Verona is a beautiful old city steeped in history and culture, which come together in the annual summer opera festival held at the Arena, a Roman amphitheatre which becomes an immense open-air theatre. An opera such as Aida is such a visual treat in this fantastic setting that one almost forgets to enjoy the music! Verona is also the city of Dante (who wrote the Divine Comedy) and the setting for two of Shakespeare's plays.
Last summer (2008) my husband and I did what we called our 2Ms and 3Vs tour: Manila (where we live), Milan, Verona, Venice, Vienna and back (via a faboulous town called Bergamo, near Milan, but that only happened because our flight from Vienna landed there rather than in Milan).
Venice is known for the beautiful buildings on the Grand Canal, and the naorrower canals navigable by gondolas. But above all, it is a city of water, with its buildings anchored in the ocean, its beautiful churches and companiles (church towers) built on tiny islets.
And Vienna - a city of music, of opera, of beautiful old architecture. The city of Johann Strauss and the Vienna waltz.
The city of the Hapsburgs and their palaces, such as the Schönbrunn, built by Emperor Leopold I in the 17th century as a hunting lodge, with over 1,400 rooms! Austria’s much-loved Empress Maria Theresia had it expanded and redecorated in French Rococo style in the 18th century. The palace’s prominent visitors included Napoleon, who married Maria Theresia’s grand-daughter Marie Louise (as his second wife).