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You could never accuse the people of Verona of not knowing how to celebrate in style. The cities events calendar is full of colourful festivals along with vibrant fairs and exhibitions. February is the busiest month but there is something happening in almost every month throughout the year, so you should check to see what is taking place during your visit. As the home of the ill-fated lovers, Romeo and Juliet, it is no surprise that there are a number of events dedicated to either romance (such as the Schermi d’Amore Festival all about romantic films) or to the author himself (the Shakespeare Festival that takes place throughout July at Teatre Romano). Even the local area has a number of events that take place that you could choose to visit if they coincide with your short break, such as the neighbouring town of Bardolino that hosts the Fest dell’Uva with music, fine wine and fireworks).
Top Verona events
Bacanal del Gnoco - A spectacular, colourful parade starts the grand carnival celebrations through the city with people dressed up in masked costumes. The procession ends in Piazza San Zeno, where tradition gnocchi (potato dumplings) is served to everyone. The main character is an old bearded king carry a fork as a sceptre (Daddy Gnocci, Il Papa dello Gnooco).
Verona in Love - A 5 day festival concentrated around Valentines day, that celebrates the lovers Romeo and Juliet with a range of exhibitions, concerts and shows in Piazza dei Signori. Heart shaped lanterns fill the streets with gentle light.
Luxury Yachts Expo - This is the place to prepare for the summer ahead. At Fiere di Verona this exhibition is the place to find all the kit and accessories you need for everything from surfing to water skiing, with the odd yacht or motorboats thrown in.
Pasqua - The Easter weekend is celebrated with a number of events. There is the Good Friday procession, the Easter Saturday Regatta and on Easter Monday the traditional serving of pasta ‘fagioli’.
Vinitaly - Held at the Fiere di Verona, this is one of Italy’s most important trade fairs and one of the largest wine and spirit exhibitions in the world. Thousands of exhibitors from the leading wine producing countries showcase their wares to over 150,000 visitors. For five days your can enjoy tasting sessions, workshops and even chefs showing you how to use the drinks with food.
Opera Festival - Held at the atmospheric Arena this hugely popular open-air event is one of the cultural must-sees in Verona, with over 50 performances highlighting the works of Puccini, Mozart, Verdi and many others. Be careful as tickets sell out quickly.
Verona Jazz Festival - This amazing and uplifting jazz festival lasts for 3 weeks concerts, with performances taking place regularly throughout the city, most commonly in Teatro Romano, Mercato Vecchio and the Arena.
Maratona di Verona - This is not just a marathon for your typical road runner, there is also a rollerblade marathon and even one for classic cars.
Fiera Cavalli - This has become one the biggest horse fairs in Italy and has been taking place annually for over a century. You can enjoy some outstanding show jumping and there is even an area dedicated to children with gymkhanas etc.
Rassegna dei Presepio and La Stella di Natale - In the arena there is a display of over 400 nativity scenes, while in the Piazza Bra Square there is a huge sculpture of a star heralding the start of the Christmas festivities, along with a festive market that continues until the night of Santa Lucia on 13th December. Seasonal celebrations continue until the ‘Capodonno’ when special events take place on New Year’s day, especially in Interzona.