Verona – A Perfect Mix of Old and New

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Verona is a beautiful city in the Veneto region in the north of Italy.

It is easily reachable by train from Milan, Bologna and Venice and the historical centre is a pleasant ten-minute walk from the station. You will pass one of the original entrances to the city, Porta Nuova, built between 1533 and 1540.

You will soon arrive at the amazing Piazza Bra, where Verona's most famous site can be found. The Roman Amphitheatre was built in the 1st century and is the 3rd largest in Italy, holding up to 25,000 spectators. It is still used today for performances.

Verona is flat, which makes walking around the city very easy. Castelvecchio was the next place we visited. It is a 14th century complex built as a residence and fortress with a bridge crossing the Aldige River.

Make Porta Borsari your next stop. It is a 3rd century gate in the original Roman wall, which no longer stands.

Piazza delle Erbe is the main piazza in Verona. It is filled with a large market, which I think spoils the ambience somewhat but it seems to be popular. There are many restaurants and shops lining the piazza, including a couple of very good gelaterias.

You can't visit Verona without seeing Juliet's balcony. It is a blatant tourist stop which some may see as a bit tacky, but you have to see it for yourself.

One thing not to miss in Verona is the magnificent church of St Anastasia. It is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture, begun in 1290 AD and completed, except for the facade, in the early 16th century.

The exquisite interior made up of three large aisles, supported by 12 pillars of red Veronese marble, could double as an art gallery. It is full of beautiful, paintings, sculpture and frescoes. It is not to be missed.

Verona is a stunning and stylish city which should be on everyone's wish list when visiting Italy. There are many fine shops and restaurants and there is a vibrant and modern feel to the city…a perfect mix of old and new.

Debra Kolkka writes two blogs, Bagni di Lucca and Beyond and Bella Bagni di Lucca. With a background in fashion, this Australian splits her life between her home country and her beloved Italy, enjoying the best of both worlds. You can find Debra on her blogs.

Concierge tip: Why not complete your cultural tour of Northern Italy with a visit to Milan? Carlton Hotel Baglioni has a unique Culture and Relaxation package to make it easy to discover the city’s hidden secrets.

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