If you want to find out about the things to do and see in Verona, I’ll let the famous writer Charles Dickens speak:
“Pleasant Verona! With its beautiful old palaces, and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace walks, and stately, balustraded galleries. With its Roman gates, still spanning the fair street, and casting, on the sunlight of to-day, the shade of fifteen hundred years ago. With its fast-rushing river, picturesque old bridge, great casteel waving cypresses and prospect so delightfull , and so cheerfull! Pleasant Verona!
In just a few lines, this literary giant managed to capture all the aspects that only Verona can express. The city has been bestowed with the title of UNESCO World Heritage for its historic center. What is Verona best known for? Well, the city is renowned for its architecture, the well-preserved Roman amphitheater known as the Arena di Verona, and its association with the story of Romeo and Juliet.
Before delving into the main gems of beautiful Verona, let’s see how to get there.
How to get to Verona
To reach Verona, there are plenty of possibilities. The city is well-connected with various transportation options:
- By plane. Valerio Catullo Airport is the closest, and every 20 minutes, you can find a shuttle that will take you to Verona Porta Nuova train station. From there, you can reach the city center on foot or by bus.
- By train. Verona Porta Nuova station is a 20-minute walk from the historic center. From Lake Garda (Peschiera or Desenzano), you can find a direct train to Verona.
- By bus. ATV (Verona Transport Company) allows you to reach the historic center with their urban buses. If you’re coming from Lake Garda, you can take ATV line 164 which passes through Garda, Bardolino, Lazise, and Peschiera, reaching Verona. Alternatively, the ARRIVA Brescia LN0026 line departs from Brescia, stopping at Desenzano, Sirmione, and Peschiera before arriving in the center of Verona.
- By car. Verona is located at the intersection of the A22 Brenner motorway (from north to south) and the A4 Serenissima (from east to west). You can then park your car for free at the Porta Palio Parking or at the Centro Parking for €1.00 per hour or €10.00 for the whole day. The parking lots closer to the city center have a higher cost.
Are you planning to leave Lake Garda for a day trip to Verona? Join our bus tour and ensure yourself to see the best attractions and sights in just one day.
By booking our bus tour from Lake Garda, you’ll have the chance to explore the history and interesting facts about Verona. During the journey, our guide will provide you with some useful information. Once in the city, a one-and-a-half-hour guided tour is scheduled. A local guide will lead you to discover all the treasures of the city. In the afternoon, you’ll have some free time.
Things to do and see in Verona
Let’s talk about my city, so I’ll try to give you a comprehensive yet concise overview of the best things to do and see in Verona in one or more days.
Verona is characterized by various aspects, with the most notable being its title as the Italian ‘City of Love’. For this, we undoubtedly have to thank the poet William Shakespeare, who made it the setting for the story of Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy famous worldwide.
THINGS TO SEE IN VERONA
1. Arena di Verona and Piazza Bra
One of the things you should not miss is the Arena di Verona! One of the most significant examples of Roman architecture in Italy. The amphitheatre is located in the heart of the historic centre and is the symbol of the city.
Due to the lack of written sources, it has not been possible to provide a precise construction date for the amphitheatre. Its origins are estimated to be around the 1st century. However, it is undoubtedly the best-preserved ancient amphitheatre in the world.
You can take a stroll around the entire perimeter of the Arena. Alternatively, if you’d like to visit its interior, the ticket costs €12.00. I also recommend checking their website for detailed information on prices and opening hours.
I love going to the Arena on summer nights. The daytime heat gives way to a gentle evening breeze, and people are happy, eagerly anticipating listening to their favorite singer or attending a festival.
The Arena serves as the venue for some of the city’s major events: opera festivals, concerts by renowned artists, musical events, and even volleyball matches.
If you have the chance to attend one of these magnificent events, I have a tip for you. If you’ll be seated on the stone steps, it’s better to bring a cushion with you. The stones are not particularly comfortable, and they can remain quite warm even in the evening. If you don’t have one with you, don’t worry. The numerous stalls at the entrance will be happy to assist you.
But we can’t talk about the Arena di Verona without mentioning the magnificent square that surrounds it. Let’s go and explore it!
