Top 15 Amazing Things to Do in Verona (Italy)
The fantastic things to do in Verona make this city a true pearl of Italy. Particularly fascinating is the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the picturesque banks of the Adige River, where colorful townhouses mingle with grand historic buildings and which was the setting for Shakespeare’s love story “Romeo and Juliet”. Verona’s charm is truly enchanting, and its many attractions draw visitors from all over the world every year. One of the absolute highlights is the imposing 1st century Roman Amphitheater, the city’s landmark, where concerts are still held today. In addition, there are many other great sights to see in Verona, so you are guaranteed not to get bored while sightseeing.
In this guide, we have summarized the most beautiful attractions and the best things to do in Verona that you should not miss. You will also find many useful tips and information to help you plan your perfect trip!
General Information about Verona
The city of Verona, with a population of 257,000, is located in northeastern Italy, about 30 kilometers from Lake Garda, 156 kilometers from Milan and 145 kilometers from Bologna. It is also the capital of the province of Verona. Every year, about 2.5 million tourists from all over the world come to this Italian metropolis to admire its rich history and the beauty of its architecture. The old town of Verona is particularly unique and worth seeing. It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and offers a lot of authentic Italian flair, a wealth of famous buildings and many good restaurants.
The Roman amphitheater, the Arena di Verona, dating back to 30 AD, is the most important attraction in Verona. It is immediately followed by the 13th century Casa di Giulietta, which became famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. There are many other interesting things to do in Verona, including visiting the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, an architectural masterpiece from the 11th and 12th centuries, and Piazza delle Erbe.
The Best Things to Do in Verona
A city trip to Verona offers visitors a wide range of attractions. Most of them are located in the city center, which can be explored on foot. To help you get the most out of your trip, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Verona, including some exclusive insider tips.
The Verona Arena
The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheater in the heart of Verona and the most important attraction of the city. The impressive ancient monument was built as early as 30 AD and can hold up to 22,000 spectators. This makes the 2,000-year-old structure the third largest of its kind. The white and pink limestone façade also shines beautifully and is a popular motif for photographs. A special feature is that since 1913 to the present day, performances such as operas and concerts have been held within the walls in a breathtaking setting. During the day, one of the best things to do in Verona is to visit the Arena of Verona from the inside and see its imposing size during a tour of the area!
Tip: It is definitely worthwhile to buy a Verona Card. Without it, you can spend hours waiting in line to get into the Arena. Tickets are available online here.
One of the most fascinating places to see in Verona is undoubtedly Piazza Bra, the main square of the historic center, often considered the largest square in Italy. Thanks to its long history, this square is surrounded by magnificent buildings from ancient times to the present. These include the famous Verona Arena, the Portoni del Bra Arch, Palazzo Gran Guardia, the Maffeiano Archaeological Museum and the Fontana delle Alpi. Particularly charming are the colorful houses that line Piazza Bra, where there are many restaurants and cafés. This is the best place to enjoy a delicious cappuccino or aperitivo while watching the hustle and bustle.
Tip: The Hotel Milano & SPA***S, a stylish hotel just a few steps from Piazza Bra and the Arena, is simply ingenious. The roof terrace with a view is also unique!
Ponte Scaligero & Castelvecchio
One of the best things to do in Verona is a visit to the Ponte Scaligero and the Castelvecchio, two imposing attractions in Verona. The Ponte Scaligero, also known as the Ponte di Castelvecchio, is an iconic 120-meter stone bridge dating back to 1355, when it was the escape route for the Scaligeri family from Castelvecchio Castle. Today it is one of the most popular photo opportunities in the center of Verona. Of course, the adjacent Castelvecchio is also worth a visit, a castle dating back to the 15th century, which today is home to an interesting museum. During a sightseeing tour, one has the opportunity to explore some parts of the fortress complex and valuable art from the Gothic period to the 17th century is exhibited, with a special emphasis on Renaissance painting.
Arco dei Gavi
The Arco dei Gavi or Gavier Arch is a Roman arch of honor and a significant part of Verona’s UNESCO World Heritage Old Town. Thanks to its location next to Castelvecchio on the banks of the Adige River, this attraction can be easily visited during a city walk. This Roman monument dates back to the 1st century, it is over 12 meters high and was built in white marble. Even later, in medieval Verona, the Arco dei Gavi served as a city gate and was integrated into the city fortifications. The location of this attraction is also stunning because from there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the river Adige and the famous bridge Ponte Scaligero.
Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta)
The Juliet’s House, also known as the Casa di Giulietta, is certainly the most visited tourist attractions in Verona. This 13th century medieval palazzo inspired the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and attracts thousands of visitors every day as a place of pilgrimage for lovers. You’ll find the building at 23 Via Cappello, in a courtyard. In the courtyard you will find the statue of Juliet, a popular photo opportunity. Another highlight is the balcony where Juliet longed for her Romeo with the words “Romeo, oh Romeo, why art thou Romeo”. Admission to the courtyard is free. But if you want to see the famous balcony, you have to buy a ticket for the museum.
Tip: The Juliet’s house is one of Verona’s most popular attractions, so it is often crowded. Save time and money with the Verona Card!
San Zeno Maggiore
One of the most important churches in Verona is San Zeno Maggiore. This magnificent Romanesque basilica dates back to the 12th century, although there was already a place of worship on the site in the 4th century. Most impressive is its imposing architecture. There is a freestanding bell tower called the Campanile, a richly decorated facade, and a large stained-glass window just above the entrance. But the interior is also a highlight, as San Zeno Maggiore houses valuable works of art, including medieval frescoes, the triptych of the altar by Andrea Mantegna, and the famous bronze gate called Porta del Paradiso.
A real jewel and a must-see in Verona is the Ponte Pietra, a Roman stone bridge that crosses the Adige river and characterizes the cityscape. It is one of the most important landmarks of Verona. Its history dates back to 100 BC and over the years this arched bridge has been destroyed by floods and rebuilt several times. Today it consists of 5 arches and has a total length of about 120 meters. Walking across the beautiful Ponte Pietra bridge is one of the best things to do in Verona because one is amazed by the magnificent panorama. The river is cobalt blue on some days, and the colorful townhouses provide a unique contrast. There are also charming picnic areas along the riverbank for a sightseeing break!
Castel San Pietro
A must-see place in Verona is Castel San Pietro. This fortress is situated in an incredibly impressive location on the left bank of the Adige River and offers arguably the most beautiful view of Verona from the top. The best way to reach the terrace of this castle complex is to take a walk or an enjoyable ride on the funicular. The funicular was first opened in 1941. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the historic center of Verona, thanks to the winding Adige river. The hill was already important in Roman times, and so you can also visit the Roman Theatre and the Archaeological Museum beneath the hill.
Piazza delle Erbe & Torre dei Lamberti
The Piazza delle Erbe is one of the oldest squares in Verona and has even been voted the most beautiful square in the world on several occasions. The ensemble of palaces, towers and statues from different periods is unique and gives the square its iconic look. In addition, during the day there is a market and numerous restaurants invite you to enjoy yourself. Among the most important monuments are the Fountain of the Madonna of Verona, dating back to 1368, the marble Capitello and the Gothic Colonna Antica.
The absolute highlight is the imposing Torre dei Lamberti, which rises majestically 84 meters above Piazza delle Erbe. You can reach the top by climbing 368 steps or more comfortably by elevator. From the observation deck, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Verona.
The Porta Borsari is a Roman city gate located in the heart of Verona’s historical center. It dates back to the 1st century B.C. when it was called Porta Iovia. Over the years, Porta Borsari has been renovated several times. Today it is well-preserved and situated among the colorful houses of the town, this snow-white gate, made of blocks of marble, conjures up a particularly unique charm. It is considered an impressive example of Roman architecture in Verona and should not be missed on any tour of the city. Right next to the gate is a small Italian café where you can take a break and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Porta Borsari.
Tomb of Juliet (Tomba di Giulietta)
A real insider’s tip in Verona is the Tomb of Juliet, also known as Tomba di Giulietta. It is located a bit off the typical tourist paths, in the former Franciscan monastery of San Francesco al Corso, dating back to 1230. What is really interesting is the charming courtyard of the museum and the cellar vault where you can see the sarcophagus of Juliet. In addition to the tomb, it is also possible to visit the Museum of Frescoes “Museo degli Affreschi”. It is located on the second floor and has many impressive frescoes from the Middle Ages to the 16th century.
