La Dolce Vita!

Sarah Freeman on 24 September 2022
I’ve just been fortunate to spend an amazing 4 days in Verona. A short flight from Manchester, this beautiful Italian city and UNESCO World Heritage Centre is definitely well worth a visit.

In terms of attractions, this city can offer something for everyone. For foodies, enjoy crispy pizzas and al dente pasta with every topping under the sun, 100 flavours of gelato and this is Prosecco and Aperol Spritz territory!

The most popular tourist attraction is Juliet’s House, the fictional home of Romeo’s amore. Shakespeare never actually travelled to Verona but based his tragedy on a local tale. The city dates from Prehistoric times but rose rapidly in importance in the 1st century B.C and there are a number of Roman sights from the Verona Amphitheatre which used to host 30,000 for gladiator battles, to the smaller Roman Arena across the river, plus the remains of old city gates including Porto Borsari.

Verona was a strategic location on the road between Milan and Venice and allowed access to up into Germany so had a turbulent past. The city thrived in the 13th and 14th century as noble families including the Scaligers vied for power. Their legacy still lives today as you can visit the Castello (fortress), uniquely designed Castelvecchio Bridge and even the Scaliger Tombs.

Church lovers will be spoilt for choice, I enjoyed visiting Santa Anastasia which was built in the 11th century and is adorned with amazing works of art. If you prefer palaces, walking down Corso Cavour every other building is adorned with marble sculptures, from statues of gods to coats of arms.

For people watching, head to Piazza Bra and Piazza delle Erbe, Bra is by far the largest with cafes lining the outside, the town hall and a park in the centre, while Erbe is smaller but more picturesque and is surrounded by stunning historical buildings with original fresco’s and has a lovely fountain. Here you can find the Torre Del Lamberti that dominates the skyline and you can climb the 368 steps to the bell tower for commanding views. Alternatively cross the infamous Ponte Pietra (bridge) and take the funicular up to St Peter’s Castle that sits 781 feet above the city.