A sixteenth century scholar once wrote that to know Verona is to love her. In fact, there are many reasons to fall in love with this city once you have got to know her. Her links with Shakespeare's timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet is the prime reason to admire her. As you walk through the streets or underneath the balconies of the houses of the two ill-fated lovers, you can't help feeling passionate emotions yourself. However, Verona is also the city of the Arena (one of the largest opera houses), nature parks and the Adige river that encircles it; not only that, but the city's gastronomic delights, and its Valpolicella wines, are world renowned.

The historic centre of Verona is surrounded by walls (around 10km in length) which were erected on the orders of the Scaligeri family. The city is divided into four different zones: the ancient city, with its Roman remains, the Cittadella zone which stretches southwards, San Zeno where you can see the splendid cathedral, and finally the Veronetta a with origins in the Early Middle Ages.

There are several artistic spots to visit around the city—the following are a few which are not to be missed: the Piazza dei Signori , which is a truly beautiful sight, flanked by the Palazzo del Comune with its neo-classical façade; the imposing Medieval Torre dei Lamberti ( 83 metres high); the Palazzo Tribunale, or Palazzo del Capitanio, a Scaligieri palace with a characteristically angular tower (the Scaligeri ruled Verona from 1260 to 1387); the Loggia del Consiglio (a splendid example of Veronese Renaissance architecture) and the "Duomo" (cathedral). This was built in the twelfth century, on the site of an early-Medieval church. It underwent many renovations between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The façade successfully blends Roman and Gothic architectural elements. Its gateway and Roman entrance hall are beautiful. The interior is Gothic and houses many priceless artistic treasures including an altar-piece by Tiziano depicting The Assumption (1535), which is in the first chapel on the left.

The Palazzo Pompeii (now home to a museum of natural history) was designed by the architect Sammicheli. In fact, Sammicheli's work is also visible throughout the city as, he was respnsible for its complete restructuring.

The Piazza delle Erbe (once the site of an ancient Roman forum) is characterised by monuments dating back to various periods which stand opposite the market. It is also home to the Arena - one of Verona's most famous monuments. It was built in the first century A.D. and has been expertly preserved, thus making it one of the world's most evocative and important operatic theatres. The interior is elliptical and measures 44.43m X 73.58.

The Castelvecchio is a splendid example of military architecture. It was built towards the end of the fourteenth century, when the nobility began to doubt the allegiance of the city.

Last but not least, is Juliet's House ,- where Shakespeare's heroine was said to have lived. It is now a place of pilgrimage for many star-crossed lovers.

The week after the conference, Verona will host the national wine producer's exhibition, Vinitaly.


History of Verona

Photos of Verona

official ACES website