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15 Best Things to Do in Verona (Italy)

Nestled on a U bend on the Adige River, Verona is one of the most important cities in the Veneto region of Italy and is famed for its historical centre and myriad of stunning buildings and architecture.

Verona is the second largest city in the region behind Venice and has a population of 269,000. In 89 BC, Verona became a Roman settlement and held an important position in Northern Italy as it was located at the intersection of two important roads.

As time progressed and the Roman Empire collapsed, other factions and ruling parties exercised control over Verona including Alboin of the Lombards, Mastino II, and Maximilian I. Today, Verona attracts a huge number of tourist due to its rich history and significance, and its myriad of ancient buildings such as the Arena and the Ponte Scaligero.

Lets explore the best things to do in Verona :

1. Arena di Verona

Arena di Verona

Forget about the Colosseum in Rome; Verona has its own version that is just as spectacular and possibly better preserved.

This national landmark is unknown to many, but it stands as a triumph of Roman engineering and is a true wonder.

Located in the middle of the historic town centre, the Arena is an immense Colosseum that contains literally of its original seating and exterior arches.

Constructed in 30 AD, it is remarkable that this structure has stood in such a fine condition for thousands of years.

Various shows and games would have been held here such as the Roman Ludi and at its peak, the amphitheatre would have held 30,000 spectators.

Today you can walk inside the Arena and admire its architecture; furthermore, concerts and musical shows are still held here which is a true spectacle.

2. Castle Vecchio

Castle Vecchio

Sitting on the banks of the River Adige, the Castle Vecchio is a hugely important structure and has stood since its initial construction in 1354. Serving as a primary mode of defence for the city, this castle was the greatest achievement of engineering for the Scaliger dynasty.

The front gatehouse of the castle is quit imposing and features a series of crenulated battlements and two guard towers.

Inside there is a museum dedicated to the history of the castle that contains a myriad of artefacts and factual displays.

Furthermore, there is the fantastic Castle Vecchio Bridge that is attached to the main complex and provides fantastic views down the river.

3. Ponte di Castle Vecchio

Ponte di Castle Vecchio

At the time of its construction, the bridge was the longest of its kind in the world.

Connected to the Castle Vecchio, the bridge is decorated in the same style as the walls of the castle and features a fantastic series of crenulated battlements that you can see through down the River Adige.

As with most of the historic buildings of Verona created during this era, the bridge is made from red brick which makes it stand out against the landscape of the city.

Furthermore, there is several series of stairs that you can climb in the towers of the bridge to gain an elevated viewpoint.

Aside from walking across the bridge, ensure that you walk along the river bank to view it and photography it from the side.

4. Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

The Basilica of San Zeno is one of the most important religious buildings in Verona, mainly for its stunning architecture, but also because it was the fictional place of the marriage of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Located on the west side of the River Adige, the Basilica sits at the far end of the Piazza San Zeno.

The front façade of this church is quite simple and has a large central circular window and a beautiful ornate wooden door.

Inside the Basilica is truly beautiful however – the floor is covered with peach and grey tiles, marble columns hold up the arches and the ceiling has a series of decorative tile-work.

Additionally, an Abbey is also attached to the church with a wonderful arched courtyard and cloister.

5. Piazza Delle Erbe

Piazza Delle Erbe

Verona has a wonderful amount of charming squares and the Piazza Delle Erbe is one of the finest examples.

This diamond shaped piazza lies in the heart of the historic centre of the city and serves as one of the main points of activity.

During the Roman Empire, this piazza would have served as the main forum for the settlement.

Various important buildings line the square including the Torre Lamberti, the Palazzo Maffeia and the Case dei Giudici.

Furthermore, there is a selection of cafes and restaurants and also several fountains and marble statues.

The architecture, building facades and character of this beautiful piazza is undeniable.

6. Giardino Giusti

Giardino Giusti

The Giusti Gardens are located in the grounds of the palace of the same name on the eastern bank of the river Adige.

The palace itself is a Neo-Classical structure and the gardens can be found at the back of the building.

Designed in an Italian Renaissance style, the gardens are some of the finest in Verona and provide a beautiful contrast to the waves of architecture that is present in the city.

Separated into 8 different squares, each part contains a different design and a central fountain or decoration.

Maintained to a beautiful standard, it is easy to see the care and attention that is put into this garden.

Furthermore, there is also an exciting hedge maze and a small wooded area to walk through.

7. Piazza Bra

Piazza Bra

As the largest piazza in Verona, the Piazza Bra is one of the main tourist areas of the city and contains a great amount of historic buildings, public amenities and eateries.

Undoubtedly the main attraction of the piazza is the colossal Arena di Verona and the open space surrounding this monument offers some fantastic photographic opportunities.

Furthermore, there is the Gran Guardia and the Palazzo Beriberi which are two fabulous buildings in their own right.

Aside from the main buildings, there are many quaint shopping and residential structures that are painted in various colour and have beautifully decorated shutters and balconies.

The Piazza Bra is definitely one of the best places to start your tour of Verona.

8. Torre dei Lamberti

Torre dei Lamberti

Standing proudly on the Piazza Delle Erbe, the Torre dei Lamberti is the tallest tower in Verona standing at 84m high.

Construction originally started in the 1100’s however the tower stood in a state of disrepair and it was not until the 15th century that the tower was enlarged and clad.

Different time periods can be seen when looking at the tower as it is split into several distinct different sections.

A huge clock face adorns the wall that faces into the piazza, and the tower is topped with an octagonal dome containing a series of marble arches.

If you want to see Verona from a different angle, you can climb to the top of the tower and see the whole of the city spread out before you.

9. Verona Cathedral

Verona Cathedral

Created in a similar style to the Basilica of San Zeno, Verona Cathedral presents a building that is grander, larger and more decorative.

The front facade features a similar shape and composition, but contains a great deal more decoration and some fantastic artwork and stained glass windows.

Consecrated in 1187, the Cathedral is one of the oldest religious buildings in Verona and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Whilst the exterior is marvellous in its own right, the interior is just as opulent and decorative.

At the main altar, there is a stunning fresco depicting the a religious scene, and more Renaissance frescos can be seen in the main chapels.

Furthermore, a huge gold organ stands to the right of the altar and red Verona marble columns line the main knave.

10. Castel San Pietro

Castel San Pietro

Holding a strategic position on the eastern bank of the Adige, the Castle of Saint Peter sits on a slightly elevated hill and has been inhabited since Roman times.

Originally, a church dedicated to Saint Peter stood here which gives the castle its name.

During the 1300’s the actual castle was built as a means of fortification for the city and stood firm for over 400 years.

Although the castle is no longer open to the public, you can still walk through its grounds, admire the amazing architecture, and experience fantastic views across to the historic centre of Verona.

11. Scaliger Tombs

Scaliger Tombs

Located next to the Piazza dei Signori, the Scaliger Tombs are a series of gothic funerary monuments dedicated to the influential Scaliger family.

This family rule Verona for many years and the heads of the house sat as the Lords of Verona.

Enclosed within a series or ornate Iron grills, the tombs have a Gothic design and feature a central arched structure with many pointed towers and stone sculptured decoration.

Five tombs in total sit in the enclosure dedicated to Cangrande I, Mastino II, Cansignorio, Alberto II and Giovanni.

The last monument is actually built into the wall of the adjoining chapel and features an ornate coffin and death mask.

12. Arco dei Gavi

Arco dei Gavi Verona

Reminiscent of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, the Arco dei Gavi was constructed during the first century AD and would have originally served as part of the city defences and been a major gate into what is now the historic city centre.

The original inscription of the pediment on the arch read “Lucius Vitruvius Libertus”. During the Napoleonic era, the arch was actually demolished and it was not properly rebuilt using original designs until the 20th century.

You can now marvel at the arch in all its glory next to the Castle Vecchio – It is also worth seeing at night when it is beautifully lit up.

13. Casa di Giulietta

Casa di Giulietta

Verona is famous for having an associated with William Shakespeare; several of his plays are set in this city including the epic Romeo and Juliet.

Located on the Via Cappello, the Casa di Giulietta is the supposed building from the famous scene in Shakespeare’s play where Romeo Hails Juliet and she speaks to him from the balcony.

Although this building has been added too and any truth has be embellished, it nonetheless provides an important attraction and is a great place to visit if you are in that part of the city.

You can see the fabled balcony and inside the house there is a selection of informative displays about the play and the building.

14. Lake Garda

Lake Garda

There are many great lakes in Italy, but non is as impressive as the mighty Lake Garda.

Lake Garda covers a surface area of 369 squared KM and has a water volume of 50.35km cubed.

It is one of the largest lakes in Italy, and also a popular holiday location due to its favourable climate, beautiful scenery and the amount of attractions available.

If you are staying in Verona for a length of time, consider taking a day trip to Lake Garda to explore this beautiful area of natural beauty – Consider a boat ride on the lake, or visiting one of the charming towns that sit on its shores such as Sermione or Bardolino.

15. Piazza dei Signori

Piazza dei Signori

Another of Verona’s fine Piazza’s, the Piazza dei Signori actually sits in close proximity to the Piazza delle Erbe but is just as interesting and popular.

