Known as the city of love, Verona brings in thousands of tourists every year to celebrate Shakespeare’s greatest play, Romeo and Juliet. This includes important spots such as Juliet’s balcony, her statue, house, and grave. If you have seen the movie Letters to Juliet, the Letters to Juliet Club is a real thing in Verona. Open to anyone in the mornings and afternoons Monday through Friday – pretend to be Juliet and give advice to those love struck around the world.
Come to Verona in February and celebrate all weekend until Valentines Day with the Verona in Love event. This consists of different events around the city including vendors, contests, and concerts. Of course, Verona has many other attractions and events that make it such a wonderful city. At the end of February, celebrate Carnevale(similar to Mardi Gras in the US) with tasty treats and a parade celebrating Papa Gnoccho.
In April, the largest wine festival in Italy is held in Verona – Vinitaly. Tickets to the formal event are on the pricey side, but affordable options are available for those who just want a taste. One of the biggest attractions in Verona is the Arena located in Verona’s main square Piazza Bra’. The Arena is a Roman Amphitheatre built in the 1st century. It is still in use today for concerts and operas. However, since being here a few months I have found many other spots in Verona that are great for locals and visitors.
Here are some of my favorite places:
The Sanctuary – One look out point in Verona is Ponte Pietra – a relatively short and popular spot for tourists. However, there is another viewpoint that is truly stunning. Located about two bridges down from Ponte Pietra, this church is located on the hill above the San Zeno area and is easily visible from the city. There are two ways to get there – one is gradual and scenic while the other goes straight up. At the top is a beautiful view overlooking the city. The church is open for visitors and holds services and events.
Piazza Erbe – Known as the main marketplace, it is a favorite spot for locals and visitors. Enjoy many of the restaurants, shops, and street performers it has to offer. Every day, local merchants set up shop with different Verona relics for sale. Much of Verona’s history is preserved with the statues, fountains, and old building that surround the square. It is in a strategic location – get to other parts of the city easily by following paths that go through the square. This includes the main shopping street that leads to Piazza Bra, a path towards Castelvecchio, and Dante’s Square located right behind Piazza Erbe.
Engi’s Bakery – Located on the outside of Verona, this is one of my favorite coffee spots in Porto Vescovo. A ten-minute walk from my apartment, Engi’s is an American themed bakery with treats most Italian cafe’s don’t have such as brownies, cupcakes, and sandwiches (like BLT’s and Clubs). Most importantly, American styled breakfast such as eggs, bacon, pancakes, and toast. Of course, it still has traditional Italian options such as espressos and lattes. I love living in Italy, but it’s nice having a place that has a touch of home.
Mary Barringer studied abroad in Verona, Italy in Spring 2017. You can read more about her time in Verona on her blog.