A romantic journey on St. Valentine’s Day: Verona, City of Love
Juliet and Romeo’s hometown celebrates Valentine’s Day in style. No one is left disappointed. The streets are decorated with hearts to put everyone who sets foot on the sidewalk in a romantic mood. And in the city center there is a very interesting event called “A Kiss from the Heart”. In the evening, there are volleys of confetti and “Sighs of Love”.
Valentine’s Day Festival
The holiday begins annually on February 11. The celebrations last until the 14th. At this time, Verona is at the mercy of lovers from all over the planet.
Souvenirs and gifts for loved ones can be bought on Piazza Signori. And for a free chocolate tasting everyone is invited to the Loggia of the City Council.
When darkness falls, the Lamberti Tower lights up with a rosy red glow. Couples in love get solid discounts on visits to the city’s museums and a climb to the observation deck, where they can admire the festive Verona.
The Cortile di Giulietta hosts concerts, theatrical productions, and readings of Shakespeare’s works. All of the city’s restaurants offer a romantic dinner with a special “love menu”. At the initiative of the owners of the institutions – two loving hearts at one table.
Of course, they offer their own versions of answers to the letters of the heroine of the immortal tragedy and messages to her. In Verona there is even a literary contest entitled “Cara Giulia”. The most touching messages, or rather their authors, are awarded prizes. The “Premio Cara Giulietta” awards are held on February 14 in the house of Shakespeare’s heroine.
The theme of the immortal sentiment unites all events on February 13 and 14. Performances, opera arias, movies. Even a Wedding Fair is provided. It features outfit options for the main participants in the ceremony, and the holiday banquet, and travel, that is, everything from accessories to gifts.
On the final day of the festival, the race is traditionally held. It takes place through all the nooks and crannies of the center of Verona. Everyone is welcome to participate.
Saint Valentine is not only the patron saint of lovers and Verona, but also his neighbor, the village of Bussolengo. Since 2015, the oldest fair in the province has been held here. Exhibitions, exchanges, shows, music, rides and tastings are all on the town’s squares.
The apotheosis of the celebration is a romantic dinner in an old building for a couple in love in Lacise on the shores of Lake Garda.
Strolls in the City of Love
Verona is not only the city of love. It’s also a city of hospitality, as well as haute cuisine and art. All guests have the right to participate in competitions and taste national dishes.
Devotees of gastronomic tourism will be delighted by the luxurious fair, which presents all locally produced products. It is located on Piazza del Signori.
Even a casual stroll through the streets on a day like this can get you in the mood. The main characters, of course, for a few days are Romeo and Juliet, and the entire city is hung with red lanterns, or love lanterns.
You can celebrate an important date at home, you can go to a restaurant, or you can go on a trip for a few days. There are plenty of options.
It is best to walk around the city, without haste looking at the old buildings, their architectural decoration and familiarizing yourself with the attributes of local life. It’s also a good idea to look out for interesting photo courses.
The modern look of the city is the same age as the immortal tragedy. The square-shaped Piazza delle Erbe has Renaissance houses, including the town hall with its old courtyard.
The Kremlin-like Castelvecchio houses a museum. Steps and bridges take you from room to room, admiring the works of the country’s most famous painters and passing through intimate courtyards and gardens.
The City of Shakespeare’s Heroes
A visit to Juliet’s houses is a must. The Capuletti family name is derived from the Italian word for “hat”, which is why the family coat of arms shows a headdress above the entrance to the house. In the five-story brick building from the 12th century you can also see the famous balcony, where the most famous date in the world took place.
True, not a single tree can be found near it. But there is no less convenient wall, which is easy to get to the balcony. Here and Romeo did it was not difficult.
And beneath the balcony is a bronze sculpture of the heroine of the tragedy. Numerous touches have polished it to a shine. Juliet’s dwelling is always open to the public, especially during the festival. The interiors of the Renaissance are faithfully reproduced here.
On Giulietta’s Terrace, next to the heroine’s house, you can have a cup of coffee. A bag of sugar is adorned with a scene of passionate embrace on the balcony. Yes and hearts are everywhere at this time, both single and double, with inscriptions, arrows, edible and not.
