Verona

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Private Verona & Valpolicella Tour

Verona - Juliets Balcony - detail
Verona - Juliets Balcony - detailVerona - Piazza Dante - detailVerona - St Anastasia - interiorVerona - particularVerona - PanoramaVerona - arenaValpolicella - ViewAmarone Wine - BottleAmarone - Vineyard

From: $146.81

tour duration

8 Hours

start time

09:00 AM

Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat

meeting point

Venice Piazzale Roma, more details at booking

Tour
Itinerary
Tour
Inclusions
Tour
Information

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Meet your driver to begin your private, full day excursion to Verona and the Valpolicella wine region.

Upon your arrival in Verona, you will go on a fascinating two hour walking tour, starting with the Romans conquering Verona and ending with its contemporary history. You will see the different ages of the city through all the various monuments scattered around its historical center. If you are a romantic, then Juliet’s house will probably be the highlight of this tour.

You will have some free time to grab lunch while in Verona. Afterwards, meet with your driver in the afternoon to continue your excursion. You will be driven through the nearby hills to explore the delightful countryside of the Valpolicella wine region. On the way you will visit a historical winery where you will be able to taste a few of the local wines, including the famous Amarone. The Amarone is a strong, full-bodied wine with a slightly bittersweet taste and sweet aroma.

You will be returned to Piazzale Roma in Venice at the end of your excursion.

TOUR INCLUSIONS

– Round trip transportation with private car

– Expert English speaking driver and guide

– Independent visit of Verona

– Valpolicella Drive

– Visit of vine estate in Valpolicella (Vineyards & cellars)

– Wine tasting of 3 local wines (Soave, Ripasso and Amarone)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

– Veneto Landscapes

– Verona

– Arena

– Juliet House

– Valpolicella

– Amarone Wine

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking

– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.

– Adult pricing applies to all travelers.

Departure point:

Piazzale Roma, Venice. More details at booking.

Duration:
8 hours

Return details:
Piazzale Roma, Venice.

Amarone Wine

Valpolicella - Vigneto
Amarone Wine - BottleAmarone - VineyardAmarone - Vigneto

The Amarone della Valpolicella wine is produced in the north-eastern part of Italy in the Veneto region, in the Valpolicella area. The Amarone Classico della Valpolicella is probably one of the best wine of the area. The wine making process of the Amarone wine is an ancestral and very particular process.

The best grapes are collected manually at the beginning of fall. Grapes are then dried with air in a warehouse in order to increase their concentration in sugar and their famous taste. After, the wine is put in oak barrels for a time that can reach until 36 months. This wine has a higher percentage of alcohol (15-17%) compared to the other Valpolicella wines.

Amarone Information

After a year spent in a barrel, the wine is put into a bottle before being sold. The Amarone Della Valpolicella. The Amarone is garnet-colored and often left for two years before being sold. Several producers keep it for 5 years before they sell it. The Amarone wine can easily be kept for 10 years. Some of the Amarone can even age until 20 years.

The Amarone wine is a new wine, it appeared in 1960, the label indicated Recioto della Valpolicella and blow “Amarone”. In 1968 the Amarone wine was included in the Italian DOC (Denominazion di Origine Controllata) with the following subtitle: Classico Superiore. The Amarone della Valpolicella became a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), the highest level of Italian wine appellation only in 2010.

The Amarone della Valpolicella can be served with cold cuts, game bird, meats, cheeses such as Parmigiano and desserts.

Valpolicella

Valpolicella - View
San Giorgio di ValpolicellaNobile MontepulcianoAmarone Wine - BottleAmarone - VineyardValpolicella - Vigneto

The Valpolicella wine region is located just to the north of Verona in the north-eastern part of Italy, a province known as Veneto. This region is composed of several valleys covered with vineyards, small villages with nice Romanesque churches, and typical historical villas. The Valpolicella wine region is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in Italy, the other two main regions being Piemonte and Chianti. The meaning of Valpolicella is “valley of numerous cellars”; the name is ancient but there are still many vineyards and cellars producing good wine here today.

