Wake up early and ride the Mount Baldo cableway up 1.6km to hike among breathtaking scenery of the snow-capped pre-Alpine region, the Po Plains and the Dolomite Mountains. After exhausting ourselves on the mountain trails we head to a hilltop restaurants for late lunch with panoramic views of the lake. We loved Mount Baldo so much we went back twice more during our week-long summer holiday to Malcesine, Lake Garda.
Join Verona's workers for lunch in San Matteo Church. Tucked away off a side street, this self service restaurant serves a good range of salads, pasta and pizza. You can eat very well for under 10 euro with drinks and it's air conditioned too.
What better than Verona, the city of ill-fated lovers Romeo and Juliet? Arrive in the early morning sunshine via the sleeper train from Paris then breakfast with the locals on strong black coffee and pastries.
You can spend the day exploring this beautiful old city hand in hand taking the Adige river, Piazza del Herbe, the renaissance garden Giardino Giusti and, if you can brave the tourist hordes, Juliet’s balcony.
In the evening you can experience the joy that is opera under stars in a magnificent roman amphitheatre - Arena di Verona. Then round off the perfect romantic day by following the locals in the know to Bottega Del Vino for a glass of red wine with intimate old fashioned charm.
You don't even need to be a fan of opera to appreciate the thrill and romance of watching an opera performed in an open-air arena on a warm summer's night in the beautiful city of Verona. This is not the hushed atmosphere of Covent Garden. Imagine thousands of people in a Roman arean, humming along, waving lighters, cuddling in the back row. A stunning experience
It's on the edge of Verona city centre, 10 minutes walk from Piazza San Zeno and 20 from Via Roma (and the bus into town stops right outside) - but the San Marco's Unique Selling Point is its pool. Squeezed onto the north side of the hotel, it only gets the sun until the afternoon, but if you want to cool off in an outdoor pool in Verona, there's no competition - and by the pool is as good a place as any to eat an evening meal from the restaurant alongside. (There's an indoor pool and spa too for a price.)
The new Malcesine - Mount Baldo cableway stands out from the very first glance, thanks to the futuristic forms of its stations. These are buildings with clean architectural lines, where steel, aluminium, glass and stone have been combined to enhance the light, transparent interiors and to blend harmoniously with their outdoor surroundings.
The cableway is divided into two sections: the first, Malcesine - San Michele is 1,512 m in length and covers a difference in height of 463m; the second, San Michele - Mount Baldo is 2,813 m in length and covers a difference in height of 1,187 m.
The most important new feature of this cableway, and one that makes it totally unique throughout the world, is the cabin on the second section, which rotates on itself to give passengers a 360° view, as well as the sensation that they are flying. The capacity is 600 persons per hour, with cabins for 45 and 80 people. The cableway system is able to operate in harsh weather conditions as well as at night.
Residenza San Faustino is a bed and breakfast located in the historical centre of Verona in the shadow of the old remains of the Roman Theatre and the Ponte Pietra, near to the house of Romeo and Juliet. The bed and breakfast is well located and our room was very clean and comfortable. The owner Monica was very helpful and kind. She gave us so many good tips.
Italian chain that allows you to see what dishes are being prepared before you choose food. Always full of locals rather than tourists. Great opportunity to get a hang of Italian food habits. Padua Brek is slightly better if you're travelling.
Main square outside opera amphitheatre
A wonderful experience even if you've never been to an opera before. For the cheapest seats get there early and take a picnic - enjoy watching the glitterati take their seats! Take binoculars for a close-up view, hire a cushion and take a fan.
Verona Opera is in the centre of the city.
My family, that is myself, my wife and three grown up children took the overnight sleeper from Paris Bercy to Verona for the remarkable price of £26 each.
You have to book in advance for this and there are limited places at this price. Whist the accommodation is somewhat basic, we had a six berth-compartment, its hard to imagine getting any sort of accommodation at that rate in Paris, let alone one that allows you to wake the next morning in the land of Romeo and Juliet.
A second tip, take your own butties and drink onto the train- those sold on board are expensive.
An unusual hotel in Verona, lying right by the river and just a short walk from the Arena. If you've not been before it's a bit tricky to find, hiding as it does behind a large set of doors (drive through these for private parking shaded by a pergola), but once inside you'll find an interesting building with a splendid communal area downstairs. We loved our stay, and this is very much a 'boutique' hotel.
They do have their own site, but we preferred to book online at the site below, useful for the Google map aside from anything else.