Piazza Bra is the vast square that welcomes both locals and visitors, heralding the wonders of the city. It is the largest square in Verona, but it acquired its current appearance only in the 1500s when the architect Michele Sanmicheli helped define the western side.
Taking a 360° spin, you can admire all the main points of the square. Starting from Palazzo Barbieri, the City Hall, then turning always to your right, you’ll immediately encounter the imposing Palazzo della Gran Guardia. Right next to it, you’ll see two arches, and lifting your gaze, you’ll find an authoritative clock. Well, believe it or not, that’s the clock of the Bra gates, and it has been there since 1872!
In the mood for some shopping? Via Mazzini, the street connecting Piazza Bra to the famous Piazza Erbe, will surely have a little shop suitable for you!
2. Juliet’s House
It’s right at number 23 Via Cappello that you can find the second among the things to do and see in Verona: Juliet’s House. According to tradition, this is where the Capulet family lived, and where we can now admire the most famous balcony in Europe and perhaps the world.
To welcome you, there is an imposing wrought-iron gate. Once you pass through it, you’ll arrive in the bright courtyard of the house. Right in front of you is the famous bronze statue depicting Juliet. You can stop to touch her right breast as a good luck gesture, but know that the original statue is only found in Juliet’s house-museum. This relocation was necessary due to numerous superstitious contacts, causing a small hole in the statue’s breast.
Admiring the famous balcony is one of the free things to do and see in Verona. However, if you wish, you can enter the house-museum, where the Dal Cappello family lived until the 13th century. As you might have guessed, it’s this family that gives its name to the street, and who knows, they might have inspired the English playwright for Juliet’s last name.
The large gate behind Juliet’s statue is the secondary entrance to the Teatro Nuovo in Verona. Here, every summer, they stage a traveling performance of Romeo and Juliet.
The Traveling Show of Romeo and Juliet is not the typical theatrical opera. Spectators are guided by the actors to the city’s most important locations, reliving some of the most beautiful and tragic moments of this timeless story.
But there’s a special activity that upholds the tradition of this famous couple, and the city of Verona takes great pride in it. If you wish, you can write a letter to Juliet, speaking about love, seeking advice, or sharing your own past stories. All letters receive a reply, naturally signed “Juliet“. The secretaries of the Juliet Club will be responding to you with passion and affection.
This club was founded in 1972, but the first letter dates back to the distant 1930. In that year, Ettore Solimani, the custodian of Juliet’s Tomb, began responding, becoming the first “Secretary of Juliet.” To this day, thanks in part to the film “Letters to Juliet“, this tradition has become known worldwide, contributing to making Verona the undisputed capital of love.
I myself, thanks to my high school, had the honor of responding to lovestruck hearts seeking some comfort or simply a friend. When I can, I still go to lend a hand to the volunteers.
The final scene of Shakespeare’s love tragedy takes place around Juliet’s Tomb, which is also open for visits.
The ticket for admission to Juliet’s House costs €12.00. To visit the house and access the balcony, it is necessary to book the ticket exclusively online on the website museiverona.com.
3. Scaliger Bridge and Stone Bridge
Looking at Verona’s map, you can notice that it is crossed by the Adige River. For this reason, in my list of things to do and see in Verona, I’ve also included the two most beautiful bridges in the city.
The first one I’ll tell you about is the Castelvecchio Bridge (Ponte Castelvecchio) in Verona, also called the Scaliger Bridge (Ponte Scaligero) because of the era of its construction. This magnificent crenellated bridge with three arches spans the river, starting from the Mastio Tower, located at the center of the medieval Castelvecchio Fortress.
Some of the most famous shots of the city have been taken right there. Walk on the bridge with your camera in hand to try to recreate them.
This bridge was destroyed by the Germans during their retreat in 1945. Fortunately, it was faithfully reconstructed using only the original stones and bricks recovered from the riverbed.
The fortress can only be visited from the outside, but it houses the Civic Museum of Verona, which is accessible. Here, 29 rooms, 622 works of art, specialized cabinets, a photo library, a room for temporary exhibitions, and much more await you. If you’re interested, the ticket price is €9.00.
If you’re searching for what to see in Verona in a day on foot, you can’t miss the next gem I’m about to tell you about!
