10 things to do and see in Verona

A complete and detailed guide about 10 things to do and see in Verona in 1, 2 or 3 days

10 things to do and see in Verona
10 things to do and see in Verona

Verona is for everyone the tragic scenario of the love history between Romeo and Juliet.  Shakespeare’s play has made the fortune of Verona for sure: a good part of the city’s  economy is based on this “romantic tourism,” which finds its perfect ending below the famous balcony of Juliet.

Identifying Verona as the city of Romeo and Juliet, however, has prevented people to enjoy the other beauties of this city. It’s called  the “Gateway to Italy“, because it anticipates, to those coming from the north, the characteristics, the beauty, the essence of our country.

Verona is a mix  of artistic, historical and cultural testimonies,  dived in a suggestive atmosphere made of alleys, squares and traditional food. If you would like to look beyond the balcony, we suggest you an itinerary among its famous places, its typical flavors and its lovely entertainments. You’ll be seduced by the charm of this city. In this page we suggest 10 things to do and see during a holiday or a weekend in Verona.

If you are looking for a hotel in Verona, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 127 hotels with prices, pictures  and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com

The Verona Arena

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The Roman amphitheater (better known as Arena) is, with Romeo and Juliet, the symbol of this city all over the world. It was probably built in the first century and like all the amphitheaters hosted the gladiator’s shows. It was the fourth amphitheater after the Colosseum in Rome, the ones of Capua and Milan.

The Verona Arena
The Verona Arena

It has a solid and impressive structure made by an  the exterior face covered of bricks and Veronese marble which create a particular chromatic effect. The interior with its terraces concentric movement give an effect of grandeur. It takes its name from “rena” (the Italian noun for sand)  placed in the central part where shows  took place . The Arena could host 30.000 spectators and gladiators who had wide room for their shows. Nowadays the Arena is an important stage for musical events and it continues to preserve its ancient function, although with less bloody shows!

Where: Piazza bra, old town centre.
How to get there: from city centre by feet
Hours: from Tuesday  to Sunday 8.30 am -7.30 pm – closing time 6.30 pm  reduced time during the shows
During July, August and September, open to the public also on  Monday morning, 8:30 am to 7:30 pm  no lunch break
Ticket: € 10

Romeo and Juliet’s home in Verona

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Verona was the theater where the tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet, made famous by Shakespeare’s tragedy, took place. In a building of the XIII century, placed in the city centre, people of Verona recognized the Capuleti’s house: the legend merges with reality, finding some reference points.

Romeo and Juliet’s home in Verona
Romeo and Juliet’s home in Verona

A beautiful façade covered by bricks and a Gothic front door: in the courtyard there’s a bronze statue representing Juliet and the famous balcony protagonist of their love birth. Juliet’s house is an obliged stop, even if a touristic one, for people who want to discover the places that inspired the love story par excellence

Less fortunate was the Romeo’s house, now a private one, close to the Arche Scaligere  (point 8). On the gothic façade you can read  an inscription “Oh! Where is Romeo? … I’m not myself. I’m not here. This isn’t Romeo – he’s somewhere else.“(Act 1, Scene 1). Juliet’s tomb is located in an ancient monastery of the Capuchin friars of the XIII century in Via del Pontiere, 35.

It can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 am  to 7.30 pm – On Monday  from 1.30 to 7.30 pm. Ticket € 4.50.

Where: Via Cappello n° 23,  city centre.
How to get there:  city centre by feet
Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 am  to 7.30 pm – on Monday  from 1.30 to 7.30 pm
Tickets: full price € 6.00 . Reduced price  € 4,50

The Church of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona

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The legend says that, during the Adige inundation in 589, the water stopped on the doorway of this church built on the site of burial of Bishop Zeno. Saint Zeno, with its African origins, was the eighth bishop of Verona (about 362-380) and converted the city to Christianity.

