Recently awarded the status of a "World Heritage Site", Verona has delighted painters, poets, travellers and celebrities for centuries. A walk through its narrow streets allows you to get in touch with its varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid Roman origins, its prevailing medieval structure, its magnificent Renaissance palaces as well as the impressive fortifications which protect it. Shaped by the last Ice Age, Lake Garda has always fascinated its visitors. Its shade of sky-blue and the varied landscape which surrounds it has made it unforgettable.
A first glimpse of the city is love at first sight, and will entice you to come back and explore it thoroughly. For the past two thousand years and more, the city walls enclose a unique and breathtaking range of art-works and monuments. Verona is a work of art in itself: a fascinating cross-roads of historical periods and cultures (both classical and Germanic), a blend of both Nordic and "Mediterranean" influences; the city is at the same time both ancient and modern. As far as the quality and the preservation of its Roman antiquities are concerned, Verona is second only to Rome. The Arena, built in the first half of the 1st century A.D., is the third largest amphitheatre in Italy, after the Colosseum and the amphitheatre of Capua.
More than a valley, Valpolicella is a series of valleys in fan shape running north-south above Verona. It has an excellent climate, rolling countryside and many water courses. In Valpolicella vineyards are a characteristic feature of the region. In Roman times, the cultivation of grapevines was ample and diffuse, as was the intensification of the refinement and commerce of wine. The Amarone, “passito” wine made from dried grapes, is produced according to a method known since ancient times that requires withering of the grapes on grids. This results in very concentrated sugars and a resulting full-bodied, high alcohol wine. The drying also results in a very earthy taste. Amarones are normally consumed between 10 and 15 years.
Lake Garda is the biggest and the most typical of all of the pre-alpine lakes. It was celebrated by one of the most illustrious Roman poets, Catullus. Its particular shade of sky-blue and the varied landscape which surrounds it has made it unforgettable. The southern section of the lake, embraced by the gentle slopes of the Riviera of Olives, looks decidedly Mediterranean, however, just a few kilometres north where Monte Baldo rises above it, it completely changes character and turns into a narrow fiord. Rocks and steep cliffs surmounted by castles and ancient churches steeped in history stand guard over suggestive and graceful little ports. Olive-trees and lemons have been cultivated here since Roman times.
The gem of all the penisulas. The details have faded away in the wake of time, but the Roman spirit still lives in Catullus' Villa and Catullus' Grotte, the original purpose of which is a secret of lake Garda. The Romans had built two castles, two harbours, a settlement and the gigantic villa that rises on rocks and powerfully towers on the lake. The eventful history of the Penisula has had many hights and lows, but Sirmione has never lost its magic. Be they Romans or Cimbrians, Goths or Avars, Scaligers or Venetians, all where touched by its fabulous charm. The Scaligers built on the main harbour their famous fortress: a charming, graceful yet strong and imposing bultwark, one of the most beautiful buildings in the word.