The largest extant Roman amphitheater, seating twenty-five thousand, is an open-air opera in Verona during the summers. A Shakespeare festival, ballets and concerts also fill the amphitheater.
The Due Torri (Two Towers) hotel is the place to stay. Originally the official guest house of the ruling Scaligeri family, it was rebuilt in 1958. Each floor has its own parlor-library, each of the one hundred rooms and suites its eighteenth and nineteenth century antiques. Verona itself is almost a museum town; remnants of ancient Roman architecture dot the city. Ten bridges cross the Adige River. One, the Ponte Pietra, dates from the end of the Roman Republic.
Summertime in Verona, like that of most Italian cities, finds the citizens and visitors alike ensconced in the alfresco cafes sipping cappucino, the concentrated coffee pick-me-up, or enjoying a local tart (a sweet, that is), or roll. Ices, similar to sherbets, are also popular, and in many places a needed antidote to the heat. In Verona it is the Piazza Erbe (Square of Herbs) that is the gathering point. It once was the local Roman forum around which chariot races were held.
East of Verona is Vicenza with its more than one hundred mansions, many of which were designed by Palladio, whose name is associated with the Palladian style of architecture. The city is a kind of land-based Venice. Venice itself is less than an hour beyond.