Known worldwide as the city of love and romance, which gave us Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet”, Verona is one of the most visited cities in Italy, but in my opinion it is much more than that! A place with more than 2.000 years of history where one can appreciate the integration of impressive artistic and architectural elements belonging to different periods of time: From medieval constructions to a Roman arena, Verona is a must-see city not only for its romantic content but also for the countless stories it has to tell.
During its history Verona lived almost everything you imagine since its foundation in I A.C. As an important urban center of the Roman Empire, which today preserves the Roman theater and the Arco dei Gavi among others, suffering the barbarian invasion and then reaching its time of maximum splendor under the lordship of Scala family, builders of the world famous Castelvecchio. Moreovew, this place also had periods of French and Austrian domination!
As you can guess… the many faces of this beautiful city, for lovers of history and art have much to offer and can take several days; for those who are short of time, I can confirm that its monumental and architectural beauty well worth at least a 2 day visit.
Strol through its narrow streets that transport you back to Roman times, then end up in a Renaissance palace or go after the footsteps of Shakespeare, Verona has no waste! Believe me!
Getting there is very easy, as almost everywhere in Italy, has its own train station called “Porta Nuova”. In my case I went all the way from Florence! Depending on which train you choose to take, the trip can last between 1:45hs to 2:30hs. The earlier you purchase the ticket, the cheaper you will get it! If you planned this trip at the last moment you shouldn’t worry at all! You can also purchase tickets at the same station a few minutes before the next train leaves.
Here you can find some inspiration for a two-day tour around the city and details about each of my favourite places.
Every tour in Verona should start here! This monumental gate was the main entrance to the walled city, built around 1.500 and several times renovated! There is not much to wonder since it can only be seen from the outside and cannot pass through its entrances. Deserves a walk around the place to appreciate it.
The most central square in Verona and ideal for a break! Whether it’s taking a break in the laying in the grass or having a coffee in one of the many bars overlooking the Arena. Great gastronomic offer! I recommend going at night as you will be able to appreciate the magnificently Arena and the illumination. Around the square there is also the Town Hall, the Palazzo of the Great Guard, the Lapidario Museum and countless shops!
Arena di Verona
One of the most important amphitheatres of the Roman era and the second in size after the Coliseum! Impressive! Its state of conservation is so good that even in these days it is still used as theater! During summer four different works are represented and tickets run out super quickly: Price range goes from 15 euros to 200. The acoustics is unbeatable, so if you have the opportunity, even if you are not very fond of the opera, it is a show worth seeing!
You can also choose to pay the regular entrance of 10 euros and enter during the day, although I must warn you, if they go in summer the stage for the shows will be all set up! This can make it a bit odd. Even so, it is more than an interesting visit.
Casa di Giulietta
Many say it is a must if you pass through Verona… In my opinion it is quite overrated! So crowded that it is even difficult to walk! Just trying to reach the statue of Juliet and the supposed balcony can be quite an adventure! Of course you can get a ticket and enter the House, but the interior doesn’t say much… the most interesting thing for sure is to go out on the balcony and take a picture from there!
Legends says that touching the chest of the bronze statue on the outside helps you to find true love. So obviously you will find a long line of people trying do that! Many are the attractions that Verona can show, but if you are passing by, nothing miss in going for a walk around the place.
Torre dei Lamberti
This beautiful tower, located in the mythical Piazza delle Erbe, was built around 1170 and with almost 85m high, was formerly used to warn if there was fire anywhere in the city, the hours of the day, even to call the citizens to arms! Today it is a 360 viewpoint of this majestic city. Even though you can go up by elevator just for 1 EUR, climbing the stairs is part of the charm, I recommend this option!
Admission costs 8 euros and includes access to the art gallery!
Piazza delle Erbe
Located in the heart of the historic center, full of bars and terraces, it is the ideal place to have a drink and relax surrounded by picturesque buildings and enjoying the atmosphere.
An unusual collection of tombs and sarcophagi from one of the most important families in the medieval times of Verona, with a quite interesting history it is worth passing by just to see the complex stone carvings.
Casa di Romeo
If the visit to Juliet’s house left left you with a sweet and sour feeling, Romeo’s is even worse! it’s just a simple façade with no other thing but to be the supposed Romeo’s house… you cannot enter therefore passing by will take you less than 2 minutes! It is located in the center of the historical center, so if you are bored or there is nothing else to do, why not?
Chiesa San Pietro da Verona in Santa Anastasia
Although it does not say much inside, the interior worths a visit! One of the oldest churches in Verona, with its Gothic style is home to the famous Pisanello painting “San Giorgio in the Principessa” among other works, of course!
Entrance costs about 2.50 euros, which I find a bit expensive? You will not regret it! Promise!
MUST! It is one of the surprises of this city, despite having more than 2000 years old is very well preserved and even currently used for important shows, with a capacity of 1.800 people!
The entrance also includes the archaeological museum and for only 1 euro you can tour this beautiful place, the views from the top are beautiful! You can see all of Verona and even the Pitra Bridge. Do not miss it!
This garden inspired by the Tuscan landscapes, we can appreciate this from the first moment we enter and is truly perfect! Full of flowers, greens and medieval architecture! The visit is super recommendable, although the entrance is not cheap at all… 7 euros! But it’s worthy!
The best thing is to get to the top to see the incredible panoramic views of Verona, my recommendation: go at sunset time, watching the sun set over the beautiful city is simply breathtaking.
Basílica di San Zenón
This is the most famous religious building in Verona and owes its fame partly to its beautiful architecture, as well as to the tradition that tells that it was in his crypt where the wedding between Romeo and Juliet took place! Inside it also houses the relics of San Zenón, african bishop of the city and beautiful frescoes of well-known artists, such as “Madonna of Mategna”. Although it is a little away from the traditional touristic circuit, if you have the time I recommend you take a walk around.
The castle is charming both outside and inside, you can walk through the public areas and the bridge without paying entrance! Yay! But the museum itself is a bit expensive and I did not find it so interesting… but to access some areas of the castle you must pass through the museum. Something you MUST do is climbing the towers to admire amazing views ofthe city. Do not forget to cross the bridge! On the other side you will find the beautiful gardens!
Arco dei Gavi
A beautiful Roman arch, located in an unbeatable place next to the river Adige, between Palazzo Canosa and Castelvechio. It was used in the Middle Ages as a gateway to the city, when Verona was still walled.
Porta dei Borsari
This gate is more than 2000 years old and was the most important entrance to the city during the Roman empire; its facade and windows are more than particular! Through the gate you will be the most beautiful and historic part of the city.
Duomo di Verona
Although it does not have the majesty of the duomos that we are used to see in Italy, its interior is very beautiful and houses a small but very interesting collection of works of art of Tintoretto and Tiziano! Definitely worth to make a brief stop to appreciate them.
The entrance also includes the Baptistery and the adjacent archaeological ruins.