Italy is a collection of beautiful scenes, from rolling hills to stunning historic architecture, but tucked away in the northern area of Veneto there's one city that's a cut above the rest.
About an hour-and-a-half drive from Venice, this idyllic town of Verona is a magnificent collection of Roman architecture and cobbled streets. Visitors will find history around every corner and delicious dishes in quaint cafes and restaurants, earning the city its reputation as a must-visit destination—if only for the imagery.
What sets Verona apart from other beautiful destinations throughout Italy is the city's vast collection of intact historic architecture. Notable attractions include the city's arena in the famed Piazza Bra that is still in use today—built in the first century for battles, the space is used today as an Opera performance space—and the Ponte Pietra, a stone bridge completed in 100BC.
Perhaps best known as the home of the fated lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a real-life version of a storybook fantasy—complete with castles, most notably, the 14th-century Castelvecchio Castello Scaligero in the center of town. Visitors can still explore the Casa di Giulietta, the 13th-century home that inspired Shakespeare, as it's used as a museum today. The city is also the setting for Shakespeare's other classic, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Verona grew as a trading capital for the Roman Empire as it sits at the intersection of several main roads and straddles the Adige River. Today, visitors will still be able to catch a glimpse of how people lived centuries ago by touring the historic bridges and castles, or sitting in a piazza sipping an espresso. It's the ideal spot for any history or literature lover, or for anyone who simply appreciates beauty.