They say Paris is ’The City of Love’, but it has nothing on Italian Verona. Name-checked in the opening line of the greatest love story ever told, this is ’The City of Romeo and Juliet’. In fact, William Shakespeare set two other of his plays in the city of Verona: ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’. As a result, literary students and tourists flock to the city each year to see the Casa di Giulietta with its famous balcony, and the tomb where the star-crossed lovers would have died. Expatriates in Verona will certainly also agree that the city readily deserves being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the sheer beauty of its tiny streets and ancient buildings, such as the Basilica of San Zeno, considered one of the great achievements of Romanesque architecture. Plus, culture loving expats living in Verona should not miss the chance to hear an operatic performance at the breath-taking Verona Arena.
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Verona is situated in the North East of Italy, just 70 miles from Venice. Any destinations which are not covered by the local Verona Villafranca Airport will almost certainly be reached via the Venice Marco Polo Airport, making Verona a surprisingly well-connected city. Expats moving to Verona should definitely brush up on their Italian before setting off – while Verona’s fluid tourist and expatriate population may mean that most languages are spoken in the city center, if you want to spend any time in the surrounding Veneto countryside you will have to speak the local language. One phrase that any expat should for example memorize is carne di cavallo, or ’horsemeat”’. A local delicacy, horsemeat will appear on most restaurant menus. By all means try it, but make sure you know what you are ordering. For more tips on Italian cuisine and strange local delicacies, you can always get in touch with fellow expatriates in Italy via InterNations.
More than four hundred years after it was published, visitors still flock to Verona to explore the city where Romeo and Juliet is set. Tourism is a big industry in Verona, but the city is also popular with domestic and international companies in the science and technology sectors. Due to its northern location, Verona has always been a popular point of trade from all over Europe, and it is still a diverse and expat-friendly city today. If you are planning on working in Verona, make sure you have the right to work in Italy, and that you keep your visas and work permits up to date. Sign up on InterNations to practice your Italian with native speakers or accomplished expats living in Verona or other parts of Italy and get tips on how to improve your fluency and how to best enjoy life as an expatriate in Verona.