It should come as no surprise that the city best known as being home to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has also grown a reputation for being one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Compared to other Italian cities such as Venice, Florence, or Milan, Verona is also much quieter, offering a more laid back, authentic feel with fewer tourists and crowds. Combined with a rich history dating back to Roman times, these factors make Verona a must-stop location on any trip to Northern Italy.
Although Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters, the people of Verona have embraced being the location of this tragic love story, even dedicating specific locations to this tale. It is possible to visit Juliet’s house, which was once home to the Dal Capello family and is now a museum. Those who want to enter the museum must pay a small fee and will get the chance to stand on Juliet’s balcony themselves. Entrance to the courtyard below the balcony is free though. Here visitors can gaze up at up at the balcony with Romeo’s eyes, read the love notes that cover the back wall, and get a photo taken with a bronze statue of Juliet. Legend has it that those who rub this statue’s breast will be granted luck in love.
In Verona you can also go to Juliet’s final resting place and stroll by Romeo’s house, which is a private residence and therefore inaccessible to the public. Furthermore, this city is home to the Juliet Club, which is a group of volunteers who respond to the thousands of letters written to Juliet each year, and the annual Verona in Love festival, which overlaps Valentine’s Day each year. Adding to the romance of this city is the old architecture and exquisite food. You will be sure to feel this vibe while wandering through Piazza Bra, Piazza Delle Erbe, or Centro Storico, which is home to Verona’s historic district.
The tangible history of Verona is as large a draw to this city as the allure of romance. Founded over 2,000 years ago, here you will find intact examples of Roman Architecture, including the Verona Arena. This well persevered amphitheater includes much of its original stone and is still operational, being the site of open-air performances during the summer opera festival. The Arco Dei Gavi is another Roman monument worth visiting. Constructed during the first century, this gate was destroyed under Napoleon and then rebuilt in 1932. To view more history, head to Museo di Castelvecchio, a 14th century fortress that is now home to a diverse array of artifacts.
Verona’s long, uninterrupted history coupled with how immaculately it has been preserved has led UNESCO to designate the entire city as a World Heritage Site. Traveling here feels like being transported back in time, which is undoubtedly one of the most romantic feelings in the world.
Are you ready to head off to Verona or another UNESCO World Heritage Site? Feel free to reach out to me and schedule a complimentary consultation!