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Verona

Verona - Piazza Dante - detail
Verona - Juliets Balcony - detailVerona - view from the topVerona - arenaVerona - particularVerona - Day viewVerona - Panorama

Located in the Veneto region, Verona was founded in the first century B.C. This city is still the second most important city of the region, having been built on a strategic place on the edge of the river Adige. In 216 B.C. after the battle of Cannae, Verona was united to Rome and became one of its provinces. It earned the nickname “small Rome” since the city was such an important hub, but also for its wonderful monuments and houses. During the height of the Roman Empire, the city grew quickly: several bridges, theatres and temples were built.

During the 5th century, the city became property of the Ostrogoth king Theodoric and as a result, several conflicts began with the other cities nearby. In 1405, Verona was owned by the Republic of Venice, which led to many improvements. Indeed, the Republic of Venice affected the cultural, social and artistic development of Verona until 1797, when the city was invaded by Napoleon (and after that by the Austrians). Finally, in 1866, the city was incorporated to the Italian kingdom founded by King Victor Emmanuel II in 1861. Verona was eventually recognized under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 2000.

Things to see

The beautiful pink city of Verona became famous thanks to Shakespeare and his tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”. That play is the reason why nowadays, Verona is seen as a romantic city: tourists can see Juliet’s statue, Juliet’s house, Juliet’s tomb and many other places which reference the story of the two star-crossed lovers. There are many other monuments in Verona which have been preserved from Antiquity, the Middle Age and the Renaissance. The latter artistic period left the strongest mark and can be observed on the different buildings, which are a blend of Renaissance influences from Lombardy and Renaissance influences from Veneto.

Each year during the summer (June to September) the great Opera Festival of Verona takes place in the Arena of Verona. The most famous operas in the world can be enjoyed here, such as Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera”, Bizet’s “Carmen” or more fittingly, Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet”.