The city of love: Verona

Eleonora Ruzzenenti | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Verona is one of Italy's most popular destinations. Nestled on a U bend on the Adige River, Verona is one of the most important cities in the Veneto region of Italy and is famed for its historical centre and a myriad of stunning buildings and architecture. Verona is the second-largest city in the region (after Venice) and has a population of 269,000. In 89 BC, Verona became a Roman settlement and held an important position in Northern Italy, as it was located at the intersection of two important roads. As time progressed and the Roman Empire collapsed, other factions and ruling parties exercised control over Verona, including Alboin of the Lombards, Mastino II, and Maximilian I. Today, Verona attracts a huge number of tourist due to its rich history and significance, and its myriad of ancient buildings such as the Arena and the Ponte Scaligero. But first of all, Verona is the city of love par excellence.

Marked by different eras, Verona tells its history with its architecture, squares, streets and palaces. Verona still feels like its Shakespearean legacy, and it is possible to recall the main moments of the timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet strolling around the streets of this Italian city. Even though William Shakespeare had already set a play here, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona", it is for the wonderful and tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet that the city is best known. Although we cannot know if the two lovers really existed, their families certainly did. The Montecchi and the Capuleti had been two important aristocratic families from Verona, and Dante himself mentions them in his Divine Comedy (Purgatorio, Canto VI, v. 106). Nowadays, the city still considers itself the hometown of Romeo and Juliet, and there are several places where you can relive the lovers’ story.

© istock/Claudio Caridi

A romantic walk through the streets Verona can only start from the Casa di Giulietta, located in Via Cappello. Next go to the wonderful Piazza delle Erbe, where you can admire Palazzo della Ragione dominated by the Torre dei Lamberti, the Domus Nova and the Case Mazzanti famous for their Renaissance frescoes. Along the middle street of the square are the Colonna Antica, the Capitello, the Fontana di Madonna Verona and the Colonna di San Marco, dominated by the Lion symbol of the Serenissima Repubblica. Behind there is the Torre del Gardello and Palazzo Maffei, an elegant baroque building on three floors with a beautiful facade. From the left side of the square starts Via Pellicciai which leads to Piazzetta Tirabosco, and then to Corso Porta. At the level of civic 15, you enter Vicolo San Marco in Foro, and on your left you find the Pozzo dell’Amore, a stone and iron artefact that culminates with an arrow pointing toward the sky. In Piazza dei Signori, you can admire many stunning palaces: the Palazzo della Regione, Palazzo di Cansignorio, Palazzo di Cangrande, the Loggia di Fra Giocondo, Palazzo della Pietà, Domus Nova, but also the Chiesa di Santa Maria Antica with its monumental cemetery. The Torre dei Lamberti offers a romantic view of the surrounding city and mountains. In Via Arche Scaligere, you will find the Casa di Romeo with red bricks and white stones. The heart of the city is Piazza Bra, which houses the Arena, Palazzo Barbieri and Palazzo della Gran Guardia. Turning along the ancient town walls, go along Via Pallone until the crossroads with Via del Pontiere. Turn right, after a hundred meters, on the left of the gardens that enter the Museum of Frescoes, with various sculptures and canvases of Renaissance artists, and Tomba di Giulietta, located in an underground.

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