Romeo’s house is also within walking distance. It’s a long walk to Juliet’s tomb, where under the vaulted ceiling an open, empty sarcophagus is filled with flowers. The place of the girl’s burial is called the convent courtyard of San Francesco nearby. Romeo is buried next to the chosen one, but on the other side of the convent wall.
Historical monument and its transformation
Verona is an ancient city. It has many historical buildings of that time. The poet Catullus was also a local native. Here you can see the old bridge Ponte Pietra, the arches and the ancient Roman theater.
In terms of size, the Arena di Verona is the second largest amphitheater in the world after the Colosseum. It is used as the scene for opera festivals. On it the most famous singers of the planet performed.
Souvenirs are all kinds of images of the most famous Verona people. They are on calendars, key chains, toys and articles of clothing.
The old city is a cultural heritage of mankind. Its streets and squares are at the center of the “Verona in Love” initiative. Piazza dei Signori turns into a Valentine’s Day in February with Cuore da Scoprire, thanks to the outdoor displays with themed gift ideas that play on Verona’s theme of love.
The Loggia di Consiglio becomes the Loggia of Love. It offers guests the typical wines and sweets of the area. The Post Office of the Heart, which opens next to the Cortile Mercato Vecchio, is a must-see. There is a notice board. Everyone can leave their wishes and greetings on it.
All concerts on such days are held under the motto “Life in Love”. Every participant and listener is literally sprinkled with confetti in the form of hearts. The old city sparkles with festive illuminations, and the stores are open longer than usual.
Among all the cities in the country, Verona has a special place. It has become an object of pilgrimage of lovers all over the world. Of course, the real recognition was brought to it by Shakespeare, who had never been here. But his tragedy was based on real events that took place in Verona. So there is no deceit. And the title of the city of love is well deserved.
Today, it is more and more often said that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. This assertion is not without merit. However to please their loved ones is not forbidden and on other dates. Let the romantic trip to Juliet’s homeland during the festival remained unrealized idea, so there are other ways to talk about feelings and to give a gift.
It may be modest, but most importantly, from the heart. For example, a romantic dinner, not from a restaurant, and prepared with our own hands for our loved ones. And no vendors with their expensive gifts can compete with it.
Two days in Verona: romantic getaways and meditations
Verona is one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is the city of love. Every day hundreds of travelers come to Verona to experience the story of Shakespeare’s immortal lovers – Romeo and Juliet. So the city has earned the status of one legend. But besides the famous balcony and Juliet’s house, there are other riches the Italians are proud of: majestic cathedrals and squares, imbued with the atmosphere of the Renaissance, elegant villas and lush gardens, and finally the famous Verona Opera in the Amphitheatre.
Verona has a peculiarity that no other Italian city has. It skilfully “calms down” the flow of its guests, giving you the opportunity to leisurely see all its beauties. And its sights, of which there are a great many, deserve our attention.
Go up to the San Pietro hills and look at the panorama of ancient Verona, walk through the medieval streets that tell about the city’s past, visit the beautiful Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, a true gem of Northern Italy, visit other churches to see the paintings of Italian painters. Think you can’t make it in two days? Anything is possible, just plan your itinerary correctly. Our tips will tell you how to do it.
How to get to Verona?
Due to the good crossroads of the roads, Verona is easily accessible from other Italian cities, as well as from Europe. From Milan, Venice and Bologna it is a little over an hour by car, which can be rented with the popular service Rentalcar.
You can also go to Verona by plane. There are planes that fly from Kiev to Verona. A round trip flight for one person will cost from 365 euros. If you book tickets in advance, you can get on cheap flights. Arriving at the airport Valerio Catullo di Verona, which is 10 km from the city, you can order a cab or transfer to the city, or take a shuttle bus that will take you to the train station of Porta Nuova. It runs every 20 minutes and the ticket price is 6 euros.
Where to stay in Verona?
As an option, it is worth considering a hotel in the city for two days of stay. The choice of hotels is great, and in the fall there is almost no influx of tourists. On average, a room for two people for one night will cost you almost 45 euros. This is not expensive if you take into account that in the morning you get a hot breakfast. You can also stay in Verona for free if you turn to the service Couchsurfing and find someone who will be happy to take you for a night.
