Having seen most of Italy’s major cities, I’ve been trying to make my way through the country’s more “secondary” sites, of which I have a long list. Verona is located in the region of Veneto but is often overlooked because the popularity of its nearby neighbor, Venezia. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon in its historic center where I toured charming piazzas, visited paleo-christian churches, and ate horse. Get more details about my visit below.
Arena di Verona
The Verona Arena is a first-century Roman amphitheater located within one of the city’s principal squares, Piazza Bra. It served the same purpose as Rome’s colosseum (i.e. gory gladiator fights) but is much smaller in size. Since medieval times, the Arena has been used as a venue for musical performances of all kinds.
Casa di Giulietta
Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet takes place in Verona, and legend has it that the playwright drew inspiration for the famous balcony scene from one particular house. Today, the House of Juliet (and its accompanying balcony) is a museum. The passageway leading into the courtyard is covered in graffiti and romantic note cards left by tourists.
Verona is the only city I’ve been to where I had to pay to enter a church. For a “fair” price of €6, you are granted access to Verona’s principal houses of worship. Many are paleo-christian, or of early Christendom, and hence have a sort of “spooky” feel since they were forced to be kept secret upon their construction.
The Roman Theater of Verona is an ancient Roman theater with a museum. Also built in the first century, it functions today as a concert hall. It has an adjoining archaeological museum that is only €1 to enter! It’s located along the picturesque Adige River.