Many historical and architecturally beautiful buildings line the square including the Palazzo del Capitano, the Loggia del Consiglio and the Case della Pieta.

Each building offers a slightly different style and the square is a miss-match of different time periods that creates a pleasant contrast.

Music performances are often held here and there is also several cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating.

15 Best Things to Do in Verona (Italy):

  • Arena di Verona
  • Castle Vecchio
  • Ponte di Castle Vecchio
  • Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore
  • Piazza Delle Erbe
  • Giardino Giusti
  • Torre dei Lamberti
  • Verona Cathedral
  • Castel San Pietro
  • Scaliger Tombs
  • Arco dei Gavi
  • Casa di Giulietta
  • Piazza dei Signori

Full Suitcase Travel Blog

17 Places to See & Best Things to Do in Verona, Italy (+Map & Travel Tips)

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: March 20, 2024

17 Places to See & Best Things to Do in Verona, Italy (+Map & Travel Tips)

Visiting Verona in Italy and wondering what to expect and what to see and do in the city? In this guide, we cover all the musts – the best places to see and things to do in Verona for first-time visitors . Take a look!

Verona lies in the Veneto region in the north of the country and is one of the prettiest cities in Italy . Known as a romantic destination because of its association with Romeo and Juliet, the city is still much quieter than the major tourist destinations like Rome , Venice , Florence , or Milan .

Yet there are many good reasons to visit Verona beyond the famous Juliet’s Balcony… From its historic amphitheater and the beautifully preserved churches and ancient bridges to the beautiful wine region just near the city, Verona has more to offer than it looks at first glance.

In this guide, you can read about the VERY BEST things to see and do in Verona . We cover all the musts for first-time visitors, but also a few of the nicest sights and attractions for those of you who have a bit more time in the area. It’s well worth planning a bit more time in Verona and exploring deeper!

We also created a map of the main landmarks of Verona and included some helpful tips for visiting each attraction. You can find all this information at the bottom of this article.

Take a look!

Verona city and arena aerial view

PRO TIP: As you’ll see below, almost all the main landmarks in Verona require a ticket. But pretty much all of them are also included with the Verona Card . You can get this card for 1 or 2 days and it offers exceptional value for those who want to visit all the best places in Verona.

Verona Card pays off even if you just visit 3-4 of the most popular attractions in Verona, not even to mention the use of public transport, etc.

Since most of the main sights in Verona don’t require lots of time, you’ll likely cover most of them during your visit. So this city pass is a really good value. We hardly ever get city passes for a short city visit, but in Verona, it really makes sense.

Top 4 Experiences in Verona:

  • Verona Card with Arena Priority Entrance
  • Wine Tasting Tours
  • Countryside E-bike Tours

Verona old town

These are the main attractions and best things to do in Verona, Italy:

1. Arena di Verona

Dating all the way back to 30 AD, Arena di Verona is a splendid amphitheater and definitely #1 of the best places to see in Verona!

Verona Arena can easily rival the famous Colosseum in Rome (which was built a few decennia later, around 70-80 AD). In a way, it’s even more impressive since it’s so perfectly preserved. Arena di Verona is still used for live opera performances today!

Built to hold 30,000 spectators, this architectural marvel is located at Piazza Bra in the heart of the historic town. Citizens from all over the Roman Empire would have come here to watch ‘ludi’ (Roman games and shows).

Containing all of its original arches and seating, the Arena is absolutely fascinating to visit, either during an opera performance or as part of a sightseeing tour . From the upper levels, you have a great overview of the Arena itself, but also a nice high-angle view of the city center.

We explain all the best ticket options for visiting Arena di Verona below.

Verona Arena - must do in Verona Italy

Tickets and tours: You can opt for a single ticket or visit Verona Arena with Verona Card that gives you skip-the-line access. Alternatively, if you want to get a bit more background information, you can also book a skip-the-line Arena guided tour . A popular option is also this guided city tour that – among other sights – includes a visit to the Arena as well.

Either way, getting skip-the-line tickets/ booking a tour in advance is well worth it; especially if visiting Verona in the high season (+-April to October) or on the weekends.

Good to know: In addition to visiting the Arena for sightseeing, it’s really worth trying to attend an opera performance here at night. The sight of the Arena all lit up and the magic of listening to such music in a real ancient amphitheater makes for an unforgettable evening!

If you are visiting Verona on a weekend (Thursday-Sunday) during the summer months, don’t miss this bucket list experience!

You can see the calendar and reserve your ticket for the opera performance in advance on their website or on GetYourGuide . The latter has a special deal that includes tickets for the opera performance, plus a guided city tour, public transport in the area, reservation fees, etc. And – the main advantage – you can cancel for free up to 24hrs before the date of the event.

If you didn’t reserve in advance, you may still try to get a ticket on the day itself. Also, the cheapest tickets are for the stone steps and the seats are unreserved . So if you get one of those, make sure you arrive early to get a good spot. You can also rent a cushion for a couple of euros, which I would definitely recommend doing. The alternative is to sit on the hard stone for the duration of the performance!

TIP: As you enter the Arena for a performance, make sure you pick up a candle from the large unmarked box by the gate. These are free and given to honor ‘the tradition of the candles’, which is apparently how the stage was illuminated in the past. These days, everyone is asked to light their candle right before the performance begins, which is an awesome sight!

Verona Arena exterior close-up

2. Piazza Bra

Piazza Bra is Verona’s largest town square and the place where most tourists to begin their visit to the city. You’ll likely come here through I Portoni della Brà , the impressive Verona city gates. Under the gate, you can see a small statue of William Shakespeare.

Located on the edge of the city center, Piazza Bra is home to the Arena di Verona . It has lots of open space around the arena too, offering plenty of opportunities to take nice pictures of the amphitheater.

You’ll find many other historic buildings here too including the Palazzo Beriberi and the Gran Guardia Palace . In the center of the square stands the statue of the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele II on horseback. Whereas the southern end of the piazza is enclosed by part of Verona’s medieval city walls and the above-mentioned city gate.

Piazza Bra is lined with lots of colorful shops and homes, with pretty balconies and decorated shutters. It’s also filled with terraces and cafes, making it a great place for a cup of coffee and some people-watching.

If you’re here before dinner, you’ll likely see groups of friends and families walking around as they take part in their daily passeggiata . This is the Italian ritual of taking a stroll before eating.

Good to know: There is a pretty little park in the piazza – Giardini Vittorio Emanuele II – that offers some shade and has a few benches. It’s a great place to take a little rest from sightseeing. There is a fountain in the middle called Fontana delle Alpi or Fontana di Piazza Brà . The locals call it ‘lemon squeezer’ because that’s exactly what it looks like!

Portoni della Brà city gates in Verona Italy

3. Piazza delle Erbe

There are lots of lovely squares to visit in Verona. Piazza delle Erbe in the middle of the historic old town is probably my personal favorite. Diamond-shaped and lined with important buildings, it was Verona’s principal Forum.

This is where you’ll find the beautiful Baroque Palazzo Maffei and the Torre Lamberti , along with lots of charming cafes to enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Take the time to admire all the buildings here – many of them have colorful mural paintings.

Look out for the ‘Capitello’ in the center of the square. This columned canopy dates back to the 16th century and was the place where punishment sentences were announced. You can also see a 14th-century Madonna di Verona fountain , with the statue itself dating back to 380 AD.

You can’t really miss the Lion of St. Mark located on the column in front of Gardello Tower and Maffei Palace. This winged statue symbolizes Venetian rule and you can find a number of depictions throughout the city.

There are usually lots of market stalls on Piazza delle Erbe. Nowadays, they tend to sell a lot more souvenirs than the handmade goods they were originally used for. The umbrellas cover the view somewhat and might detract a bit from the beauty of the square, but the bustling atmosphere in the historic setting makes this unique square one of the best places to see in Verona!

Piazza delle Erbe in Verona

4. Torre dei Lamberti

Located on the Piazza delle Erbe, the Lamberti Tower stands at an impressive 84m high. Although work on the tower originally began in the 12th century, the octagonal tower floor with its marble arches was only added until 1464.

There are two bells in the belfry. The largest – The Rengo – is a 1557 replacement for the original. It was used to call meetings of the city council. The smaller Marangona was used to alert citizens to fire.

Admiring the 360-degree views from the top of the Lamberti Tower is something you really must do during a visit to Verona! You can see across the whole city, the hills nearby, and even the mountains to the north.

Good to know: You have two options to get to the top of the tower. You can either to walk up the 368 steps or take the elevator (there are still a few steps to climb at the very top, though). The walls of the elevator are transparent so you still get to enjoy the amazing architecture on the way up!

Practical info: Torre dei Lamberti is open daily (except Christmas Day) and you can get a ticket on the spot. The same ticket also gives you access to the adjacent Gallery of Modern Art as well. The Lamberti Tower – just as most other Verona attractions – is also included with the Verona Card .

