Best Things to Do in Verona

2 May, 2022

Best Things to Do in Verona

May 2, 2022

One of Northern Italy’s most alluring cities and located on the banks of the Adige river, Verona is best known for being the setting of some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays including Romeo and Juliet. Despite being overshadowed by its neighbouring Venice, Verona welcomes throngs of people every year to its vibrant city centre, many seeking a sort of pilgrimage to Juliet’s house. Like Paris, the city has become associated with love in its own right. In terms of culture, art and history and food, the city has a plethora of things to offer.

In this guide, we’ve brought you the main highlights of the city. Basically, everything you want to know as a tourist in Verona is in here!

1- Casa di Giulietta

Diving straight in with the one thing that has made the city so famous- Casa de Giulietta.

Yes, the story may be fiction. But don’t let that ruin your appreciation for romantic love stories. Although the story lacks historical validity, the Casa di Giulietta is widely believed to be the building where Romeo courted Juliet. The house dates back to the 14th century and is the supposed home of the Capulet family. The legendary balcony comes into view as soon as you step into the courtyard. The interiors are a bit underwhelming as it is almost entirely unfurnished. But the balcony can be a fun experience. Just click a couple of good photos and call it a day.

What to know about visiting Casa di Giulietta

  • It can get crowded. Best go early!
  • The ticket to visit the house costs 5 Euros.
  • You have to take a ticket if you want yourself photographed from the balcony
  • There is a bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard
  • It is believed that taking a picture of oneself holding one of Juliet’s breasts will bring good luck in love
  • There is a souvenir shop in the compound
Things to see in Verona: Juliet's balcony

2- Arena di Verona

Love seeing historic old buildings? This Roman Arena in Verona is as historic as it gets. Constructed in the 1st century AD, it has 44 levels of seats and a capacity of 22000 spectators. It is one one of the most well-preserved Roman amphitheaters in all of Europe and is a true testament to Roman engineering prowess.

Today, this magnificent colosseum is located in the historic centre of Verona but back in the day, it was in the outer limits of the city. The structure is preserved almost entirely in its original form. The most fascinating thing is that it is still in use today almost 2000 years after its construction. Many concerts and festivals are held here especially in the spring and summer months.

What to know about visiting Arena di Verona

  • It can get very crowded. Best go early if you want to avoid queues.
  • It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The tickets to the arena costs 10 Euros
  • Reduced prices are offered on the first Sunday of every month
  • Guided tours are available for those interested in the history of the Arena
  • If you want to see a concert or opera here, seat reservations are recommended
  • If you have a ticket without a reserved seat, you must arrive early
Things to see in Verona- Arena di Verona

3- Ponte di Castle Vecchio or Ponte Scaligero 

This gorgeous red brick bridge across the Adige river is one of the most beautiful sights in the Verona and is absolutely worth visiting. It creates an easy link between the Borgo Trento residential neighbourhood and the city centre of Verona. It is located right next to Castel Vecchio which is presently used as a museum.

The bridge was constructed in the 13th century and survived many floods over the last few centuries. Sadly, it was heavily damaged during the second world war. Restorations began in 1949 and was completed in 1951. The restored bridge has an impressive design and retains the original look and feel from the 13th century. The bridge gives fabulous views of the Adige river as well as parts of Verona.

What to know about visiting the Ponte di Castel Vecchio

  • You can visit the bridge for free
  • The bridge makes for splendid pictures
  • It offers lovely views of the surrounding landscape
  • The best time to visit Ponte Scaligero is at sunset
Things to see in Verona: Ponte Scaligero

4- Museo di Castel Vecchio

Castel Vecchio is the most famous castle in Verona and has a personality of its own. It was constructed in the 14th century by the ruling Scaligeri dynasty and stands in the location of an old Roman fortress. The fortified bridge next to the castle was meant to allow the rulers to escape in case of a rebellion.

Today, the castle is a popular regional museum and is home to a treasure trove of medieval, renaissance and modern art. The building itself has been tastefully renovated and restored. There are 29 exhibition rooms showcasing weapons, paintings and sculptures primarily from the Veneto region. Most rooms have description labels in several languages.

The artworks are mostly from regional artists but you’ll also find a few pieces by Rubens, Bellini etc. The castle itself is incredible and considered the most crucial military construction of the Scaligeri dynasty. Simply buy a ticket and walk around exploring the beautiful ceilings, walls and floors even if the artworks don’t interest you.

The castle was constructed by Lord Cangrande della Scala. Understanding the castle’s background and the story of Cangrande will help you fully appreciate the things you see in this castle. For e.g., there is a statue of the Cangrande himself in full body armour with a big dog piggybacking off him. This is because Cangrande was nicknamed the big dog

What to know about visiting the Museo di Castel Vecchio

  • The admission fee is 6 Euros
  • The castle was constructed by Lord Cangrande della Scala
Things to do in Verona: Castel Vecchio

5- Piazza Delle Erbe

In Verona, all roads lead to Piazza delle Erbe. No matter where you go in Verona, you’ll sooner or later stumble upon this vibrant square brimming with tourists, restaurants, bars and shops. An open air market usually occupies the centre of the piazza. There are statues, beautiful buildings and walls with frescoes everywhere. The old buildings around the piazza are in surprisingly great condition. The piazza is one of the best places in Verona to put up your feet, enjoy some wine and just people watch. When night falls, the piazza adorns a very special vibe and is perfect for a romantic stroll if you fancy one.

