“There is no world without Verona walls” With these words William Shakespeare immortalised Verona, the setting of the master playwright’s story of love between Romeo and Juliette. It has always been the city of unconditioned love and passion, and the writer’s theme goes far beyond the play’s story of familial rivalry and the famous balcony scene; it belongs to the realm of the infinite power of dreams. Thanks to its combination of historical fiction and imagination, the story has gained a mythical status by elevating the idea of ideal love, here to be perceived and even touched thanks to proof of real life testimony. For many centuries, Verona’s city walls have guarded gems of art, history and culture, all displaying often testimony of the unfolding of history’s unique and seductive events. As might be expected of a world heritage site, Verona’s magical blend of imagination and reality has enchanted painters, poets and travellers throughout its long history. Its centerpiece is undoubtedly the monumental Arena set amidst the palatial buildings. What better setting for the operas and ballets that are staged here every summer?