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Recently I visited Verona with my boyfriend and I absolutely loved it. If you’re not sure if Verona is worth a visit, let me tell you now: go! It’s the perfect Italian destination for a romantic weekend getaway. The cute little streets, the buzzing cafes, good food and photogenic historic buildings… I wish I was there now, sipping on a cappuccino at one of the many terraces. In this post I’ll share 20 things to do in Verona. It includes all sorts of fun activities, beautiful sights to visit and foods to try. Check it out!
20 Things to do in Verona
1. The Verona Arena or Arena di Verona
The arena in Verona is a quite impressive structure, especially if you consider the historic value. It was the last of the great buildings for entertainment purposes built by the Romans in Verona and is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. This Roman amphitheatre can be found in Piazza Bra.
We merely visited for a quick look and didn’t spend much time here. Mostly because a big part of the arena was closed off for visitors. They were preparing for an upcoming event later that month. The arena is still in use for opera and other theater performances, and if we could we would’ve definitely visited one.
Price: €10,- for a single ticket.
2. Eat at one of the restaurants at Piazza Bra
Piazza Bra is the largest piazza in Verona. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants here that offer a fantastic view on the famous Arena. There are really plenty of options, which is nice because there is always a place to sit. However, it can also make it quite hard to pick.
On our first night we had dinner at the restaurant that was closest to the Arena: Ristorante Pizzeria La Costa in Bra. The food was good and we found it relatively cheap in comparison to other restaurants in Verona. But the biggest asset of the restaurant is definitely its view on the Arena, as you can see on the photo above!
3. Juliet’s balcony
Is it worth it to visit Juliet’s Balcony, one of the most touristic spots in Verona? I would say yes. Even though it’s definitely crowded here and there is not that much to experience. However, it’s quite interesting to see how people (in love) can be drawn to a place that is very loosely connected to a fictional love story.
Verona is not that big so there’s a big chance you walk past this touristic spot anyway. It can be an easy and quick visit, especially if you decide not to go on the balcony and just have a quick peek at it from below. Personally I haven’t been into La Casa Giulietta (House of Juliet).
Why is it called Juliet’s Balcony?
To be honest, I was immediately confused when I heard that we could visit Juliet’s Balcony. Romeo and Juliet is a fictional story, right? Yes, Juliet from Romeo and Juliet wasn’t based on a real life human and the balcony pictured above doesn’t directly have anything to do with Shakespeare’s story.
However, Romeo and Juliet was inspired by the Arthur Brooke Poem called The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. This poem was inspired by even older works by Italian writers, such as the epic story of Romeo and Giuletta and the feud between the families Montecchi and Capelletti.
The House of Juliet, the one you can visit in Verona, used to be the home of the Capello family, which is a name similar to the Italian Capelletti, and dates back to the 13th century. The famous balcony that all the tourists come for wasn’t added until the 20th century.
So, it is a bit far fetched that it’s called Juliet’s Balcony, but still it’s quite cool that they’ve named a place after this famous romance by Shakespeare’s. Romeo, Rome, wherefore art thou, Romeo?!
Why are people touching Juliet’s breast?
There is a statue of Juliet in the courtyard of the House of Juliet. You’re probably wondering why the hell people are taking photos with their hand on Juliet’s right breast. Well, it has become tradition to do so, because apparently touching her right breast brings you luck in love. It’s worth a try, right?
Many tourists also leave graffiti, notes and chewing gum (ewww) on the walls to declare love to each other. The Verona city council have set new regulations to prevent this, as the gum was actually damaging the walls. Now they provide removable panels for anyone that wants to declare love.
Price: €6,- for a single ticket to enter Juliet’s House. It’s free to enter the small courtyard and look at the balcony.
4. Climb up to Castel San Pietro
If you want a beautiful viewpoint over Verona, then you should definitely climb to Castle of Saint Peter or Castel San Pietro. From here you have the famous view over Verona and you can admire the Adige River, the terracotta rooftops of the Italian houses and of course the Ponte Pietro bridge.
