an incredible testament to the construction of that time and is still being used for performances. Every year there are four different opera productions in the arena from June until August. With a seating capacity of 15,000, more than 500,000 people are able to see the opera productions each year.
The piazza is right by Juliette’s house and is full of restaurants as in the Piazza Bra. What I liked about this square were the stalls selling fresh fruit salad for about 2 euro. It provided a welcome change after the traditional fare of pasta and pizza at every meal. I had lunch in the piazza but it is rather pricey. Unlike Piazza Bra where there were self-service buffet restaurants, Piazza Erbe just had the usual restaurants where lunch for one can cost as much as 20 euro. It is important to note that as soon as you sit down, there is a cover charge (coperto) and even water can cost up to 3 euro for a small bottle.
Weekends are the best time for visiting Verona because there are walking tours around the major attractions. It is a fantastic city to visit from a cultural and historical perspective and has so much to offer that Verona should not be overlooked.
All Photos © Jo Turnbull
About the Author : Jo Turnbull is a travel blogger , writing about interesting places to visit all over the world. She caught the travel bug when she was very young, having taken her first plane at 3 weeks old. Jo has been to about 30 countries and continues to take the opportunity to discover even more and new interesting places on a budget. Follow her on twitter to see where she is heading to next.