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Verona: Shakespeare’s northern Italian muse
Located in northern Italy, the city of Verona is, like its watery Venetian neighbour, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As with many Italian cities, Verona is notable for its mouth-watering cuisine, dramatic architecture and artistic culture, with life in Verona revolving around the Piazza Bra, the square on which the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, is located. The city is also famous for being the location for three of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew and, of course, Romeo and Juliet. The popularity and eternal draw of the latter means that thousands visit Casa di Giulietta (the House of Juliet) – home to the balcony which is thought to have inspired the Bard – every single year. As far as romantic breaks go, Verona is one of Italy’s best, so explore our handpicked offers now; you won’t be disappointed!
There’s plenty of culture to experience on your Verona getaway
Even if you’re not keen on the work of Shakespeare (of course, Romeo and Juliet doesn’t have the happiest of endings), then there is still much to squeeze out of the cultural fruit that is Verona. The Arena, built by the Romans in the first century, is still used for operatic performances, as well as a venue for modern day bands and acts; The Who, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd have all performed there. As you might expect, there are plenty of medieval churches to admire, including the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, a 12th century structure housing an imposing, 72 metre tall bell tower which was mentioned in Dante’s immortal poem, the Divine Comedy. After all that sightseeing and all these literary allusions, you’ll have worked up quite an appetite. Don’t worry: you’re in the right place!
Culinary delights abound in Italy’s ‘City of Love’
During your stay in Verona, you’ll notice that risotto, rather than pasta, is the ubiquitous dish of the city. This is because Veneto is primarily a rice-growing region – look out for the vialone nano variety in particular. Polenta, a cream based on corn flour, is a popular sauce, and is often served with meats and cheeses. For dessert, pandoro, a type of Christmas cake is a common choice. It’s likely that you’ll be consuming all this in an osteria, a traditional upmarket Veronese restaurant, which still retains the atmosphere of its poorer origins. If your mouth is watering just reading this, take a peek at the selection of luxury hotels in Verona that we’ve picked out for you.