2. Verona: Essential Verona Private Tour including Arena
On your tour of Verona you’ll learn all about why Verona occupied an important place in the landscape of the ancient Roman empire, and how the city evolved into one of the most prosperous cities in Italy during the late medieval period under the powerful patronage of the Della Scala clan. Chief amongst Verona’s ancient landmarks is the city’s extraordinary amphitheatre, which looms over Piazza Brà. Famous the world over for the bombastic operatic concerts held here every summer, the Verona Arena was constructed from distinctively pink-hued Valpolicella marble in 30 AD and, with a capacity of over 30,000 spectators, was the eighth largest amphitheatre in the Roman empire. On our tour of Verona you’ll see for yourself why Verona’s amphitheatre is a worthy rival to Rome’s Colosseum - the arena is in a magnificent state of preservation, and gives a vivid insight into the status of the city in the ancient empire. Join us as we follow in the footsteps of the ancient gladiators who fought and died here, making our way through the amphitheatre’s entrance arches and into the vast arena within, where row after row of stone seating soars into the Veneto sky. No visit to Verona is complete without a stop at romantic Casa Giulietta. The fictional home of Juliet is centred around a picturesque courtyard where a bronze sculpture of Shakespeare’s greatest heroine presides over legions of romantics as they pay homage to the power of love in the shadow of the world’s most famous balcony. Spanning the rushing waters of the river Adige, this imposing stone bridge has been ferrying Verona’s citizens across the river since its construction way back in 100 BC. As we cross the bridge on our tour of Verona we’ll stop to admire views of the city over the water, and drink in the air of 20 centuries of history. Amongst the architectural highlights of Verona, the stunning two-level church of San Fermo is unmissable. On our tour we’ll visit the medieval basilica, whose extraordinary wooden ceiling is a masterpiece of craftsmanship. No less impressive is the Gothic basilica of Sant’Anastasia - Verona’s largest church, it’s home to an array of beautiful artworks including Pisanello’s charming St George and the Princess and a series of fascinating 14th-century frescoes. After a long day exploring the best of what Verona has to offer, a pit-stop at one of the city’s innumerable wine bars is practically obligatory. Verona is the home of Valpolicella, one of the most prized wine varietals in Italy. Amarone, a potent Valpolicella made with partially dried grapes, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious wines, and what better place to taste it than in the atmospheric surroundings of its home city?