The famous Stone Bridge (Ponte Pietra) was built by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. Over the years, it was reconstructed several times due to damages and collapses caused by floods of the Adige River or human intervention.
The most significant damage occurred in 1945, like the Scaliger Bridge, at the hands of the Germans. Efforts were made to recover as much material as possible for reconstruction, but some parts were irreparable. The three ancient parts of the bridge – the Roman, the medieval, and the Venetian – were then carefully reconstructed.
From Ponte Pietra, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the river, Castel San Pietro, and the Roman Theatre. I’d like to tell you more about the latter.
Dating back to the end of the 1st century B.C., the Roman Theatre of Verona is, along with the one in Trieste, one of the largest ancient theaters in northern Italy. To build it, the Greek technique was employed, utilizing the natural slope of the San Pietro hill. Once the era of strict Roman urban planning rules passed, various structures were built on the theater, including houses, a church, and a monastery.
Thanks to the efforts of the physician Andrea Monga and his passion for archaeology, the Theatre was brought back to light. Inside, you can now visit the Archaeological Museum showcasing artifacts recovered from the excavation and more. The ticket to enter the museum costs €9.00.
THINGS TO DO IN VERONA
1. Admire the city from its panoramic viewpoints
Like many other cities, Verona offers an incredible atmosphere when seen from above. Two viewpoints are truly worth visiting to relax and capture magnificent photos.
The first one I’ll mention in this list of things to do and see in Verona is Castel San Pietro, my favorite. The hill on which this building stands has been inhabited since ancient times, hosting the now-reconstructed Roman Theatre I told you about earlier.
Thanks to its elevated position, from up there, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire Verona. On the clearest days, you can admire the Arena, Castelvecchio, and the course of the Adige River. If it’s quiet, you might even hear the rustle of the water.
If you’re wondering about what to see in Verona in one day, a visit to Castel San Pietro will allow you to admire the city in all its beauty.
How to reach Castel San Pietro:
This panoramic point in Verona can be reached in various ways:
- On foot. From the historic center, cross Ponte Pietra, walk along the road, and look for a small alley with stairs on the left at the traffic light. After a bit of effort, you will reach Castel San Pietro. But don’t worry! You’ll be too busy admiring the picturesque views along your way to think about the effort. At the top, if you need to freshen up, you’ll find a bar and a restaurant.
- By funicular. Open from 10:30 AM to 9:30 PM in the summer and until 5:30 PM in the winter, the cost is € 3.00, or € 5.00 for a round trip. For residents, the price is only €1.00. It departs from Via Santo Stefano.
- By car. Passing through the Torricelle, the gentle hills that embrace Verona, you’ll reach Castel San Pietro in no time.
Ready to discover the second panoramic viewpoint that serves as the backdrop to a legend of the city? Add it to your list of experiences to do in Verona.
I’m talking about the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes (Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes). This imposing sanctuary stands on the San Leonardo hill, and from its immense terrace, you can admire Verona in all its splendor.
According to legend, a miraculous healing occurred right in this place. A woman suffering from a severe sciatic disease would come every day to fetch water from the sanctuary’s fountain and pray to the Immaculate Madonna. One morning, her physical condition worsened, and as a final wish, she asked for a blessing from the bishop during the Mass. The request was granted, and the woman found herself praying incessantly lying in her bed. Suddenly, her suffering ended: she was completely healed.
If you’re looking for information on what to see in Verona at night, you’re in the right place! Here, you’ll find the AMEN Panoramic Bar & Food, an excellent spot for an aperitif or cocktails with friends.
How to reach the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes:
The Sanctuary is located on the hills northwest of Verona, at Viale dei Colli 27. The building is easily recognizable from the entire city and can be reached on foot or by car.
- On foot. Starting from Ponte Pietra, the journey will be mostly uphill and will take about 25 minutes. Please note that the panoramic square is open until 7:00 PM.
- By car. From the historic center, it’s approximately 4 km.
- By bus. Using the urban buses of ATV Verona.
2. Stroll through the markers in the most famous squares
Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Signori, and Cortile Mercato Vecchio are some of the most important and famous squares in the city. In your list of things to do and see in Verona in a day, why not add a little stroll among the stalls?