TIP: Just at the bottom of the tower, there’s a small museum called Galleria d’Arte Moderna Achille Forti. Even if you are not visiting the art gallery inside, it’s worth seeing the building. On the other hand, this museum is also included with the city card and doesn’t take much time, so you may want to check it out as well.

Torre dei Lamberti in Verona Italy

5. Casa di Giulietta & Juliet’s Balcony

Juliet’s House ( Casa di Giulietta ) is one of the most popular places to see in Verona. It’s world famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. And yes, you can see the famous Juliet’s Balcony here – even if you decide not don’t visit the inside of the house itself.

Despite the fact that Shakespeare never actually visited Italy, this 14th-century building and its balcony are synonymous with one of the most romantic stories of all times. For that reason, Casa di Giulietta attracts visitors from all over the world.

Here you can pose for photos with a statue of Juliet and see the bed inside the house that appeared in the Zeffirelli film version of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ . More recently, Juliet’s House also featured in the blockbuster movie ‘Letters to Juliet’ .

Located on 23 Via Capello in the very heart of Verona, Casa di Giulietta is reached by a covered pathway. Here you will see all manner of romantic graffiti, handwritten letters, and post-it notes with love messages left by visitors. Don’t try adding one yourself, though, as this is no longer allowed.

The main attraction, of course, is the balcony where Romeo professed his love to Juliet. Sadly, this balcony isn’t quite as authentic as it seems and was actually added in the 1930s to bring life to Shakespeare’s play and encourage even more tourists!

Good to know: You can see the house, the famous balcony, and the bronze statue of Juliet for free, but you will need a ticket to visit the museum inside the house. It’s also included with the earlier-mentioned Verona Card , which offers really good value if you plan to visit several Verona attractions and museums inside.

Practical information: Juliet’s House is open daily except for Mondays (unless it’s a public holiday like e.g. Easter Monday, when it’s open as well – this counts for most other Verona attractions too).

Casa di Giulietta in Verona Italy

6. Piazza dei Signori

Piazza dei Signori i s one of Verona’s lesser-known piazzas, mostly visited by tourists when it hosts its annual Christmas and Easter markets. But it’s a really nice town square, just steps away from the above-mentioned places and well worth visiting for its historical interest!

Located beside Piazza della Erbe, Piazza dei Signori was once the center of Verona’s public institutions. The square houses the 15th-century Loggia del Consiglio , which was originally the city hall. You can also see several palazzos here, such as the Palazzo del Comune and the Palazzo del Podestà , once the residence of the Scaligeri family, and now the state government office.

Piazza dei Signori is often referred to as Piazza Dante. This is because it contains a monument to “The Divine Comedy” author Dante Alighieri , who lived in Verona from 1312 to 1318, after which he moved to Ravenna where he spent the last years of his life.

Good to know: There have been recent excavations here that have unearthed Roman remains beneath the current street level. These include mosaics and a Roman street, which you can actually view from the Capitano Palace (Palazzo di Cansignorio) through the large glass ‘windows’ in the ground.

TIP: Check out Caffè Dante Bistrot, Verona’s oldest coffee house (1865). It is located in Casa della Pietà with a pretty coral-colored exterior and carved statue embellishments. Although, be aware of high prices and extra charges if you decide to eat here.

Tour tip: If you want to see the best of Verona with a local and learn more about Dante at the same time, check out this highly-rated ‘Dante in Verona’ walking tour .

Piazza dei Signori in Verona Italy

7. Arche Scaligere

Scaligeri Tombs ( Arche Scaligere ) is another landmark to see in Verona city center.

Located next to the Church of Saint Mary ‘Antica’ and right next to the square of Piazza dei Signori, this is a group of five Gothic funerary monuments to the noble Della Scala family. Each tomb is dedicated to a different lord of Verona.

The family – also known as Scaligeri or Scaliger – ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries and there are several monuments to them throughout the city.

Good to know: Scaligeri Tombs are separated from the street by a wall and iron bars. To get a better look at them, you’ll have to pay a small entrance fee. It’s open every day throughout the year and yes, the entrance here is also included with the Verona Card .

Arche Scaligere tombs in Verona Italy

8. Castelvecchio Bridge & Museum

Castelvecchio is a magnificent building located on the banks of the River Adige, just outside of the medieval city walls. Constructed in 1354, it originally served as both a fortress and a residence. Nowadays, this is a museum dedicated to Verona’s past.

The artifacts on display inside the museum range from ceramics and sacred art to coins and weaponry. There are also some exceptional paintings from the early Renaissance period, along with elegant Romanesque sculptures.

The exterior is impressive too, featuring an imposing gatehouse with two guard towers and crenulated battlements. But the highlight is the 14th century arched stone bridge Ponte di Castelvecchio (aka Ponte Scaligero) attached to the main complex.

The longest of its kind in the world when it was originally built, the bridge is decorated in the same style as the castle walls. It features several sets of stairs in its towers which you climb for splendid views of the castle and down the River Adige.

Be sure to take a stroll along the riverbank, too, for some great photographs of the bridge itself.

Good to know: The Castelvecchio museum is undoubtedly the best in Verona and you should set aside at least an hour or two for a visit here. However, it’s just a few minutes walk from the main sights in Verona’s old town. So even if you don’t have time to visit inside, it’s still worth coming here to see the castle and the bridge!

Practical information: Castelvecchio Museum is open daily except on Mondays. It’s also included with the Verona Card .

Castelvecchio Bridge in Verona

9. Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra (‘the stone bridge’) is the oldest bridge in Verona. Originally built around 89-100 BC, the bridge was also part of Via Postumia, an ancient Roman road connecting Genoa to Aquileia.

One of the most picturesque bridges in Verona, Ponte Pietra has collapsed due to floods many times throughout history. It was rebuilt time and again. Most recently, it was partially destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt in the 1950s using the original style and materials as much as possible.

Note the big round holes in the middle – these are ‘flood eyes’ that are supposed to help reduce the water pressure on the bridge in case of a flood. You can see a similar Roman bridge with an ‘oculus’ – Ponte Sisto – in Rome as well.

The views from this bridge are really nice too, with the hilltop church Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes to one side and Verona old town to the other.

Good to know: Ponte Pietra is just a 10-15 min scenic walk from the main landmarks in the historic city center. The bridge connects this part of town to the Roman theater and the castle on the other side of the River Adige (more info about these landmarks below).

Ponte Pietra in Verona Italy

10. Roman Theater & Archeological Museum

The 1st-century Roman Theater and Archeological Museum (Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano) is another ancient landmark worth seeing in Verona.

During the summer you can see live outdoor performances here, or simply enjoy the amazing view from the top of the theater looking over the River Adige. The museum filled with statues, bronzes, glasswork, and Roman mosaics is fascinating too. It’s housed in the former Convento dei Gesuiti .

TIP: The stonework here serves as a sun trap and it can get incredibly hot in the summer, so try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Practical information: Just as pretty much any museum in Verona, the Roman Theater and Archeological Museum is open daily except on Mondays. It’s also included with the Verona Card .

Ancient Roman Theater in Verona

11. Views from Castel San Pietro

The Castle of Saint Peter ( Castel San Pietro ) sits on a site on the eastern bank of the River Adige, where a church dedicated to the saint once stood. The castle itself was constructed in the 14th century to help bolster the city’s defenses.

Although the castle is not open to the public, its position on the top of a hill gives you breathtaking views across the red rooftops to the center of Verona.

Indeed, this is the highest viewpoint in the city and not to be missed! It’s also a popular place to watch the sunset in Verona.

Good to know: You can reach the top of the hill on foot, starting at the Ponte Pietra next to the Roman Theater. The walk is only mildly demanding and takes about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the one-way ride up on the funicular railway, enjoying the view as you ascend.

TIP: Visit in the early evening with a bottle of wine and join other visitors in watching the sun go down over the city – a truly memorable experience.

Views from Castel San Pietro in Verona

12. Duomo – Verona’s Cathedral

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare was consecrated in 1187 and is one of Verona’s oldest religious buildings. If you visit one church in Verona, make it the Duomo !

A beautiful example of 12th-century Romanesque architecture, the Cathedral is stunning both inside and out. Its 15th-century Gothic nave is lined with marble columns and the main chapels feature decorative Renaissance frescoes. The most impressive fresco is located at the altar, beside which you can also see an enormous gold organ.

Look through the glass panels on the glass floor and you can see the remains of the previous church that lie beneath.

Practical information: All the main churches in Verona are open daily, but the hours differ per church and per day. You can find all the practical info here .

TIP: If for whatever strange reason you opt not to get Verona Card, you can also buy one low-cost ticket for all four of Verona’s main churches (the Cathedral Complex, the Basilica di San Zeno, the Basilica di Santa Anastasia, and San Fermo). This ticket offers great value for those who want to visit all the best churches in Verona.

Good to know: Al the religious sights in Italy have a dress code for entry which requires that your knees and shoulders must be covered. This is also the case if you are visiting the churches in Verona.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare - Duomo Verona

13. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore is one of Northern Italy’s best-preserved examples of Romanesque architecture. This beautiful 12th-century church is located on the west side of the River Adige. It’s a little outside of the main sightseeing routes in Verona and therefore relatively peaceful. However, as far as the best places to see in Verona go, this Basilica is well worth a detour!

