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Verona Italy

A favourite of Shakespeare, beautiful Verona is the literary home of Romeo and Juliet. The medieval families of Montague and Capulet immortalised in the play did actually exist, and some buildings pertaining to them are still present. Among these is the place claiming to have been Juliet's house – not strictly true, but it’s still worth stepping out onto its pretty balcony.

But Verona is much more than the setting of a tragic love story. It’s also home to one of Italy’s best-preserved Roman amphitheatres: Arena di Verona. Dating back to the first century CE, this open-air space used to host festivals and gladiator battles. Today, it’s used exclusively for classic operas and pop music concerts, with stars such as Adele and Paul McCartney having graced its stage.

In Piazza delle Erbe, you’ll find more of the city’s sumptuous architecture, like the 12th-century Torre dei Lamberti bell tower, alongside vibrant cafés and a daily market that sells produce from around the province of Verona. Find a quiet corner and enjoy an espresso or glass of Veneto wine, before following the Adige River to the Museo di Castelvecchio, which houses paintings, sculptures and military weapons from the Middle Ages.

All this is just a 30-minute train journey from the stunning Lake Garda. To reach it, just head to Verona Porta Nuova station and jump on the train to Desenzano, where you can take a short bus ride to the lake.


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