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Verona is a city on the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy, with approximately 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven provincial capitals of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third largest in northeast Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona covers an area of 1,426 km2(550.58 sq mi) and has a population of 714,274 inhabitants. It is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, owing to its artistic heritage, several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, the ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans.
Three of Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew. The city has been awarded World Heritage Sitestatus by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture.
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|LANGUAGE :||Italian (official)|
|AREA :||206.63 km2 (79.78 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||59 m (194 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||45°26′N 10°59′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.6%|
• Female: 51.4%
|AREA CODE :||045|
|POSTAL CODE :||37100|
|DIALING CODE :||+39 45|
|WEBSITE :||Official website|
Verona is an historic city with a population of about a quarter of a million in north-eastern Italy's Veneto region. It's most famous as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Though close to the more popular tourist destination of Venice, many people consider Verona a more relaxed and pleasant place to visit.
Because of the value and importance of its many historical buildings, Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Verona preserved many ancient Roman monuments, no longer in use, in the early Middle Ages, but much of this and much of its early medieval edifices were destroyed or heavily damaged by the earthquake of 3 January 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding. The Carolingian period Versus de Verona contains an important description of Verona in the early medieval era.
The Roman military settlement in what is now the centre of the city was to expand through the cardines and decumani that intersect at right angles. This structure has been kept to the present day and is clearly visible from the air. Further development has not reshaped the original map. Though the Roman city with its basalt-paved roads is mostly hidden from view it stands virtually intact about 6 m below the surface. Most palazzi and houses have cellars built on Roman artifacts that are rarely accessible to visitors. Piazza delle Erbe, near the Roman forum was rebuilt by Cangrande I and Cansignorio della Scala I, lords of Verona, using material (such as marble blocks and statues) from Roman spas and villas.
Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, found in the city's largest piazza, the Piazza Bra. Completed around 30 AD, it is the third largest in Italy after Rome's Colosseum and the arena at Capua. It measures 139 metres long and 110 metres wide, and could seat some 25,000 spectators in its 44 tiers of marble seats. The ludi (shows and gladiator games) performed within its walls were so famous that they attracted spectators from far beyond the city. The current two-story façade is actually the internal support for the tiers; only a fragment of the original outer perimeter wall in white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, with three stories remains.The interior is very impressive and is virtually intact, and has remained in use even today for public events, fairs, theatre and open-aired opera during warm summer nights.
There is also a variety of other Roman monuments to be found in the town, such as the Roman theatre of Verona. This theatre was built in the 1st century BC, but through the ages had fallen in disuse and had been built upon to provide housing. In the 18th century Andrea Monga, a wealthy Veronese, bought all the houses that in time had been built over the theatre, demolished them, and saved the monument. Not far from it is the Ponte di Pietra ("Stone Wall Bridge"), another Roman landmark that has survived to this day.
The Arco dei Gavi (Gavi Arch) was built in the 1st century AD, and is famous for having the name of the builder (architect Lucius Vitruvius Cordone) engraved on it, a rare case in the architecture of the epoque. It originally straddled the main Roman road into the city, now the Corso Cavour. It was demolished by French troops in 1805 and rebuilt in 1932.
Nearby is the Porta Borsari, an archway at the end of Corso Porta Borsari. This is the façade of a 3rd-century gate in the original Roman city walls. The inscription is dated 245 AD and gives the city name as Colonia Verona Augusta. Corso Porta Borsari, the road passing through the gate is the original Via Sacra of the Roman city. Today, it is lined with several Renaissance palazzi and the ancient Church of Santi Apostoli, a few metres from Piazza delle Erbe.
Porta Leoni is the 1st century BC ruin of what was once part of the Roman city gate. A substantial portion is still standing as part of the wall of a medieval building. The street itself is an open archaeological site, and the remains of the original Roman street and gateway foundations can be seen a few feet below the present street level. As can be seen from there, the gate contains a small court guarded by towers. Here, carriages and travelers were inspected before entering or leaving the city.
