Verona, Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Upon a day tour of the city, one can quickly see why.
Founded in the 1st century BC, Verona has that magical, romantic quality that many Italian cities do.
5 Fast Facts about Verona
Here are 5 fast facts about this charming town according UNESCO.
- The city is situated at the base of the Lessini Mountains and the River Adage.
- It has a history that dates back to prehistoric times and was once occupied by the the Lombards and Charlemagne. In 1797, it became part of the Austrian Empire and joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.
- Until World War II, it reflected the architecture of its 2000 year history, including buildings from the Roman period, Middle Ages, and Renaissance. After the war, many of them were reconstructed.
- Built as a fortified town by the Romans, it still reflects its Roman influence in its street pattern of rectangular blocks.
- The walls surrounding the city insulated it from the industrialism and the development of railroads in the 19th century.
Perhaps it is most well known for the Caselvecchio, the beautiful Old Castle in the city built by the Scaliger dynasty that ruled the city in the Middle Ages
Home of Romeo & Juliet
Verona is perhaps most well known as the fictional landscape for Shakespeare's play of the star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
The town even dedicated a building and constructed a balcony where Juliet may have lived and erected a gold statue of her in the courtyard.
It is said to be good luck to touch her left breast, so you will see flocks of tourists coming to the courtyard to get a glimpse of the balcony and photo with the statue.
5 Wines of Veneto
In addition to glimpsing Roman ruins and the fictional home of Shakespeare's most famous lovers, you may also get a taste of their wine.
Verona is located in the Veneto region of Italy, home to many unique and beloved wines including these five.
- Prosecco - Italy's sparkling wine made from the Glera grape comes from the northern Italian region of Veneto.
- Bardolino - Made from the Corvina and Rondinella grapes, this wine is made in Lake Garda and Veneto, including the actual town of Bardolino.
- Valpolicella - Made from the same grapes as Bardolino, Valpolicella wine tends to be a heartier red wine because it is made with more of the Corvina grape which adds structure and body. Both wines are made in the novello style, similar to Beaujolais wine in France.
- Amarone - Made from partially dried grapes, Amarone is known to be a powerful, luxurious wine with an unusual bittersweetness.
- Soave - A dry Italian white wine made from the Garganega grape. Soave means sweet in Italian, but the wine tastes fruity and crisp rather than sweet.
3 Foods to Try in Verona
To pair with all of that wine, there is no shortage of excellent food shops in this charming city.
Here are a few highlights:
- Fresh Pasta - Particularly fresh potato gnocchi is something to try and must eat each year during the Carnival of Verona.
- Arancini with Tastasal - Rice is a staple in Northern Italy. Risotto with tastasal, the meat used to make sausages and salami, is common in Verona along with the next day treat of deep frying the leftover rice into Arancini balls.
- Risino - Rice also finds its way to desserts in the form of a rice tart flavored with vanilla.
Visiting Verona in person would be ideal, but you can still get a taste of this romantic city and region with a taste of their wines.
Learn more about the wines of Veneto
To learn more about the wines of Veneto, check of these posts form the Italian Food, Wine & Travel writers:
"Crumbs: Scaia, Pearà, and Mussels alla Buzara" from Camilla at Culinary Cam
"La Gioiosa Brut Rosé & Raspberry Soup" from Andrea at The Quirky Cork
"The Hills Near Verona and the Organic, Biodynamic, and Regenerative wines of Fasoli Gino and Tasi/Crushed Grape Chronicles" from Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles
"7 Veneto Wines and a Meal with Memories from My Visit: Venice, Verona, Valdobbiadne, Valpolicella, Soave" from Gwendolyn at Wine Predator
"Gambellara, Veneto: A Bubbly Wine & A Revelation!" from Payal at Keep the Peas
"Beyond Prosecco: Carménère is Cultivated in Veneto, Too" from Cindy at Grape Experiences
"The Custoza Grape from the Glacial Hills Near Lake Garda" from Jennifer at Vino Travels
"A Taste of Verona, Italy" from Deanna at Wineivore