Tip: Nowadays, civil weddings are also held in the rooms. Plenty of couples from all over the world choose this place of love to say “I do” to each other.
Piazza dei Signori
The Piazza dei Signori is a real highlight in Verona and a visit to this square is a must on any tour of the city. Surrounded by splendid buildings connected by gates and arcades, this square exudes a unique and beautiful charm from times long past. Among the main attractions of Piazza dei Signori are the Arco della Costa, the Loggia del Consiglio, the Palazzo di Cansignorio and the famous Palazzo della Ragione. Not to be missed is the three-meter-high statue of Dante in Carrara marble, erected to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the poet’s birth.
Tip: Between Piazza dei Signori and Piazza delle Erbe is the entrance to the Torre dei Lamberti. From its top, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Verona.
The Scaliger Tombs are an extraordinary necropolis in Verona. They are located in the heart of the historical center of the city, a short-distance below the famous Piazza dei Signori. This historically important attraction are the tombs of the famous Scaliger family, once the rulers of Verona from 1260 to 1387. They were richly decorated and are located in a family cemetery fenced with wrought iron bars, next to the small church of Santa Maria Antica. Among the most famous tombs are those of Cangrande I, Mastino II and Cansignorio.
One of the most beautiful church buildings in the center is the Cathedral of Verona, also known as Santa Maria Assunta or Santa Maria Matricolare. It is located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a long history. The area of the cathedral complex has been in use since Roman times. The foundations of the cathedral itself were laid later in the 12th century, and its current appearance is characterized by various architectural styles from the Middle Ages, Romanesque and Gothic. Of particular interest are the tuff and brick façade, the statue of the Angel in front of the Cathedral, and the interior, with its red marble and imposing arcades.
The Giardino Giusti is a true oasis of peace and a beautiful attraction in Verona. This breathtaking Renaissance garden was created at the end of the 15th century and can be visited today on a lovely walk. In different areas you will be amazed by an ancient cypress avenue, numerous species of plants, a grotto, the belvedere, several statues, fountains and sculptures. Many elements have in common with the Medici gardens. Worth seeing and included in the entrance fee is also the “Appartamento 900”, a 20th century apartment with impressive rooms.
The Porta Nuova is a pretty famous gate of Verona and an imposing example of Venetian fortified architecture. Located near the main railway station, it is the prestigious entrance to the southern part of the historic center. From Porta Nuova, the long street Corsa Porta Nuova leads to the Roman amphitheater. Built between 1532 and 1540, it was once part of the imposing city walls. Today, the monumental structure consists of a main arch and two flanking towers.
Verona: Guided Tours, Tickets & More
If you don’t feel like exploring the sights of Verona on your own, you have the option of taking a guided tour or a cidty walk. On the online platform GetYourGuide you can find not only recommended city tours, but also cheap tickets for the famous amphitheater, exciting cooking classes, guided e-bike tours, but also excursions to Lake Garda or Mantua. The reviews are also very helpful, so you can compare before you book!
We highly recommend the Verona Card. Many of Verona’s best attractions are included for a reasonable price. It is also great that you can get into the famous amphitheater without having to queue!
Where to Stay in Verona
There is a wide range of fantastic accommodations in Verona. From cheap backpacker hostels to modern apartments, bed and breakfasts and fantastic hotels, you’ll find it all. If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Verona, we have these tips to share with you… It’s worth a look!
- Modern Boutique Hotel: The Boutique Hotel Touring is a small, modern boutique hotel in the center of town. Guests love the delicious breakfast and the perfect location.
- Beautiful Aparthotel: The Aparthotel PALAZZO RISTORI offers you beautiful and perfectly equipped apartments in a wide range of sizes.
- Hotel with Roof Terrace: The Hotel Milano & SPA***S is an extremely stylish hotel just a few steps from the Arena. Unique is also the roof terrace with a view!
- 5-Star Hotel: The Vista Palazzo is a 5-star hotel and an insider tip for a very special vacation in Verona. The spa is also beautiful!
Find the best accommodation in Verona:
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