The square’s long history is in plain view every step of the way. Piazza delle Erbe was the center of socio-economic life during Roman times. Torre dei Lamberti, the highest and oldest tower in Verona is located in the square and dates back to the 15th century.

Another wonderful highlight of the square is the Colonna del Mercato, a gothic style market column erected in the 14th century. The piazza also houses the Casa di Mercanti, a 13th century building, that was home to the guild of merchants. Today, it belongs to the Banca Popolari di Verona.

When you’re in the square, look for the Mezzanti houses- some of the oldest surviving houses in Verona. These astonishing homes can be traced back to the 3rd century and belonged to the Scala family. In the 6th century, they were handed down to the Gorgonza family. And finally, in the 16th century, the Mezzanti family purchased them.

What to know about visiting the Piazza delle Erbe

  • The best time to visit is at night when the piazza comes alive
  • It is the second largest square in Verona
  • It is close to Juliet’s balcony. The two can be done together.
Things to do in Verona: Piazza delle Erbe

6- Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

The Basilica of San Zeno is a Romanesque cathedral in Verona. It’s a bit out of the way when compared to other tourist attractions but well worth the visit. Set in a quaint piazza in a residential neighborhood of Verona, it’s simple yet gorgeous brick façade will certainly impress you. The basilica is dedicated to Saint Zeno who is said to have come to Northern Italy from Africa.

Stepping inside, you’ll first see the serene cloister where you can walk around and take a few pictures of the beautiful brick columns. Next comes the large bronze double doors made in the 11th century and displaying various religious scenes rather beautifully. The church itself is abundant in symbols and has fading paintings that depict stories from the bible. The main chapel has been designed in gothic style and has vaulted ceilings with . The crypt at the lower level contains a sarcophagus of Saint Zeno.

The main reason the Basilica is so famous is that it is the supposed place where the fictional marriage between Romeo and Juliet took place.

In late summer and autumn months, the piazza of San Zeno hosts a weekly Sunday Flea market where you might be able to snap up some lovely antique décor items to take back with you

What to know about visiting the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

  • The entrance fee to the basilica costs 3 Euros
  • The basilica is not usually as crowded as other tourist spots in Verona
  • You can buy an audio guide if you’re interested in the history of the basilica

7- Basilica of St Anastasia

Despite it’s simple-looking and unfinished façade, the Basilica of St Anastasia is absolutely remarkable. You’re in for a pleasant surprise when you enter. The building can be traced back to the 13th century. The interiors are exquisitely decorated with breathtaking frescoes and a lovely choir area. if you’re fortunate enough, you’ll walk in when someone is playing at the organ. One of the most interesting aspects of the church is the statues of the two hunchbacks carrying holy water basins on their backs. bAlso look for the painting of St. George and the princess.

What to know about visiting the Basilica of St. Anastasia

  • There is a nominal entrance fee
  • There is an audio guide option
  • You can buy an audio guide if you’re interested in the history of the basilica

8- Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra is one of the loveliest bridges in Verona although it isn’t as famous as the Ponte di Castelvecchio. This bridge is the easiest link between the old town and the Teatro Romano on the other side. If you’re hungry, eat at one of the many restaurants before you cross the Ponte. Options decrease on the other side.

What to know about visiting the Ponte Pietra

  • It’s the easiest way to get to the Piazzale Castel San Pietro
  • The bridge was constructed with red brick in keeping with the general ambience of Verona

9- Piazzale Castel San Pietro

For a fantastic view of the old town of Verona from the other side of the Adige river, head up the St. Pietro hill. The path leading up to the Piazzale crosses the ruins of an ancient Roman theatre. We’d recommend walking up the hill to appreciate the views of the city from different vantage points but if you have mobility issues, there is a funicular ride up and down for around 3 euros. You’ll find the steps on the other side of the Ponte Pietra.

What to know about visiting the Piazzale Castel San Pietro

  • Walking up the hill is the best option if you can
  • The funicular ride costs 3 euros
  • The piazzale is a great picnic spot
  • There is a small cafe at the top of the hill.

10- Torre dei Lamberti

Construction of Romanestque Torre dei Lamberti started in the 1100s and was completed in the 1400s. The tower is 84 meters high and offers fantastic views of the city. It is situated in the middle of the Piazza delle Erbe. There is a lift that will take you to the top of the tower for 7 Euros per person. Book in advance to avoid queues. If you want to enjoy a few extra tiramisus and gelatos, you could consider climbing all the way up by the staircase.

What to know about visiting the Torre dei Lamberti

  • There are 289 stairs to the top
  • The list costs 7 Euros
  • There is a modern art gallery in the tower

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