In the Veneto region Verona, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, is second in importance only to Venice.
Visiting Verona is always a great emotion. The city, situated along the banks of the meandering River Adige, dates back to around the 1st century B.C., though traces of a previous settlement of the Reti have been found in the area of Castel S. Pietro.
The acquisition of Roman citizenship in 49 B.C. opened the way to rapid urban development and to the construction of temples, theatres, and the surrounding city walls, and, in a second phase of growth, the Arena, one of the most important remaining Roman monuments, and the Arch of Gavi by Vitruvius. Other noteworthy marvels of this epoch to be seen include the Ponte Pietra, the Porta dei Borsari , and the Porta dei Leoni (Lion's Gate). When planning a trip to Verona none of these attractions can be missed out. The domination of the Goths, Longobards, Franks and Carolingians led to the construction of the great monastic centres which reorganised the city.
During the 13th and 14th centuries a new defensive ring was constructed: this, together with other changes in the early Middle Ages, during the reign of the Dukes, and under the Venetian hegemony, gives Verona its medieval appearance, an appearance which nevertheless blends perfectly with its imperial aspect, thus giving it a unified face, an ideal meeting of ages and cultures.
Renowned also for the tragic events of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Verona is, in the collective imagination, the 'City of Love', and the places associated with the star-struck lovers are among the most precious of its jewels: Juliet's house, with its famous balcony, her tomb, and the house of Romeo are almost obligatory stops on a tour of the city. A visit to Verona must start from here.
A cultural itinerary should also not fail to omit the Basilica of S. Zeno and the Duomo (which houses works by Mantegna and Titian), Piazza delle Erbe (with the Domus Nova, Palazzo dei Mercanti, Palazzo del Comune, the tower of Gardello, and Palazzo Maffei with its fountain), the Castelvecchio, and the Civic Museum of Art.
Meriting particular attention is the use of the Arena as an open-air theatre, which hosts one of the world's most prestigious opera festivals. The evocative atmosphere, with its enviable acoustics, have ensured its success since 1913, when it opened with a fascinating performance of Aida, the opera which remains until today a symbol of the music-loving soul of the city. Visiting Verona also means watching the opera in these amazing surroundings. With venetoinside.com you can easily plan a visit to Verona.