Wanderlust Wednesday // Northern Italy Part 2- Verona & Modena

To continue on with the recap of our trip to Northern Italy, we’re heading east and then south. After our time in Lake Como, we took the train back to Milan to pick up a rental car and drive east to Verona. Verona had never been on my list of must see places, but after a family friend spoke so highly of it, we added it to our itinerary, and I'm so happy we did. Next to Lake Como, Verona was my favorite stop. Sadly we only had two days there and I hope to go back and explore the city more one day.

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Of course Verona is well known as the setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” but there is so much more to this charming city than the star-crossed-lovers. Verona is one of the most visited cities in Italy (which I didn’t realize), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a Roman amphitheater that’s still in use today to house operas in the summer. The city is truly romantic with winding cobblestone streets lined with cafes and a gorgeous river that runs through it.






































Verona has a replica of Juliet’s balcony and it's a little bit of a tourist trap, but still worth a stop if you’re a fan of the story. We stayed right by it and were able to get into the courtyard at night when the area was closed to most visitors.




















Our time spent in Verona was filled with wandering around and popping in and out of cafes and shops. With not as many “tourist must-dos” as other big cities in Italy, we didn’t feel rushed and like we had to see specific things, so we enjoyed taking our time to soak in the city. A great place to sit and people watch is Piazza delle Erbe, a gorgeous square that was once the town’s forum. It’s often called one of the most beautiful and picturesque piazzas in all of Italy (which is certainly saying something!) and I would agree with that. My picture really doesn’t do it justice. I kept feeling like I was walking through the set of a Disney fairy tale.

After Verona we drove south to the countryside outside of Modena. It was an absolutely stunning drive through Emilia Romagna. The rolling hills on either side of our little Fiat were breathtaking, and the air smelled so good I was sticking my head out the window trying to take it all in. I’ve always wanted to stay at a vineyard and we found a perfect one for this trip in Agriturismo Opera02. Opera02 produces Lambrusco (a delicious sparkling red wine) and balsamic vinegar. The hotel is very modern for the setting, and our view was gorgeous. It was the perfect  rest in the country before our next stop, the university city of Bologna.

Where: Verona and the countryside of Modena
Do:  In Verona, have a drink at an outdoor cafe in Piazza delle Erbe, if you're lucky enough to visit in the summer get tickets to an opera in the ancient amphitheater, go shopping on the city's narrow winding streets. In the countryside of Modena, do a balsamic vinegar tasting, visit a vineyard (highly recommend Opera02) or if you're a Ferrari fan stop in the nearby museum
Stay: Hotel Accademia in Verona and Agriturismo Opera02 if you want to spend a night in the country

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