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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Love is in the air in Verona

Image via Wikipedia
Love is in the air in Verona

Shakespeare certainly knew a thing or two about writing. With around 40 plays to his name, he is one of the world's most celebrated playwrights of all time, with his classics still performed across the globe some 400 years after they were penned.

One of his greatest legacies is Romeo and Juliet, a romantic tragedy whose title characters are synonymous today with the notion of young lovers who care passionately about each other. The play is set in Verona, Italy, and its perhaps no coincidence that Shakespeare chose this wonderful city as the setting to Romeo and Juliet, as it is indeed a fantastic location for any couple from the modern era to go for a short, romantic break.

Of course, Verona does play up to its connection with Romeo and Juliet, but that's no bad thing. Whilst Italy's overcrowded, expensive Venice is a traditional romantic hotspot that quite often disappoints, Verona delivers in every respect.

Narrow, medieval lanes lead young couples (or any tourist, for that matter...) to see the 12th century House of Juliet's balcony, which claims a historical connection to Shakespeare's fictional lovers. Whether there is any basis for this claim or not is irrelevant, the short passageway that leads to the statue of Juliet underneath the balcony can't help but make you think about the story of Romeo and Juliet, which in itself is enough to make most couples go dewy-eyed.

If fictional romantic hotspots aren't your thing, then take an evening stroll along the walkways of the River Adige and sit yourselves down at a table for two in a traditional candlelit trattoria restaurant on Piazza Bra Square.

However, romance can only fill so much of a short trip to this mesmerising city. Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage site, due in large to its plethora of historical landmarks. Numerous ancient Roman monuments and buildings have been preserved in Verona, but the architecture on display spans 2000 years, covering countless historical periods.

A Roman amphitheatre known as the Arena is still virtually intact inside, having been completed almost two thousand years ago, and is Italy's third largest after Rome's iconic Colosseum and the Arena at Capua. In fact, the Arena is still used today to host numerous public events, fairs and even opera during the warmer months.

Verona is a city of great beauty and although it is a great destination for young lovers, it is the perfect place for anyone with the slightest interest in history. Flights to Verona arrive from numerous airports across Europe, and a flight time of only a few hours from London makes this Italian delight as accessible as it is charming. Love is most certainly in the air in Verona!

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