- The Basilica of San Zeno Maggioreis Romanesque style church, the third such structure on its site, built from 1123–1135, over the 4th-century shrine to Verona's patron saint, St. Zeno (died 380). The façade dominates the large square, and is flanked with a beautiful 72 metres tall bell tower, which is mentioned by Dante in Canto 18 of Purgatory in the Divine Comedy. The weathered Veronese stone gives a warm golden glow, and the restrained lines of the pillars, columns, and cornices, and the gallery with its double windows, give the façade an air of harmonious elegance. The huge rose window is decorated as a Wheel of Fortune. The lintels above the portal have carvings of the months of the year. Each side of the doorway is embellished with 18 bas-relief panels of biblical scenes, and the inner bronze door panels have 48 primitive but forceful depictions of Biblical scenes and episodes from the life of St Zeno. The meaning of some of the scenes is now unknown, but the extraordinarily vivid, barbaric energy of the figures is a superb blend of traditional and Ottonian influences. The interior of the church is divided into the Lower Church, occupying about ⅔ of the structure, and the Upper Church, occupying the remainder. The walls are covered with 12th and 14th centuryfrescos and the ceiling of the nave is a magnificent example of a ship's keel ceiling. The vaulted crypt contains the tomb of St. Zeno, the first Bishop of Verona, as well as the tombs of several other saints. North of the church is a pleasant cloister. The church also houses the tomb of King Pippin of Italy (777–810).
- The Basilica of San Lorenzo is another Romanesque church, albeit smaller. It dates from around 1177, but was built on the site of a Paleochristian church, fragments of which remain. The church is built of alternating tracks of brick and stone, and has two cylindrical towers, housing spiral staircases to the women's galleries. The interior is sober, but still quiet. The striped bands of stone and brick and the graceful arches complement the setting.
- Santa Maria Antica is a huge Romanesque church that served as the parish church of the Scaligeri clan, and is famous for the Gothic Scaliger Tombs. The Duomo is also a notable Romanesque church.
- Sant'Anastasia is a huge and lofty church built from 1290–1481 by the Dominicans to hold the massive congregations attracted by their sermons. The Pellegrini chapel houses the famous fresco St. George and the Princess of Trebizond by Pisanello as well as the grave of Wilhelm von Bibra. An art festival is held in the square each may.
With a span length of 48.70 m (159.78 ft), the segmental arch bridge Ponte Scaligero featured, at the time of its completion in 1356, the world's largest bridge arch.
The precise details of Verona's early history remain a mystery. One theory is it was a city of the Euganei, who were obliged to give it up to the Cenomani(550 BC). With the conquest of the Valley of the Po the Veronese territory became Roman (about 300 BC). Verona became a Roman colonia in 89 BC, and then a municipium in 49 BC when its citizens were ascribed to the Roman tribe Poblilia or Publicia.
The city became important because it was at the intersection of several roads.Stilicho defeated Alaric and his Visigoths here in 403. But, after Verona was conquered by the Ostrogoths in 489, the Gothic domination of Italy began.Theoderic the Great was said to have built a palace there. It remained under the power of the Goths throughout the Gothic War (535–552), except for a single day in 541, when the Byzantine officer Artabazes made an entrance. The defections that took place among the Byzantine generals with regard to the booty made it possible for the Goths to regain possession of the city. In 552 Valerian vainly endeavored to enter the city, but it was only when they were fully overthrown that the Goths surrendered it.
In 569, it was taken by Alboin, King of the Lombards, in whose kingdom it was, in a sense, the second most important city. There, Alboin himself was killed by his own wife in 572. The dukes of Treviso often resided there. At Verona Adalgisus, son of Desiderius, in 774 made his last desperate resistance to Charlemagne, who had destroyed the Lombard kingdom. Verona was then the ordinary residence of the kings of Italy, the government of the city becoming hereditary in the family of Count Milo, progenitor of the counts of San Bonifacio. From 880 to 951 the two Berengarii resided there. Otto I ceded to Verona the marquisate dependent on the Duchy of Bavaria.
