The region of Veneto is known for its astounding historical bounty, especially beautiful frescoes and multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites! While Venice is probably best known, Veneto’s other cities are just as stunning! In this article we lead you through Verona’s main attractions, and suggest a few unique activities and sights to make your visit totally unforgettable!
Roman structures, Renaissance art, the heavenly sound of operatic ballads in the air, and the meandering Adige river – bejewelled with ancient bridges. You’ll find all this ‘in fair Verona, where we lay our scene’.
Touring the Main Attractions in Verona
Start your exploration of the UNESCO listed city at the remains of the Teatro Romano (1st century) in the city’s northeast corner. Be sure to visit the archaeological ruins beyond the theatre, stretching into the hillside. Afterwards, wander down to the Giardino Giusti, the peaceful Renaissance gardens favoured by Goethe and Mozart. The view of Verona from here is particularly sensational!
After crossing the Adige river on foot into town, head towards the Arche Scaligeri Tombs, whose Gothic spires and arches commemorate the influence of the Scaligeri family, Verona’s Medieval rulers. The Piazza dei Signori, which is also worth a quick look for its statue of Dante Alighieri and surrounding buildings, is right across the road. It once housed Verona’s seat of power. Before moving on, check out the Piazza delle Erbe (represented in our header image). Basically next door to the Piazza dei Signori, the Piazza delle Erbe is much loved by history’s poets and painters. Treat yourself to lunch and some of Verona’s famous Amarone wine while you admire the Torre dei Lamberti, the Baroque Palazzo Maffei and the frescoed Mazzanti houses.
Did you know?
Legend tells of an eye epidemic amongst Verona’s children. The people planned a barefoot pilgrimage to Santa Lucia Church, convincing the children to follow by promising presents. On return, the children’s eyes miraculously healed, and presents inexplicably awaited them. As a result, the Saint Lucia Fair takes place on December & 13th, when the city hosts markets on every piazza.
Be sure to…
After lunch, it’s off to Verona’s infamous Arena di Verona, across from the pedestrian shopping street, Via Mazzini. The Arena is in fact a Roman amphitheatre, much like Rome’s Colosseum, but better preserved. It also hosts the Verona Opera Festival each year. West of the Arena lies the Castelvecchio Bridge and Museum on the banks of the Adige. This impressive fortress was brought to life (yet again) through the far-reaching wealth of the Scaligeri family in Medieval times, and was the city’s primary mode of defense.
Of course, no trip to Verona is complete without a tour of the venues from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is set here. You definitely won’t want to miss out on Casa di Giulietta, and Juliet’s balcony (where Romeo promised her eternal love). Another must-see is the Basilica di San Maggiore, where the star-crossed lovers married.
Did you know?
Romeo and Juliet is not the only tale that takes place in Verona. Shakespeare had great love for the city, and also set one of his earlier plays, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, here!
Interesting Things to do in Verona
Make your trip even more memorable with these essential local treats, unique sights and local traditions!
Write a Letter to Juliet
Locals consider Juliet, specifically,to be a good luck charm for love. There’s a box in the courtyard at Casa di Giulietta where visitors drop letters for her – all replied to by ‘Juliet’s Secretaries’!
- Via Cappello, 23, 37121 Verona VR
See Arco della Costa’s Whale Bone
Despite the fact that Verona is miles away from the sea, this whale rib has been hanging under the archway between Piazzas Erbe and Signori for centuries. Locals claim it will fall on the first truly honest person to walk under it!
Explore Roman Ruins Underground!
Another oddity is Verona’s network of underground ruins. Visit countless Roman roads, noble residences, temples, tombs and sewers discovered 3m underground, and left in their original conditions at the Scavi Scaligeri Museum.
- Cortile del Tribunale, 37121 Verona VR
Eat at the Ristorante 12 Aposteli
Since the mid-1700s, the 12 Aposteli (once an inn) has served traditional dishes to locals. Be sure to order risotto for a taste of Verona’s famous Vialone Nano Rice IGP!
- Corticella San Marco 3, 37121, Verona VR
Veneto is home to many other gorgeous cities besides Verona! Be sure to check out our travel journals on Venice, Treviso, Padua, and Vicenza!
Don’t forget our previous Travel Journal, uncovering the regions of Piemonte and Puglia!