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Things to do in Verona

Enjoy an atmospheric show in a Roman amphitheatre

One of the most spectacular venues in Italy, Arena Di Verona (tel: +39 458 005 151; www.arena.it) is a first-century Roman amphitheatre whose open air shows are some of the finest in the world. Seating 30,000 people, its summer festival includes opera, ballet and concerts. Winter visitors should check out Verona's impressive Teatro Filarmonico.

Hike its shoreline then cool your feet in Lake Garda

Along with a delightful city centre, Verona is surrounded by a wealth of walking opportunities. For excellent hikes, walk along the shores of Lake Garda, whilst the trek from Il Vittoriale botanical gardens in Gardone Riviera to the Valtenesi vineyards is rewarded with a cold glass of local chiaretto (rosé wine).

Hop aboard a Lake Garda ferry and explore the surrounding towns

Nearby Lake Garda encompasses an immense 370 sq km (142 sq miles). The Brenta Dolomites raise to the north, while its southern gentle hills features a Mediterranean microclimate. The vast lake is best explored by boat, so hop on a Navigazione sul Lago di Garda 's (tel: +800 551 801, in Italy only; www.navigazionelaghi.it) ferry and discover its surrounding towns.

Speed across Lake Garda using wind power

It doesn't take long to discover that windsurfing is one of the most popular activities on Lake Garda. Blessed with crystal clear water and highly reliable wind conditions, surfers set out from Torbole, Riva del Garda and Garda town. Surf Center Marco Segnana (tel: +39 464 505 963; www.surfsegnana.it) has everything windsurfers require, including beginner lessons.

Tour the city centre on two wheels

With an abundance of greenery and well-marked paths, the river Adige makes a great two wheel escape from the city - not that central Verona is without its cycling charms. Verona Bike (tel: +800 896 948, in Italy only; www.bikeverona.it), is a bicycle share scheme and is great for gliding between historic sights, especially considering the centre’s traffic restrictions.

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Featured Hotels

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Novo Hotel Rossi

Clean, cheap and with free bicycle hire, this hotel is just a short stroll from Verona's train station. While some rooms are compact, they all come with satellite TVs, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. The breakfast buffet is excellent too. Buses run frequently to the city centre if you don't fancy the 20-minute walk.

Hotel Aurora

The relaxed ambience and friendly staff make guests feel at home here, while the lovely terrace overlooking the city’s main square, the Piazza delle Erbe, shows Italy at its finest. Not only does this 3-star choice have a superb location, it has 18 comfortable, air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV too.

Hotel Torcolo

This friendly hotel in an old palazzo has a prime location just a few steps away from the Arena. Run by two affable sisters, it is a favourite with the Opera crowd. The high-ceilinged rooms are furnished with wrought iron and antique beds, and all come with air-conditioning and satellite TV.

Cinque Rooms

Located in a former butchers, this boutique bolthole, close to the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, has five highly stylised rooms. There isn't a reception area, so guests are sent a code for entry instead. With English floral fabrics, Swedish wallpaper and godly king-size beds, this is a really special stay for the price.

Escalus Luxury Suites

So close to the Arena, you might hear the opera singers in the summer if you fling the floor-to-ceiling windows open wide enough. The modern Escalus Luxury Suites offer 4-star luxury with rooms designed by Andrea Truglio. More apartment than hotel, breakfast is delivered to your own dining table each morning.

Hotel Colomba d’Oro

Situated between the Adige River and the Arena, and close to Romeo and Juliet’s balcony, the Hotel Colomba d’Oro’s 51 rooms are furnished in traditional style with rococo mirrors, Italianate paintings and candy-striped bedspreads. The breakfast buffet is lavish and there’s a chic cocktail bar too.