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- Visit the 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
2- Check Out the 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 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
3- See the gorgeous Ponte Scaligero
This gorgeous red brick bridge across the Adige river is one of the most beautiful sights in 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
4-Explore 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
5- Roam around 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.
Every day of the year (except the 25th of December) the Torre dei Lamberti is open, and a single ticket includes admission to the nearby Gallery of Modern Art.
Visitors can choose to walk the 368 steps around the vertical inner perimeter to the panoramic terraces and the belfry, or they can take the transparent lift, which lets you see the monument’s distinctive architectural splendor as if you were walking.
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.
6-Visit the 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.
The crypt at the lower level contains the 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- Visit the 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.
Also 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- Walk around the Piazza Bra
You’ve probably heard just about everything you need to know about Piazza Bra in Verona! On the outside, this is a grand square full of character but with a long and rich history
From being the site of victory parades and public executions to opera festivals its world-famous Arena, there’s something for everyone to learn about this Italian treasure.
It is the perfect spot for a day out as it’s packed with activities for visitors and locals alike. From local delicacies to lively street performances, there’s something for everyone here.
If you pay attention, you’ll see sculptures of famous classical figures, striking Venetian-style buildings and elegant fountains
If you don’t believe us, go and try it out for yourselves – we promise you won’t be disappointed!
9- Head to the Ponte Pietra bridge
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
10- Enjoy amazing views from the 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.
11- Head to the top of 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
12- Go wine tasting in Valpolicella
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting beautiful Verona, make sure to squeeze in a trip to Valpolicella! It’s only 15 minutes away!
This stunning Italian wine region is famous for its intense ruby-red wines like Amarone and Bardolino, made from the Corvina grape variety.
Sampling Valpolicella’s wines is an absolute must when you’re in town – and better yet, why not book a tour or experience so you can have all that lush vine-filled scenery in full view?
Let’s face it, what better way could there be to spend the day than indulging in some delicious Italian wine straight from the source?!
These wine tours usually take place in wineries and vineyards with breathtaking views. The wine is usually served with a selection of appetisers including local meats, cheeses, bread, and extra virgin olive oil.
So don’t miss your chance to explore verdant Valpolicella’s unique offerings – get planning your memorable wine-tasting adventure today!
13- Eat your way through the city
Eating your way through Verona is a must-do on any foodie’s list. With an abundance of delicious dishes, almost anything you order will be mouthwateringly scrumptious!
Try their signature Risotto all’Amarone which includes Valpolicella wine and parmesan cheese among other delectable ingredients.
Then there’s Veronese cheese, perfect as a light snack in the afternoon or as an accompaniment to dinner.
And you can’t miss out on the local favorite Pastissada de caval, made with horse meat in red Valpolicella sauce – it sounds weird but it sure does taste good!
Don’t forget about the risotto tastasal either – a YUMMY risotto made of regional salami produced from ground pork belly and shoulder.
To complete your Verona food endeavor, here are a few restaurants to try. Bon appetite!
- Antica Bottega del Vino
- Trattoria al Pompiere
- Darì Ristorante & Enoteca
- Vescovo Moro
- Osteria Il Bertoldo
14- Admire the quaint streets and random buildings
Walking around the beautiful city of Verona, you can’t help but be enchanted by its charm.
With quaint cobbled streets and all kinds of gorgeous buildings, ancient and modern alike, there’s something here for everyone.
Just take a stroll down any random street, and you’ll be surprised by the beauty—from colorful cafe fronts to stunning apartment buildings mixed in with centuries-old historic sites.
While you don’t even have to plan your itinerary to admire the city in all its glory, why not make a day out of it?
Take your time to soak in every nook and cranny; you’re sure to find something interesting wherever you go!
15- Dine in a church converted into a restaurant
Verona is known for being a romantic city, but visitors may be surprised to discover another unique thing to do in the city.
Several churches have been converted into restaurants, with some over 1000 years old! For example, the Santa Felicita Ristorante dates back to at least 1085 AD and was once a functioning church. The church was sadly suppressed by the Napoleonic reforms of 1806 but now it has been converted into an amazing restaurant.
Those looking for al fresco dining can check out the San Matteo Ristorante Pizzeria, which used to be an old church before it was lovingly converted into a restaurant.
So go ahead – make your way to Verona and enjoy a unique dining experience at one of their charming former churches!
16- Take a long stroll by the Adige river near sunset
Taking a leisurely stroll along the Adige river at sunset in Verona is nothing short of spectacular.
As the sky lit up in shades of burnt orange, you can hear and feel the pull of history within its walls as you meander under ancient bridges, marveling at their beauty.
This calming journey is also quite romantic, creating a captivating atmosphere that perfectly complements this Italian city known for its beauty.
Strolling at dusk by the Adige river should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list — it truly is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences!
17- Go for a pasta and risotto-making class
If you’re looking for something different to do in Verona, look no further than a risotto and pasta making class!
This one-of-a-kind experience is the perfect opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Italian cuisine, all while having fun in the beautiful city.
It was a fun and unique experience that we highly recommend to all travellers.
As part of the class, we got to make our own ingredients from scratch and then learned how to cook our own yummy Italian meal!
On top of learning how to cook delicious Italian food, I also got to meet some other food lovers.
All in all, the risotto and pasta-making class was an unforgettable experience that made our time in Verona even more special!
