Verona, more than Romeo and Juliet

First of all, sorry that I haven’t been posting for a while… the reason for that was that I needed to study for an exam related to my job and therefore not too much time was left to write blogs. BUT  the good news is, that I passed the exam and that I can now blog again 🙂

This I want to talk to you guys about one of my favorite cities in Italy, Verona. You know, the city of Romeo and Juliet…. Although this city and the region around it has so much more to offer than Shakespeare’s tragic love story. Like lots of Italian cities, Verona is also filled with history. Did you know that Verona has an arena like the Coliseum  that is still used today ? An absolute must would be seeing Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida , even for people who don’t really have a thing for opera, you cannot believe the magic hanging in this Verona Arena on summer evenings filled with lights. Trust me, this is an experience you DO NOT want to miss.

Like I said before, most people know Verona as the city of Romeo and Juliet, so a visit to the famous balcony won’t hurt anybody J FYI, it is said that it brings luck if you touch Juliet’s boob 🙂 I’m sure you’ll know which one to touch, as that is one shiiiiiiny  boob 🙂

Verona is an open-air museum, every street holds hidden treasures, not that I’m somebody who wants to know where every stone of an ancient building was made, but if something is beautiful… it just is 🙂 like piazza delle erbe, piazza dei Signori, etc…  Although I have to admit that the charm Piazza delle erbe had before with the open-air market  is not there anymore, as they now replaced it with some fixed souvenir stalls… but good things the buildings around it are still breathtaking beautiful

Walking and actually being in this city always makes me happy, and not only because of the thought I’ll be having great food :-). Speaking of which 🙂 🙂 This is another reason to come to Verona (but this I could say for a lot of places in Italy).

Especially the wine, as man do they have great wines with the Amarone as the ‘top’ of the bill . The reason this wine is so special, is that after the grapes are picked they dry the grapes in wooden boxes and with the juice that they catch they make the Amarone, with the grapes left in the box they make the Ripassa or Ripasso  (which means re-use). My preferred Valpolicella vineyards (this is the region where Amarone gets made) would be Buglioni , Le Salette  and from the bigger producers it would be Masi and Allegrini. Other great wines from this region are Bardolino, Lugana (white) and Soave (white), but I’m sure Bardolino sounds the most familiar (as the town is right at the Garda lake). I would really advise you to visit one of the vineyards!! The vineyard of Masi is quite impressive.

In case you are a true wine lover, I’ve got something even better. Every year around March/April all the Italian (and also a lot of foreign) vineyards  set sail to VinItaly. Vinitaly is one of the most important and biggest wine trade fairs around  and more the 4000 exhibitors are present for over 50 000 visitors from over the whole world. I’ve already been a lot of times to this trade fair, and it is impressive and I highly recommend to already plan which wine houses you want to visit at the fair. (and to keep eating while you taste, you’ll thank me at the end of the event 😉 )

Who says wine, says food 🙂  they just have to go together  (for me anyway). Did you know that Verona is also the town where Giovanni Rana (from the ravioli you in supermarkets) comes from and you can find a restaurant from Rana right across the Arena, where you can see how they freshly make the pasta …. I’ve not been here yet though …

When I go to Verona, there are only 2 restaurants/osteria’s I want to go to. There are probably a lot of great restaurants, but these who are just tooooooo good and NOT touristy and that is what is all about when you’re somewhere!

The first one is the ‘Taverna di via Stella’, this is also my dad’s favorite restaurant in Verona, every year we were at VinItaly we had to have at least 1 meal here 🙂 . It might look a simple place, but the food is wonderful  (local cuisine) and a very good choice of wines local and non-local ,but I always go for local wines.  Look at the picture below, if you don’t feel like going when seeing that picture or open the website… I don’t know what will convince you? (just picture that ham on a plate with a glass of Amarone, mmmm)

My other place of sins I love going is actually the Osteria del bugiardo  from vineyard Buglioni.  .Fresh made food with great Buglioni wines, the best combination.  Like Taverna di via stella, this is also a place where only local Italians come … and you can also buy their wine here in case you want to take some home  (I like the Ripasso and Valpolicella superiore) . For even more refined dining you could also go to their Locanda in the evening .

Go to these two and you’ll have the best of Verona without any doubt!

For those who would want to sleep in or around Verona, I would suggest to maybe try an agriturismo.

One that I want to a few times was ‘El Pendola’ where Anna Maria tries to make you feel at home. And she really succeeds in this, as I really feel at home every time I stay there.  Buglioni also has a very nice agriturismo .

Or what we mostly do with my dad is stay at the Garda Lake, than you’ll have a room with a view 🙂 and a lot of nice places to visit. We already stayed at Hotel Excelsior  which has an incredible view over the lake and is only 15 min. drive (or less depending on traffic) from Verona.

You can maybe do the Strade del vino (Bardolino), but I’ll be posting about the Garda lake really soon.

Hope you feel like going to Verona.

Enjoy

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