Verona is a Northern Italian city romanticised in the famous Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. In reality, it’s still an enchantingly beautiful yet vibrant city with a large student population.
It’s in close proximity to so many other phenomenal parts of Italy like Venice, the Dolomites, and Lake Garda. However, the Centro Storico (historic centre) is rather small, and most travellers will spend most of their time in Verona within this district surrounded by the River Adige.
Luckily, there are so many things to do in Verona within this area! Verona, Italy is jam-packed with museums, stunning piazzas, historic bridges, beautiful churches, and so much more.
Many of them are accessible via the Verona card too, so you can save money on entrance fees. And if you want to experience somewhere else in Italy, there are great day trips from Verona you can book too. Let’s check out all the best Verona tourist attractions and the best things to do in fair Verona!
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Things To Do in Verona
1. Verona Arena
Forget Rome and its Seventh Wonder of the World, Verona has its own amphitheatre! Built around 30 AD by the Romans, Verona Arena is so well preserved that it is still a fully functional theatre.
You can take self-guided tours of the arena (located in Piazza Bra) during the day but it’s also one of the best things to do in Verona at night.
During the summer months, the arena becomes a performance venue for operas. Verona’s Opera Festival runs from June to August and around three to four performances are scheduled every week.
It can seat a whopping 15,000 people but the shows are super popular so book your tickets in advance!
2. Piazza Delle Erbe
Every Italian city has one main piazza and for Verona, it’s Piazza Delle Erbe. This is the beating heart of the city with many historic palazzi (palaces) and statues.
You can marvel at the Madonna Verona fountain as well as the Arco Della Costa monument.
If you visit the piazza around lunchtime, you will likely find a market bursting with fresh produce, snacks, and souvenirs you can buy to take home with you.
From the square, you can head down Via Capello to find many of the top high street and designer stores.
3. Juliet’s House
Was Juliet Capulet, the 13-year-old star-crossed lover depicted in the Shakespearean play, a real person? Probably not.
Did she live in a house just off Via Capello? It’s unlikely. While the Gothic mansion that bears her name was built in the 1300s (Shakespeare wrote the play in 1595), the iconic balcony wasn’t added until much later.
No matter what the truth is, visiting Juliet’s house is without a doubt, one of the top things to do in Verona. There’s a huge courtyard with a bronze statue of the lady herself and cupping her right breast is supposed to bring you luck in love.
You’ll also find a huge graffiti wall where people have written the name of their crush or partner and also, bizarrely, their chewing gum.
Juliet’s House is an exhibition of all things ‘Juliet.’ You’ll find depictions of Juliet in art as well as costumes from the 1968 Italian film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. You can also leave a letter for the ‘Juliet Club’ here who will answer your letter and give you advice on your love life.
4. Castel San Pietro
On top of a hill on the other side of the River Adige is Castel San Pietro. Either a church or a castle has occupied this site since 1398 but the one standing today is a fortress dating back to the mid-19th-century.
The best thing about the castle isn’t the architecture or the history, it’s the view. Climb the 249 steps to the terrace where you can see a glorious view of the entire city. Or, pay a small fee to hop onto a funicular which will take you to the top of Castel San Pietro too.
5. Torre Dei Lamberti
Another place to see a fantastic view of Verona is Torre dei Lamberti. This tower is situated in Piazza Delle Erbe and was constructed in 1172 by the Lamberti family. It’s Verona’s tallest medieval tower and it’s also a bell tower.
6. Day Trip to Lake Garda
Verona is only a one-hour drive (or 45km) from Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. It would be rude not to set aside at least half a day from your trip to Verona to visit Lake Garda.
Most organised tours head to Sirmione, which is a charming and convenient lakeside town to visit.
From Sirmione, you can take a boat cruise around the lake and see other villages like Limone Sul Garda. You can also lounge on Jamaica beach and visit Scaligero Castle.
7. Ponte Pietra
When you visit a city on the banks of a river, you expect a beautiful and historic bridge or two. And the Ponte Pietra in the north of the city near Castel San Pietro is one of Verona’s finest.
It was first built in 100 BC by the Romans but it was destroyed in WWII. Thankfully, it was painstakingly reconstructed and is a beautiful example of ancient and modern architecture.
8. Castelvecchio Museum
Verona enjoys hot summers and mild winters, but temperatures can still drop to -1°C (30°F) in December and January.
If you’re looking for things to do in Verona in winter, museums are always a good call. And one of the best museums, if not the best museum, in Verona is the Castelvecchio museum.
Housed in a medieval castle that has been beautifully restored, inside you’ll find exhibitions full of exquisite sculptures, paintings, weapons and more by Italian artists.
9. Ponte Scaligero
Leading off the Castelvecchio Museum over the River Adige is a bridge that goes by many names. Some call it the Ponte Castelvecchio, Ponte Scaligero, or Ponte Della Scala.
Either way, it’s one of the most iconic bridges in the city. It’s named after the prominent Della Scalla family that ruled over Verona and the mainland Veneto region from 1262 to 1387.
This bridge dates back to 1350 but, as with Ponte Pietra, it was destroyed in WWII. Thankfully it was also reconstructed and the two-tone bricks make it look even more striking.
10. Basilica di Santa Anastasia
You might think that Verona Cathedral is the top church to visit in Verona, and you might be right. Many travellers and locals alike have had heated debates over the most beautiful church in Verona because there are so many.
