My favorites in Verona
I am from Serbia and I have always wanted to visit Italy. Finally, an opportunity came along and I went to Italy for training with a police unit and I spent 38 days there. We were stationed in Vicenza, Veneto region.
During the training we managed to organize some one day trips so, among others, I visited Verona, Lago di Garda and Venice. My favorite city in Italy, not counting Rome of course, is definitely Verona.
Most Verona visitors are attracted to this city because of the love story of Romeo and Juliet. I am not one of them. I have visited the house of Juliet twice, but somehow I never grew to like it. I guess too many people in a small space.
My favorites in Verona are the Arena and Porta Leoni or the Lion Gate. I have been in Arena while it was Opera season, unfortunately not in the Opera itself but it was great to see the ancient amphitheater covered with modern chairs and red carpets.
Porta di Leone is something I ran into not knowing it is there since I didn't read my guide book but just went where everybody was going. I accidentally walked from Juliet's house towards it. I loved it as soon as I saw it. I don't know how you would describe it so I have included a photo(above)of it.
I was always amazed how a piece of a building is just standing there and the next building continues after it. If you go to Verona don't miss this because next to it you can see one other great sight. In the middle of the street there is a hole. There is a fence around it so people can't get in and with a good reason - it is an archeological spot with a marble floor, I guess a part of some other ancient building.
I persuaded my, at the time fiancé and now husband to go to Verona, Venice and Lago di Garda about 16 months after my first visit. He is an American and it was his first time in Europe. For me, since my country is so close to Italy it wasn't much different in terms of mentality and culture, but for him it was. Bottom line - he loved Verona and Lake Garda. The only thing both of us didn't like is Venice.
Maria's reply: I agree with you about Verona being one of Italy's best cities and I, despite much criticism include it in my list of the top five cities in Italy. I am also in full agreement about the Romeo and Juliet balcony and houses been about the least interesting things to see in Verona.