IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE THAT VERONA, ITALY HAS AN ABUNDANCE OF ROMANTIC DESTINATIONS, ATTRACTIONS, AND THINGS TO DO SINCE THIS IS HOME TO THE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS IN SHAKESPEARE’S “ROMEO AND JULIET,” WHICH IS PERFECT FOR THIS VALENTINE’S DAY SEASON FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE.
By MARIANA MEJIA
This month, we’ll be navigating the city of love: Verona, Italy, the most romantic city in the world with a long and rich history, but it’s more than the famous love story of Romeo and Juliet. Verona proudly displays a connection to the love story with sights such as Juliet’s Balcony at Casi De Giulietta, which thousands of romantic, like-minded travelers visit each year. Although historians differ on the accuracy of the story, many Italians believe that the story had many similarities during the Renaissance era. In the Renaissance era, it was quite popular back then that families didn’t see eye to eye, so William Shakespeare wasn’t too far off from the old ideologies.
We will travel hand in hand with long-lost loves and the romantic atmosphere that takes place in Verona, using ancient ideologies. Especially if the hotel you’re staying at is across from Juliet’s house, where everyday tourists and locals meet and reenact Shakespeare’s most famous quote about Romeo and Juliet, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” on her balcony. The Le Suite di Gulietta Hotel is a 15th-century building, a historical monument, located in the heart of Verona. This hotel is also a minute’s walk from Piazza delle Erbe square; the oldest piazza in the city, which is surrounded by faded Renaissanceera buildings and an impressive Roman-style fountain in the center, a nod to its past as a business center in ancient Roman times and is a six-minute walk from the Roman amphitheater, known as the Verona Arena. It’s 3 km from Verona’s Porta Nuova train station. So, immerse yourself in the romantic atmosphere of the historic center of Verona and in the luxury of Juliet’s Suites to make your stay unique and unforgettable. suitedigiulietta.it
From Juliette’s House, you and your partner can view Juliet’s Balcony and the bronzed statue of Juliet, according to local myth, if you caress her breast, it will bring good fortune in love. Write your own love letter and place it on the wall with some sticky putty, along with the thousands of other love letters left on the walls of the house. You can also take the Romeo and Juliet Guide Wine Tours, where a local guide provides you with the historical background to Shakespeare’s story and takes you to other destinations related to the story, such as the purported home of Romeo and Juliet’s tomb, where “a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” (Prologue, 7). Also, every year on Valentine’s Day in Verona, they celebrate the annual Verona in Love Festival, a festival within the city that understands the true meaning of love. There are many things that charm the city on February 14th, when the festival plays back a romanticized past and re-enacts a scene from Romeo and Juliet, or just other beloved romantic pasts from other parts of Italy’s history. The city is incredibly charming, adorned with lighted hearts (everywhere), restaurants serve couples’ special menus, chocolate street vendors fill the streets, couples stroll hand in hand, and at 6 pm, the entire city stops for a minute kiss; “Thus with a kiss I die,” (5.3.121), Romeo. Although, as many know, Shakespeare’s is associated with the story of Romeo and Juliet, and because of his famous work, he enchanted the city with love and an unforgettable embrace, filling the city with enlightenment and finding “A Fool’s Paradise.” (2.4.159), Juliet.
So, Verona is so beautiful that it will make you and a loved one enjoy all the cultural offerings the city has to offer, such as the stunning ancient Roman amphitheater in the shadow of the Coliseum. Restored and renovated with care, take the opportunity to attend an opera in this massive open-air amphitheater if there is one going on when you are visiting. Other romantic attractions in Verona include the Castelvecchio Bridge, a castle-like arch bridge and a beautiful spot to visit at night when it is lit up, as well as the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, a 12th-century Romanesque style church featuring bronze doors sculpted with various biblical depictions. Another great tourist attraction near the arena is the Museo Lapidario Maffei, one of the oldest public museums in Europe. It contains an excellent collection of stone carvings and inscriptions, mostly Greek, Etruscan, and Roman, which are housed both indoors and in a lovely courtyard. Also, you’ll want to visit is the Verona Archeological Museum, which was founded in 1923 on the premises of the former fifteenth century convent of San Gerolamo, which is found in the area of the Teatro Romano and was built over the area of the Teatro Romano (which was started in the first century A.D.), where the remains of the stage, orchestra, and cavea of the theatre building are among the best conserved in northern Italy.
After circling the city in the piazza, you and your significant other will want to grab a coffee at one of the coffee shops and possibly get a table for two to sip on some strong Italian coffee and people watch in the piazza. Next, you may want to head back to your hotel at the Juliet’s Suites and get ready for dinner at the riverside Osteria. Osteria serves traditional Italian food that overlooks the Adige River. If you’re into wine, it is highly recommended to sample their variety of wines from the region at Osteria Sottoriva. Osteria is also one of the oldest wineries in the city of Verona. restaurantguru.com
If you want to visit more wineries , you would should visit Valpolicella Valley. When you’re going to this winery, depending on whether you are on your own going in a rental or going on a wine tour to the Valpolicella Valley, you’ll have a great time. But in order to have the full winery experience, you might as well just take the tour. The Valpolicella Valley tour guide will pick you and your loved one up in an air-conditioned van for a half-day tour of the Valpolicella wine region. During the van drive, your guide will tell you about the local wines and the Valpolicella Valley. italianfoodexcellence.com
Then, once you arrive at a beautiful Valpolicella Valley winery, located in the heart of Valpolicella, an expert sommelier will show you the wine cellar, explain the secrets of production and show you how the wine is kept. Afterwards, sit around the table to taste some recommended wines, including the great Amarone. After taking some beautiful pictures in the gardens and vineyards, get back on board the van and make your way to the second winery for another flight of wine tasting. After the second wine tasting, you’ll head back to Verona. Although it was only half a day, the next tour on the next day will be relaxing, especially when you and your love are set back to go back home. So before going home, we’ll be heading off to Verona’s Aquardens Thermal Baths. A full day of relaxation in the natural thermal pools that overlook the Valpolicella Hills, with salsobromoiodic waterfalls and a hydromassage area that is 20 minutes away from Verona. When the whole day is done, it’s time to go back to your suit and relax some more, for you may have a long flight ahead! Arrivederci! (Goodbye!)