Verona, a night at the opera

Verona, one of my favourite Italian cities. Even though I had been there 4 times previously when it was time to organise my yearly girlie trip, I decided to Verona would be a good choice.

There are many reasons why I love Verona, one being it’s a short flight from London; our flight with British Airways got us there in about 1 and a half hours. The airport is near the city centre, a short bus ride away costing 6 euros one way will take you to the railway station. From there you can either walk it or take a cab. Alternatively you can just get a cab from the airport at a cost of between 20-30 euros.

The city isn’t huge, it’s quite compact with most attractions within walking distance. Set on the river Adige with some amazing bridges and some wonderful churches and architecture, there’s always something fascinating to look at.

Famous for the setting of Romeo and Juliet, this is one of the most romantic cities. At Juliet’s balcony you will see many couples buying colourful locks and locking them onto the gate within the courtyard. Touch the left breast of the the statue and they say it will ensure a return to the city again.

The main attraction is of course the Arena, built 2000 years ago and host to the opera season from the end of June through to beginning of September. Even if you are not an opera fan, it’s a must do when you are in Verona. Early booking is recommended if you want good seats. I have always had good seats and never sat on the stone steps so cannot comment on those. I do recommend you rent a cushion for just a few euros each. We watched Aida, which is one of my favourites. The arena holds 10,000 people. Staying in a hotel within walking distance is recommended as queuing for a taxi after the opera could take up to 2 hours. A pre opera dinner reservation is also recommended. I booked La Greppia, which is just off the main shopping street; again a restaurant I always book before the opera and the food is amazing.

I love spending hours in either the Piazza Bra which is where the arena is, sitting in one of the many bars and restaurants, just people watching. Another lovely place to sit and drink is the Piazza delle Erbe which also has a small market in the square.

If you adore shopping then you will enjoy this city. Most of the shops are in the main cobbled street, but there are also many other shops off the main drag. Great for clothes and shoes and not terribly expensive and we were lucky the sales had just started in early July.

We took the open top bus tour one day and that was wonderful, a great way to see all the sights. You can hop on and hop off or just stay on the bus. There is also a tourist train which runs in the centre.

The food and the wines are of course superb as with most Italian cities. Prices are quite reasonable. You will pay more if you sit in the main squares of course.

Please visit Verona one day, you will not be disappointed.

 

 

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