Tel. + 39 045 59 77 21
A few years ago me and my family went to Italy. The first place we went was Verona. Because we came on the sleeper train we had not had any breakfast, so we found a cafe that was right outside the Colisseum. It had hot chocolate that was like melted chocolate, I think it might have been. The colossal Colisseum was alright to walk around and sit on the stone seats. It gave you a really good image of what the one in Rome would have been like.
Our hotel was magnificent. We had rented a hallway, so there were 2 rooms. My parents had the one with the balcony, me and my brother’s one did not have a balcony. For breakfast they had cakes and fruit and the most wonderful things that you could imagine. Everyday that we were there we had an ice cream. Italy does the best ice cream in the whole world. Once we even saw broccoli flavoured ice cream! Luckily I did not try it, I was far too tempted by the orange and lemon ice cream.
From Sarah Fletcher (age 10).
The walk starts in front of Negrar church. Go down the road to the Town Hall, turn left and walk along Via Mazzini, past the shops.
After the primary school and the sports fields, turn right through the car park and cross the main road and the bridge over the river bed leading to the residential estate known as ‘Arena Verde’. Turn right immediately after the bridge and on the far side of the small car park, take the path around the perimeter of the estate, following the signs to 'Parry Bed and Breakfast'. Continue to the far end of the path, then turn left up some steps and walk along the second side of the estate to the end of the path. Leave the estate here and turn right along a small path into the fields with a cherry orchard on the left and vineyards on the right.
At the end of the path, turn left along a track which leads slightly uphill to the north and comes out on the road. Turn right and then after a few metres, right again, taking the road up towards Vigolo (sign-posted to Vigolo, Ara, Castel, Pezzabona and Preperchiusa). At the junction at the top of the road, turn left by the shrine of San Vincenzo, and walk up towards Castel di Negrar, bearing left at the top of the hill.(alt. 303).
From Castel the road levels out for a stretch and then goes uphill towards Ara, a small group of houses on the left. Just beyond Ara turn off the road to the left following the signpost for Pezzabuona, and take the lower path which leads to Quena. Half way along the path, there is a white marble cross in memory of Righetti Domenico dated 7/5/1992. In Quena (alt. 342), we recommend a stop to admire the architecture of the houses, the fountain and the wash basin; there is also an attractive shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary dating from 24 May 1886, when Luigi di Canossa was Bishop of Verona.
From the fountain of Quena take the path with a stone wall to the right of the houses, after a few metres turn left and follow the path behind the houses, and on into the vineyards. Continue along the path to the group of houses at Dosso, where you will find an interesting wooden cross and a farmhouse with a fresco on the wall on the right. Turn right along the road, which becomes a grassy path leading downhill and then uphill into a wood. Keep to the left through the wood; after a 10 minute walk the path comes out onto the road above S. Ciriaco, opposite the San Ciriaco Relais (alt. 374).
Turn left here and follow the road down to the little church in San Ciriaco (alt. 357). Look for the sacred relic dating from 1768 behind glass at the top of the wall. Continue down the road after the church and then take the first track to the right which will take you down to Mulino di Villa. Walk past 4 yellow grain silos and over the bridge, then bear right and you will come out on the main road (SP12) opposite a group of houses. Cross the road and walk to the back of the houses where you will find the start of a path running alongside an old dry stone wall which leads down towards the vineyards. Follow the path down into the Molino Vecchio (Old Mill) valley. On the other side, follow the path uphill to where it joins a track running along the top of the field. Turn left and follow the track to Negrar-Torbe road. Turn left here and walk down to the first bend where a path leads off to the right between a small group of houses. Follow the path downhill to where it joins the road again.
In order to avoid walking back into Negrar on the main road, we suggest walking through the vineyards. A gate on the right, which is always open, leads into the fields. Follow one of the rows of grapes in the direction of Negrar and after a short walk, leave the vineyard to return to the main road at the junction with Via Osteria Vecchia. Cross the main road and take the Villa road uphill until you get to the first bend, where you take a path on the right between vineyards and cherry trees leading back towards Villa Rizzardi. Follow the walls of the villa and at the end of the path walk past the entrance to the villa and straight on past the shrine on the left. At Casa Poiega take a path to the right of the house, which turns into Via Guglielmi and then Via Pio X and takes you back into the centre of Negrar.
The site of the ancient Verona Red marble and stone quarries can be visited in Prun, a small village just 10 minutes above Negrar.
Marble quarrying has always been at the basis of the local economy and local stone was used back in Roman times to build the Arena amphitheatre as well as the basilicas of San Zeno and Santa Anastasia and many other important buildings in the centre of Verona.
Recently the whole area has been studied by architects from all over the world who took part in a competition for the best plans to ensure the development of the whole area as a local beauty spot.
