One day in Verona: what to see in the city center
The prologue of the most famous love story in literature begins with its name: in fair Verona Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place and, walking through its streets, it’s not difficult to understand why. Romantic and poignant, Verona is a jewel enclosed between the Po Valley, the waters of the Adige and Lake Garda and the mountains of Baldo and Lessinia. With the exciting opera season of its Arena, the lively air that you can breathe in its cobbled squares, the medieval charm of the center and the decadent Veronetta, the city seems to have stopped at a past time. If you are planning a visit to Verona in one day, this itinerary crosses its main attractions and places to see in order to capture, at least in part, its authentic soul.
Piazza Bra and the Verona Arena
Impossible not to start from here: Piazza Bra (from German breit, meaning wide) is one of the main squares of Verona. In addition to Palazzo Barbieri - the town hall in neoclassical architecture - and the monumental Gran Guardia, here stands the famous Verona Arena, the symbol of the city that reminds so much of the Roman Coliseum and that throughout the year hosts concerts and events, in addition to the famous summer opera season. The large paved sidewalk that encircles the perimeter is called Liston, and on its pink pavement there are bars and restaurants. After all we’re in Veneto, you must have a spritz.
Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori
Piazza delle Erbe is the oldest and most picturesque square in the city. Once home to the market, on it stands the medieval Lamberti Tower and is home to important monuments for the city, such as the Roman Fountain of "Madonna Verona", Palazzo del Comune and Palazzo Maffei. Continuing towards the adjacent Piazza dei Signori, also called Piazza Dante for the monument to the poet, you walk under the Arco della Costa (and its leaning bone – probably of a whale) to get to the Palazzo della Ragione, monumental complex that collects several architectural eras and is one of the nerve centers of city life.
The Scaliger Arche and Romeo’s house
The Scaliger Arche are a majestic monumental complex built to house the tombs (called arche) of the representatives of the noble Scaliger family. Next to the tomb is also the medieval house of Romeo Montecchi, the famous protagonist of the Shakespearean tragedy.
Having now taken on the role of Romeo, the next step can only be the home of Juliet Capulet (who was actually called Cappelletti). One of the most famous tourist attractions in Verona, today the residence is home to a museum dedicated to the Shakespearean heroine, remembered in the bronze statue in the courtyard. From Juliet’s house it is also possible to look out to the balcony where Romeo used to stand.
The Stone Bridge (Ponte Pietra) and Castel San Pietro
The Stone Bridge (in Italian Ponte Pietra) is the oldest bridge in Verona. Dating back to Roman times - as you can guess from its imposing architecture - it crosses the Adige river and leads to Castel San Pietro, a hill that can be reached with the help of the funicular and from which you can enjoy a suggestive view of the Scaliger city. The Stone Bridge and the hill are part of the Veronetta, the bohemian area of Verona that today is linked to university life.
Castelvecchio and the Scaliger Bridge
Castelvecchio is one of the symbols of Verona, a military monument that now houses the most important museum of the city and its medieval and Renaissance masterpieces. You can reach it from the Adige river, crossing the bridge of Castelvecchio (also known as the Scaliger Bridge) which formally belongs to the homonymous fortress and, together with the latter, is universally considered the masterpiece of the Veronese Middle Ages.
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