Head up to the hill behind Ponte Pietro, walk up the steps next to Teatro Romano and you’re on your way to Castel San Pietro!
The walk to Castel San Pietro is fairly easy, but of course this also depends on your fitness level. If you don’t wish to use the steps to get to the viewpoint, it’s also possible to use the funicular. This takes you to the top in just a little more than a minute and cost €2,- for a roundtrip.
5. Cross the Ponte Pietro
This beautiful bridge connects the old city of Verona with Teatro Romano and Castel San Pietro. It’s the bridge you have to cross when you want to climb up to the viewpoint.
It’s a great idea to walk across the Ponte Pietro and take a walk along the Adige River. This way you get to see the city of Verona from a different perspective.
6. Eat breakfast with a view of the Ponte Pietro
There are various establishments in Verona that have an amazing view on the Ponte Pietro bridge. One of them is Salumeria Gironda. We went to Salumeria Gironda during our first morning in Verona. Here you can buy all sorts of Italian delicacies, such as meat, cheese, olives, tapenade, fruit, wine and beer.
If you want to have breakfast with an excellent view, we recommend visiting this place and buying anything you crave. They will put all the items in a little picnic box so you can take it outside on their terrace and eat with a view.
For just €22,- in total we had a box with gorgonzola, pecorino cheese with pistachio, pesto spread, parma ham, watermelon and four bread rolls. There aren’t chairs, so you have to stand if you want to eat here, but there are some benches (without a view) if you want to sit.
7. Enjoy the view from Torre dei Lamberti
Another great viewpoint in Verona is the view from Torre dei Lamberti. The tower is located next to Piazza delle Erbe and just a short walk from the famous balcony of Juliet. With its 84 meters, the tower overlooks the city and offers a 360 degrees view.
You can decide to either use the stairs or take the elevator to go up. The ticket you purchase to go up can also be used for the adjacent Gallery of Modern Art.
Price: €8,- for a single ticket
8. Admire the beautiful Arco dei Gavi
This ancient structure was once used as an entrance gate in the walls when it was decided to surround Verona with a line of walls. It was built by a noble Roman family at the beginning of Via Postumia, the Roman road leading to the city.
During the Napoleonic rule in Italy the arch was demolished and moved to the Arena. Eventually, some of its original stones were used to create a reconstruction of the arch in 1932. Now, the Arco dei Gavi can be admired next to Castelvecchio, not far from its original location.
9. Basilica of St. Anastasia
The Basilica of St. Anastasia is a beautiful example of Italian Gothic Style from the 13th century. It’s the largest church in Verona and it showcases a lot of local art. The Basilica has three large aisles supported by twelve pillars in red Veronese marble. The natural light in the Basilica sheds a beautiful light on the famous frescoes and stunning interior.
During our visit the entrance was completely free!
10. Visit the market at Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe is a market square in Verona. Since the Roman era, Piazza della Erbe has been a central meeting spot for the local people in Verona.
In addition to the market stalls, you can find plenty of cute little cafes, great restaurants and historic buildings. It’s the perfect spot for a cup of coffee or refreshments in the morning and a bite to eat at one of the authentic local restaurants at night.
11. Piazza dei Signori
This was one of my personal favourite spots in Verona, because of all the beautiful historic architecture that can be found here.
Piazza dei Signori is a beautiful city square, surrounded by a lot of impressive historic buildings and statues. It used to be the former center of power in Verona, which is why all the important main buildings of the former city government are located here. Just a few of the buildings that are located here are: Loggia del Consiglio, Pallazo del Podestà and Pallazzo Tribunali.
The square also has the nickname ‘Piazza Dante’, because of the large statue of the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri that has dominated the square since 1865.
12. Arche Degli Scaligeri
The Arche Scaligeri is a group of Gothic funerary monuments, celebrating the Scaligeri family. This important family ruled in Verona from the 13th until the 14th century, making them the most influential figures of medieval Verona. The tombs contain the most distinguished representatives of their house.
