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Choose Verona for stylish Italy rentals
When Venice is just too hectic and expensive to face, the Veneto region and the city of Verona make an ideal alternative base for exploring the cities and countryside of this part of Italy. Rentals range from chic city apartments to sprawling country villas, with options to suit most budgets.
Romeo and Juliet
The three cities of Verona, Vicenza and Treviso stretch in a diagonal line across this part of northern Italy. Rentals are abundant in all three, but Verona remains the most popular with British visitors, possibly because of its Shakespearian connections.
Verona exploits the link, identifying the balcony of a 16th century house on Via Cappello as 'Juliet's', ignoring the fact that she was a fictional creation. It's a must-see on the tourist trail, especially for couples on a romantic city-break.
Verona can also offer a magnificent Roman Arena that is splendidly preserved, and a 1st century Roman theatre. In summer both provide live entertainment, from spectacular operatic productions to Shakespearian adaptations. The shows provide memorable images as the sun sets behind the ancient amphitheatre.
For more modern Italian pursuits, shoppers will gravitate towards the Via Mazzini, lined with designer boutiques and the upmarket fashion houses that characterise northern Italian cities. The street leads you to one of Italy's most majestic cobbled squares, the Piazza Delle Erbe, fringed with medieval and Renaissance buildings.
Eating out in Verona is always an enjoyable experience, although it can be expensive. Cuisine is taken very seriously in the city and establishments vie with other to offer the most impressive and innovative menus. Visitors looking for the best deals should opt for the lunchtime set menus or eat in the unpretentious and reasonably-priced 'osterie'.
Surf around for the best deals
As in many areas of northern Italy, rentals are often weighted towards the stylish or luxurious end of the market. It is possible to find more basic accommodation, but you need to be patient searching through the various websites. The ownersdirect.co.uk site is a useful place to start, as you avoid paying agents' fees.