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Verona in Love

I was lucky enough to spend Valentine's Day in Verona for their annual Verona in Love Festival. Let me tell you, Verona gets love and all things adorable. The city itself is incredibly charming, but on February 14th, they really play up their romanticized past. The city was adorned with hearts (everywhere), restaurants served special couples menus, chocolate sellers filled the streets, couples strolled hand-in-hand, and at 6 pm the entire city stopped for a one minute kiss.

I am sure most of you associate Verona with the story of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare set his most famous work in this enchanting city. Of course, Shakespeare's story is completely made up, and he never went to Verona, but that doesn't stop the city from embracing the story of Romeo and Juliet.

Many contend that Shakespeare based his story on two earlier Italian versions of the story. In both Italian versions a young couple fell in love despite their feuding Veronese families. Whatever the truth maybe, today the city has artfully combined myth and memory to provide tourists with ample "historical" sites dedicated to Romeo and Juliet.

The more recent film, Letters to Juliet, popularized the tradition of leaving letters to Juliet. Yes, you can write a letter to Juliet (although you send it through the Italian mail addressed to Juliet, Verona, Italy, you don't leave them in/on a wall if you want an answer) and the secretaries of Juliet will answer. They have been answering love letters for the last 70 years! Seriously, this city gets love... and tourism!

But Verona is more than the love story of Romeo and Juliet. In fact the city has a long and rich history. The city dates from Etruscan times and became a key point in Roman trade. In fact Verona boasts the third largest and best preserved Roman amphitheater in existence (it is so well preserved it still functions as a venue for concerts, operas, and various events). After a period of decline following the fall of the Roman Empire, the city reemerged as an important commercial and cultural center in the 12th-14th centuries. The city continued to flourish until it was occupied by Napoleon in 1797. Because Verona has always prided itself on its architecture and ancient foundations, the city has taken great care throughout the centuries to preserve its beauty. This attention to detail gives Verona a clean and elegant feel and makes each little street positively enchanting!

Personally, if I had realized how charming and historical this city was sooner, I would have made a point to visit before now! Fortunately, it is a relatively-short train ride away and I am sure I will be returning soon.

Verona may be in love, but I am in love with Verona!

Has anyone else been to Verona?

Ashley B
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  1. I didn't get to travel to Verona when I studied abroad in Italy, but I would have loved to go there, especially for Valentine's Day. Such a beautiful and romantic place!

  2. Love Verona! When I lived in Venice we went pretty frequently. I have to say, I have always been a big fan of Shakespeare and while I know that "Juliet's House" in Verona isn't ACTUALLY Juliet's house, and even understood that when I was a child first visiting - it still upset me that the walls are so covered in graffiti. I know it's love messages but the first time I saw it at age 13, I cried that people had defaced such a beautiful old building that symbolized "love" to me! Aside from that though, I love Verona.
    When the weather gets warmer check out the concert and opera calendar for the Verona Arena, it's just magical watching anything there, but particularly the opera.

    1. All of the graffiti in Italy is difficult for me to deal with. It is such a same, so many gorgeous buildings covered in it. And I am definitely going to the opera this summer, it really is incredible!

  3. I always love seeing your pictures from abroad! I can't wait till I go to Europe some day!

    Prep on a Budget

  4. I absolutely loved Verona when I visited there back in 2008. We only stopped off for a day while traveling from one point on our tour to another, but it was wonderful. It happened to be the most beautiful day (weather-wise) of our entire trip, so maybe that had a little to do with it, but I would love to go back and experience it for longer than a few hours! Valentine's Day in Verona would be magical!

    Sweet Spontaneity

  5. That sounds amazing!! What a fun event, I had no idea that had anything like that!

  6. Verona is so rustic and beautiful! I loved our little trip there :) PS- Have you ever tried the ice cream shop Amorino? It's a chain around Europe but they have one in Verona which is why I was reminded of it. It's some of the best ice cream/gelato I've had in Europe so I really recommend it if you get the chance to try it :)


    1. I have not tried that one, but I will look for it! Do they have non-dairy options?

  7. Beautiful shots! I'm feeling major travel jealousy now.

  8. I can't think of a better place to spend Valentines Day, so beautiful and I bet those chocolates taste amazing.

  9. Thanks for this post! I have always wanted to visit Verona, as I am a Shakespeare buff. Hopefully I'll have the chance when I study abroad (with any luck) in Florence next spring!!

    1. It is an easy day trip from Florence. I went with Florence For Fun, you should definitely check them out!

  10. I studied abroad in Reggio-Emilia, and my trip to Verona was my absolute favorite place to visit! It didn't hurt that I went on my birthday on a gorgeous day in May, but it looks like you had a wonderful time as well :) If I ever make it back to Italy, I'll definitely be staying in Verona.

  11. I lived in Verona for four months and loved it! I always think it's a shame that more people don't put Verona on their "Italy Itinerary" - it's such a wonderful place!


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