Verona’s a veritable visual feast, with incredible Italianate architecture and landmarks to tick off during a city break. Immerse yourself in Shakespearian tales and sense-stirring opera as you traverse this urban wilderness.
To help you plan your route around the city, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Verona during your visit.
- Casa di Giulietta
- Arena di Verona
- Verona Opera
- Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
- Castelvecchio Museum
- Piazza Bra
- Palazzo Giusti
- Torre dei Lamberti
- Piazza dei Signori
- Verona Duomo
1. Casa di Giulietta
You know the fateful tale of Romeo and Juliet, right? Well, this rustic but restored building is known as Juliet’s House, the 13th century residence that inspired Shakespeare’s famous heroine. It’s retained its medieval looks and is also positioned quite centrally, so you can stop by for a quick peep into the courtyard, though you might prefer to pay for a proper visit inside. There’s a museum within the confines, but the romantic in you might want to write Juliet a letter or quick note on the wall.
2. Arena di Verona
The remarkable Arena di Verona is a knockout feature of the Veronese skyline, found in Piazza Bra. It was built back in the 1st century and housed up to 30,000 spectators of gladiator fights in its heyday. It’s now more commonly used as the showground of the annual Verona Opera, so you can still witness its amphitheatrical splendour in all its glory.
3. Verona Opera
Usually held every year between June and September, the Arena di Verona plays host to the fabulous Verona Opera Festival. Major acts like Aida, Il Trovatore and Carmen have taken to the brightly-lit stage as the crowd watch on from their tiered seats. It beats your local town hall or stadium, that’s for sure!
4. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
You might better know the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore as the place of marriage between Shakespeare’s tragic young couple, Romeo and Juliet. Where one Capulet allegedly coupled-up in fiction, a beguiling piece of the city’s architecture actually stands proud. You can pop in for a look around, simply grab a few pics of the exterior or visit the nearby Benedictine abbey as well.
5. Castelvecchio Museum
For a real insight into Verona’s cultural heritage, you can’t beat a few hours’ perusal of the Castelvecchio Museum. A pretty courtyard and modest gardens sit within the confines of this 14th century castle complex, but you can also experience exhibition halls of paintings, sculptures, relics and even old weapons. It’s your one-stop shop for a piece of the past, which really strengthens its stature as a top thing to do in Verona. Photos, drawings, etchings and prints are there for arty types to check out, while there are also quirky cabinets of coin collections and decorative arts.
6. Piazza Bra
Step into the main square of Verona and you’ll find bags to look at. Piazza Bra is one of the largest of its sort in both Italy and Europe, so it’s a thriving hub of the city. Throughout its roll call of restaurants, cafés and landmark buildings, you can mingle with locals, tick key sights off your to-do list and then feast on classic Italian faves. Pizza and pasta fiends will be bowled over, while your best bet for atmosphere is joining in with the traditional, customary aperitivo hour. It’s the ideal time of day for a tipple. Glass of wine or Aperol spritz, anyone?
7. Palazzo Giusti
Veer east of the city centre and venture to Palazzo Giusti and its flourishing gardens that envelop the property. The 16th-century building had a tower erected in 1701, so it’s quite the fascinating structure. But it’s the gardens that most visitors seem to take a shine to the most. These were planned and grown during the Renaissance and are laid out with terraced sections and a path that leads all around. Cypress trees, pretty flowers, a maze – there’s all sorts going on here, so set aside an afternoon to get in among nature.
8. Torre dei Lamberti
Photographers, explorers, daredevils – we’ve got you sorted. Verona’s 84m-tall watchtower is the prime spot for you to get those all-important panoramic snaps and see more of the city from a great vantage point. It’s a popular choice when it comes to things to do in Verona. You can give yourself a rest and take a lift up two-thirds of the way, but then you’ll have to tackle the remaining storeys. It goes without saying that the vast views will be your reward.
9. Piazza dei Signori
Pitch up in another of Verona’s most praised city squares and soak up the scene. Various enchanting palaces surround the area, so you’ll stumble across landmark after landmark as you potter around here. There’s also a monument to Dante, the famous Italian poet. Piazza dei Signori used to hold a lot of power, as the local government and courts were positioned here. Among the lot, the Loggia del Consiglio is considered the most important building present. This old lodge is embellished with old paintings, sculptures and marble columns.
10. Verona Duomo
Last but not least, Verona Duomo – or more commonly known as the cathedral – makes our cut for the most majestic things to do in Verona. The grand façade and frescoes will quickly capture your attention around the complex. It’s a who’s who of remarkable features, including two griffins by the portico, ten figures of prophets, various Gothic windows, a large central nave, Chapter Library and more.
Like the sound of all this? Sort your city break or flights out now and get these top things to do in Verona added to your agenda. And if you’re only really interested in visiting for Verona Opera Festival, whether that’s this year or next, take note of the dates and get booking!
Posted: 8th Jul 2019.