I was lucky enough to finally visit Verona. I have been trying to find the time to visit this place for months and finally while my friend Izzy was visiting we decided to go for the day. It was a rainy sunday in mid-March and we set off late because I had to work in the morning. We didn't leave for Verona until 12:30 which was fine because we caught a high speed train which got us there in an hour and a half. Verona is very close to Venice and very easy to reach with regional trains available about every half hour.
Verona is part of the Veneto region, where I currently reside. It is the biggest city in the region and the flag of verona looks incredibly similar to the swedish flag. I found myself confused when I first lay eyes on it and thought I was looking at some sort of embassy building.
We didn't have much time in Verona but it is able to reach most of the famous tourist spots by foot so this wasn't a problem.
The first thing we did was to see the Arena, an Amphitheatre built by the Romans, where performances still take place to this day. After which we went to see the Piazza Erbe which is the main town square and very beautiful and worth a visit. We went shopping along Via Mazzini and stopped for coffee and pastries at a lovely little pasticceria.
After this we went to the cathedral which was a grand stripy building which is definitely one of the more architectually interesting cathedrals I've seen.
Finally, the key reason why Verona is so famous is because, as I am sure you are well aware, our most famous playwrights in the UK, William Shakespeare, set two of his plays in Verona, although people are unsure he actually went there. He wrote the Two gentlemen of Verona and of course his most famous play Romeo and Juliet. Now, call me a bimbo but, I am just going to admit this shamelessly: no secrets! I had NO IDEA Romeo and Juliet was based off a pre-existing legend of two young lovers in Verona until over the last few years. I just assumed he made it up. But as is life, all literature has a factual basis it seems.
So of course, we went to the house where Juliet or Giulietta (In Italian) was believed to have lived and visited the famous balcony in the house of Capulet where tourists rub the boobs of a statue of Juliet for good luck. (A bit creepy since she was supposed to be only 13 or something but hey). And it was nowhere near as popular but we also made a trip to the House of Montague to check if the ghost of ol' Romeo was knocking about. He wasn't there it seems.
Finally we saw the Ponte Pietra and stuffed our faces with Pasta before heading home. We went to a place called Osteria Al Carroarmato which had good service and a very simple menu. We were reassured because we were the only foreigners in the restaurant surrounded by middle-aged Italians meeting friends and talking animatedly as they waited for dishes to be brought out by the one waiter serving the whole restaurant.
Here is an old but great guardian article which recommends other affordable eateries in Verona. If you do go please leave more recommendations. I will be going back to fair Verona!