"There is no World Without Verona Walls"
They say Paris is the city of love, yet I feel confident saying few places can stand the romantic allure of Verona. In the latest adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, Belle (played by Emma Watson) says she'd been travelling to 'Fair Verona', while reading Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Now, leaving aside the controversial aspects of this film, it is certainly true that there is a certain magic in literary Verona as brought to life by William Shakespeare. I was recently there and I can tell you that the real deal does not disappoint either.
The ancient Arena is simply spectacular and, while smaller than the Colosseum in Rome, is impressive and still in use for concerts and all kind of artistic performances.
The Casa di Giulietta was a pleasant surprise. Now, I am the kind of person who goes 'bleurgh!' very easily. However, the late Medieval building is truly impressive, and the atmosphere feels more genuine than portrayed in the (in)famous film 'Letters to Juliet'.
In the end, I was in Verona for only one day, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and it is a destination I recommend despite the high affluence of tourists. My advice would be to choose a less well-known city nearby and enjoy the Venetian region by train or car. My pick? Try Vicenza: charming, cheaper than its more famous cousin-cities, and close to Verona, Vicenza, and Padua.
The entrance to the original city and its homage to William Shakespeare.
"But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?/It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." Act 2, Scene 2 – Juliet's Balcony