When Ezzelino III da Romano was elected podestà, in 1226, he was able to convert the office into a permanent lordship, and in 1257 he caused the slaughter of 11,000 Paduans on the plain of Verona (Campi di Verona). Upon his death the Great Council elected as podestà Mastino I della Scala, and he converted the "signoria" into a family possession, though leaving the burghers a share in the government. Failing to be re-elected podestà in 1262, he effected a coup d'état, and was acclaimed capitano del popolo, with the command of the communal troops. It was not without long internal discord that he succeeded in establishing this new office, to which was attached the function of confirming the podestà. In 1277, Mastino dello Scala was killed by the faction of the nobles.
The reign of his son Alberto as capitano (1277–1302) was one incessant war against the counts of San Bonifacio, who were aided by the House of Este. Of his sons, Bartolomeo, Alboino and Cangrande I, only the last shared the government (1308); he was great as warrior, prince, and patron of the arts; he protected Dante, Petrarch, and Giotto. By war or treaty, he brought under his control the cities of Padua (1328), Treviso (1308) and Vicenza. At this time before the Black death the city was home to more than 40,000 people.
Cangrande was succeeded by Mastino II (1329–1351) and Alberto, sons of Alboino. Mastino continued his uncle's policy, conquering Brescia in 1332 and carrying his power beyond the Po. He purchased Parma (1335) and Lucca(1339). After the King of France, he was the richest prince of his time. But a powerful league was formed against him in 1337 – Florence, Venice, theVisconti, the Este, and the Gonzaga. After a three years war, the Scaligerdominions were reduced to Verona and Vicenza (Mastino's daughter Regina-Beatrice della Scala married to Barnabò Visconti). Mastino's son Cangrande II(1351–1359) was a cruel, dissolute, and suspicious tyrant; not trusting his own subjects, he surrounded himself with Brandenburg mercenaries. He was killed by his brother Cansignorio (1359–1375), who beautified the city with palaces, provided it with aqueducts and bridges, and founded the state treasury. He also killed his other brother, Paolo Alboino. Fratricide seems to have become a family custom, for Antonio (1375–87), Cansignorio's natural brother, slew his brother Bartolomeo, thereby arousing the indignation of the people, who deserted him when Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan made war on him. Having exhausted all his resources, he fled from Verona at midnight (19 October 1387), thus putting an end to the Scaliger domination, which, however, survived in its monuments.
The year 1387 is also the year of the famous Battle of Castagnaro, betweenGiovanni Ordelaffi, for Verona, and John Hawkwood, for Padua, who was the winner.
Antonio's son Canfrancesco in vain attempted to recover Verona (1390).
Guglielmo (1404), natural son of Cangrande II, was more fortunate; with the support of the people, he drove out the Milanese, but he died ten days after, and Verona then submitted to Venice (1405). The last representatives of the Scaligeri lived at the imperial court and repeatedly attempted to recover Verona by the aid of popular risings.
From 1508 to 1517, the city was in the power of the Emperor Maximilian I. There were numerous outbreaks of the plague, and in 1629–33 Italy was struck by its worst outbreak in modern times. Around 33,000 people died in Verona (over 60 per cent of the population at the time) in 1630–1631.
In 1776 was developed a method of bellringing called Veronese bellringing art. Verona was occupied by Napoleon in 1797, but on Easter Monday the populace rose and drove out the French. It was then that Napoleon made an end of theVenetian Republic. Verona became Austrian territory when Napoleon signed theTreaty of Campo Formio in October 1797. The Austrians took control of the city on 18 January 1798. It was taken from Austria by the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 and became part of Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy, but was returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814, when it became part of the Austrian-held Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. In 1866, following the Six Weeks War, Verona, along with the rest of Venetia, became part of Italy.