One of the churches vying for the top spot is the Basilica di Santa Anastasia. This is a huge 13-century church with a rather plain exterior (by Italian standards) that does not at all refresh the beautiful interiors.
Inside, you’ll see tiled floors, ornate ceilings, frescos, and dozens of sculptures. When you enter this church, you won’t know where to look first!
11. Giardino Giusti
Outside of Verona’s Centro Storico just across the Ponte Nuovo is Giardino Giusi, a public garden that dates back to the 16th century. These gardens are filled with statues, cypress trees, manicured hedges, fountains and more.
They also offer a beautiful view over parts of Verona and a quiet place to walk around away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
12. Verona Porta Nuova
Hundreds of years ago, cities like Verona had city walls and gates and other defensive structures. Verona’s Porta Nuova is exactly that. It’s an old 16th-century gate that now stands alone, but once upon a time, it was the southern gateway to the city.
It’s an impressive and miraculously intact stone structure that is absolutely worth seeing. It’s slightly out of the city’s historic centre but if you are heading to Verona’s Porta Nuova train station at any point during your trip then you can’t miss it.
13. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
Another Verona landmark that is outside of the Centro Storico that is worth making the journey to visit is the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore. Situated in the busy San Zeno neighbourhood, this beautiful Romanesque church houses tons of religious pieces of art.
Head to the church on a weekend and you might find the San Zano flea market set up outside. It’s one of the most off-the-beaten-path and unusual things to do in Verona and the best place to buy vintage accessories, antiques, and other interesting nicknacks.
14. Taste Local Wine at the Vineyards
Every Italian region has its own local culinary delights. And while you can find great wine all over Italy, the Veneto region (where Verona is situated) produces more wine than any other.
It grows and produces pinot grigio, prosecco, as well as other wines from the Valpolicella, Amarone, Soave and Bardolino grapes.
You can either ask for recommendations from the bartender at a bar or restaurant in Verona, join a wine-tasting tour, or take a day trip to a winery in the nearby Valpolicella region.
15. Santa Maria Matricolare Cathedral
Verona’s Duomo (also known as Santa Maria Matricolare Cathedral) sits at the top of the Centro Storico neighbourhood and can be seen from Castel San Pietro.
It’s a Romanesque Cathedral with fewer artworks and frescoes than some of the other churches in Verona but it’s no less impressive.
16. Juliet’s Tomb
If it was difficult to suspend disbelief in Juliet’s House, then believing that Juliet’s Tomb is the Juliet’s tomb might be too much. But there is the ruin of an old tomb said to have once held the remains of Juliet Capulet herself.
Luckily, the 13th-century convent (on Via Shakespeare, if that’s not too corny) where the tomb is situated is also a beautiful place to visit.
There are Roman sculptures and a nice little park where newlyweds take wedding photographs. Plus, if you’re visiting Juliet’s House then you can save money on a combo ticket to visit Juliet’s Tomb too.
17. Piazza dei Signori
Piazza dei Signori is Verona’s secondary piazza, just behind Piazza Della Erbe so it won’t be hard to find. In this square, you’ll find notable and historic buildings like the Palace of the Podestà and Loggia del Consiglio which date back to the 15th century.
You’ll also find a statue of the poet Dante in this piazza. The writer behind famous works like The Divine Comedy spent seven years living in Verona following his exile from Florence.
Overall, it’s just a very historic square featuring buildings and sculptures from different periods including ones with Verona’s signature wall designs that contributed to making the City of Verona a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
18. Church of Santa Maria Antica
One of the most understated churches in Verona is the Church of Santa Maria Antica. Dating all the way back to 1185, this Romanesque church sits in the centre of other historic buildings like the Palace of Cansignorio and the Scaliger Tombs.
It has a simple white stone interior but, thanks to its connection with the Della Scala family, it is an important monument to Verona.
19. Day Trip to the Dolomites
The Dolomites is a mountain range in northeastern Italy just under 200km north of Verona. It takes around two hours and 45 minutes to drive there from the city.
If you’re dedicated, you could take one long day trip just to visit these spectacular mountains. To save time, there are plenty of cable cars you can use to witness the vistas from the mountains without having to spend hours climbing.
20. Join a Local Food Tour
Liguria has pesto, Napoli can take credit for pizza, and Tuscany can call dibs on pasta alla carbonara.
The Veneto region and the city of Verona also have signature dishes that you should taste when you’re in the local area. You can either seek them out yourself or join a food tour where a knowledgeable guide will take you to all the top restaurants and bars around the city.
Verona’s Monte Veronese cheese made from cow’s milk is a staple on any aperitivo board or tasting platter. You’ll usually find it accompanied by salami. Or if you’re in the mood for something heartier, Verona’s Risotto all Amarone is a red wine risotto which gives the dish a distinctive deep purple colour.
Finish your meal with local sweet treats like pandoro (similar to panettone) or frittole. These are doughnut-like pastries with raisins and dusted with icing sugar. They’re usually a seasonal treat that you only find in winter which is a great reason to book an off-season trip to Verona!
Recommended tours in Verona
Verona Highlights Walking Tour in Small-group
Verona Food & Wine Walking Tour in Small-group
Discover Valpolicella Vineyards and Wine Tasting Experience
Italian Risotto recipes and Pasta Cooking Class
The Verona Food, Wine & history, Lunch/sunset aperitif & skip the line cable car
Verona Arena Skip-the-line Tour
Passionate Verona: Living Romeo and Juliet’s Story
Valpolicella Wine Tour: 3 Wineries, refined lunch & unique Amarone tastings