Things to see

The Valpolicella wines are made from three different grape varieties: the Corvina, the Rondinella and the Molinara. Meanwhile, wine productions are classified into four different categories. First is the Valpolicella Classico, which is the major wine produced in the area and is often defined as having a light body with light cherry flavor and touch of earth. The Valpolicella Superiore is considered a simple daily red; it is created by aging the grapes for at least a year and is a little bit darker than the Valpolicella Classico. Moreover it has 12% alcohol instead of the traditional 11% of the Valpolicella Classico. After that is the Valpolicella Amarone, an ancient and strong, bitter wine. Historically, the Amarone was not usually deliberately made but rather was the result of batches of sweet wine (meant to become Recioto) being unintentionally allowed to ferment dry. Finally, there is the Valpolicella Superior Ripasso. This wine has the same production process as the Amarone wine however once it is fermented, some Amarone grape peels are added to the wine a few days before being filtered. This wine is a little bit less expensive than the Amarone wine but no less delicious.

The Recioto della Valpolicella is not part of the four categories as this wine is a little bit different from the others. The process of fermentation is stopped when the alcohol percentage reaches 13 to 14 so that the wine keeps a little bit of its natural sweetness. This velvety red wine is particular since, unlike other sweet red wines, it has to be sipped cool.

Sant’Anastasia church

Verona - Panorama
Verona - St Anastasia - interior

The first Church of Sant’Anastasia was built during the reign of Theodoric the Great, king of Ostrogoth. In fact, two different churches were built on the current site of Sant’Anastasia: one dedicated to Saint Anastasia and another dedicated to Saint Remy. In the 13th century, the churches were given to the Dominicans who decided to transform the two churches into a single one. They dedicated this church to Saint Peter, martyr of Verona, but people continued to call it the Church of Saint Anastasia.

Things to see

Sant’Anastasia is the largest church in Verona, built in the Italian Gothic style. It is composed of three different crossed naves supported by twelve huge red marble columns. Aside from providing relious services, the Saint Anastasia Church can also be considered a museum as it contains several masterpieces from the Middle Ages. While visiting this church, it is possible to see the Gothic fresco of Altichiero Da Zevio, the fresco of Adoration of the Virgin, and the fresco of Pisanello in the Giusti chapel. Pisanetto’s fresco represents St Georges delivering the princess of Trebizond.  The church also boasts a collection of 17 terracottas made by Michele da Firenze.Many other artworks can be admired, made by Pietro da Forlezza, Cattaneo, Liberale da Verona, Girolamo dai Libri, Giolfino, Brusasorc and others.

At the entrance of Saint Anastasia Church, there is a sculpture of two hunchbacks supporting a holy water stoup. Legend says that touching the hump of one of the hunchbacks is a sign of good luck.

Arena of Verona

Verona - Arena - Piazza Bra
Verona - arenaVerona - Arena interiorVerona - view from the top

In 30 A.C. under the reign of Emperor Augustus, Verona built an arena outside the city walls. The arena has an elliptic form 152 meters long and 128 meters wide while its walls are 32 meters tall. An ingenious system of pipes and drains was built under the arena to bring water inside in order to organize certain games.

Only a small part of the exterior survives today and can be recognized by the four arcades on the top of the walls. The Arena of Verona was constructed with blocks of white marble which arrived from the Valpolicella region.

Things to see

The Arena of Verona is one of the most important arenas still standing now. It competed with the Coliseum in Rome and the amphitheater of Capua in terms of size: in ancient times it was able to host up to 30 000 people. The Arena held circus games (ludi), horse races, gladiator fights, and other shows popular among the Roman people. From the Middle Age until the 18th century, the purpose of the arena was to provide entertainment and a space for tournaments. Over time, the arena started to offer more cultural events as well.

In 1913, the Arena of Verona welcomed its first opera, “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi, to commemorate the one hundred year anniversary of the birth of the compositor. This great initiative was organized by the Italian opera singer Giovanni Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. Since 1913, every summer the Arena welcomes operas from all over the world; it is a wonderful place to listen to this music as the arena has a very nice acoustics.

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”.