The advent of fascism added another dark chapter to the annals of Verona. As throughout Italy, the Jewish population was hit by the Manifesto of Race, a series of anti-Semitic laws passed in 1938, and after the invasion by Nazi Germany in 1943, deportations to Nazi concentration camps. An Austrian Fort (now a church, the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes), was used to incarcerate and torture Allied troops, Jews and anti-fascists, especially after 1943, when Verona became part of the Italian Social Republic.
As in Austrian times, Verona became of great strategic importance to the regime. Galeazzo Ciano, Benito Mussolini's son-in-law, was accused of plotting against the republic; in a show trial staged by the Nazi and fascist hierarchy at Castelvecchio (the Verona trial), Ciano was executed on the banks of the Adige with many other officers on what is today Via Colombo. This marked another turning point in the escalation of violence that would only end with the final liberation by allied troops and partisans in 1945.
After World War II, as Italy entered into NATO, Verona once again acquired its strategic importance, due to its closeness to the Iron Curtain. The city became the seat of SETAF (South European Allied Terrestrial Forces) and had during the whole duration of the Cold War period a strong military presence, especially American, which is decreasing only in these recent years. Now Verona is an important and dynamic city, very active in terms of economy, and also a very important tourist attraction because of its history, where the Roman past lives side by side with the Middle Age Verona, which in some senses brings about its architectural and artistic motifs.
Verona has a humid subtropical climate characteristic of Northern Italy's inland plains, with hot summers and cold, humid winters, even though Lake Garda's almost-Mediterranean climate has a partial influence on the city. The relative humidity is high throughout the year, especially in winter when it causes fog, mainly from dusk until late morning, although the phenomenon has become increasingly less frequent in recent years.
Climate data for Verona
|Record high °C (°F)||19.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||6.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||2.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−18.4|
|Source: Servizio Meteorologico|
Prices in Verona
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.10|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€50.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€6.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€3.40|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€7.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€17.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.20|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.20|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.70|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€100.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€32.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€105.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€1.30|
Transportation - Get In
- Aeroporto Valerio Catullo (IATA: VRN) (12 km from the city). Mostly lowcost airlines flights from "Brussels" (Charleroi), Brussels (National), Dublin, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, "Paris"-Beauvais, Madrid, Alghero, Palermo, Trapani and Brindisi to the airport of Verona.
- WiFI – free, registration required, SID: @FreeLuna_CATULLO.
Connections to the city:
- Aerobus (Line 199). From the airport: 5.35 am, 6.30 am, then every 20 minutes until 8.30 pm, and every 40 minutes until 11.10 pm. From the station: 5.15 am, 6.10 am, then every 20 minutes until 8.10 pm, and every 40 minutes until 10.50 pm.. This bus service connects the airport withVerona Porta Nuova railway station. Tickets could be bought directly from a bus driver. €6.
Other close airports are: Venice's Marco Polo and Treviso's Al Angeli (budget airlines).
- Stazione di Verona Porta Nuova. Is the main railway station in the city. You can reach Verona Porta Nuova station by a train from Milan (1:22h byEuroCity train (EC)[€18,00], 1h50 by Regionale Veloce (RV)[€9.05]), from Venice (1h10 by EuroCity (EC)[€19,00], 1h22 by RegionaleVeloce (RV)[€6,25], 2h10 by Regionale (R)[€6,25]), from Bologna (49min by TAV [€22], 1h28 by RegionaleVeloce (RV)[€7,55]), or from Munich (5h30 by EuroCity).
Be aware that some local trains (regionali) also stop at another station in Verona, Stazione di Verona Porta Vescovo.
APTV stazione. Buses to destinations in the province. Ticket office is located at the railway station building. There are automated tickets machines at the platforms.
If you have a rental car the trip to Verona isn't difficult: take the A4 towards Padova (Padua) and follow all the way to Verona (approx 150km).