With passionate instructors guiding you every step of the way, you’ll come away from your class with not only newfound skills but also a newfound appreciation for Italian cooking.
Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be considered an expert on risotto and pasta!
Do you need the Verona City Card?
We’re 100% for it! Verona city card is an absolute must-have for your trip to Verona.
You can see the most stunning churches in Verona, step out onto the fabled Juliet’s balcony, climb the Lamberti Tower for a magnificent panorama, and explore so much more!
And all this at a very reasonable price!
The Verona City Card is offered in two versions: 20 euro for 24 hours and 25 euro for 48 hours after the first validation.
What’s more, you can use the Verona city card on public transport too which makes it even easier to immerse yourself in the beautiful atmosphere of Verona’s historic sites.
So don’t miss out – be sure to get your Verona city card!
Please remember to check the ATV public transportation timetables for the urban line only before using the Verona Card. Unfortunately, the Aerobus service is not included in the VeronaCard.
The Castle del Buonconsiglio, Villa d’Arte Futuristica Depero, Mart – Museo Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, and Muse – Science Museum are all free to enter with the Verona Card.
Do you need to go on a guided tour of Verona?
My husband and I are huge fans of guided walking tours. In fact, we always start our time in every new place with a guided tour. We recommend this to all tourists in Verona. Check out some of these awesome options
Where to stay in Verona?
When it comes to accommodations in Verona, there are several top-notch options to choose from. If you’re looking for a hotel, these are our top picks
RESIDENZA BONIFACIO: Located in the heart of Verona, converted from one of the wings belonging to the Palazzo Sambonifacio-Vela-Negri, the Bonifacio residence is pleased to welcome you and accompany you to the beauties of the city of lovers par excellence.
Starting with the 16th-century adorned wooden ceiling that was recently uncovered and brought back to light with remodeling, the rooms’ tasteful and elegant furnishings offer a prologue to Verona’s historical and cultural worth.
The house is close to the picturesque Piazza delle Erbe and the renowned Juliet’s House, a site of romance and enchantment, and is situated between Via Mazzini and Via Cappello in a quiet and inconspicuous alley.
The harmonic elegance and alluring ambiance of this property will make your visit unforgettable, whether you are there for work or pleasure.
MASSIMAGO WINE SUITES: The Massimago Wine Suites are situated in the center of Verona, close to the Roman Theatre, the famed Juliet balcony, the Arena with all of its concerts, and the Adige river.
The quaint home has six lovely, large rooms, each individually furnished with all the comforts. For all of your needs, a concierge service is offered.
RELAIS BALCONE DI GIULIETTA: Relais Balcone di Giulietta is a hotel in Verona that offers speedy check-in and check-out, free WiFi, and is situated 400 meters from Via Mazzini. There is a hot tub and a place where visitors can hire bicycles.
The Verona Arena is 600 meters away, while the city center is 500 meters away from the property.
Air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a minibar, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a bidet are available to guests at the inn.
Piazza Bra, Sant’Anastasia, and Ponte Pietra are popular attractions near Relais Balcone di Giulietta. The facility has a chargeable airport shuttle service, and Verona International Airport is 14 kilometers away.
IL RELAIS: The 19th-century Palace Tommasi, located in the center of Verona and just across from the Castelvecchio Castle, houses Il Relais. Wood floors, free Wi-Fi, an LCD TV, and nicely equipped rooms are included in the price.
The River Adige or Castelvecchio Castle can be seen from your room. Every room has air conditioning, a private bathroom with slippers and toiletries, satellite and pay-per-view television channels, and a television.
Each morning, a delectable Italian breakfast is offered. Le Relais is located on the first floor of a historic structure that has undergone a thorough renovation.
Walking takes only five minutes to reach Verona Arena. The distance between Juliet’s Balcony to Piazza Erbe is about ten minutes.
AIRBNB: If none of these options suit your fancy, Airbnb also has many marvelous apartments and private villa rentals available -all sure to make Verona your most remarkable trip yet!
All in all, our trip to Verona was one that we won’t soon forget. It provided us with ample opportunities to explore the many interesting landmarks and attractions of this city.
From the iconic Juliet’s Balcony to the immense beauty of San Zeno Maggiore and many in between, Verona was a delightful surprise!
We enjoyed tasting some of the local delicacies like Amarone wine as well as shopping at traditional markets for souvenirs.
Our stay and holiday were made much more enjoyable thanks to the friendly locals and tourist-friendly setting. What veracity noted about this magical place is true – Verona truly does have it all.
The next time you find yourself searching for an unusual escapade – make sure where you look: Verona, Italy – you won’t be disappointed!
Easy day trips from Verona
If you’re in Verona and want to explore the surrounding areas, there are plenty of easy day trips that you can take. Here are a few options:
– Lake Garda: Just a short drive from Verona, you can visit the beautiful Lake Garda with its picturesque towns and stunning scenery.
– Venice: Take a day trip to one of Italy’s most iconic cities, known for its canals, architecture, and rich history.
– Mantua: This charming town is just a 45-minute train ride away from Verona, featuring Renaissance palaces and impressive art collections.
– Valpolicella wine region: Indulge in some wine tasting by exploring the nearby Valpolicella wine region, known for producing some of Italy’s best wines.
– Vicenza: Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site with its exquisite Palladian architecture and historic landmarks, designed by famous Architect Andrea Palladio.
– Soave: Known for its wine production and medieval castle, this small town is just a 40-minute drive from Verona.