The exterior is striking, made from a warmly colored combination of tufa stone and bricks. While the interior is adorned with marble columns and stunning artwork. The cloisters are really nice too! But perhaps the most noteworthy is the San Zeno Altarpiece . It’s considered to be Verona’s first major Renaissance piece and the inspiration for other local artists.

Yet despite its beauty and architectural importance, San Zeno Maggiore is famous for quite a different reason! It was in its crypt that the marriage of Shakespeare’s Rome and Juliet took place.

Good to know: You need to buy a ticket to enter the church, but you can see the beautifully restored cloisters and stunning bronze doors for free. You can also admire the beautiful rose window above them. And yes – you probably guessed it by now – the entrance here is also included with Verona Card .

TIP: If you are in Verona on a Sunday, you can combine your visit to San Zeno Maggiore with a trip to the flea market on Piazza San Zeno. This is more of a local market than a tourist one, so you can pick up some great Italian antiques and bric-a-brac. Just be aware that few stall-holders here speak English, so haggling might be a challenge!

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore in Verona

14. Basilica di Santa Anastasia

Basilica di Santa Anastasia is another church that’s well worth seeing in Verona. It’s a lovely building designed by two Dominican friars in the 13th century.

The largest church in Verona, it’s located at the end of the Decumanus Maximus. This was the main Roman road in Verona connecting Porta Borsari to the former Postumio Bridge.

With its beautiful vaulted ceiling soaring to a great height, Sant’Anastasia is best known for its beautiful frescoes and impressive red Veronese marble pillars. The most famous is Pisanello’s fresco ‘St. George & the Princess’. You can also see carved stone scenes depicting the life of Saint Peter and a pair of fonts held by hunchbacked marble grotesques.

TIP: The cost of admission includes a very good audio tour which is both informative and easy to follow.

Basilica di Santa Anastasia in Verona

15. San Fermo Maggiore

Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore is the lesser-visited of the four main churches in Verona. But it’s unique and well worth a look too!

The original church here dates from the 11-14th centuries and has been rebuilt later. Thus the mix of romanesque and gothic styles. Inside, you can see lots of stunning artworks and paintings, with images of over 400 saints. The wooden ceiling is very impressive!

But what makes San Fermo Maggiore more special is that it has two levels ; with a small older chapel located underneath the current church.

Good to know: Visit here is also free with Verona Card or the earlier-mentioned Churches Pass.

Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore in Verona

16. Il Giardino Giusti

Located on the grounds of the Giusti Palace located on the River Adige’s eastern bank, il Giardino Giusti are spectacular 16th-century gardens. These are the finest gardens in the city!

This park is a bit of a hidden gem in Verona, but it’s well worth a visit if you have more time to explore beyond the main sights and attractions.

Giardino Giusti gardens are divided into 8 sections and each one has a different theme, with its own decoration or fountain in the middle. This is typical of the Renaissance layout, which emphasizes beauty, perfection, and geometry.

A stroll amongst the cypress trees and grottoes makes a refreshing break from all the sightseeing in Verona. You’ll also find a hedge maze here which is fun for kids (the boxwood hedges are too low to present much of a challenge to adults). You can also visit Apartamento 900 , the apartments of the family to whom these gardens belonged.

TIP: Although quite steep, it’s worth climbing the steps and paths to the upper tiers of the gardens for the panoramic views of the city.

Good to know: Giardino Giusti entrance fee is quite high for a rather small park and it is not included in the city pass. However, there are discounts for the Verona Card holders and also special family tickets.

Practical information: Giardino Giusti is open daily throughout the year except on Christmas day. See their website for more info.

Il Giardino Giusti in Verona

17. Food, Wine & Vineyards

In addition to all the main sights and attractions in Verona, the city has a lot to offer for food and wine lovers too.

One of the best ways to get to know the local cuisine and try some traditional regional dishes in Verona is by joining one of the organized food tours . Cooking classes are also available.

This is the best-rated Verona food & wine tour that takes you to the main landmarks in the city too. If you rather just focus on food, check out this great value food tour with wine tasting .

If you are looking for a more hands-on experience, you can also opt for this popular cooking lesson or a gelato-making class . And if you are mostly interested in local wines (such as the world-famous Prosecco), you’ll find various wine-tasting experiences .

But if you have more time, I highly recommend joining a winery tour of the beautiful Valpolicella Valley just outside the city. Valpolicella is best known for its Recioto, Ripasso, and Amarone wines.

You can visit the Amarone Wine Trail by minivan with this very popular and highly-rated tour , or you can opt to visit the Amarone countryside with an e-bike tour .

Whatever you choose, it’s a great addition to the ‘regular’ sightseeing in Verona and will make your visit much more memorable.

Valpolicella valley vineyards near Verona in Italy

Map of Verona attractions

To help you get a better idea of where everything is located, we created a map indicating all the main sights in Verona mentioned in this article.

Below, you can find additional suggestions for places to see near Verona , and also some practical tips and information for your visit to the city.

How to use this map:  Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the index. Click the star next to the map’s title to add it to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’. If you want to print the map or see it in a bigger window, click on ‘View larger map’ in the top right corner.

Where to stay

While many tourists just visit Verona for a day, we highly recommend spending at least a night or two in the city. If you can attend an opera performance, staying here is a must-do! But also otherwise, there are plenty of things to do in Verona to make a longer stay worthwhile! ( See also our recommendations for the best things to do near Verona below! )

We recommend staying in the historic city center . In the high season, accommodation prices of most of the mid-range hotels in the old town tend to be quite similar. But, of course, a lot depends on your exact travel dates and any deals the hotels might be offering…

Check out the beautiful Hotel Milano & SPA***S with the best rooftop terrace in Verona. It’s one of the top picks in the heart of the old town, and offers a great price/ quality/ location ratio.

Great value on a slightly lower budget is Hotel Firenze , about 10 minutes walk from the Arena.

Piazza Bra in Verona Italy

Some of the best places to visit near Verona

In addition to the above-mentioned Valpolicella valley with vineyards and wineries just near Verona, there are many other amazing places to visit in this part of Italy.

Soave Castle is just about 30 min drive from Verona, and the famous Lake Garda as well. It’s well worth seeing, even if you only have time for one or two of the best places in Lake Garda . There’s a very popular day tour that takes you to the southern side of Lake Garda from Verona.

If you are visiting Verona with kids in summer and have a day to spare, you may want to visit Gardaland amusement park as well.

If you have a car, you could easily spend a few days touring around Lake Garda too. In that case, you may also want to visit Santuario Madonna della Corona . This picturesque hillside church is located just about 50 minutes drive from Verona. You could easily combine a visit here with a relaxing dip in the pools of Aquardens Thermal Baths overlooking Valpolicella hills, just about 20 minutes drive from Verona.

Other places to visit nearby include the beautiful Trentino region and the famous Dolomite mountains . If you are visiting Verona in summer, it’s well worth planning a few days extra to see these beautiful regions!

Also the most famous Italian cities like Venice , Milan , and Bologna are just a short trip from Verona. You can easily visit Venice for a day from Verona (by train or by car ). And don’t forget Lake Como , one of the most beautiful places in Northern Italy!

Places to see near Verona - Soave Castle

FAQ – Visit Verona

Verona is located in the Veneto region in northern Italy. It’s just a short drive from Lake Garda and about 1-1.5 hours by train from Venice, Bologna, or Milan. Located about halfway between Venice and Milan, Verona is a wonderful addition to any Italian trip itinerary.

Yes, absolutely, Verona is well worth a visit. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, offering a great mix of historic sites, cultural attractions, and a romantic, laid-back atmosphere. If visiting in summer, try to see an opera performance at the Arena di Verona, and it will become one of the most memorable trips ever!

Verona is world-known for its Arena, one of the largest ancient Roman amphitheaters built in 30 AD and still in use today! Verona is also famous as the city of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and also as one of the towns where Italy’s greatest poet Dante Alighieri lived and worked on his masterpiece “The Divine Comedy”.

While you can see a few of the main landmarks of Verona in half a day, we recommend at least one full day for the city. If you want to actually visit all of Verona’s tourist attractions and enjoy the cozy atmosphere of this romantic city, plan two days for Verona. If you also want to visit Valpolicella valley and/or take a day trip to Lake Garda, you can easily spend 3-4 days in Verona.

If you have limited time in Verona and can only see the absolute ‘musts’, be sure not to miss Arena di Verona, Piazza Bra, and Piazza delle Erbe. Torre dei Lamberti and Casa di Giulietta are also among the top landmarks that are well worth seeing, even if just from the outside.

Yes, you can easily visit Verona by car. There are several of convenient parking garages close to the old town, where you can leave your car for a day. We used and recommend the big underground parking garage Cittadella just outside the city gates and 5 minutes walk to the Arena. It’s also just outside the ZTL (limited traffic zone) where you can’t drive as a tourist. I indicated this parking on our map above. You can also use this parking if you are staying in the city for a night or two.