Transportation - Get Around
City bus schedules are difficult to obtain on-line and also currently not available on maps.google.com. The 11, 12 or 13 bus will get you from the train station (Stazione Porta Nuova) to the Arena (Piazza Bra). You can obtain bus schedules sending SMS to a number printed on bus stop. Some of them have an indication of the time left for next bus to arrive. You can pay the fare using euro directly on the bus, but only for one ticket, while you can easily buy tickets at a lower fare nearly everywhere there is a cigarette or lotto shop. ATV shops are in the railway station and in Piazza Renato Simoni, near the railway station.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Via Mazzini. Verona's golden mile of shopping, taking you between Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe. Most of the major Italian labels are represented, and even if you can't afford them it is great to wander and window shop.
- Corso Portori Borsari. is another elegant shopping street in Verona. There are very nice shop, like Lo Scrittorio, an old fashioned shop selling papery and elegant pens and pencils.
- Corso Santa Anastasia. This street is the centre of the antiques shops' zone. Narrow streets where you can find authentic masterpieces.
- Eurospar, Via Daniele Manin (From Castlevecchio walk into Via Roma, then turn right). A large two-storey supermarket with normal prices where you can find everything for e.g. your picnic.
- Piazza Bra bars. Eat gelato there.
- The Veronese are keen eaters of horse-meat (cavallo), a local speciality. Pastisada de caval, is a dish of braised horse meat, as is Picula de Caval.
- Pizza is not traditionally eaten locally, but pasta dishes feature widely on restaurant menus. TryPizzocheri (buckwheat pasta with cheese and sage), casoncelli (a type of ravioli) or bigoli (thick spaghetti).
- Casoela is a pork casserole, and a bollito misto is a mixture of boiled meats, usually served with mostarda, a traditional accompaniment of fruit and vegetables in mustard.
- Al' Duomo, Via Duomo 7, . Excellent family-run restaurant, just next to the Cathedral (as its name suggests). It's popular with the local Veronese (a good sign) and with a menu full of traditional local specialities. You'll find this is a good place to blend in with the local scene, and has welcoming staff who will help you with unfamiliar items on the menu. On Wednesdays, Al' Duomo plays host to a local mandolin ensemble, so if you're on a traditional music tour, put this on your list. As it's a popular place, booking is advised. Menus are not overpriced, about €15-20 a head (plus wine).
- Armoured Car (Leonardo's, not Mussolini's). a charmingly atmospheric and good value restaurant/wine bar in the 'ancient canteen' style with shared tables and paper place mats. Food is authentically Veronan but unpretentious. There is an enormous, equally good value wine list, which can however rise to meet all budgets.
- Cat Alley (Best to face the (nominal) west front of S. Anastasia on via Massalongo and then turn right towards v. Trotta. Vicolo Gatto is a few tens of yards down on the left. There is also an entrance on Via Massalongo itself.). Opera goers should note the late opening times. Highly recommended, but it helps if you can speak Italian. Not that they're stuck up about trying to understand one, they're not Venetians after all.
- Osteria Pigna, . Via Pigna 4/b.Great restaurant with a truly authentic feel. Not far from the Duomo this restaurant offers an excellent service and it is recognized as a great place to eat by the locals. They have a choice of 6 menus changing daily with dishes ranging from €10-12 with wine, water and coffee included. The food is excellent and service impeccable.
- Signorvino, Corso Porto Nuova 2 (Just one block south of Piazze Bra.), . Restaurant and wine shop. Good food and great wines at very reasonable prices (wine at the table cost the same as in the shop). You eat either inside between wine racks or outside at one of 5 small tables. The menu consists of dishes from different regions of Italy.€12 mains. You pay the same price for wine in the restaurant as in the store.
- Brek, Piazza Brà, 20. Quite popular among the tourists. At the places inside there is a buffet-style service. At the places outside – more traditional a la carte.
Coffe & Drink
Avoid the hordes of tourists in Piazza Bra and head to Piazza delle Erbe. At least slightly more genuine, this Piazza has a number of good bars where you can sit and enjoy a coffee or aperitivo in the sun. Great for your coffee in the morning and your drinks into the evening.
