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A day in Verona

Many go to Verona for Romeo and Juliet. And, even though our love of Shakespeare knows no bounds, Verona is of course much more than that. It is a beautiful town with an enchanting historic center dating back to ancient Rome. The arena is well preserved and used to be one of the largest in the whole Roman Empire, and we were charmed to learn it now hosts one of the most prestigious opera festivals in Italy. What a wonderful setting in which to watch a masterful Aida performance (check the program at www.arena.it and if something seems of interest, why not spend one night in town?). Head to Piazza Erbe and visit its daily market, which has been running since the 16th Century, and go to nearby Piazza dei Signori, where you get a sense for the beautiful affluent Verona days from the sheer volume of statues, the lavish architecture and magnificent external paintings on the noble estates. Visit the Cathedral and nearby Basilica Saint Anastasia, in the piazza of the same name, cross the bridge behind the beautiful Duomo for scenic views of the hill and check what is going on at Teatro Romano and Castelvecchi. And, of course, in between these recommended sights, call on Casa di Giulietta and indulge in a photograph at the famous balcony. The best meal in town is at charming Maffei Ristorante. There really is plenty to see and do in Verona, so we suggest an early morning train (one hour from Milan) with an evening return. The train schedule is very good with many train time options for both journeys.