Verona today is a perfect European city. Walking in the centre the ancient buildings make a magical backdrop for city life. After work the people of Verona meet up in the piazzas to drink a traditional aperitivo. Our typical restaurants (osterie and trattorie) can be found on every corner. There is no shortage of nightlife in Verona, where you can dance and listen to live music whilst sampling the fine wines.
Below is a list of some of the most important events and places of interest.
Arena and Opera Festival
The Arena, the Roman amphitheatre, with its open-air stage welcomes the famous Opera festival every year from June to September. The most famous operas of Verdi, Puccini, Bizet and many other composers use the perfect backdrop of the ancient Roman remains to give spectators an unforgettable experience.
Take a seat on the steps of the most beautiful amphitheatre in the world on a wonderful summer evening and enjoy the splendid Aida by Giuseppe Verdi!
If, on the other hand, you are more interested in pop and rock music, don’t miss out on the many concerts of famous artists which take place in the Arena such as Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Radiohead.
Vinitaly and Exhibitions
In April Verona is host to the most important wine exhibition in the world: Vinitaly.The exhibition is open to wine lovers who can browse the various stands and taste wines from all over the world.
Other exhibitions of interest are the Marmomacc and Abitare il Tempo, dedicated respectively to marble and house furnishings.
The Roman Theatre and Verona’s summer theatre
Built in the 1st century AD at the foot of the hills and on the banks of the river Adige, the Roman theatre hosts the Shakespeare festival every summer as well as other theatrical shows: amongst the most famous musical events is the Verona Jazz festival.
The location will leave a lasting impression of history and charm.
Verona in love
In February Verona transforms into the city of love. We are reminded of its most famous couple Romeo and Juliet when the streets are decorated with hearts.
Verona obtained its Roman citizenship in 49 BC thanks to Julius Caesar and in no time at all it became one of the greatest political and commercial centres of the Roman Empire. There are still some remains of the old splendour, such as The Arena, The Roman Theatre and one of the many historical ‘gates’ of the city Porta Borsari. After the fall of the Empire, Verona was dominated by a series of barbarian kings. Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, restored the old splendour of Verona by reconstructing the walls of the city which had been half-ruined during previous barbaric invasions. Verona was ruled after the Ostrogoths by the Lombards and later Charlemagne. In 1136 Verona became a commune. This period saw bloodyconflicts between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the latter being led by the famousMontagues. The city went from being a commune to a ‘signoria’ guided by the Della Scala family, also known as the Scaligeris. It was thanks to Cangrande I Della Scala to whom Dante dedicated a part of the ‘Paradiso’, that a new era of cultural and artistic splendour was born.
In 1405 Verona submitted to Venice and was part of the Serenissima ‘The Republic of Venice’ for all of the renaissance period. Verona was fought over by the French and the Austrians in the years to come. During ‘The Resurgence’ the surroundings of Verona were the scene of fierce battles that ended in 1866, when Verona finally became Italian.
GASTRONOMY, ART, NEARBY
Verona has a culinary tradition that dates back to the Roman Empire. Since then the Veronese have been famous continually for their wines and their food. This love of cooking has survived today and we can taste the delicious specialities of the Veneto area. Some of the most recommended dishes are tortellini, risotto made with Amarone wine and bigoli, a type of thick spaghetti. For the second course, a speciality known as ‘bollito con la peara’ is recommended, it’s a meat dish served with a peppery bread sauce. You can round off the perfect meal with pandoro cake, a typical Christmas dessert.
Verona is famous for fine wines, such as Valpolicella, Amarone and Soave. The school regularly organises trips to the beautiful surrounding countryside to sample these wines and taste some of the finest cheeses in the area.
Art and architecture
Whoever visits Verona will be struck by the beauty of the architecture. You’ll be amazed by the Roman remains such as the Gavi Arch “L’Arco dei Gavi”, the Stone Wall Bridge “Ponte Pietra”, La Porta dei Borsari, La Porta Leona, the Roman Theatre and above all the Arena; the imposing ancient amphitheatre built by the Romans which today is used in the summer for the opera season.
Important examples of the Romanesque and gothic era are the church of San Zeno from the 12th century and the Cathedral and church of San Fermo Maggiore. Near the church of Santa Maria Antica we can also find the Scaligeri Arches: the monumental tomb of the Della Scala family, Lords of Verona from 1260 to 1387.
And our most famous site is Juliet’s balcony which needs no introduction to anyone.
Amazing cities such as Venice, Mantua, Milan, Padua, Trento, Bolzano and Ferraraare all easily reached by train in about an hour.
Verona has the perfect location. Lake Garda, the largest in Italy, is just 15 minutes away by car. It’s the perfect place for those who want to escape the summer heat and cool off by having a swim and also for mountain lovers who can climb Mount Baldo. At night the lakeside towns are lit up by numerous discos and bars.
The hillside area of Valpolicella is renowned for its wine and the Lessini Mountains are a must.