Home to Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Verona is undeniably romantic, okay, maybe slightly cheesy but who doesn’t get swept away in love locks and fairy tales? Am I right ladies? That said, it’s much more than the birthplace of a mythical love story, Verona is an UNESCO world heritage site and she’s a beauty. A fusion of monuments and architecture that have been preserved ever so finely – bravo Italy for not letting corporate companies bulldoze your wonderful streets.
The City is considerably small and really easy to discover on foot, which was perfect for out limited two day timescale. We strolled through the centre, visited the sights and still had spare time to wander off the beaten track. Things I loved about Verona; half-worn mural remains adorning building walls, quaint little back streets where balconies cascade with an avalanche of flowers and soaking up the sun in the park, opposite the coliseum – just, larvly.
During the summer Verona hosts an opera festival in the ancient arena and we were lucky enough to be there for opening night: Lo Spettacolo Sta Per Iniziare. I have to admit, I’d never been to the opera before and wasn’t convinced it was quite my thing but with the line- up including Brian May – you know, that guy, who plays guitar, for QUEEN – I was sold! There were performances from several of the major productions including Romeo and Juliet (when in Verona…) which were all mesmerising, really, but for me Brian May accompanied by the ‘We Will Rock You’ musical lead and the shows huge orchestra stole the show. We were treated to some of the classics from Queen’s back catalogue; opening with Who Wants to Live Forever and later returning to the stage to perform We Will Rock You, Somebody to Love and Bohemian Rhapsody. All of this performed in such an iconic setting was an epic pinch myself moment!