Verona (summer only)
Benvenuto to Verona, the Roman city of song. Set on the Adige River in Northern Italy, it’s possibly one of Italy’s most romantic cities. Utterly picturesque, it’s host to a famous arena and not far from the jet set shores of Lake Garda. So breeze through the terminal and fly to Verona, it’s where Shakespeare set not just one, but two of his most famous plays.
It’s certainly the spot to take a paramour. Romeo & Juliet was set here, and it’s where you can visit Juliet’s Balcony to act out your own version should your inner thesp need an airing. Or take full advantage of the opera programme at the magical Arena de Verona.
There’s plenty to do and see and most of it all within easy walking distance. Wander past Renaissance splendour at the Piazza delle Erbe, check yourself at the Arco della Costa, take in aperitivo hour with the locals and cross the Ponte Pietra. When city life has filled the senses, head to nearby Lake Garda for some downtime with the jet set at Italy’s largest lake.
Southampton airport connects you straight to Verona airport thanks to direct flights with Flybe and Inghams.
When you’re on the ground, there are plenty of car hire desks to pick up your pre-booked car from, find the taxi rank just outside Arrivals. The airport’s Aerobus and shuttle bus services can take you to the train station, or into the city centre and beyond.
Top things to see and do
Every summer, Verona’s prodigious opera moves to the open-air amphitheatre. A 200-seat wonder of Roman design. Some would say the cheap seats are the best ones, as the place lights up with candlelight as the sun drops – but do remember a cushion for the stone steps.
One of Verona’s top tourist sites, starstruck lovers flock here in the name of love. It might be a fable, but Giulietta e Romeo’s tragic tale still has us transfixed.
Step inside for the Duomo of Verona – Verona’s main cathedral. Packed with gems, a stunning basilica and even some exposed roman ruins.
Off the beaten track
See the hanging whale rib just outside the Piazza delle Erbe. Legend has it, it will fall on the first person to pass under who has never told a lie. Sadly, even fibs count.
Piazza delle Erbe
Slightly smaller but just as buzzy as its larger neighbor, the Piazza Bra, this bustling square is the place to grab a gelato, pick up some produce from the market and watch the world go by.
Not far from Verona is Lake Garda - the largest lake in Italy. All shimmering blue you’ll just want to dive in, whatever the season.