Everyone knows a Verona Opera package includes a night at the stunning Arena di Verona, but are you aware of what else can be done in the immediate vicinity? There is quite a list!
Within Verona itself there is the excellent Verona Pass Card providing free access to many of the local sights. Taking into account end to end Verona is around a 20-30mins walk, these are all within easy distance. There is Castelvecchio, the magnificient castle where as long as the interior you can walk around the battlements, there is Juliet’s balcony celebrating Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers (touching Juliet’s left breast is meant to make you lucky in love!), there is even Juliet’s house. Strangely Juliet’s house is located south of the arena and balcony, but is still worth a good look around. You can visit the arena during the day before it is transformed into any one of the main operas performed that evening. There is also a rather good National History Museum which has tardis-like qualities from the inside as the outside looks like an hour to see the whole thing. I found it was a good few hours instead!
Of course being Italy there are 2 churches and a cathedral, all worthy of your time. For shoppers there is Piazza delle Erbe, the local market where you can buy food or souvenirs, or head up to the top of the tower (you need good walking shoes and determination!) to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. You can also do this on the battlements of the castle if heights are not your thing! There are of course plenty of wonderful shops aside from the market, and a plethora of wonderful eating establishments from a quick bite to 5 star.
For those wanting a wine tasting we can recommend Al Cristo where you get to taste 3-4 locally produced wines. If you wanted to add a lunch or dinner, this is also possible.
But there are so many experiences to enjoy on your Verona opera package without travelling too far. Villa Novare is perfect for those wanting to escape the city, enjoy a wine tasting at a beautiful mansion. Set in the Valpolicello, (local wine region), the visit is as much about the surroundings as the wine. Being located only around 20-30mins drive from Verona makes this an easy morning/evening out.
If you want to leave the city for a bit longer, I can definitely a day on Lake Garda. Begin your trip with a private transfer to the harbour to collect the boat to Garda Island. The tour is conducted usually by a member of the current family in residence on the island. They will show you the landscaped gardens, part of the house and the incredibly views back to the mainland. Then once the boat has docked, your private driver will take you onto Sirmione for some lunch (paid locally) and time to explore. Sirmione, located on the bottom of Lake Garda is a mecca for tourists in the area, but with good reason. Lovely shops, restaurants with winning views over the lake, and entrance via the castle drawbridge are all rather special! This is around a 45mins drive from Verona. Every year we have so many people opting to split their time between Verona and Garda, and with good reason!
If however, you want to explore the Veneto region, Venice is around 1.5hrs by train and even this is easy! The train station is located at the bottom of Verona and with regular trains to Venice, you have the option of gondola rides, visiting St Mark’s or even heading to Café Florian for a much cappuccino to take the weight off!
A Verona Opera package can be so much more than just opera, although of course the arena is incredible with its own acoustics to match!
Click here for more information on our Verona Opera breaks.