Forever synonymous with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Italian destination of Verona is a charming, compact city with a world-class food and wine scene.
Located in Italy’s Veneto region, close to Lake Garda, Verona has long been a magnet for romantic tourists in search of Juliet’s balcony. But there is so much more to this attractive city than its literary connections. Dominated by the beautifully preserved 1st century amphitheatre which hosts the famous summer opera festival, Verona boasts a bustling commercial centre with a vibrant arts scene and lively café culture. Add to this, its setting at the heart of one of Italy’s largest and most historically significant wine regions, and you begin to understand the enduring allure of this fascinating city.
Many of the best places to stay in Verona are in the centre of town offering easy access to the city’s main sights and attractions. From historic townhouses to boutique B&Bs, romantic guesthouses hidden in cobbled alleyways to luxury hotels overlooking grand piazzas, accommodation options here are broad and consistently of a high standard; visitors are sure to find something to suit their individual tastes and budget. For those looking to splash out on a special occasion, Verona’s most exclusive five star Hotel Due Torri is housed in a 14th century palace in the historic heart of the city. Guests here can expect luxury period furnishings and impeccable service; the hotel also boasts a gourmet restaurant noted especially for its prestigious wine list, and a beautiful terrace offering spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Verona, like so many Italian cities, is a foodie’s paradise. Culinary and winemaking traditions run deep in this part of the world and visitors here can enjoy a range of delectable dishes and accompanying wines unique to this region. Veronese cuisine centres on simplicity and locally sourced ingredients; amongst the most famous dishes of Verona are Risotto all’Amarone - a decadent variation on the classic Italian risotto made with the region’s prized red wine Amarone della Valpolicella, and Gnocchi di Zucca - potato gnocchi with pumpkin. Food is a source of great pride for this city and as such the standard on offer is excellent across the board. Whether you’re dining at a rustic trattoria or a Michelin star restaurant, you can expect high quality cuisine and first class service.
Amongst the most celebrated eateries in the city is Casa Perbellini. Recently relocated to a larger premises, here diners can enjoy an elegant, relaxed ambiance and exquisite contemporary cuisine. The wine list pays homage not only to the classics of the region - Soave, Amarone della Valpolicella, Bardolino, Durello, etc - but also includes an extensive collection of prestigious French labels. Another favourite with locals and tourists looking for something special is Ristorante Il Desco, which has become a Veronese institution having been established in the city for more than three decades.
In addition to its plethora of restaurants, Verona is also home to a great many wine bars in which you can enjoy your favourite local tipple or something rare from abroad - hardly surprising given the city’s enviable location and its being host to the annual Vinitaly exhibition. One of Verona’s oldest and most prestigious wine bars is Antica Bottega del Vino. The cellar here houses more than 18,000 bottles and the impressive list includes a wide selection of Italian and French labels, alongside new world favourites and producers from less established wine nations such Hungary, Israel and Lebanon. If you’re hungry, the bar also doubles as a restaurant serving a full menu of regional specialities. Also of note is Osteria del Caval Matto. This cosy, intimate wine bar offers an extensive selection from Verona and the wider Veneto region, along with delicious small plates and regular tasting sessions.
With its pretty piazzas, world renowned architectural heritage and creative gastronomy, it’s no wonder that Verona is a popular choice for visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a weekend break in a friendly, walkable city or a short stopover on a wine tour of the wider region, Verona delivers a truly memorable experience for the culturally and culinarily curious.
Via Dietro Pallone 1, Verona, 37121
Piazza Cittadella 7/a, Verona, 37122
Via Dietro San Sebastiano 7, Verona, 37121
Vicolo San Silvestro 10, Verona, 37122
Vicolo San Matteo 3, Verona, 37121
Corte Sgarzarie 7, Verona, 37121
Via Alberto Mario 12, Verona, 37121
Via Mondo d'Oro 4, Verona, 37121
Vicolo Regina d'Ungheria 5, Verona, 37121
Via Macello 8, Verona, 37121
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