Piazza delle Erbe, Verona’s ancient Roman forum, has always been the center of the city, a meeting place for locals and visitors alike. All around, buildings and monuments from every era and style make it an essential stop for any guided tour of Verona.
Let’s delve into its history a bit. We all know the typical Roman urban layout, right? The square surrounded by walls with parallel and perpendicular streets, creating a regular grid. Well, also remember that the two main avenues (cardo maximus and decumanus maximus) intersected at the center, forming the forum, the heart of social, economic, and religious life. Two thousand years later, the Roman forum of Verona is still there: Piazza delle Erbe.
The market is active from Monday to Saturday, from 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM. You can find groceries, local products, bags, and souvenirs. All around, there are various bars where you can enjoy a coffee or a good spritz!
The difference between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, although located next to each other, is immediate and remarkable. While Piazza delle Erbe is articulated, popular, and typically “Italian,” on the other hand, Piazza dei Signori is harmonious, aristocratic, and intimate. Its name comes from the Middle Ages when it hosted the court of the Scaligeri Signoria.
To move from Piazza delle Erbe to Piazza dei Signori, you have to walk through the Arco della Costa. A detail that has always captured the curiosity of visitors is a rather unique object hanging on the arch. What appears to be a bone has given rise to a series of legends trying to explain what it is. From a relic brought by the Veronese Crusaders returning from the Battle of Lepanto to a rib of the Devil, or a whale’s rib.
In the center of the square stands the monument dedicated to Dante Alighieri. It was created in 1865 to celebrate the sixth centenary of the birth of the great poet, who was a guest in Verona during his exile from Florence. It is a splendid three-meter-high marble statue supported by a pedestal.
This square hosts the characteristic wooden houses of Verona’s Christmas markets. For an overview of all the Christmas markets on Lake Garda and its surroundings, read our dedicated article!
The last square I want to talk to you about today is the Cortile del Mercato Vecchio, where you can also find the famous Christmas markets. Among the things to do and see in Verona, a visit to the Palazzo della Ragione that surrounds the square cannot be missed.
A small passage from Piazza dei Signori will take you to Cortile del Mercato Vecchio, the ancient location for every commercial activity and the city market. Here, the marble Scala della Ragione stands out in all its beauty, leading to the inside of the Tribunal. An entrance hidden under it leads to the famous Torre dei Lamberti, whose top is accessible through stairs or a convenient elevator. The tower is named after the powerful Veronese family that had it erected.
Built in the 12th century and raised several times, it is the tallest tower in Verona, often featured on postcards and souvenirs. From its panoramic bell chamber, at a height of 84 meters, you can enjoy an unparalleled view of the city center and the surrounding areas.
Although admiring it from below is always breathtaking, you also have the opportunity to climb it. The price per person is €6.00.
3. Enhance your visit with an organised activity
If you’re looking for unusual and original things to do in Verona, keep reading because I have the perfect activity for you! Verona in Tour organizes many experiences in the Verona and Lake Garda area. Among these, I would like to suggest soft rafting at sunset on the Adige River.
An expert in rafting will accompany you on this adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to admire the city from a different perspective and enjoy incredible views of Verona. The day will then conclude in Piazza delle Erbe with a delightful aperitivo in hand.
For more information and to discover all the other beautiful tours, visit their website here.
This activity is excellent if you’re wondering what to see in Verona in two days. This way, you can spend one day exploring the streets of the city center and dedicate the second day to some activities.
My list of things to do and see in Verona has come to an end, but I can’t let you go without talking about some of the city’s main events.
- Arena Opera Festival. Every year, within the walls of the Arena di Verona, this operatic festival is organized, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. From June to September, you just have to choose the evening you prefer!
- Vinitaly. It is the largest wine fair in Italy. During the fair, you can taste a wide range of wines from different Italian regions, participate in guided tastings, business meetings, and seminars scattered throughout the city of Verona. Unmissable!
- Fieracavalli. It is an international event dedicated to the world of horse riding. There are equestrian shows, competitions, and exhibitions. Passionate about horses? This is the perfect event for you!
- Motorbike Expo. This event showcases the world of motorcycles and is one of the largest gatherings dedicated to two-wheelers in Italy. Bicycle exhibitions, acrobatic performances, competitions, and meetings with personalities from the world of motorcycles await you at this magnificent event.