I've never been able to understand my friends who fly to Europe during winter. After all, let's face it that neither our body’s nor closets are built for single-degree temperatures. That was, until I got an invitation from the Israel – Italy Chamber of Commerce & Industry to visit beautiful Verona in northern Italy. Neither the cold weather, nor the lack of warm clothes in my closet could stop me from agreeing to that amazing offer :).
If you are like me (before this trip) and the only thing that you know about Verona is, it’s the place of the famous and tragic love story Romeo and Juliet, then here are some tips that will help you get the most out of this city.
As an Israeli I’ve been brainwashed to always prefer to fly El Al, but this time we booked our flight with Alitalia, I have to admit I was a bit worried at first but after take off, I realized I’ve been over paying all those years for El Al. The flight went smoothly, the food was nice, and my suitcase arrived safely as did I in Verona. The return flight was a little challenging, because the weather was rough and there was a pressure problem on the plane, which directly affected the ears.
Where to Stay!
Hotel Giberti 4* – Located just 5 minutes from the main shopping strip. The main street is filled with classic Italian brands Gucci, Prada, Max Mara and other potential lovers that didn’t come back home with me, because of financial bureaucracy :). The hotel was comfortable, clean and cozy – providing everything I needed for the stay. The only issue I had was that the WiFi didn’t work very well and instead of falling asleep to my Netflix, I had to imagine watching it. The front desk weren’t very helpful with this and even hung up on me one time I called to try get it fixed.
Villa Cordevigo Winery – Located 30 minute out of the city. A pastoral country setting, with immaculately designed rooms. I highly recommend staying here and experiencing the spa and chef restaurant that will provide many Instagram moments. The food was amazing and let’s you experience classic Italian cuisine, so much more than pasta and pizza.
What to eat!
Maffei – My husband doesn’t get jealous often, but when he heard I was going to eat here, this time it was justified. It’s one of the best restaurants in the city of Verona, almost anything you order will be a great choice. I highly recommend the vegetarian Risotto with mushroom porcine. A note to yourself, its very popular so make sure to book well in advance.
Trattoria Caprini Di Torbe – My favorite part of the entire trip. Also located 30 minutes out of the city, but so worth the drive. Very Instagram worthy! It’s a family owned restaurant, where recipes have been passed down for the last 3 generations. You’ll get a chance to see the “grandmother” take raw dough and transform it into delicious pasta. More than a restaurant they teach you the art of making pasta by real Italian hands.
Café Dante Bistrot – A cool Bistro in the heart of Verona, a perfect place for a casual lunch or dinner. We started off with plate of mixed meats (looked good for a meat eater says the vegetarian). A classic Brasserie style environment with cool Italian vibe.
What to See!
If you take the kids, the Verona Zoo, is a must. Half an hour drive from the city, located in a beautiful area not far from the amazing kids park, Gardaland. They have a program that saves endangered animals and it was my first time seeing a red panda, such a cute little creature.
Back into the city where next, a walk around the city center, starting off at the “Castel San Pietro Panoramic View” where on a good day you can see the entire city. Wind your way down through the quaint city streets and end up in the heart of the shopping district on Viale Mazzini Street.
Borghetto Sul Mincio, a town that looks like pastel painting. Throughout the season they open an array of small and authentic establishments including, craft stores, Italian coffee stands, even grabbing a pizza is chic and done in style here.
What to drink!
Verona is surrounded by many winery’s weaving your way through them provides a full experience of learning, eating and of course drinking lots of wine. You’ll quickly get used to pairing the right wine with what you are eating, including your deserts. Two of the many many that we tasted stood out above the others Cantina Coffele and Allegrini.
Cantina Coffele – A small family vineyard, they will provide you with not only taste after taste of their superb wine, but you'll also be surrounded by the wine-making experience.
Allegrini – One of the most well known Vineyards of Verona, famous for their top quality wines. It's also a hotel and event hall, where you experience the real Italian atmosphere and authentic vibe. Don't make my mistake from not purchasing at least three bottles from their on site shop, because you are worried about the bottles breaking in Travel. Zara you can always replace, these wines are one of a kind. If I can make a specific recommendation I would go with the Solosole 2016 Vermentino Bolgheri.
That's all from my wonderful week in Verona, go – visit – eat – drink and enjoy, and don't forget to let me know all about it!
Happy New year :).