Tourist guide to Verona, Italy

So, this is our guide to some of the very best places to see and things to do in Verona, Italy.

Verona’s romantic atmosphere and ancient attractions make it a unique and special destination to visit, one of the best places in Italy .

I hope that this guide helps you plan a more memorable trip to Verona, and inspires you to spend more time here. (And yes, I know I say this for many places in Italy, but it’s so worth it!)

Have a great time in Verona and enjoy every moment in this beautiful city!

READ ALSO: Italy Itinerary (how to see the ‘musts’ – including Verona – in about 2 weeks)

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Places to see and things to do in Verona Italy

Photos: personal collection and Depositphotos.com

More travel inspiration for Italy:

  • Hidden Gems of Rome
  • Most Beautiful Towns of Lake Como
  • Best Towns in Tuscany
  • Amalfi Coast Itinerary
  • Where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
  • How to Visit Cinque Terre
  • Bellagio, Lake Como
  • Varenna, Lake Como
  • Best Things to Do in Naples
  • Best Day Trips from Naples
  • Itinerary for Naples, Capri, and Amalfi Coast
  • Best Hikes in the Italian Dolomites
  • Traditional Italian Food by Region
  • Mt Vesuvius Volcano
  • Capri Island
  • … For more inspiration and destination guides, please check our Italy travel blog .

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Luke Thomas

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Thank you for such a fantastic post this has been so useful for planning our trip this summer. When you say we can’t show knees in the churches in religious sites does that mean men can’t wear shorts and I have to wear trousers? given we are in Italy in August we weren’t planning on taking any trousers at all. Thanks for your help.

Tuesday 19th of July 2022

@Jurga, 😂 brilliant thank you 😊

Hi Luke, this is a common rule for visiting religious sites everywhere in Italy. Usually, big popular places have some covers for rent or to borrow available at the entrance, but this is won't be the case everywhere. In general, this rule is a bit flexible too and depends on the people working at each place. They just want to avoid people showing up there with clothing that hardly covers anything. If your shorts are almost up to your knees and you wear decent t-shirts and footwear, I think it should be ok for most places. Or you can get a pair of light linnen pants depening on what exactly you plan to visit. For women, I'd normally recommend to just pack a big light shawl or a sarong (something like this) and tight it around the waist when needed. Nobody says men can't do that as well ;). My husband once had to buy funny elephant pants in Thailand in order to visit some religious places there and it made for some fun pictures. :) Enjoy your trip!

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

🎉🎉🎉🎉🌟🌟🌟👏👏 i am totally convinced, i bookmarked this article 👍

Thursday 14th of April 2022

You'd love it, Michael!

Love the Verona article and the pictures. Thanks. P.S. Will you send me similar information about Modena.

Hi Mercedes, unfortunately, we have never been to Modena, so I can't help you with that one.

places to visit verona italy

31 Absolute Best Things to do in Verona, Italy: Complete Verona Travel Guide

  • December 6, 2023
  • by Jenoa Matthes

Piazza Bra and Arena in Verona

Are you looking for the best things to do in Verona?

Verona is a city full of history and romance. While it is famed for being the place where Romeo and Juliet met, there is so much more to this beautiful Italian city.

We fell in love with Verona so much on our first trip that we decided to stay for a month the next time we went there! During our 4-weeks in Verona, we explored not only the city’s highlights but also discovered some of the best hidden gems.

With all of this time spent exploring the city, we feel like this is the most comprehensive Verona travel guide that you will find.

Once you’ve read our list of the best things to do in Verona, you’ll find an easy-to-follow map that you can download right to your phone.

Additionally, you’ll find a guide to the best restaurants in Verona, a list of our top hotel picks, and other practical information to help you plan your trip.

Ready to explore Verona? Let’s dive in.

31 Best Things to do in Verona, Italy

1. verona arena (arena di verona).

Verona Arena

The Verona Arena is an amazing example of the Roman influence that has been left on the city. This arena was built in the time of the emperor Tiberius in 30 AD. Remarkably, the arena survived the centuries so well that it is still used for performances to this day.

Built with pink and white limestone and originally made to hold up to 30,000 people, this is considered to be one of the most well preserved Roman arenas in the world.

If you go for a visit during the day, you can walk around the seating areas and take in the vastness of the space where gladiators once fought. 

places to visit verona italy

We recommend walking all the way to the top floor of the Verona Arena for spectacular views overlooking the Piazza Bra and of this ancient structure.

Summer opera performances: During the summer, from June to September, the Verona Arena hosts the annual Verona Opera Festival. Every week, they put on different performances for visitors to choose from. You can get information on the 2024 schedule and the performance schedule on the arena website .

There are a number of ticket levels, and it’s important to note that tickets do sell out. If you are planning on visiting Verona during the summer, we highly recommend booking well in advance.

Tip: Start your day by visiting the Verona arena in order to avoid the lines, especially during the high season (summer). You can sign up for this guided tour with skip the line access, or alternatively, we recommended getting the Verona Card, which includes priority access to the arena.

Hours : Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00am – 7:00pm Verona Arena ticket price : €10 Included in the Verona Card? Yes

2. Piazza Bra

Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy

Piazza Bra, just outside of the Verona Arena, is the largest square in Verona and is one of the largest across Italy too. As such, this is the center of life in Verona and is consistently abuzz with people and events. 

Around the edges of the square you can find loads of cafes and restaurants. Setting up at one for a casual drink is a great way to enjoy a bit of la dolce vita.

As well as the arena, you’ll also find other important buildings here such as the Verona city hall and the Gran Guardia Palace.

places to visit verona italy

At the center of the Piazza Bra, you’ll find the Giardini Vittorio Emanuele II. Shaded with trees and covered in grass, this is a wonderful place to relax for a bit, especially during the hotter months. We spent many afternoons sitting by the fountain and people watching.

3. Castelvecchio Museum

Castelvecchio Museum in Verona

The Castelvecchio Museum is housed in the imposing and unmissable 14th century medieval castle of the same name. The castle was built by the then incredibly powerful Veronese della Scala family.

The space was brought back to life when it was renovated in the mid 20th century by Carlo Scarpa. Now, the castle houses hundreds of pieces across many exhibits.

You can see sculptures, pictures, jewelry, and ancient artifacts from across Veronese history. These pieces span the ages with works from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern art periods. 

In addition to the museum, the castle itself is an interesting attraction. Many of its original features remain and you can explore the grounds, the ramparts, and make your way across the castle’s bridge. 

Make sure to have enough time to wander along the castle walls. There is a nice view of the Adige river and the Castelvecchio bridge from here.

Hours : Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm | More info on the  official website Ticket price : € 6.60 online | €6 at the museum Included in the Verona Card? Yes

4. Castelvecchio Bridge

Castelvecchio Bridge in Verona

The Castelvecchio Bridge (also known as the Scaliger Bridge) is a pedestrian bridge that is connected to the castle and is free to visit. Walking across the bridge provides nice views along the Adige river in both directions.

The bridge was originally built in the Middle Ages, around the mid 14th century, and stood for hundreds of years before being destroyed partially in the 19th century and then fully in the 20th century during World War II.

The bridge that stands today is a reconstruction and an exact replica of the original. 

5. Piazza delle Erbe

Piazza delle Erbe in Verona, ITaly

The Piazza delle Erbe is at the heart of Verona, Italy. This square has been important to the city of Verona since the first century BC when it was used as a Roman public forum. 

Now, the Piazza delle Erbe — translated in English to Herb Square, is a lively market square. You can come here any day of the week to experience the permanent outdoor market.

Unfortunately, these days, the local market is mainly a tourist attraction where vendors sell souvenirs instead of a typical Italian market that sells fresh produce and goods.

Main square in verona

The square is lined with gorgeous historic buildings like the Mazzanti Houses which are adorned with stunning, colorful frescoes. In the middle of the square is a sculpture of Madonna which was constructed during Roman times. 

If you need a bit of a refresher during your busy day, then sit down at one of the many restaurants at the Piazza delle Erbe and grab an Aperol Spritz.

We wouldn’t recommend eating here, as there are much better restaurants for food that we’ve listed out in our Verona food guide.

6. Torre dei Lamberti

Bologna to Verona Day Trip

Climbing the Torre dei Lamberti is one of our favorite things to do in Verona as it provides unmissable views across the city. It was constructed in the Romanesque style in the 12th century by the Lamberti family. 

The tower stands at 84 meters (275 feet) tall making it the tallest building in the city. You can make your way to the top either by stairs (there are 368) or by elevator.

The elevator is see-through so you can admire the architecture of the interior of the building all the way up.

Do note though that if you take the elevator there are still a few steps when you get out to reach the true top of the tower. 

places to visit verona italy

Tip: We highly suggest reserving your time slot in advance. To book your time slot, you need to send an email to the ticket office, and they will get back to you with your confirmed reservation. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reserve online on your own.

