Providing the backdrop to one of the greatest romantic love stories ever written, Verona is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in all of Italy.
Although almost exclusively associated with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with its combination of ancient Roman ruins and ornate renaissance luxury there is an abundance of cultural, historical and artistic treasures, just awaiting to be discovered.
So to make sure you experience the best that this fair city has to offer, here is my list of the top 5 things you must see and do in Verona.
1. || JULIET’S BALCONY ||
Possibly the most famous part of the city, no trip to Verona is complete without a pilgrimage to lovers mecca; Casa di Giulietta. Housed in a stunning 13th century gothic surround, you can feast your eyes on the majestic bronze statue of Juliet, take a turn around the museum and even channel your inner Juliet by standing on the famed balcony. Make sure you avoid the peak crowds and head there either early in the morning or later in the afternoon when it should be quieter.
☻ Visit me: Tuesday-Sunday 8.30am-7.30pm. Monday 1pm-7.30pm.
£ I Cost: €6 (concessions €4.50)
✈ How to get to me: On foot with access through Centro Storico, Via Copello no 23.
2. || ARENA OF VERONA ||
Fabled to have inspired Rome’s Colosseum, the amphitheatre (or arena as it is better known) is one of the most magnificent and well preserved examples of Roman architecture in all of Italy. Built in the 1st century, the arena is still in use today and continues to provide a staggering backdrop to musical productions as well as Verona’s summer opera festival. For an unexpected treat, make your way to the top tier of the gargantuan 32m high structure where you will be afforded sensational 360 panoramic views of Verona’s beautiful city centre.
☻ Visit me: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-7pm. Opera season 9am-3.30pm. Monday closed.
£ I Cost: €8
✈ How to get to me: On foot via Centro Storico and the arena is in Piazza Bra.
3. || CASTELVECCHIO ||
One sight that is not to missed is a visit to Verona’s most imposing structure; its 14th century medieval fortress Castelvecchio. A tremendous encampment with seven towers, four buildings, three arches, an impressive fortified bridge and 14.5km of fortress walls, it is certainly an arresting sight. Even better, the main building now also doubles up as the city art museum which boasts a diverse collection of renaissance works and paintings which include spectacular pieces by Mantegna, Pisanello and Bellini.
☻ Visit me: Tuesday-Sunday 8.30am-7.30pm. Monday 1.45pm-7.30pm.
£ I Cost: €6 (concessions €4.50)
✈ How to get to me: Bus numbers; 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33, 41, 61 stop ‘Corso Cavour’.
4. || PIAZZA DELLE ERBE ||
Considered one of the most prettiest plazas in all of Italy, the Piazza delle Erbe is the beautiful beating heart of Verona. Originally the site of the Roman Forum and chariot races, today it houses a busting flower and vegetable market along with a wide variety of charming cafes, bars and restaurants. Surrounded by historic monuments and renaissance fresco covered edifices, its a great place to spend a relaxing morning browsing the local produce and then the evening sampling the delicious delicacies. For a truly terrific panoramic view of the picturesque piazza make sure you take the 275ft ascent to the top of Lamberti Tower at sunset. Although it is well worth the climb, for an extra Euro you can save your legs and take the lift.
☻ Visit me: Market open Mon-Sat 8am-7pm. (Lamberti Tower Open June-Sept 9.30am-7.30pm)
£ I Cost: Free (Lamberti Tower €3 by lift €2 by foot)
✈ How to get to me: On foot.
5. || TOMBS OF THE SCALIGERI ||
A seemingly hidden treasure of the city, just around the corner from Piazza delle Erbe, you will find the elaborate Tombs of the Scala family. The final resting place of three of the ruling family of Verona from the 13th century to the late 14th century, the mausoleums are widely considered some of the best examples of gothic art in all of Italy. Amazingly, even though they are often hailed as masterpieces of architecture that could be on par with the Duomo of Milan, you don’t have to worry about crowds as it seems that most tourists are unaware they exist. Bonus!
☻ Visit me: Open all year round.
£ I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: On foot through Piazza delle Erbe and then Piazza die Signori.
Have you been to Verona? Where are your favourite places to visit in Verona? Drop me a comment below
Until next time Travarellas…