The historic Italian city of Verona is somewhat synonymous with Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, and having read the play multiple times, I’ve certainly envisaged my own Verona.
So when I had the opportunity to finally visit Verona recently, I was very excited. Naturally, visiting the setting for one of the world’s most famous plays is top of the list, but there are plenty of other things to do in Verona too. In fact, this pretty, peaceful and compact city is one of my favourite places in Italy. It’s easy to explore on foot, the traffic is minimal and there is a real sense of a great Italian lifestyle here.
This travel guide will cover all of the best things to do in Verona, as well as how to get there, where to stay and where to eat!
Verona Travel Guide: Essential Information
How to get to Verona?
Verona is located on the River Adige in the northern Italian region of Veneto. It’s in the shadow of its more famous neighbour, Venice but offers an excellent but under rated Italian getaway.
The city has its own airport, called Valerio Catullo, which is served by a good number of European Airlines. If you’re coming from the US, or further afield, you could also fly into Venice and take a 1 hour train, or Milan Linate where a train takes 1 hour 30 minutes, costing around €15.
From the airport in Verona, it’s a swift 20 minute taxi to the city centre or a 15 minute airport bus to the Verona Porta Nuova train station. This costs €6 each way. You can also arrange a private transfer in advance here.
How to get around Verona?
One of the best things about Verona is its compact size, and which makes it best navigated on foot. Most of the streets are too narrow to accommodate larger buses too.
If your feet are tired, then you can also easily rent bikes throughout Verona or join a guided bike tour with a local.
Where to stay in Verona?
There are countless charming B&Bs and guesthouses in Verona. Many of these are located near to the main areas of Via Mazzini, Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra.
Budget stays: Relais all’Aquila (£70 per night) is a great hotel near Piazza della Erbe offering comfortable rooms for a good value price.
Mid-range hotels: Hotel Milano & Spa (£180 per night) is a great spot for an excellent location, with a stunning rooftop balcony and jacuzzi offering views across the city.
Luxury hotels: Consider the beautiful Due Torri Hotel, which has doubles from £346 per night. This is the perfect blend of old and new, with a delightful central courtyard.
Best things to do in Verona
Verona became a Roman city in the 1st century, and despite many of its most famous buildings dating back 2000 years, they are remarkably well-preserved. The main attractions in Verona are focused around some of the brilliant historical and cultural gems in the city.
Admire Juliet’s Balcony
So of course, no Verona travel guide could not include visiting some of iconic scenes of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Juliet’s balcony is located at the famous Casa di Giulietta, which can be found on Via Cappello. You can’t miss it as it’s a tourist magnet, and is clearly signposted.
There’s a small tunnel leading to the house’s courtyard, and the tourist crowds can make it hard to walk around this area. The small tunnel is covered in chewing gum and handwritten notes, particularly couples marking their love in this romantic location.
You can view the balcony from the courtyard, or pay to enter the Casa di Giulietta for just €6, or free with a Verona city card. You can explore the house and stand on the balcony itself, but apparently the house inside is a little underwhelming.
Stop by Casa di Romeo
This is now a privately owned home, but you can see the outside of Romeo’s home on Via Arche Scaligere. This smaller 13th century house has a tower and is built around a set of internal courtyards.
Explore the magnificent Arena di Verona
I was blown away by the amphitheatre in Verona, located in Piazza Bra. It dates back to 30AD, but it is actually better preserved than the Colosseum in Rome!
The Arena di Verona is renowned as the 8th largest amphitheatre from the Roman world and has 50 levels of seating. Today, performances such as opera and rock concerts often take place here in front of audiences as big as 22,000 people!
A ticket to explore costs just €10 and you can freely wander through the amphitheatre. Book your skip-the-line ticket here.
Climb the impressive Torre dei Lamberti
Located in the Piazza delle Erbe, this is the tallest tower in Verona at 84m high and well worth the climb to the top. You can either ascend the stairs or take the elevator. It was originally built in the 12th century and boasts incredible views across the city.
Buy your skip-the-line entry tickets here. (€7 per person)
Enjoy lunch in Piazza Bra
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend eating directly across such an iconic sightseeing attraction, but in Verona I do. There are some excellent restaurants lining Piazza Bra, all offering delightful views across the square to the Arena di Verona. Whether you stop for lunch, dinner or an aperitif, it’s a fabulous people-watching spot.
I actually needed to work one afternoon, and found excellent WiFi and delicious food at Liston12 restaurant.
One of the city’s best wine bars, Vini Zampiera alla Mandola, is steps from the Piazza Bra. Here you can sample world-class wines, served with delicious bar snacks such as arancini and cured hams.
Take in the views from the Castel San Pietro
A great way to gain perspective of this pretty city is to climb to the top of the Castel, or take the funicular (€2 return) to the viewpoint. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the river, the church spires and the terracotta rooftops from above. It’s also a beautiful spot for sunset.
If you opt for the steps, then make sure to stop at Re Teodorico for a drink on the way up. Even better if you’re visiting for sunset, where you can enjoy an ice cold Aperol Spritz as the sun goes down.
Stroll across the Ponte Pietra
Not only is this the oldest bridge in Verona, but it’s also the prettiest. It dates back to Roman times but was sadly destroyed by the bombings of WW2. The bridge has been lovingly re-built and offers tranquil views over the River Adige and the nearby Castel San Pietro.
Enjoy gelato in Piazza delle Erbe
This central market square is smaller than Piazza Bra, but is home to a lively daily market and was once the Roman Forum. On the edges of the piazza is the Torre dei Lamberti and some of the city’s most important buildings. I found excellent gelato at Gelateria Impero and enjoyed sitting in the dappling sunlight in this square.
Browse the stores along Centro Storico
Running from Piazza Bra is the main shopping street, Via Mazzini is a lengthy, pedestrianised street. From here, make sure to visit all the tiny streets stretching off the Via Mazzini. These are the original laneways creating the historical heart of Verona. You can spend hours wandering along these tiny streets, stopping for coffee or to peruse some of the charming stores.
Take a day trip to Lake Garda
The Italian lakes are a special destination, and where Milan is near Lake Como, Verona is near Lake Garda. Whether you hire a car or head north on the train from the central station, you can be at Lake Garda within 40 minutes. Here you’ll find azure waters, stone castles, lemon groves and gorgeous pink sunsets over the water. The pastel coloured homes are charming, and the cafes are often draped in bougainvillea.
Visit Venice as a day trip
One of the most popular tourist spots in the world, there’s plenty to see and do in Venice for an excellent day trip from Verona. You can get to Venice in 1 hour by train.
Why not also jump aboard the local ferry and visit the stunning islands of Murano and Burano too?
Verona Travel Guide
So there’s my guide covering all the best things to do in Verona, including where to stay, where to eat and what to see.
I hope this is useful, but please feel free to drop me a line if you would like any further information. Whether you’re visiting the city for a weekend break, or going to Verona as a day trip from Venice, there is plenty on offer. If you are short on time, I recommend a walking tour taking in the best of the city.
Don’t forget to also check out my Italy guides too, which are below:
- How to spend a weekend in Venice
- Visiting Murano and Burano as a day trip from Venice
- Best day trips from Bologna
- Best things to do in Ravenna
Disclaimer: This is an independent guide to visiting Verona. There was no involvement from any local companies or the tourist board.
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