Five things to do in Verona without Juliet

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There is nothing wrong with visiting Juliet’s crowded little courtyard, and I will often stop in, but you don’t need me to tell you it’s there. Or give you directions to get there, just follow the signs and the tour groups.

So, five things to do in Verona that don’t involve Juliet or her balcony:

1. Wander and wonder. Verona’s historic centre is nicely contained by the curve of the river, allowing you to meander without getting lost. Check out the bridges crossing the Adige river and the piazzas – piazza Bra, piazza delle Erbe and piazza dei Signori.

2. Cross the ponte pietra (stone bridge) and climb to the top of the hill to Castel San Pietro for a birds eye view of Verona. It’s hard work, especially in summer, but worth it. Also, stop half way across the bridge and look back to your right to see my favourite little crop of buildings in Verona (pictured above).

3. Eat gelato at my favourite gelateria La Romana | piazza Santa Spirito 9 – located just south of the historical centre. Try the biscotto della nonna, it’s delicious.

4. See an opera at the Arena or a concert at the Teatro Romano (Roman amphiteatre). We saw Ennio Morricone with an orchestra at the Arena last year, and it was amazing.

5. Buy a fruit cup from the permanent market stalls in piazza delle Erbe and feel virtuous for taking a pizza/gelato break. Or, if you need something more substantial, visit the food floor of department store Excelsior just around the corner on Via Mazzini. Though somehow, despite all the choices on offer, my parents and I managed to all order hamburgers when I visited with them. oops.

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