Verona lies on the banks of the River Adige at the foot of the Lessini mountains and is the Veneto’s second major city after Venice.
The city is steeped in history and has a noble feel due to vestiges of the ancient world and numerous medieval and renaissance monuments. It was an important and prosperous city under the Roman Empire due to its strategic northern position. There are many monuments dating back to this Imperial era, such as the Arena, the Theatre, the Corsari Gate and the Gavi Arch.
In the Dark Ages it was often home to the barbarian kings. The city grew substantially in the 12-14th centuries when it became a city state and was later home to the della Scala family Signoria (Lords or ruling body of magistrates).
There are beautiful holy and secular buildings from this era, such as San Zeno Maggiore, San Anastasia, San Fermo Maggiore, the Castelvecchio and the Arche Scaligere (della Scala tombs). Verona was under the rule of Venice from 1404 to 1796 and became a lively artistic centre thanks to architects such as Michele Sammicheli and Fra Giocondo and a school of painting that boasts, among others, two illustrious artists, Pisanello and Veronese.
In addition to its undoubted artistic beauty, what makes Verona one of the most fascinating cities in the north of Italy are the many picturesque views and corners, the undulating countryside, the majestic Adige River that cuts through the hills and winds through the city in two gentle loops.