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Spring In Italy

Our guide to essential things to see in Verona, Venice and Milan

Published on March 28th 2012.

Spring In Italy

READY for spring? If you’re not sure, perhaps a boost of inspiration is in order.  Give your creativity and energy a shot in the arm by soaking in the art, architecture, food and fashion of Italy.

Monarch is offering £10 off all return flights from Manchester to Italy throughout spring and summer. With flights starting from just £39 one-way including taxes (before the discount) you can enjoy the sun and atmosphere of these inspiring destinations for less.

One of the supreme pleasures of Verona is drinking espressos on the Piazza delle’Erbe, enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of its open-air market, before walking the short distance to Juliet’s House (the Casa di Giulietta). The imagined house of the Capulets is there –  a house that wasn’t really, but perhaps could have been, the home where those legendary lovers wooed.

In any case, you can climb the stairs to the balcony yourself, then see the house’s collection of antiques before you head to the gift shop to pick up a Shakespearean souvenir. 

Verona is home to many leather-crafters and designers. Acting as a little Milan, it has some of the best shopping in the region. At the centre of Verona is its Arena. Tour the interior then pose for a picture with the comical red-plumed gladiator complete with plastic sword and shield at the entrance.

In summer, Verona is home to the famous opera festival. Held in the Arena under the night sky, the festival attracts talent and tourists from all over the world to this small but lovely city.

Although Verona is most famous for its association with great romances, Venice is truly a city for lovers.

Meandering walks exploring the canals, bridges and cobblestone streets afford the most inspiration. Taking the de rigueur, if slightly anticlimactic, gondola ride is best done at dusk when the stripe-shirted seamen are keen to make a final sale before nightfall.

Perhaps the key to romance in Venice is its vast selection of quaint, candle-lit, high-quality restaurants. Avoiding the touristy spots on the Grand Canal and communing with your inner adventurer will put you in touch with the first-rate seafood that dominates traditional Venetian cuisine.

Try the mussels at the Osteria Giorgione, which is a few minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge and well worth the search through labyrinthine streets. All over Venice, standing wine bars offer ‘cichetti’ or bite-sized starters. Most often, these are laid on trays in front of you and the most you need to do is point and say ‘uno or due’.  For the mains, most fish is served whole. Order the fish labeled ‘nostrani’, which means it's Venice’s own. 

Architecture, design, and fashion fiends will fall head over stilettos for Milan. It is financially Italy’s most important city, and you may find yourself providing a generous boost to its economy as you shop at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Il Salotto di Milano (Milan's living room), a requisite feature of any trip to the city.

Built in the mid-nineteenth century, its arching glass and cast iron roof is so exquisite it makes your local shopping arcade look like it was made of Lego. The four-storey structure, filled with shops, cafes, and restaurants, connects two of Milan’s most famous landmarks, the Teatro alla Scala, or ‘La Scalla’ as it’s commonly known, and the Duomo, Milan’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is among the largest churches in Europe and is crowned with hundreds of Gothic spires and thousands of statues.

There are numerous art museums and galleries to be seen, of which perhaps the most famous is the Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses da Vinci’s 'The Last Supper' and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Save £10 on return flights to Italy from Monarch – get the discount code

What’s the best way to celebrate spring after such a dreary February? Connect with the artistry, passion and adventure of these Italian cities.

Get information on flights from Manchester to Italy with Monarch.

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