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Verona

Verona mainly owes its fame to Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. This tale made the town into the “city of lovers” par excellence: many symbolic locations of the city are linked to this view of the city, such as the characteristic balcony in the house of the Capuleti, Juliet’s tomb and Romeo’s house.

The old town centre reveals to the visitor the presence of structures of Roman origin and medieval buildings: the former include the Arena, the splendid Roman amphitheatre built in the 1st century AD to host the battles of the gladiators, which became the most famous open-air theatre in the world in 1913, when it first hosted the Aida.

In the medieval age, Piazza Erbe, which was formerly the Roman Forum, became the headquarters of the city offices and of merchants Associations. The ancient City Hall stands between Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, and contains the Old Market Courtyard (Cortile Mercato Vecchio), with the Scala della Ragione (15th century) and the colossal Lamberti Tower.

Just beyond Piazza dei Signori, visitors will be stunned by the imposing spectacle of the Arche Scaligere, the tombs built for the members of the Dalla Scala dynasty, who ruled the city from the second half of the 13th century.

The basilica of San Zeno, a masterpiece of Roman art in Italy, was re-built after the earthquake in 1117. Its façade has a characteristic rose-window known as the “Wheel of Fortune”. Inside it preserves the triptych by Andrea Mantegna of the Madonna Enthroned.