Immortalized by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a city synonymous with romance - but it's not only its literary associations that have made it so. I think it's fair to say that its remarkable array of historic buildings plays a large part in creating the city's famous ambiance, which makes visiting at least a few of these something of a must.
Of course, that can make it a bit tough to choose where to go, especially if you're on the indecisive side like me. To help give you an idea of where to start, I've put together a list of my top five. And for those of you still working on the finer points of your trip, you can find lots of handy information about hotels at Sovereign.
When it comes to historical attractions in Verona, the Arena is definitely the star of the show. Behind only the Colosseum and amphitheatre of Capua in terms of size, the Arena is a staggering sight. It dates back to the 1st century AD, when it was often used to stage bloody gladiator battles. What I find most remarkable about this place, aside from its sheer size and how well it has been preserved, is that it's still being used today; seeing an opera performance here is utterly arresting.
When you're strolling around Verona, it's interesting to remember that if you take the time to look closely, you can discern influences from a number of different sources throughout the city's history. The Palazzo Barbieri illustrates what I mean perfectly; while from the outside it resembles a Roman temple, it was actually built in the first half of the 19th century and acted as the headquarters for the Austrian Civic Grand. So, it was a seat of power from the time of Austrian domination.
Quick tip: Now the Town Hall, the Palazzo Barbieri isn't open to the public. So, if you want to check it out (and I recommend you do), you'll need to be content with admiring it from the outside.
As I mentioned above, Verona was the setting for Shakespeare's timeless tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Part of the magic of Verona, then, is that you can step into the story in the form of Juliet's House.
This belonged to the Dal Cappello family, and by visiting it you can see the famous balcony where Romeo is meant to have wooed his Juliet. By the way, if you buy tickets to explore inside the house, you can actually stand on said balcony - an opportunity that's too good to miss.