The Church of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona
The Church of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona

This church is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy and its actual appearance seems to date back to the XII century. San Zeno keeps the body of the Saint and it’s rich of paintings and sculptures from the XII to the XVI century. A particular attention deserves the Altarpiece of San Zeno painted by Andrea Mantegna, which is the first example of Sacred Conversation with the Madonna and Child at the center. From left you can see  St. Peter with the keys, St Paul with the sword, St. John the Evangelist with roseate dress, San Zeno in Bishop’s dresses, Saint Benedict with the monk’s dress, San Lorenzo with a gridiron, St. Gregory the Great dressed like the Pope  and San John the Baptist with the typical dress as a hermit in the desert. You can understand that this is a conversation because the direction and gestures give the impression that the saints are talking to each other.

Where: city centre
How to get there: city centre by feet
Hours: Nov- Feb weekday 10.00 am – 1.00 pm  / 1.30 -5.00 pm
Nov- Feb weekend and religious holidays 12.30 – 5.00 pm
Mar – Oct weekday 8.30 am – 6.00 pm
Mar – Oct weekend and religious day 12.30 – 6.00 pm
Ticket: € 2,50

Piazza delle Erbe in Verona

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Piazza delle Erbe is a colored fruit and vegetable market with its group of sun umbrellas, surrounded by historic buildings and monuments. It’s the principal characteristic of the most ancient square in Verona where the medieval buildings took place of the Romans ones step by step. Here you can see the most popular and energetic side of the city, even if you won’t forget  the cultural side of your holiday.

Piazza delle Erbe in Verona
Piazza delle Erbe in Verona

During the market, on Saturdays and Sundays, this square can be considered the living room of the city, where  people of Verona meet to do the shopping or for the evening aperitif ritual. In this square you can find the Town Hall, Torre dei Lamberti,  Casa dei Giudici and Mazzanti’s houses. On the smaller side there is the baroque Palazzo Maffei adorned with several statues of the Greeks gods : Jupiter, Hercules, Minerva, Venus, Mercury and Apollo. Beautiful the house of Mercanti (or Domus Mercatorum), that nowadays hosts the Banca Popolare of Verona. In the center of the square there is the famous fountain called “Madonna Verona” and an ancient Capital too, also called “Tribuna” or (wrongly) “pillory”. It dates back to the XIII century, when under this capital used to sit  “podestà” during the ceremony for their assignment.

Where: city centre
How to get there: from city centre by feet

Verona Bridges

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The Adige river flows through and bisects Verona: bridges, therefore, have always played an essential role in the city. Today there are seven that have shared the fate of being destroyed by retreating Nazis and then constructed in the following years.

Verona Bridges
Verona Bridges

The oldest of all is the Stone Bridge, the so called “Ponte Pietra” , made during Roman era that still today links  the Roman Theatre to the city centre. Luckily the stone blocks and bricks, thrown into the river by the explosion, were recovered and used trying to reconstruct the original features of the bridge . The other representative one is the Ponte Scaligero, in front of  Castelvecchio. Built in the second half of the XIV century, with three unequal arches, it had the same fate of Ponte Pietra and like this,  it was rebuilt in 1951 with stone and original bricks recovered on the bottom of the Adige.

Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere in Verona

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The administrative power of Verona has always been focused on this beautiful square surrounded by monumental buildings linked each other by arcades and arches. At the centre of the square you can see the large statue of Dante who found a refuge in Verona after his exile from Florence.

Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere in Verona
Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere in Verona

You enter in the square from the Arch of Costa and immediately on the left you can find  the Domus Nova façade. If you continue to walk  you can  find the Loggia del Consiglio and the Palazzo degli Scaligeri, Lords of Verona from 1260 to 1387. There is also  Capitano’s Palace with the corner tower that overlooks the square, linked to the Palazzo della Ragione by an arch. From the arch you can access to the courtyard of the Old Market with the splendid Scala della Ragione. From Torre dei Lamberti there is a splendid view over the square and the rooftops of Verona. The Church of Santa Maria Antica is located in  a small square in whose courtyard rises the Scaliger arches . The impressive funerary complex is an outstanding example of Gothic architecture in Italy. Arches were built to host the remains of some of the representatives of the Scala family. Stand out for their monumentality and decorations those of Cangrande I, Mastino II and Cansignorio.