Where to eat and what to try in Verona?
Verona is in the Veneto region, which is famous for its wines. It produces 22 types of vintage wines. In Verona itself it is worth tasting one of the two types of wine (guaranteed origin) – Bardolino Classico and Recioto di Soave. Among the local dishes you should try the famous potato gnocchi served with sauces, Italian risotto with minced pork, polenta and beef stewed in wine. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy a delicious Sbrisolona crumb cake or almond cookies. Among the restaurants offering a wide variety of authentic dishes, the most popular are the Dodici Apostoli (in Via Corticella S.Marco 3) and the Al Carroarmato Cafe (in Via Vicolo Gatto 2a).
What to see in Verona during your first day?
We recommend buying the Verona Card for one day. The cost of the museum card for 24 hours is 18 euros. It includes free visits to 16 attractions (museums, monuments and churches), plus public transport.
The first place travelers usually head for is the Amphitheater, which was built in the first century AD and hosted gladiatorial fights and animal encounters. Today it is the world stage, the heart of opera in Verona. During the summer season up to 50 concerts and theatrical performances are held there. The cost of a musical concert ranges from 15 to 200 euros. In the winter season you can get to the opera in the neighboring Ente Lirico Arena, an old building from the XVIII century.
After seeing the historic Colosseum, remember the romance and go to Juliet’s House . Shakespeare “settled” the two lovers in Verona. But, unfortunately, both our heroes’ houses and the balcony are just a fiction. However, even the most realistic tourist believes it and goes to this place.
In the courtyard by the house there is a monument to Juliet, with which everyone takes pictures, and from the balcony from time to time modern Juliet looks out. Near the house itself all the walls are painted with declarations of love…
The house of Romeo is a hundred and fifty meters from the beloved’s house. Gothic building really belonged to the Montague family, who became the prototype of Shakespeare’s characters.
After leaving the House of Romeo, proceed to Piazza delle Erbe, where there is a small market of fruits, vegetables, and souvenirs.
This medieval square, with its marble canopy, is home to the Casa Mazzanti with its magnificent frescoes depicting figures of Ignorance, Envy and Prudence, one of Verona’s oldest palaces.
After a walk around the square, head for the Torre dei Lambretti. It has been reconstructed many times because of the destruction. You can go up for free if you have the Verona Card in your pocket.
Near the square is also the Cathedral of Verona .
Visit the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore. It has many bas-reliefs and statues, and inside is a transparent sarcophagus with the body of St. Zeno. And the façade of the building is Romanesque in pink marble with golden tuff.
The arched stone bridge of Ponte Pietra leads to the Roman theater.
The theater itself is of ancient origin and not badly preserved: a few gallery arches, grandstands and the remains of the stage. But it is worth coming here at least to see a beautiful sunset on the river.
What to see on the second day of exploring the city?
The second day we suggest to think about eternal things and indulge in reflections. In the morning we suggest visiting the cathedral and the church of Saint Anastasia, near the bend of the Adige.
Then walk in the garden of the Giusti in the palace. It is a beautiful example of late Renaissance. In the garden there is a “living” labyrinth, and as the legend says, if the lovers, who got tangled in the labyrinth find each other, they will be together forever.
Near the Lamberti Tower there is a memorial burial place, the Arches of the Scaligers, where there are sarcophagi with Gothic tombstones of the Scaliger dynasty, which ruled Verona in the Middle Ages.
End your acquaintance with Verona at the Amphitheater. If you can, visit the opera in the evening. If not, visit Piazza Bra, which is the heart of Verona.
Also worth seeing are the Lion’s Gate and the Borsari Gate (250-400 meters from the Amphitheater). These are the fortress walls of the era of the great Roman Empire, though some of them have preserved only part of the facade.
It is worth stopping in one of the crowded cafes on the square and having a glass of fragrant wine before the concert. Usually performances begin after 21:00. At this time the square and the Amphitheater itself are immersed in a romantic atmosphere: the lights are lit and classical music comes from different corners…
Would you say that two days are not enough for Verona? We totally agree. But in order to recharge positive emotions and have a great experience this is enough. After all, you need to leave something for the next trip, isn’t it?
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