10 Amazing Wine Experiences to do in Verona
One of the most cosmopolitan cites in Europe, Verona is rich in culture and heritage capturing the excitement and feeling of Milan, Venice, Rome, and Florence all within a compact and pedestrian friendly city center that’s both welcoming and intimate. From the performing arts, historic architecture, and culinary delights of the palate—Verona has it all. Only in Verona can you attend the opera at one of the finest intact roman amphitheaters or visit Juliet’s balcony—the romantic site Shakespeare immortalized in Romeo and Juliet. Verona’s charming streets and elegant squares are filled with chic cafes, restaurants, and shops.
1. A stroll Through Verona : Centuries of History in One City
Designated an UNESCO World Heritage site, Verona is a living monument that’s both beautiful and accessible. The city is packed with historic landmarks tracing periods from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, French and Austrian rule, and the high times of Julius Caesar himself. Begin your stroll though history at Porta Borsari, an ancient Roman gate dating to the 1st century, and wander past the Arena, the markets in Piazza Erbe, and churches of Sant’Anastasia, the Duomo and San Zeno. Located midway between Milan and Venice, Verona is the perfect base from which to explore the many pleasures of the Veneto region.
2. The Arena and the Roman Theatre
Stunning and stately The Arena is the focal point of Verona both architecturally and culturally. One of the best-preserved examples of a Roman amphitheater, the Arena’s optimal acoustics makes it the perfect venue for the legendary opera performances. Built in first century AD with stones from Valpolicella, the Arena consists of 72 arches and 44 rows of stairs. Take a self-guided tour and climb to the uppermost ring for breathtaking views of the river and surrounding countryside. On the opposite side of the Adige River, the Roman Theater, a smaller restored amphitheater hosts the Veronese Summer Festival and the renowned Shakespearean Festival.
3. The City of Love
Verona, undeniably the City of Love, is the setting for the most famous words ever spoken from a balcony: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The Capulet House, known as Juliet’s house, dates back to the thirteenth century and the family coat-of-arms is still visible in the archway leading to the famed courtyard. Go with someone you love and tour the famous house, stand on the balcony and gaze upon Nereo Costantini's bronze of Juliet below. Visit the Juliet Club to view archives of letters containing love stories and messages of love from all over the world.
4. Love in season Year Round
Love is in season all year in Verona. February starts with Verona In Love a flurry of events devoted to love. March welcomes the spirit of Carnival with pageants and parades. Spring brings the perfumed air of Verona Mio Fiore. Summer heralds the start of Opera season and Festival Lirico Arena di Verona. Balmy evenings host performances at the Roman Theatre for Festival Estate Teatrale Veronese. The festival of street games, Tocatì is held in September along with Librar Verona celebrating poets and writers. The magic of yuletide is feted with Christmas craft markets, illuminated streets and decorated trees in the squares.
5. A Journey Through Verones Cuisine
What’s the best way to experience Verona? Through the food and wine of course! The fertile plains surrounding the province supply a bounty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oils, and grains along with cheeses and salamis from the many farms. The flavors of the region reign supreme in the iconic dishes of Valeggio Tortellini and Vialone Nano Risotto and in traditional deserts such as Pandoro. Wine too is an important part of the region with over 14 DOC and DOCG wines in production including Valpolicella and Amarone, Soave from Vicenza, Bardolino from the lake area, plus Valdadige wine of the fort district
6. Verona Wine top and Verona Olive Oil Contest
If you could only have two liquids for the rest of your life, Verona wine and olive oil may be the best choices! With a diverse range of soil types from sandy plains to mountain and lakeside landscapes, the vineyards of the Verona Province reflect the essence of place within nineteen denominations of DOC and DOCG wines. Visit the Verona Wine Top competition to taste hundreds of wines judged to be the finest examples of Verona. The annual Verona Olive Oil Contest showcases the highest quality oils made in the Garda and Valpolicella olive growing regions of the Verona Province.
7. Lake Garda
Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is rich in historical significance and dotted with castles. Nature lovers may enjoy year-round activities like beach and water sports in Peschiera del Garda or winter skiing and summer hiking around the Monte Baldo range near Malcesine. Visit one of the many botanical gardens, zoos, museums, water parks or theme parks like Gardaland for a day of family fun. The mild climate creates an ideal growing region and foodies will be thrilled by the flavors and tastes from the surrounding orchards, vineyards, and olive groves. Lake fish too are a specialty and best enjoyed with a glass of local wine.
8. Surrounding Mountains: Unexpected Natural Landscapes
Looking for a tranquil place to commune with nature? The mountain habitats and idyllic landscapes surrounding Monte Baldo and Lessinia in the province of Verona are teeming with flora and fauna. Monte Baldo is perfect for Nordic walking, trekking, cycling, and paragliding. Those more adventurous may choose rock climbing along the cliffs. Afterwards quell your appetite in local cafes and restaurants specializing in mountain cuisine. The Lessinia region presents a journey back in time through the art, archeology and culture. Explore the characteristic stone villages of Prun where you can find ancient giassare (ice houses), hidden caves, and limestone monoliths.
9. Verona Hills
The Verona hills are alive, not with the sound of music, but with the melodies of enological culture! There among the castles, villas, olive groves, vineyards, and wine cellars—the song of wine is most harmonious. Lively culinary festivals celebrate the seasonal bounty throughout the year. The Valpolicella area is one of Italy’s finest wine regions known for the full-bodied red wines Valpolicella, Recioto, and Amarone. The Eastern hills are dominated by castles and prehistoric sites including the famous "pesciara" location where fish fossils were unearthed. This rich wine growing area is home to Soave, Arcole, and Lessini Durello wines.
10. The Plain: Verona's Hidden Treasure
The Pinaura, also known as The Plain, is a precious and unique ecosystem of great agricultural importance. At first glance the secrets of the landscape may elude you. But pause, breath deep, and cast your eyes upon one of Mother Nature’s most subtle and sublime arrangements of earth, sky, and water. This land, a patchwork quilt of plenty, links ancient traditions to the present and is the source of Verona’s most cherished cultivated grain—rice. The Vialone Nano Veronese grown here is the king of risotto rice prized for its ability to absorb seasonings and liquids resulting in a creamy texture.