The tombs are located in a court outside of the Santa Maria Antica church and are protected from the street by iron grilles decorated with stair motif, the symbol of the family.
Castelvecchio is an ancient castle that was built to protect Verona in the Middle Ages. Now it’s a museum about Verona, full of ancient arts and relics of the Veneto region, such as various statues, frescoes, jewellery, paintings and medieval artefacts.
Price: €6,- for a single ticket
14. Try Amarone risotto
Amarone risotto is a famous traditional dish from Verona. In this recipe you can find two top products from Verona: the Amarone wine and Vialone Nano. The latter is a rice type typical of Verona.
I know the photo above doesn’t look very appealing, but trust me when I say that you should try Amarone risotto during your time in Verona. A lot of restaurants offer this traditional dish and it’s really tasty!
15. Verona Cathedral
This beautiful cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is dedicated to S. Maria Assunta or the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s one of Verona’s most sacred Catholic sites, which is why it attracts thousands of visitors each year that come to worship. The facade and interior have been renovated several times.
The Verona Cathedral is absolutely stunning; inside you can find a series of small chapels, arched ceilings and breathtaking frescoes and sculptures. Everywhere in the cathedral you can find Renaissance details.
Price: €3,- for a single ticket
16. Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia
The Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia is a Roman Cathelic church that is dedicated to saint Euphemia. We walked past it every day as it was located very close to our Airbnb. Inside you can find the Spolverini chapel with a canvas and frescoes by Giovanni Francesco Caroto.
17. Wander through the cute streets of Verona
It’s almost not necessary to visit any of the tourist spots in Verona, there’s enough to explore just by walking down the streets in the city center. Just like most Italian cities, Verona feels as if you’re walking onto a set for a romantic movie or made it onto the prettiest postcard ever.
Verona really is a treat for the eyes. I’ve taken hundreds of photos in one weekend and they are effortlessly incredibly Instagrammable. Everywhere you look you can find cute little cafes, impressive historic buildings, balconies with flowers and plants and windows with gorgeous external shutters. It was seriously hard for me to just put my camera down and enjoy the moment. I felt like every corner of the street was an epic photo opportunity.
Furthermore, Verona is quite a small city, which means you’ll must likely run into the most popular spots anyway!
18. Drink from one of the cool drinking fountains
Public drinking fountains can be found in most Italian cities and these are perfect for refilling a water bottle. I spotted a few of them in Verona as well, such as the one you can see above. Unique, beautiful and very practical!
19. Take some rest in one of the parks
After all that exploring, you might get tired. Luckily, there are plenty of serene parks and gardens in Verona that are perfect for a little rest. For instance the beautiful Pallazzo Giardino Giusti, one of the best examples of an Italian Renaissance garden. It’s a perfect place for a casual stroll or to relax.
There are also various parks in Verona, such as Parco Cesare Lombroso and Bosco Buri. Pack in some snacks and have a little picnic in the park!
20. Read a book at a café
Another way to really relax after a few hours of exploring, is sitting down at a quiet café and reading a book. Order some refreshing drinks or perhaps get your necessary dose of caffeine with your favourite coffee. What I really love is that often when we ordered a drink, they automatically gave us a bowl of chips with it.
The above photo was taken at a cute little café with a courtyard. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get the name of the place, but there are plenty of similar places in Verona.
Bonus: Go on a day trip to Lake Garda
Verona is perfect for a weekend getaway, as it’s not that big and you can explore most spots in just a day or two. If you’re planning on spending a long weekend in Verona, you can also decide to take a day trip to another city or town in Italy.
We did just that during our visit! We decided to visit the cute little town of Sirmione and spend some time at Lake Garda. To get there we took the bus from the city center of Verona to the train station, which costs us €1.30 per person. Then we took the bus from the train station to Lake Garda, which was €3.60. In total it took us one hour to get from Verona to Sirmione.
That were 20 things to do in Verona! Have a great time in this absolutely beautiful Italian city.
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