Hours : Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 6:00pm & Saturday – Sunday from 11:00am – 7:00pm Ticket price : €6 | Reservations are highly recommended by emailing in advance on the official website Included in the Verona Card? Yes — but advanced booking is highly recommended

7. Piazza dei Signori

places to visit verona italy

This square was developed in the middle ages. Back then it was surrounded by buildings of great importance — mansions of the powerful Veronese families, as well as buildings of political importance.

Today, you can still see those grand buildings though now they are used only as landmarks and attractions. Around the edges of the square you’ll find the Palazzo della Raggione — a former palace built in the 1100s, and the Loggia del Capitanato — one of many designated UNESCO world heritage sites around the city. 

In the middle of the square is a statue of Dante — giving the space its alternate name: Piazza Dante. It is said that when Dante was given safe haven here in Verona it was in this square that he found safety and inspiration for his further works. 

8. Scaliger tombs

Tombs in Verona

In an effort to make sure they would not be forgotten, the powerful Scaliger family built themselves a burial place. The Scaliger family ruled Verona throughout the 13th and 14th centuries.

This complex is made of five gothic funerary monuments that are lavishly decorated with a sarcophagus, extensive statues, and other details showing off — to this day — the power the family held. 

The tombs take up an entire city block and are protected by an ornately decorated wrought iron fence. 

Hours : Tuesday – Sunday: 7:30 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm (only open during the summer months) Ticket price : Free with ticket to other Verona museums & monuments Included in the Verona Card? Yes

9. Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta)

Juliet's Balcony in Verona

While there was never a real Juliet, it is believed that Shakespeare may have found inspiration for his timeless love story Romeo & Juliet from this house in the fair city of Verona, and the family who once lived here.

This is the home where the Dal Cappello family (Capuleti family) lived in the medieval ages. It is a tower house built in the 13th century, and today you can visit it in pursuit of the love story.

The courtyard in front is free to visit and from there you can look up at the famous balcony. While it may not matter in this world of fantasy, that balcony was only added in the last century — so neither Juliet nor Shakespeare ever would have seen it.

In the courtyard you can also find a bronze statue of Juliet. It is believed that if you rub her right breast you will gain luck in love, which is why it’s much shinier than the other.

Inside of Juliet's house in Verona

Entering the house you’ll be able to see artifacts from the building and the family who once lived there, along with items from the much more recent screen adaptation of the story. 

There is also a spot on the grounds where people write and leave behind their love letters. 

Our personal opinion: While it is neat to see “Juliet’s home”, this is definitely a super touristy destination. Safe to say – we were a bit disappointed with the inside of the house. If you’re in a hurry, just visit the courtyard. The interior of the house is okay and not really worth visiting.

Hours : Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Ticket price : €6 Included in the Verona Card? Yes — but advanced booking of a time for your visit is mandatory. Book online at the  official website.

10. Basilica di Santa Anastasia

Basilica di Santa Anastasia

This beautiful Gothic church was constructed in the 13th century. The church is the largest in Verona and is considered to be one of the most important places of Catholic worship in the city. Interestingly, despite its importance to the city, the facade of the church has remained unfinished. 

That importance is, though, reflected inside with the grandeur of the decor. Make sure to look up as you enter and admire the beautiful frescoes adorning the ceiling as well as the many statues all throughout the basilica.

One particular statute to look out for is the hunchback who is eternally crouched below the holy water — representative of the people’s support of the church. 

Hours : Monday – Friday: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm & Saturday: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm & Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM Ticket price : €4 Included in the Verona Card? Yes

11. San Fermo Maggiore

San Fermo Maggiore

The most interesting thing about San Fermo Maggiore is that it is actually two churches in one. When the Francsicans decided to build here in the 13th century, they built it over an already existing church but left that one totally untouched. So now, you can visit both the upper and the lower churches.

The upper church is built in the French Gothic style, while the lower church is in the Romanesque style. In the Gothic church, make sure to look to the ceiling which has 416 busts of saints and incredible wooden details.

Hours : Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm & Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm Ticket price : €4 Included in the Verona Card? Yes

12. Basilica di San Zeno

San Zeno Basilica Verona, Italy

The San Zeno Basilica was originally built in the 5th century, but the structure that we see today mainly evolved between the 10th and 14th centuries in the Romanesque style. The exterior is warmly colored and the interior is grand and opulent.

The interior of the basilica is one of our favorites in all of Italy. Make sure to look up at the ceiling to admire the delicate wooden paneling and unique details.

The other major draw is the massive crypt of the church where the remains of Saint Zeno are housed. That, though, is not what visitors find most interesting, it is instead the fact that the crypt is where the marriage of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet took place. And of course, you can visit the space. 

While it is a bit of a walk to get here, if you have the time, we highly recommend visiting this basilica. It truly is a hidden gem in Verona.

Hours : Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm & Sunday: 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm Ticket price : €4 Include in the Verona Card : Yes

13. The Verona Cathedral Complex (Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare)

places to visit verona italy

As well as the cathedral itself, the complex houses the Chiesa Rettoria di Sant’Elena and Battistero di San Giovanni in Fonte — both Catholic churches, the Canons’ Cloister, the Capitular Library of Verona, and more.

In Roman days there were more buildings such as private villas and baths here. You can still see the remains of some of those structures.

The cathedral was first built in the 4th century but it underwent many expansions to accommodate the growing community in Verona as well as a large reconstruction after a 12th century earthquake. 

places to visit verona italy

The cathedral is built largely in the Romanesque architectural style — though with centuries of building it has many influences. The interior is nothing short of stunning with pink columns throughout the nave.

Of course, look to the altar for amazing artworks as well as up to the ceiling which is adorned with incredible frescoes.

Hours : Monday – Friday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:30 pm & Sunday: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm Ticket price: €4 Included in the Verona Card? Yes 

14. Civic Museum of Natural History

The Civic Museum of Natural History in Verona presents almost five centuries of amazing scientific artifacts and discoveries from across the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Iron Ages.

Amazingly, there are almost three million different pieces to see in this museum. So, needless to say, you could spend a lot of time exploring and learning from it all. 

Check out taxidermy bears, insect fossils, and explore the variety of birds on display. 

Beyond the exhibits themselves, the museum is housed in Palazzo Pompei, a Renaissance palace built in the 1600s.

Hours : Tuesday – Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm & Thursday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Ticket price: €4.50 Included in the Verona Card? Yes

15. Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra and Adige River verona

Crossing over the Adige River on the Ponte Pietra gives you amazing views of Verona including of the Cathedral and of the Roman Theater. T

his Roman arch bridge is the oldest bridge in Verona and was first built by the Romans when they arrived to the city in 100 BC. 

While parts of the original bridge still stand, you can notice a distinct difference in the building materials which were used later to repair damage caused by floods and war. 

16. Piazzale Castel San Pietro

One day in Verona, Italy

For the best panoramic views of the beautiful city of Verona, make your way to the Piazzale Castel San Pietro. Sitting atop the hill on the far side of the Adige River, the area surrounding the Castel San Pietro offers amazing views of the Veronese rooftops (views which include the Torre dei Lamberti).

The castle at the top is actually an Austrian fortress which was built in the 19th century. It was, though, built with the intention to blend in with the rest of the architecture of the city, thus giving it the name of castle. 

Stairs to Piazzale Castel San Pietro Verona, Italy

You can’t enter the fortress, but you can visit its exterior and stop at the restaurant at the top. This is also an amazing place to stop for sunset views over Verona. 

places to visit verona italy

To reach the top you can walk up the stairs — there are about 250, or you can take a funicular up — be mindful, though, of the time for the funicular’s last trip, especially if you are going up for sunset.

Funicular hours: Summer (April – October) 10:00 am – 9:00 pm & Winter (November – March) 10:00 am – 5:00 pm  Funicular ticket price : €3 roundtrip Included in the Verona Card? No

17. Roman Theater (Teatro romano)

The ancient Roman Theater in Verona was built in the 1st century BC and remarkably, is still in use as a theater to this day. This is thanks to excavations in the 19th century which recovered the remains that had been buried beneath later settlements.

While there is some of the seating from the original theater, much of the space has needed to be reconstructed, and many modern day seats have been added. 

In addition to the theater, you can also visit the museum here which is full of Veronese and Roman history and artifacts including mosaics, sculptures, and more. 

Hours : Tuesday – Wednesday from 2:00pm – 6:00pm & Thursday – Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm Ticket price : €6 | More info on the official website Included in the Verona Card? Yes

18. Archeological Museum

A visit to the Archeological Museum is a part of your visit to the Roman Theater in Verona. The museum is housed above the theater in a monastery, and your ticket will allow you to see both spaces and all of the amazing architecture and artifacts within. You can explore what is left of the monastery.

In the museum you’ll see statues, sculptures, artifacts, and more from Verona’s past. You can also visit the cloisters of the monastery and see all of its gorgeous frescoes. Outside are the beautifully maintained gardens which you are free to explore.

If you’re interested in learning more about Roman times, especially in Verona, this is a stop not to be missed. 

19. Wander around the streets

Colorful buildings in Verona

There are definitely a lot of amazing things to do in Verona, but sometimes the best thing to do is to simply put away the guidebooks and all the information you have about Verona, Italy and just go get lost. 

