Verona Italy is well known as the setting for the Shakespearean tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and his comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Historic Verona Italy is a tangle of its storied past and modern industry. Once one of the most powerful cities during the early rule of the Roman Empire, the old city of Verona today contains one of the best-preserved old districts in the country. For this reason, the old district is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sightseeing in Verona Italy is often a second thought, with many tourists shunning the city for the nearby Venice or Milan. This is a shame, since the city has much to offer, even for those who are not Shakespeare enthusiasts. Unlike most of the larger cities in the country, you are likely to find only a small percentage of tourists in historic Verona Italy. Built along the Adige River, the home of Dante Alighieri boasts a number of beautiful sights amongst its circuitous streets. The scenic mausoleum of Arche Scaligere houses outdoor tombs bordered by evil-looking iron gates and is the final resting place of the Scaligeri princes, city leaders well known as both great warriors and great patrons of the arts. The Arena di Verona is the third largest arena in Italy, and should not be missed by anyone sightseeing in Verona Italy. Despite being constructed in 30 AD and being badly damaged in an 1117 earthqauke, much of the original architecture remains, and the amphitheater still hosts grand opera productions throughout the summer. Castelvecchio is a military fortress that has been transformed into an art museum, renowned for providing shelter to many significant works of art in an authentic medieval setting.
Romeo & Juliet Balcony
As you can imagine, seeing a performance of the story of Romeo and Juliet in its true setting is a staple of most travelers' visit to the city, and the summer months bring about Verona's famous Shakespeare Festival, which includes performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company. To further the legend of the doomed lovers (who may or may not have actually existed) tourists can see the houses of the families that the two were said to have been based on. Juliet's House, the Casa di Giulietta, is little more than a small house with a balcony surrounded by hundreds of gawkers who think chanting "What light through yonder window breaks?" is a wonderfully creative thing to do. Despite its lofty title, there is more historical evidence that the house was in actuality a bordello for many years before being purchased by the city and turned into a tourist attraction. Romeo's supposed house has been converted into a charming restaurant called the c, and is far more worthy of a visit. You can also visit what is said to be Juliets Tomb.
Piazza del Signiori and Palazzo del Governo are other must-sees for those sightseeing in Verona Italy. The former is the home of the Torre dei Lamberti, an octagonal bell tower that provides a panoramic view of Verona; Dante Alighieri considered the latter home after escaping from Florence. San Fermo is another of Italy's striking combinations of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The cathedral's interior is designed to appear like the inside of a boat, and has a lower section featuring the very stones that Saint Fermo was tortured and killed upon. So, whether you want a in-depth tour of historic Verona Italy, visiting its many museums, or simply the perfect backdrop for witnessing the story of Romeo and Juliet, this is not a city to pass by - no matter how long your vacation is.