Piazza Bra in Verona

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Piazza Bra is one of the largest squares in Europe, dominated by the Arena and made precious by some historical buildings. The square takes its name from the German word breit, which means wide

In Piazza Bra there is the liston, the pavement in pink marble of Valpolicella, the same one used to build the Roman Amphitheatre. On the liston, people love to meet, walk and chat, before to sit down at a bar for a coffee or an aperitif.

Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere in Verona
Piazza dei Signori and Arche Scaligere in Verona

A tradition that goes back in the past because already Goethe, in his Italian Journey essay, wrote “..on the  pavement of the Bra  a multitudeof people used to walk.” In addition to the Arena, in the square you can find  the Gran Guardia Palace place for exhibitions and events and Palazzo Barbieri town hall.

Where: city center
How to get there: city center by feet
Hours: From November to February: from 10.00 am  to 1.00 pm  and from 1.30 to 4.00 pm on weekdays, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on holidays. From March to October: from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays, from 1.00 to 5.30 pm on  holidays.

Castelvecchio in Verona

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Cangrande II della Scala wanted the construction of this fortress in order to have a protection from exterior dangers, but also from popular riots after  internal struggles of Scaligera family. The Scaligero bridge to which it is linked, in fact, is a door beyond the river providing an escape to the countryside

Castelvecchio in Verona
Castelvecchio in Verona

As the bridge, also the Castle has had alternate fortunes. After the fall of the Scaligeri family  it was used by the Venetians as a weapons depot and then became barracks during French and Austrian dominion. The restoration of 1926 removed the military elements and inserted late Gothic and Renaissance ones. Castelvecchio has two parts: on the right there are the main courtyard and the parade ground; on the left the Scaligera mansion  where the lords used to live  with a narrow courtyard and a double wall. At the center, the high Mastio Tower which gives access to the Ponte Scaligero over the Adige. It now hosts a museum with works of medieval, renaissance and modern art. The museum is not very big but there were at least 20 masterpieces until 21st of November (until someone stoled them), including Mantegna’s Holy Family, with the Child with Caroto puppet, Female Portrait of Rubens, The Madonna of the Quail attributed to Pisanello, San Girolamo penitent of Bellini and many others.

Where: city center
How to get there: from  city center by feet
Hours: from November to February: from 10.00 am  to 1.00 pm and from 1.30 to 4.00 pm on weekdays, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm  on holidays. from March to October: from 10:00 am  to 5:30 pm  on weekdays, from 1.00 to 5.30 pm on  holidays.
Ticket: free entrance

Things to eat in Verona

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The ancient food tradition of Verona continues nowadays in restaurants with typical dishes. Rice and polenta are the principal ingredients, but there are also some less known specialties that you cannot miss: the “pearà” for example,  boiled beef with a peppered cheese sauce, or “pastisada de caval” stew made of horse meat, or “paparele”, homemade

Things to eat in Verona
Things to eat in Verona

pasta with peas and beans. We suggest you to taste also the Renga de Parona of Verona made with anchovies. Among the desserts, the Pandoro, known all over the world, the Nadalìn (eight tips star) and the Mandorlato (nut brittle) of Cologna Veneta. Verona is also known for its production of DOC wines, then taste the Bardolino or the Valpolicella.

Where to sleep in Verona

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Charming and romantic, Verona is the second city of its Region for national and international tourism. Its territory, with the surroundings and the Garda Lake , hosts a big number of tourists each year.

Where to sleep in Verona
Where to sleep in Verona

The city provides to their accommodation with a lot of B&Bs, hotels, comfortable hostels and agritourism. Prices have an high average, and it could be difficult to find a cheap room rate during the Spring, especially during national holidays, Christmas time and musical events at the Arena. We suggest you to book in advances during these kind of period. Prices of a three star hotel at the city center start from € 70 but they can be higher in luxury structures and monumental areas

If you are looking for a hotel in Verona, we suggest you to choose among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 127 hotels with prices, pictures  and comments of guests already stayed there. Go to Booking.com