24 Hours in..
Verona is a medieval town which has become a tourist hot spot for being the inspiration and setting for three of Shakespeare’s play’s, ‘Romeo, and Juliet’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’. It’s still unclear as to whether Shakespeare had actually visited the city. Verona is located in the northern part of Italy, the city has also been awarded World Heritage site status by UNESCO due to its architecture.
I visited Verona for 24 hours, by myself. I originally had planned a day volunteering for the Juliet Club, but unfortunately, the opportunity fell through. Instead, I wandered Verona on a rather damp day. It has so many beautiful locations and exciting activities, which I will be sure to do on my next visit.
I stayed just a fifteen minute walk from the centre of Verona. My B&B had a Juliet balcony, overlooking the streets of Verona. Although I had to share a bathroom with the other guests of the B&B I didn’t actually bump into, see or hear anyone during my stay.
Via del Pontiere 22, Verona Historical Centre, 37122 Verona, Italy
Stop for breakfast at one of the cafes on route. It’s actually cheaper to stand at the counter to eat a pastry and slurp on a cappuccino. So avoid sitting down at a table, if you want a cheaper breakfast and you don’t mind the commuters piling in the small cafes.
I love the idea that on my way to work I would have time to drink an expresso and read a newspaper before I begin a day of work.
Following from breakfast, wander down shops down the lanes of Verona. The Via Mazzini connects the Piazza Brà and the Piazza delle Erbe. This is one of the busiest streets, so it’s best to head to the shops early to avoid the crowds.
Major Italian fashion brands are housed down this street and a few favourites like Zara and Pandora are nestled here.
Via Giuseppe Mazzini
37121 Verona VR
After you’ve done your shopping wander to Piazza delle Erbe. There are markets full of drawings, pastas, magnets and loads of other tourist gifts. During the time of the Roman Empire, this square used to be the towns forum.
The square not only hosts beautiful stalls and restaurants, but the historical architecture is a definite must see.
Some of the attractions include the old town hall Torre Dei Lamberti, The Casa Dei Giudici and the Mazzanti Houses. Other beautiful attractions on the square include the; Baroque Palazzo Maffei and Domus Mercatorum.
In the middle of the square is the monumental fountain built by Cansignorio della Scala, with a statue of Madonna Verona and was built in 1368.
Head down one of the little alley’s in Verona and stumble across a quaint restaurant and indulge in some good Italian food.
Enjoy lunch off the beaten track, find where the locals eat. It tends to be just as delicious and half the price.
37121 Verona Vr, Italy
I love the feeling of getting lost in a city that I have never been to before, it’s my favourite thing to do. I tend to switch off my phone and wander around and people watch for most of the day.
Whilst wandering around Verona you may stumble across beautiful sites including; Arena di Verona which is a Roman Amphitheatre that still hosts performances. Castelvecchio which is a castle that used to be the most important military construction of the Scaliger dynasty, that once ruled Verona in the Middle Ages. Another site to visit is the Arco dei Gavi. This is an ancient Arch which was built by a noble Roman family named Gavia. This was at the beginning of the famous Roman road Via Postumia which lead to the city.
Another thing that I love to do when travelling is to just sit and read a book. When I’ve had enough of exploring and my feet start to ache, it’s nice to sit down and read. You can do this in the garden just off piazza bra.
Following that, head to the Juliet Club, you can have a tour inside and watch the volunteers reply to the thousands of letters on behalf of Juliet. You can also post your very own love letter to Juliet in the post box just by Juliet’s balcony.
Sneak off to the Juliet balcony before it closes. Evening or early morning is the best time to visit to avoid the crowds of tourists and school children.
Send a letter to Juliet if you are having problems with your love life and grab the boob of the statue of Juliet for good luck, everyone else seems to. If you go earlier in the day, you can pay to visit Juliet’s balcony, a must for the Shakespeare fans and the romantics.
Catch a play at the Arena di Verona theatre and wander the streets during dusk. Have dinner at Piazza Bra with a glass of wine. There’s a line of restaurants in the square.
WORD TO THE WISE
I retreat back to the hotel, it’s late. But the walk back feel safe and it’s pretty easy to navigate back through the streets of Verona. There is so much to do and see in this magical city, you definitely need more than 24 hours in the city of romance. It’s the perfect weekend break for a romantic getaway or a weekend to become lost in literature and history.
On my next visit I will be taking part in tours and activities that Verona has on offer and I’ll be sure to revisit the Juliet Club when it’s open. I’ll be planning my next trip to Verona very soon.
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO DO IN VERONA?