Verona is not a large city, and it is very pedestrian friendly, get out there and discover all of it. Centro storico is the name of the historic part of the city, and this is the ideal place to begin your wanderings.

Turn down those intriguing alleyways or stop in at a cafe or a bar if it takes your fancy. Make sure to go down Via Mazzini, the main shopping street of the city (also pedestrianized).

20. GAM Achille Forti Modern Art Gallery

Modern art gallery verona, italy

This museum is dedicated to modern Italian art, housing 1,600 pieces in its collection spanning from the early 19th century to present day including realism, surrealism, expressionism, and more.

You can find works by renowned Veronese artists such as Renato Birolli as well as plenty of others from across the rest of Italy such as Filippo de Pisis or Arturo Tosi.

This gallery is a great way to spend some time in Verona, it lays out the history of the city beautifully through art.

We have visited many small art galleries in Italy and while some are okay, this one surprised us. We ended up spending a couple of hours here taking in all of the unique artworks.

Hours : Tuesday – Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm & Thursday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Ticket price : €4 in person | €4.40 online – No need to book in advance Included in the Verona Card? Yes

21. Try the local cuisine

places to visit verona italy

With a city that tells as much of a story as Verona does, a city that is over 2,000 years old, of course part of that story is the food.

There is so much of it to try on your visit to Verona, but start with these highlights. 

  • Pandoro: the famous Christmas cake from Verona was first documented in the 18th century when it was enjoyed by Venetian aristocracy. Today, you only need to imagine that you are a part of the aristocracy to enjoy this vanilla sweet bread.
  • Risotto all’Amarone: this dish is a risotto in a red wine sauce and it’s easily found at restaurants around the city. The color may be a little bit off putting — but the black appearance comes from the intense flavor of the local dry, red wine that this dish is made with.
  • Sopressa salami: this is a special type of salami which can only come only from the region. The salami is made from pork, lard, and an array of simple spices. It is soft and rich and often served on its own or with bread. Interestingly, this is a typical morning snack in Verona.
  • Pastissada de caval: while this horse meat stew may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it has a long history originating in the 5th century when the flesh of horse’s killed in battle were collected and cooked. Now, the tradition continues (though the horses do not come from battlefields) and this dish is still popular. The meat is slowly stewed in wine along with an array of veggies. It may be possible to find this dish with beef instead of horse, but it won’t have the same rich flavor. 
  • Meat with pearà: Some say this dish of boiled meat in a sauce with breadcrumbs and pepper is one of the most Veronese things you can try. The meats used in this delicious dish often include beef, chicken, beef tongue, sausage, and cow trotters (feet). 
  • Tortellini : Though this delicious stuffed pasta is not in fact from Verona, but rather Bologna, it is very popular in the region. There is a special type of tortellini which originates nearby — Tortellini di Valeggio. This version of the pasta has extra thin dough giving it a very fine and delicate flavor. 

22. Walk along the ancient walls of Verona

places to visit verona italy

Looking up at the Castel San Pietro you’re able to see a portion of the city walls already. There are in fact three sets of city walls in Verona which were each built by different cultures over the ages.

First came the Roman walls, then the walls of the Comune, and finally the Scaliger walls. The stretch of wall which you can still find standing behind the castle today is from the Scaliger family.

places to visit verona italy

Make your way to Forte San Felice behind the castle and walk along the ancient walls until you reach the historic center again. You can actually walk all the way to the Giusti Gardens this way.

We did this walk early one morning and came across locals either running or going for a morning stroll as well.

23. Giusti Gardens

places to visit verona italy

The Giusti Gardens are one of the most incredible hidden gems in Verona, Italy. We visited the gardens during the fall season, and even then, they were beautiful with all the fall foliage. I can only imagine what they look like during the spring and summer.

The Giusti Gardens are 16th century, Renaissance style gardens. Wander your way through the tall cyprus trees, fountains, hedges, mazes, and greenery. We spent a good couple of hours here taking it all in – it’s a nice escape from the busy city center.

places to visit verona italy

The gardens were originally built and owned by the Giusti family, which made their wealth from the wool-dyeing trade in Verona. During your visit, you can also explore Apartment 900 – part of the original family home.

Hours : Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm Ticket price: €11 Included in the Verona Card? Discounted price of €8

24. Take in the views from Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes

Panoramic View of Verona

For possibly the best views of Verona, the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes is the place to visit. It is even higher than the Piazzale Castel San Pietro and it is also less visited.

You can walk up by road from the historic city center, it takes about 25 – 30 minutes and is a fairly trafficked walking route, but the views are also accessible by road.

places to visit verona italy

While you don’t have to go past the parking lot for views of the city, there is also a church as well as gardens which are both very peaceful and worth visiting while you’re up there. 

Hours : Church open Monday – Sunday 7:30 am – 12:00 pm & 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM Ticket price : Free

25. Arco dei Gavi & Porta Borsari

Roman gate in Verona, Italy

Admire the city’s arches and gates – Arco dei Gavi & Porta Borsari. Thanks to the many influences, cultures, and powers in the city throughout history, Verona has unique architecture everywhere you turn. With three sets of walls there are a huge number of arches and gates to explore.

Arco dei Gavi was originally built as part of the Via Postumia, a Roman military road which ran across Northern Italy. Unfortunately, despite surviving several centuries, the original gate was destroyed during Napoleon’s reign and what is standing today is a reproduction of the original. 

Another stunning gate is the Porta Borsari which has double arches on the ground level and above that, two levels of six arches each. The beautiful white limestone used makes the structure even more eye-catching.  

26. Go rafting on the Adige River

River Adige in Verona

The Adige river is vital to Verona — it gives the city its shape, both literally and figuratively. The river connected Verona throughout history, it provided protection and importance and routes in and out. Now, it is a beautiful aspect of Verona which you can enjoy on a rafting trip.

Adige Rafting Verona offers two hour rafting trips which bring you down the river, all the way through the city. This is a great way to get out in the sunshine (hopefully!), get a bit of physical exercise, and also learn more about the history and culture surrounding the river. 

While much of the rafting trip is very laid back, there are a few spots where you’ll have the opportunity to navigate some soft white water. Life jackets are provided but you’re likely to get wet so a change of clothes is recommended! Kids as young as three years old are welcome on the tours. 

Ticket price : Adults €25 & Kids under 12 €18 Where to buy tickets: Reserve online at the official site

27. Cimitero Monumentale

places to visit verona italy

It may seem odd to recommend visiting a cemetary, but we really enjoy seeing historic cemetaries around Europe. The grounds of this 19th century cemetery are quite ornate and beautiful. The old cemetery is fully enclosed with long rows of columns in a neoclassical design.

At either end there are two pantheon structures, one of which is based on the famous Pantheon in Rome. Dissecting this space is a series of cyprus trees and hedges.

The tombstones here are arranged in order of importance and wealth, with those who held prestige in life, receiving cover from the elements, and those from poorer families being buried outside.

A few of the more notable Veronese buried here are the writer Emilio Salgari and the artist Umberto Boccioni.

Hours : Monday – Sunday from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

28. Go on a history walking tour 

Charming streets verona

As you’ve probably gathered from reading through this list of best things to do in Verona, the city is steeped in history. Founded in the first century BC, Verona has seen Romans, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Carolingians, Scaligers, and Austrians, before finally becoming a part of present day Italy.

You can definitely pick up lots of bits and pieces of these centuries in Verona by visiting various monuments, but the very best way to understand more of a full picture is on a history walking tour. 

Here are a few Verona walking tours we recommend:

  • Verona Highlights Walking Tour – This small group tour takes you around the city with an expert guide.
  • Best of Verona Highlights Walking Tour with Arena – This 3-hour tour takes you to the city’s highlights and includes skip-the-line tickets to the Verona Arena.

29. Go on a food or wine tour 

places to visit verona italy

Italian food is always amazing, and Verona is no exception.

From meats and risottos to pastas and wines, there are a whole lot of local delicacies to try here.

You can sit down for a few meals, but especially if you’re short on time in Verona, a food or wine tour is a great way to knock it all out in one go. 

Best Verona Food Tours:

  • Verona Food, Wine & History tour : This is the tour to take if you want a bit of history and a bit of food. You’ll wander through the streets of Verona with a guide learning about the main sights all while sipping and eating your way through the city.
  • 3-hour Verona Food Tour  – On this food tour, you’ll get to taste five different dishes plus some local wine while wandering the historic streets of Verona.

Best Verona Wine Tours:

  • Full-day wine tasting tour  | On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy tastings at three wineries, learn about the local wine-making process, and have a sit-down lunch at a fantastic restaurant. This is our top pick!
  • Amarone wine-tasting tour  | During this 4-hour small group tour, you’ll taste local wines, tour vineyards, and learn about the process of making the local wines.
  • E-bike wine experience  | Explore the Valpolicella valley by e-bike while tasting local wines and learning about local winemaking with an expert sommelier.

30. Porta Leoni

places to visit verona italy

Located in the historic city center, you’ll find an ancient Roman gate and ruins. Porta Leoni is a true hidden gem in Verona and is originally from the 1st century BC.