Molina is a medieval village at the junction between three valleys in steep wooded mountainside about half an hour from Negrar. The village itself is charming. The old houses reflect the style of the western Lessinia, and its botanical museum in the main square has a fine exhibition of local flora.
But the main attraction is the walk down to the park for breathtaking views of the walls of nude rock and the roaring waterfalls. For the bravest we recommend a play on the swing which takes you right up to one of the waterfalls. Pay for your ticket in the village before you start the walk downhill (it costs a 50 cents less that way, the full price is 3 euros). You should wear good walking shoes - it can be slippery and bear in mind that when you get down to the last waterfall, you've got a long walk back up again. There is a bar at the beginning of the walk so anyone who prefers to can stay there and wait for the others to return.
And to finish off the day why not have a look at some local produce in the little shop and try the friendly and reasonably priced restaurant in the main square. We recommend it!
The restaurant seems like a simple family ‘trattoria’ and the owner, Giorgio Soave, was waiting to give us a warm welcome when we arrived. But it is far from being the simple place we had imagined. The food and service were magic, the waiters have just the right mix of helpful presence and discretion, and every detail of our evening was perfect.
After a glass of sparkling Prosecco, we started the meal with a delicious soup made with green asparagus and the smallest fresh peas you can imagine, truly wonderful. Giorgio makes his own salame, ‘pancetta’ and ‘lardo’ and although I was a bit dubious about the fat at first I was amazed at how delicious it all was, served with toasted bread with an exceptionally smooth olive oil and small green peppers, then fresh goat's cheese with chives, and an excellent Valpolicella classico to accompany it.
I suspect Giorgio knows more about food than anyone I’ve ever met. He can explain the difference between the green and white asparagus which comes fresh from the field and is served with egg and the finest slices of black truffle. He knows just where and when to pick the best mountain mushrooms, where to find the finest truffles, how to prepare the most delicious strawberry sauce to accompany his home-made tortelli with ricotta and nettles (magic!), how to choose the most delicate baby spinach leaves as a base for the tenderest ‘maltagliata’ (a rare beef fillet roughly chopped and served with fennel and Amarone sauce)…
He serves the local Monte Veronese cheese with a preserve known as ‘mostarda di mele’, which is made with apples and the essence of mustard and makes a perfect combination.
We had no room for dessert, but when he brought out a plate of icecream topped with chestnuts in honey, with home-made pastries, we couldn’t resist.
Each course was served with the right wine – and the Amarone we drank with the ‘maltagliata’ was exceptional – then coffee and grappa, or rose liqueur for the ladies.
We enjoyed our meal so much that I felt I had to write about it! It wasn’t cheap, but we sometimes like to treat ourselves, so if you would like to do the same, just drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch, or have a look at Giorgio’s site – we hope you will enjoy your evening as much as we did.
GROTO DE CORGNAN
Di Giorgio Soave
Via Corgnan, 41
37010 SANT’AMBROGIO VALPOLICELLA
e-mail : email@example.com
Enjoy the hospitality of an Italian/English family. Negrar is well known for the production of Valpolicella wine, including top of the market 'Amarone' and 'Recioto'. It is only 10 km from Verona, with its opera season in the Arena (June to August) and its jazz festival in the Roman Theatre in June. It is also convenient for Verona’s Trade Fairs, including the world-famous Vinitaly and the International Exhibition of Marble, Stone and Technology; it is only half an hour from Lake Garda and is convenient for travelling to Venice by train.
Always stamp your trenitalia tickets at the little yellow boxes at the station, otherwise the conductor will charge you 25euros extra.
Any violinists should go to Cremona for the birthplace of stradivari violins and beautiful architecture.
The yellow boxes are usually found at the beginning of a platform. Just stick in the ticket and the end will get stamped.
Cremona is near Brescia and is accessible by train.
Three room B&B (single, twin and family room for up to 4) in 1906 house in quiet street 10 mins walk from centre of Verona, so ideal for the opera. Also 5 mins from superb public playground at the end of the old brigde over the river. Manuela speaks fluent English and is very happy with children running about and playing with her toy cars. Breakfast is served out in the back garden terrace and she is very keen on organic/quality food. Rooms have ceiling fans with remote control, so expect your kids to enjoy playing with it. She is also the local World Wildlife Fund rep.
Close enough to Venice to allow a long day trip so you avoid the high prices. Family room for 4 plus breakfast was 100 Euros per night in August 2006.
Il Piccolo Principe B&B
Viale del Risorgimento 10
+39 045 914110
Nearest station Verona Porta Nuova and then 10 mins by bus (just off main core bus routes so very frequent).
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