“We let the city surprise us, and it did. Even apart from Romeo and Juliet, there’s plenty here to keep a visitor occupied. It’s not a big city, making it perfect for a few hours of sightseeing, but you could easily spend days exploring different parts of town.
On the edge of the old town there are plenty of multi-story parking lots, and just a stone’s throw from Lake Garda. The city itself is beautiful and full of atmosphere, though there are sometimes too many tourists.
We began our tour at the Piazza Brá, by the Verona Arena, which is an ancient Roman amphitheater transformed into a live event venue. It seems they have some pretty state-of-the-art stage technology built into it. Incidentally, outside of the Colosseum in Rome and the Capua amphitheater, Verona’s is the largest in the world.
We soon ticked off the obligatory sights, like Juliet’s balcony, which is obviously a fake me. I waited for long, long minutes, in case some Slavic girl should appear in a window or on the balcony. People bay €5 to stand in a queue for an hour, then, at last, they get to pose on the balcony, while dad takes pictures from the street below.
Half the people are looking at the balcony (and the Slavic chicks) while the other half is touching the breasts on the Juliet statue.
There are some places in Italy where it isn’t easy to put up with the people around you, so of course, this was totally fine, in the sweltering heat. (2017)
“To be honest, I wasn’t planning to visit Verona at all. I mean, who wants to caress Juliette’s breasts, leave messages of love engraved on walls for posterity, or dreamily look towards the beloved on that particular balcony? In my imagination, Verona dripped with saliva and I wanted nothing to do with it, thank you very much.
However: I was immediately impressed by the buildings with frescoes on their facades, and the balconies decorated with climbing plants. In Verona, even the simplest apartment building caught my attention so much that I would have liked to have brought home every balcony and window on my memory card – we climbed many, many stairs to reach Piazzale Castel San Pietro, from where we could see the city's skyline with it centuries of history by the light of the setting sun.”(2019)
“This was my third visit, and the third I finished with mixed feelings. Millions of tourists almost overwhelm the city, so it's hard to see the abundance of beauty. In many places, the tendency to cut corners is felt, and we did not judge public safety to be the best either. We visited Juliette’s balcony and the Arena, and walked along the riverbank.” (2022)
"This city, with its narrow streets, has become my favorite. The old town, including the robust walls of its two-thousand-year-old Arena, offers an amazing sight. It used to be able to accommodate 30,000 people. Today, for safety reasons, it can accommodate only half as many people. Next to this ancient wonder, immediately to the left, you can see the glittering, bustling quarter of the city center, studded with exclusive shops. Via Giuseppe Mazzini, the city's popular shopping street, leads us along shiny granite cobbles to Juliette’s house.
Two small squares open from here: Piazza Delle Erbe, which hosts the market, and Piazza Signori, which hosts cultural celebrations. Both are surrounded by painted, ornate buildings. The most beautiful thing is that everything seems to have been chewed up by the iron teeth of time; there is no longer a single intact piece on the railings of the balconies, they are almost completely rusted, and sometimes even the freshly plastered house walls are smoothed into a rustic look. This makes it feel so real. However, inside the apartments are very nice – even a fly would slip on the polished marble floors! Among the must-sees, Castelvecchio (Old Castle), Basilica San Zeno, Verona Cathedral, and Santa Anastasia would fit into a visit.