Romantic spots in Verona
We repost below, the interview of ANNA SAVINO of ITALIANNA FOOD & WINE TOURS
Anna: Ciao Sara! Tell us briefly who you are and what you do?
Sara: First of all, Virginia and I are two friends, both born and raised in Verona, who decided in 2017 to fill a hospitality gap in our town. We wanted to move away from the idea that our city was interesting just for its two main landmarks: The Roman Amphitheater “Arena” and the House of Giulietta. With so much more to see, we decided to open up a travel agency to offer visitors unique experiences focused on more than just the Opera Festival and touristy spots but also embrace the local wine and food culture as part of our tours. Being a sommelier, this was a natural way to incorporate my passion into exploring Verona and its surroundings with “local” eyes. We’d like our guests to interact with real Veronesi and places off the beaten path.
Our background has definitely helped make this business successful. I worked previously in the wine business as a hospitality manager in three different boutique wineries located in three major wine areas around Verona in Valpolicella, Soave and Lake Garda. This experience allowed me to travel abroad for trade shows and see how foreigners perceived our wines and culture.
Virginia worked in London for three years as an event planner and wine connoisseur, adding an international touch to our own brand of Verona tourism.
Verona’s Top Romantic Eating and Drinking Establishments
Anna: What are the most romantic restaurants in Verona and why?
Sara: Romantic for me means cozy, warm and intimate, so I would use those adjectives to describe these places. Here are a few romantic eateries we love:
The location was Romeo’s [fictional] stables building, and it’s the oldest restaurant in Verona dating back to 1877, still owned by the same family.
RISTORANTE PONTE PIETRA
It is known as the 2nd-best location for wedding proposals, after Juliet’s balcony, of course!
Certainly more casual than the previous restaurants, but the view in any season leaves you speechless. It is also a caffè, pizzeria, and cocktail bar, so it is great for any occasion.
What is one of the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day? Chocolates and sweets! Visit the best real patisserie in town.
TERRAZZA BAR AL PONTE
This cocktail bar has an amazing view of the 2.000 year old Roman Theater and also overlooks the Adige River
This is a hidden gem cafe with a secret garden close to the Duomo Cathedral.
Monuments to Love
Anna: What monuments can you find in Verona other than Juliet’s balcony that are related to LOVE?
Sara: Many! Unfortunately often the only one that most people flock to is always Juliet’s House, but you often find lots of crowds. Here are some other places dedicated to love.
Just a few steps away from [fictional] Juliet’s house [and its touristically famous balcony, which was only added in the 1900s] is the house claimed to be Romeo’s, but few people know about it! It is a private residence now but you can still admire it from the outside.
Another landmark which locals love and is often used as a wedding venue is what people say is Juliet’s Tomb. Lord Byron and many other poets during the Romantic era used to visit this monument slightly outside of Verona’s city center.
The “Well of Love” (Pozzo dell’Amore) is another Romantic corner, still quite neglected by the majority of tourists. It’s about another tragic love story between Corrado di San Bonifacio and Isabella Donati in the 1500s, about a century or two after the most famous love story.
A different kind of love, but still felt very strongly, is Dante Alighieri’s love. His nostalgia for his hometown Florence (and his beloved Beatrice) and his gratitude to Bartolomeo I della Scala (the Veronese noble who provide sanctuary to Dante) is wonderfully represented in Ugo Zannoni’s 19th- century statue of the most important poet of Italian literature. It’s located on Piazza dei Signori, more affectionately known by locals as Dante’s Square. This year in 2021, Verona is celebrating 700 years from Dante’s death (1321). There should be many events related to the life and works of this Florentine poet who was a refugee in Verona for the first six years of his exile. Follow the hashtag #dante700!
More recently, Verona is where Maria Callas, the American-Greek Soprano, married Giovanni Battista Meneghini in 1949 at the San Niccolò Church a few steps from the Arena.
Romantically Scenic Views
Anna: What are the best scenic views or locations for a romantic stop with a loved one?
Sara: Oh my gosh, I cannot decide because there are truly many spots! Verona is like a smaller version of Florence with more Roman ruins, which also makes it resemble a smaller version of Rome at the same time. That’s why we created the Romantic Photoshooting Tour of Verona. We always suggest this tour to couples and their family and friends. It’s a Verona walking tour and photoshoot with a professional photographer in the most romantic spots such as:
This iconic Middle Age bridge used to belong to the Della Scala Family Residential Castle. It’s now a reconstructed public pedestrian bridge that connects the historic center of Verona to the Borgo Trento neighborhood.
When the banks along the Adige river are covered by yellow leaves, it reminds me of Paris’s Rive Gauche [Left Bank of the Seine River] in the fall.
Ponte Pietra Bridge
Another pedestrian bridge—destroyed in WWII and subsequently rebuilt—it is the only Roman bridge still existing in town.
Piazzetta Bra Molinari
Head along the Adige River if you want admire the San Pietro Hill and Roman Theater in peace and quiet.
Piazza dei Signori (a.k.a. Piazza Dante)
Located behind the more popular and crowded Piazza Erbe, this square features gorgeous Renaissance architecture, including the splendid Loggia del Consiglio.
Cortile Mercato Vecchio
This courytard and the recently renewed Cortile del Tribunale (just off of Piazza Dante) can be quiet hangouts, especially at night.
Funicolare Castel San Pietro
This small cable car takes people to the best view of Verona’s historical center.
On the grounds of Palazzo Giusti, this characteristic Italian Renaissance garden was begun in the late 1500s and is considered to be a smaller version of Boboli Gardens in Florence.
This is the giant copper heart sculpture in front of the Arena at “Poltronissime Gate.” It seems every couple takes a picture with the Heart to celebrate their forever love.
Sara & Virginia