A little over an hour outside of Venice, Italy, lies Verona, a charming city that might sound familiar: It’s the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Arguably the most famous love story in the world, the tale adds a dash of romantic allure to Verona’s cobblestone streets and terracotta rooftops that are already straight out of a storybook.

Though it’s definitely fiction, the city blends legend with fact to create a thriving tourism industry—Shakespeare was said to have based the story upon a real star-crossed tragedy, after all. Plus, Verona is one of Inspirato’s newest destinations. If you’re dreaming of a visit to this charming literary legend of a city, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite things to do while you’re there.

Where to stay

Establish your home base at the historic Butterfly Boutique Rooms, a small, chic luxury hotel tucked into a quiet corner of central Verona. With only six suites and luxe amenities like aromatherapy throughout the property, the hotel offers the attentive service and the full of immersion of a local’s view of the city. It’s also walking distance from some of Verona’s best attractions, like the Verona Arena and more.

Where to eat

There are so many great options for quintessential Northern Italian cuisine in Verona. More so than in the south, food in Northern Italy is categorized by staples like polenta and risotto, using olive oil and butter more so than the heavier tomato sauces of the south.

Oenophiles will appreciate a visit to Bottega del Vino—it’s a world-renowned, centuries-old spot for Italian wines and tapas. And to fully embrace the city’s Shakespeare theme, opt for Osteria al Duca in the heart of the city: It’s allegedly the home of the real Romeo and the rest of the Montague clan, and originally housed the family’s horses.

What to do

From the Butterfly Boutique Rooms, you’ll be perfectly poised to explore Verona. Catch a show at the historic Verona Arena, still a staple of the city’s culture after centuries; it was built all the way back in 30 AD. With an exterior like a mini Colosseum, the arena is one of the oldest and best preserved of its kind in the world. (Check out a schedule here.)

To see Verona from a different vantage point, opt for a rafting tour down the Adige River, the second-largest waterway in Italy that flows right through the city: This two-hour, family-friendly excursion is a great fit for any ability level.

And if you’re into history, Verona offers plenty without the crowds and lines of nearby Venice. The Castelvecchio Museum is arguably its best. Housed inside a 14th-century castle, it showcases medieval and Renaissance sculpture, jewelry, weapons, armor, and more. And if you paid a visit to Romeo’s former residence for dinner, it’s only fair that you see Juliet’s, too: You can visit the alleged balcony that Juliet is said to have stood on while she and Romeo discussed their ill-fated plans. Below it is a statue of the girl, an iconic symbol of love that’s become a quintessential Instagram stop for lovebirds.

Feeling inspired to visit Northern Italy? Contact your Care team or book the Butterfly Boutique Rooms with your Inspirato Pass to start planning a getaway.

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