A Stroll Through Verona
02 July, 2015
Situated in the Veneto region in the north of Italy, Verona is a must-see city for those visiting the area. A stroll through its streets and past its monuments transports the traveller to a host of bygone times, from imperial Rome – this was Julius Caesar’s leisure resort – through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the periods of French and Austrian rule, up to the present. A rich historic past which has left its mark in the form of buildings, streets and squares, deservedly listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.
The City and its River
Verona is set on a meander of the river Adige, straddled by bridges such as the Ponte Pietra, the sole surviving Roman bridge in the city, and the Ponte Scaligero, with its characteristic battlements. The latter is part of the Castelvecchio, a medieval castle that currently houses one of the city’s leading museums.
Verona and its Roman Past
Noteworthy among the vestiges of Verona’s Roman past is the Arena, an amphitheatre dating from the 1st century AD where gladiators fought. Since 1913 it has been hosting activities more commensurate with our times, notably opera, performed in the summer from June to September. The large size of the amphitheatre, with a seating capacity of 30,000, is suitable for spectacular stage scenery, so don’t miss out on this memorable experience. We also recommend visiting the Roman Theatre, sited on the banks of the river Adige, which is currently part of the National Archaeological Museum. Like the Arena, in summer it becomes a venue for cultural activities; in this case, stage plays.
Thronging Piazzas, Impossible Love Affairs and Places of Worship
In the heart of the historic city lies the Piazza delle Erbe. Built over the old Roman forum and typified by picturesque white sunshades set above the market stalls, this unique spot is always teeming with people. Located in this square are such outstanding buildings as the Baroque Palazzo Maffei, the Torre dei Lamberti, affording magnificent views of the city from its rootop, and the beautifully frescoed facades of the Mazzanti Houses.
The Arco della Costa leads into the Piazza dei Signori, also known as the Piazza Dante, which was the centre of the city’s political activity during the 16th century. Preserved here, among other buildings, are the Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo di Cansignorio, the seat of political power of the Scala family and the Venetians.
Not far from these magnificent squares, in the Via Capello, stands a landmark no visitor should miss, as it was immortalised in one of Shakespeare’s most popular works and has enshrined Verona as a prime destination for romantics. I’m refering, naturally, to the well-known setting for Romeo and Juliet. Juliet’s House is well worth visiting, although it is no mean feat having to jostle with hordes of other tourists in such a small patio. It does, however, have its charm.
As for religious architecture, not to be missed is the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, one of the masterpieces of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy, and the Duomo, also dating from the Romanesque (12th-century), which houses Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Time for Gastronomy
Not everything boils down to walking and sightseeing. You also need to get your strength back and enjoy the region’s culinary delights. We recommend you try the pastissada, a horsemeat stew, the origins of which go back to Roman times.
For those seeking a quicker, more refreshing break, what better than to stop at the Gelateria Zeno Gelato e Cioccolato, located in the Piazza San Zeno, to have one of their magnificent ice-creams.
Ready for a getaway to Verona? Come and discover this gem of Veneto. Check out our flights here.
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación
02 July, 2015