The cities of Verona, Venice and Innsbruck can be reached from the youth hostels within 1.5 or respectively 3 hours by car. That is why they are perfectly suitable for a day trip.
The Arena of Verona: The Arena of Verona built in 30 AD is the second biggest amphitheatre of Italy after the Coliseum in Rome. It is 138 m long and 110 m wide. In Roman times over 30,000 spectators could fit into the Arena. It was used for gladiator fights and competitions.
After an earthquake in 1117 most of the outer walls were damaged. The Arena was then used as a quarry for the growing Medieval city. Today only 4 arcs of the outer walls that contained the whole Arena are intact. They are called “l’ala” -the wing- by the Veronese population.
The idea to use the building again as a theatre only came up in the Renaissance period. But only in 1913 did this idea come true. Thanks to its excellent acoustic, the Arena was able to quickly play an important role as a place for concerts. Today especially during the summer period the renowned opera events, other operas and rock concerts take place there.
Juliet’s balcony: Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet” takes place in Verona. Juliet’s famous balcony can be visited here, although it was actually just build for tourists. Many lovers leave love messages on the walls of the house.
Verona offers still many more sights, like the cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare, Piazza delle Erbe (square of the spices) or the archaeological museum.
This seaport in the Northeast of Italy is the capital of the region Veneto and it is a famous and renowned destination for tourists coming from all over the world.
The city has a variety of sights as well as numerous treasures of art and culture. The city is spread on 118 isles which lie in a unique lagoon. Buildings, bridges and squares of this stunning and unique city were built on wooden poles.
Venice can only be discovered on foot or by boat on the approximately 150 channels. The city offers its visitors a variety of sights but you should not miss the following ones:
San Marco Square is the centre of Venice. Here lie the San Marco church, the belfry with its 99 m height and the Dogi Palace.
The Rialto Bridge, built in the 16th century, is as well a building famous all over the world and it spans over the Canale Grande (Big Channel).
Additional sights are for example the over 100 big and small churches, numerous palaces of the Venetian nobility (for example the Palazzo Grossi) and other representative buildings.
If you happen to be in Venice you should try to visit at least one of the following impressive isles: Murano, the isle of the glass-blowers, San Francesco or Torcello.
The Bergisel Arena:
The ski jump operated for the first time in 1926 when it was still a wooden construction. In the year 1964 it was made into a ski jump stadium on the occasion of the Olympic Winter Games. In 1974 the ski jump was again rebuilt. Since then it has been used as a centre for open-air and events, too. The yearly international four-ski-jumps-tournament is held on this ski jump. In 2002 the new jump tower with panoramic cafe, built according to the plans of the female architect Zaha Hadid, was opened. The Bergisel Arena offers a wonderful view over Innsbruck.
The Golden Roof:
On top of a splendid bay in the city centre you can find a roof covered in 2,657 fire-golden copper shingles which constitutes the symbol of Innsbruck called “goldenes Dachl”. It was built by the court architect Niclas Türing around 1500 under orders of emperor Maximilian I. In Europe the Golden Roof is unique in its kind.
The Alpen Zoo:
The Alpen Zoo is Europe’s highest situated zoo, 772 m over the sea level. Here live 2,000 animals of 150 different species living in the Alps area. The uniqueness of this zoo consists in the representation of Alpine ways of life in ancient and modern times.
In Innsbruck you can still visit many other interesting sights. For example the city theatre, the court castle (Hofburg), the Anna Column, Castle Ambrass and the Tirolese country, folklore and Kaiserjäger museum.
Innsbruck, the capital of Tirol, is also perfectly suitable for a shopping tour on the Maria Theresia Street or in the two shopping centres of the city.