‘Fair Verona’ is how Shakespeare described Italy’s ancient city in the opening lines of Romeo and Juliet, and it is fair, with the ironic exception of the lover's balcony erected in the 1920s, which only assists in lowering the tone. Luckily this contrived addition is hushed up down an alley, although it still gets busy with tourists coming to take the obligatory peek.
While the city lures visitors with its love story fame, Verona's real history offers a much more satisfying Italian holiday. Italy's smallish city does radiate romance, although this has more to do the narrow medieval streets, Roman ruins, encompassing River Adige, bridges and the centerpiece Arena than its Shakespearean associations. The incredible Arena di Verona situated at the end of Piazza Bra is an undoubted highlight and stands as the third largest remaining Roman amphitheatre in the world - for an unforgettable experience during your Italian holidays, watch an opera here under the stars. Other highlights of a Verona tour are the fourteenth century Castelvecchio, now an art museum displaying masterpiece paintings, statues and relics and the Piazzas delle Erbe and dei Signori, two of Italy's historic, beautiful squares.