- Caffè delle Erbe, Piazza delle Erbe. Great coffee and brioche
- Rain, Via Stella 13A. Be sure to check out Verona's newest wine bar and jazz club. Located in the heart of Verona, this bar provides a great atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine, nibble on some food, and listen to great music. The owners, brothers Giuseppe and Riccardo Zambelli Rain, provide visitors the warmth that one expects in Italy. Giuseppe (you can call him Joe) is fluent in English. Ask for him if you have any questions about the area.
Sights & Landmarks
Verona was a Roman city, and many Roman ruins have been preserved, notably the Arena. Most of the historical sights to see today date from the past 800 years. If you are keen on art history, Verona offers a golden opportunity to see the transition of Western European art from late medieval to early renaissance styles, with its rich offering of 12-Century churches and art museums. Verona's military importance has also left city fortifications and an excellent castle. Look out for architectural details related to the Scaligeri (or della Scala) family, who ruled the city from the 12th-14th Century - their family emblem is a ladder, and appears in many places around the city (scalais Italian for 'ladder').
- Arena. An enormous, spectacular Roman amphitheatre, crumbling on the outside but still functioning today. It was erected in the 1st Century AD in an elliptical shape, and is the world's third-largest amphitheatre to survive from antiquity. Much of the outer ring was damaged during the earthquake of 1117 but the inner part is still intact. Houses on the back are made of stones ruined during this earthquake. The only piece of the outer ring is called "Ala" (wing) from the citizens of Verona. If you can, plan your trip during the Opera season and see a performance in the Arena. Outside the opera season you can visit it during the day. During the opera season, the closing time for non-opera visitors is about 2 hours earlier.€6.00 regular, €4.50 for students.
- Roman amphitheatre (Teatro Romano) (across the river on the hill, in the north-east of the city.). €1.00.
- Castelvecchio (Museo Civico di Castelvecchio). A 14th-century, red brick, fortified castle on the banks of the river Adige. The main castle buildings house the city art museum which is packed with a rich collection of medieval sculpture and Renaissance paintings. As well as the museum, the extensive castle ramparts are great for exploring - ideal for families with children who enjoy running around castle fortifications. The Castelvecchio has an adjoining bridge over the river which is open all the time - walk over the bridge for some fantastic views of the castle on the river. Castelvecchio hosts the Circolo Ufficiali, which is reserved to people who joined the army as officers. Sometimes is used even to perform musical attractions or to show up paintings from various artists.
- Piazza delle Erbe. Home of the Forum in Roman times this is still a focal point of the city. Contains the 'Britney Verona' fountain, 14th century 'Gardello Tower', and a market that, while picturesque, seems to have become another tourist cliche during its recent refurbishment.
- Lamberti Tower (Torre Lambert). completed in 1463, this is the tallest of Verona's towers. The unmistakable clock tower looms over the Piazza delle Erbe, and you enter via the palace courtyard. Although there are 238 steps to the top, there is a lift! Views from the top are breathtaking.
- Porta Borsari. The remains of a Roman gate, dates to at least the 2nd Century AD, but is almost certainly older.
- Giardino Giusti. One of Italy's most important renaissance/mannerist gardens, with grottoes, fire-breathing masks carved into the hillside etc.
- Verona Cathedral (Duomo). was built to replace an 8th-century church which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1117. Consecrated in 1187, the church features an ornate marble Romanesque façade by the Veronese architect Nicolò; its pillars are supported by two griffins. Stone reliefs around the door include Biblical scenes. The smaller side door is also worth a look - medieval carvings include Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Inside, the nave has many Gothic alterations, and oil paintings around the side chapels include an Assumption by Titian. The Romanesque baptistery adjoining the chapel of Sant'Elena is preserved, with its exquisite marble font and collection of medieval paintings.
