I've got round to doing my Verona photo diary blog post from a couple of weeks ago so here it is in all it's glory! Nick and i booked the trip to Verona around 5 weeks before we left meaning we got a pretty decent deal on a spa hotel and flights - i love to travel so am always looking out for bargains and try to be as savvy as i can to save £££ for trips away, i usually always book my flights separate to my hotel and anything else as you usually find great rates on hotels through sites like Trivago or Secret Escapes, and i always book my flights direct with the airline as this then covers your back when it comes to insurance and any issues you may have when travelling - plus if you go to direct you're usually guaranteed their best rates. Enough about that, though i'll be doing some blog posts on travel tips and ways to get the best deals when booking holidays soon!
I love Italy...so much...and try to travel there fairly often, but usually to a different area, as i love the food, people, sights, history and architecture - it is just so beautiful and the Italians are great company and have an incredible country, We had just four nights in Verona as we treated it as a bit of a chilled city break, the weather was glorious and sunny with temperatures at around 34 degrees for the duration we were there which is about right for August, and it was lush to wear summer dresses and sandals without having to worry what the weather would do! Our hotel was just outside of Verona but offered a free shuttle a few times a day into the city so it was mega convenient for us as we often like to be away from the hustle and bustle of a city after a busy days sightseeing and trotting around.
We spent our mornings eating a delicious fresh breakfast at the hotel, they put on a full spread with fresh fruits, breads, cereals, eggs, pastries, yoghurts and cakes so it was really yummy and ace for me as they did lots of gluten free! We'd then chill for a bit by the pool catching some sun then get ready for an afternoon and evening in the city doing all of the fun touristy stuff. Verona is absolutely stunning, all of the buildings are colourful with balconies and flowers draping from them, it is mega charming and you can certainly feel a romantic vibe in the air! The city is filled with lots of people most days, especially when the opera is hosted in the amphitheatre, there are families, couples, friends and singles all mooching around the shops and dining out, Verona is a very sociable city so it's great for people watching! Everything is all mingled together, so you have the Roman Amphitheatre in the centre, which is surrounded by restaurants and shops, which is then surrounded by other historical buildings and monuments - so as you explore the streets you have no idea what'll be around the next corner - it is ideal for exploring and discovering exciting places!
We loved the whole city, and found it very reasonable too when eating out which we did every day - you can expect to pay anything between 6-14 Euro for a freshly made pizza or pasta, then 8-30 Euro for a main meal like steak or chicken - Italian food is one of my favourites as it just tastes SO GOOD, plus they are amaaaazing or gluten free options which makes me mega happy and makes it a lot less awkward asking for a gluten free menu - so i got my paws on lost of gluten free pasta, pizza and gelato for pretty cheap prices, hooray! We like to get a true feel for the city so try to eat where the locals do and avoid any mega touristy areas, there is an abundance of side street cafes and eateries if you like to do this too and we had no bad experiences which is always a bonus.
Some of our favourite sights i've pictured below, of course we went to the 'Romeo & Juliet' balcony which is stunning and very romantic, it's in a tiny square and was jam packed full of lovers and friends, it's definitely worth checking out! I don't think we saw one unattractive building in the city, it's just glorious and full of wall art and historical sights from the Roman Amphitheatre to the Basilica and Duomo - for a history buff like me i was in my element and didn't want to leave! Of course my inner fashion blogger couldn't resist the shops...The shopping is pretty special, you can easily spend a fortune if you want to in the designer boutiques like Gucci, D&G, and Furla, however if you're a budget babe then you can find all of the best high street stores like Zara, Bershka and Stradivarius, which have some classic pieces and fun styles for bargain prices. The independent boutiques are also fab as you can find more unique pieces that aren't branded but made to the highest quality Italian standards. As Verona is fairly touristy there are also market stalls in the centre selling all of the souvenirs we can't help but purchase for just a couple of Euro.
We had such a fun filled, relaxed and beautiful time in Verona, and serious holiday blues have set in - i thoroughly recommend it as a holiday/city break destination, flights out from London can be so cheap and there are lots of hotel deals around so if you fancy it then get the trip booked asap!
Check out Lonely Planet for a more detailed guide to Verona and always shop around for the best deals on hotels - my favourite websites for this are comparison sites like Trivago and luxury bargain hotels and deals from Secret Escapes. Enjoy the pictures below!