- Basilica of St Zeno (San Zeno Maggiore). located slightly outside the centre. A 10-15 minute walk from the Castellvecchio, but well worth the walk, as it is possibly the richest in devotional artwork and historical preservation in Verona. The church is dedicated to Verona's patron saint, Zeno, a 4th-century North African and a keen fisherman who was ordained Bishop of Verona in 363. Zeno's tomb lies in an atmospheric shrine in the church undercroft, and he is also commemorated with a grinning medieval statue of Zeno in full episcopal robes, dangling a golden fish on the end of a fishing rod. The entrance to the church is graced with an ornate Romanesque façade by Nicolò; like the cathedral, this church was erected after the earthquake of 1117. The church itself was a centre of European pilgrimage for centuries; pilgrims were greeted by huge 10-metre frescoes of St Peter, patron saint of pilgrims. Visitors across the centuries have left their mark - pilgrims happily inscribed graffiti in the frescoes, and signatures dating from 1390 survive to this day. There is also graffiti left by the invading Austrians in 1865.
- Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia.
- Chiesa di San Giorgietto (San Pietro Martire). A tiny chapel immediately next to San'Anastasia. Easily overlooked, this church s richly decorated with early Renaissance frescoes depicting the walled garden of the Virgin Mary.
- Chiesa di San Lorenzo.
- Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore.
- Castel San Pietro (St Peter's Castle) (across the Ponte Pietra (Peter Bridge). Climb the steps up the hill above the Roman Amphitheatre to the Castell San Pietro). This former Austrian barracks dates back to the Austrian occupation of the left bank, and while the building is not open to the public, the views from the hill over Verona are spectacular. Go up in the early evening and enjoy a romantic sunset for free!
Romeo and Juliet
- Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House), via Cappello 23 (just off the Piazza delle Erbe.), . M 13:30-19:30, T-Su 08:30-19:30. Supposedly the location of the famous balcony love scene from Shakespeare'sRomeo and Juliet, the house is a major destination for tourist pilgrimage, as the tiny courtyard is normally packed with lovestruck teenagers photographing each other on the famous balcony. In fact, the house has no connection with Shakespeare's fictional characters - although the house is old, the balcony was added in 1936 and declared to be "Juliet's house" to attract tourists. You can visit the house itself - it contains a sparse collection of Renaissance frescos rescued from other demolished palaces, and the bed from Zeffirelli's 1968 movie, but not a lot more.
The balcony overlooks a tiny courtyard containing a statue of Juliet. There is an unbelievable amount of graffiti and general scrawling on the walls, floor, seats, anything that will hold ink - there is a tradition of writing love messages to Juliet, and visitors leave notes, trinkets and bits of chewing gum fashioned into love hearts. Juliet's house is a popular romantic shrine, but its popularity belies its value; compared to some of the treasures around Verona, Juliet's house has very little to offer. € 6.
- Casa di Romeo, Via Arche Scaligere, 4. So, if Juliet lived there, what about Romeo? A couple of streets away another house has been designated as his home. It is private, so other than a sign on the wall there is nothing much to see.
- Juliet's Tomb (at the Capuccin Church, which also houses theAntonian Fresco Museum).
Things to do
- Lamberti tower. Climb to the top of it or take the lift. The either ways great views over Verona are guarantied.
- Take the Bus 41 for having a breathtaking view from S. Maria di Lourdes Sanctuary, placed on the edge of Verona's highest hill.
- Wander around Carega block (just ask for 'Carega', close to the Duomo), near Garibaldi Bridge, and experience traditional wine bar and cosy restaurants.
- Take a short walk to Castel San Pietro for a great lookout on the town center.
- Hire a tourist guide for a guided sightseeing tour or a wine tour in Valpolicella or Soave.
- Visit the Christmas markets during your winter holidays.
- If you are the kind of person that prefer to find your way through the city on your own instead of being guided consider the Verona edition of whaiwhai. , a series of guidebooks that turn visits to Verona into intriguing treasure hunts.