It used to stand at 13 meters (42.5 feet) high and was a main entrance into the Roman city.

places to visit verona italy

We happened upon these Roman ruins while wandering the city. It’s always fascinating to experience modern times and ancient history simultaneously.

31. Take a day trip to nearby city 

gondola and buidling in venice

Verona sits in a prime and central location in Northern Italy for day trips. Once you’ve finished up your list of activities in Verona, don’t pack up your bags just yet.

During our month in Verona, we spent a large amount of our time exploring the nearby towns on day trips. Check out our list of the 15 best day trips from Verona , or see a few of our top choices below.

  • Lake Garda : The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is an idyllic setting which is nothing short of picture-perfect. There are several destinations around the lakeshore, one of the easiest to get to from Verona is Peschiera del Garda which can be reached on a quick 15-20 minute train ride. 
  • Venice : Venice is the magical city of canals and iconic gondola rides where you can enjoy gelato and shop for carnival masks — no matter the time of year. The train trip from Verona to Venice is one hour.
  • Padua : Padua is a small city known for its beautiful churches — Scrovegni Chapel and the Basilica of St. Anthony. The train trip from Verona to Padua is about 45 minutes each way.
  • Bologna : Bologna is worth visiting if only for a bowl of fresh pasta and bolognese sauce! But actually, there is plenty else to do. You can get there on the train from Verona in just under an hour.
  • Madonna della Corona Sanctuary: The 17th century church seems to defy reality in its perch on a cliffside in the Alps. It’s not easy to access the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary by train so you’re best to drive — the trip takes about an hour.

Don’t have time to see it all? Verona top 10

places to visit verona italy

Here’s a list of the top 10 things to do in Verona if you don’t have time to see everything on this list. 

  • Verona Arena & Piazza Bra
  • Castelvecchio Museum & Bridge
  • Piazza delle Erbe & Piazza dei Signori
  • Torre dei lamberti
  • Giusti Gardens
  • Basilica di Santa Anastasia
  • Basilica di San Zeno
  • Ponte Pietra & Piazzale San Pietro
  • Juliet’s House
  • Roman Theater

Map of things to do in Verona

To help you best navigate your way around, here is a map of all of the best things to do in Verona and restaurants listed in this itinerary.

To save the map to Google Maps on your phone or computer, click on the star next to the title. Once you do this, you’ll be able to find the map in your “saved maps” list on your phone.

To see a list of all the items on the map, click the box with arrow on the left. To enlarge the map, click the box on the right.

The Verona Card

places to visit verona italy

The Verona Card is a great investment to make for your trip to the city. Based on our experience, you’ll come out saving a good bit of money — especially if you make your way through most of the best of Verona, Italy.

The card is offered as either a 24 or 48 hour card. Both versions include free access to about 16 different spots in the city.

It also gives you a reduced ticket price at a further six city attractions. With the Verona Card you’ll also get free bus rides for the duration of its validity.

We bought the 48-hour Verona card and saw all of the main sights listed in this post within two days. It definitely saved us a lot of money and was easy and convenient to use.

You can purchase the pass online below and then pick it up at the Verona Tourist Office in Piazza Bra.

  • 24-hour Verona city pass
  • 48-hour Verona city pass

It’s important to note that there are a couple of activities you need to reserve a time slot for in advance even with the pass, such as Juliet’s House and the Torre dei Lamberti.

Where to eat in Verona 

places to visit verona italy

There are so many great places to eat in Verona. Luckily, we spent a month here taste testing the best for you. Here are some of our favorites. 

Cafes in Verona: 

  • Pasticceria Flego – For both a scrumptious and Instagram swoon-worthy snack, this is the perfect little place. Try the delicious stuffed brioche and have a coffee.
  • Dolciaria Cantonucci Verona – Breakfast lovers will delight here in this fun cafe and sandwich shop which serves classics like an omelet as well as loads of fresh pastries. 
  • Café Carducci – This beautiful classic vintage cafe has breakfast options like omelets, brioche, coffee, stunning cheese and charcuterie boards, and more.
  • Caffe Borsari – One of the best places to get coffee in Verona. Their cappuccino is amazing!

places to visit verona italy

Quick eats in Verona: 

  • La Bottega della Gina XXL – Order your bowl of fresh tortellini totally customized to your tastes and watch as it’s all prepped right there in front of you. If you’re overwhelmed by choice, get the mixed option.
  • La Figaccia – If you’re looking for an amazingly delicious focaccia sandwich that is properly stuffed with a good portion of fillings, you’re in for a treat. 
  • Dal Grano – If you’re after a quick meal to go, these delicious square pizza slices are considered to be the best in the city.
  • PanzeRé – Panzerotteria – These stuffed breads are a must-try — especially if you’re ever in need of a late night snack, order the one stuffed with tomatoes and mozzarella

places to visit verona italy

Restaurants in Verona: 

  • Caffè Monte Baldo – Osteria con cucina – This classic Italian restaurant has a great selection of small plates and cicchetti and serves all of the Veronese classics. 
  • Trattoria alla Colonna – This is a great place to go if you’re craving a good solid meat dish as it’s best known for the amazing fried veal cutlets.
  • Locanda di Castelvecchio – If you’re really feeling your meat — this is the spot (and probably not a great choice for vegetarians), there’s a cart of boiled meats that goes around which you can choose from, plus they serve amazing pastas.
  • Trattoria al Pompiere – You can’t go wrong with basically anything off the menu here as everything is delicious, plus the wine list is top tier and the knowledgeable staff can recommend a pairing for anything. 

Healthier options: 

  • Zazie Verona – In addition to beautiful coffees, here you can get all sorts of vegetarian dishes like noodle bowls, set lunches, and a huge variety of toasts. There is a definite international influence on the menu. 

Gelato in Verona:   

  • Zeno Ice Cream And Chocolate – For slightly quirkier flavor options, this is the spot… have you ever tried a beer-flavored gelato?
  • Gelateria La Romana – If you’re really committed, this is the best gelato shop in Verona with beautiful fluffy choices, but it is located outside of the historic city center so it’ll take a bit more effort to get to

Where to stay in Verona

These are our top picks for the best hotels in Verona that accommodate every type of budget.

Luxury:  Vista Palazzo  | This 5-star hotel features gorgeous modern rooms, rooftop views, and top amenities like a spa and gym.

Boutique:  Hotel Accademia  | A wonderful hotel located in the heart of the old town with amenities like a gym and breakfast.

Budget:  Casa Esvael  | This charming b&b is located just a 5-minute walk from the center of Verona and offers a lovely rustic Italian stay.

How much time to spend in Verona? 

places to visit verona italy

Verona isn’t a huge city geographically, but, as you can see from this list of 31 things to do in Verona there is a lot to fill up your time with! To make sure you hit all that you must do in Verona, you’ll want to book for a minimum of two days in the city.

If you want to add in a day trip to one of the nearby destinations, give yourself a well-rounded three days (at least). Adding in extra time will only add to your relaxation and ability to fit more in more.

Whether that be more Verona attractions, day trips, meals, or time spent wandering aimlessly.

On the other end, if you only have one day to fit Verona in your Italy itinerary, it’s not impossible, and if you follow this one day Verona itinerary you’ll still be able to see a lot.

How to get to Verona

Piazza delle erbe in Verona

Getting to Verona by plane

There’s one airport in Verona which receives domestic and international flights. The airport’s name is Valerio Catullo Airport, it’s about 10 km (around 6 miles) from the center of Verona.

There are quite a few airlines which use the airport such as Lufthansa, KLM, and Easyjet. The airlines service around 80 destinations direct from Verona — mostly in Europe.

How to get from the Verona airport to the city center

To get from the airport into the center of Verona you can get the 199 bus . A one way ticket costs €6 per person.

Alternatively, if you want to get a taxi from the airport, it’ll be around €25 one way. As with anywhere, it’s a good idea to make sure you watch the route your taxi driver takes to ensure you’re not being overcharged.

If you’re going to get a rental car in Verona, the easiest option is to pick it up at the airport — the drive from there is about 15 minutes. But keep in mind that you really won’t need the car during your time in Verona so depending on costs it may be best to wait until you’re headed off again to pick it up. 

Getting to Verona by train

You can easily access Verona by train from many destinations around Italy. Cities like Milan, Venice, and Trieste are all close to Verona and the train journeys are easy and convenient with each taking somewhere around 60 to 90 minutes. 

There are two train stations in the city — the main being Verona Porta Nuova, and the secondary being Verona Porta Vescovo. Porta Nuova is just to the west of the city center, the walk into town is pretty easy and if you don’t have too much luggage and are happy to do it, it should only take around 20 minutes.

If you do have a lot of luggage, a bus may be better, there are several bus routes which will get you downtown quickly. 

Getting to Verona by car

Driving in to Verona is a great opportunity to take a day to explore the nearby countryside. Trips from the close cities such as Venice, Bologna, and Milan only take around 90 minutes so you could easily take it slow and spend the whole day making your way to the city by car.

Remember though, if you come by car you’d be wise to either return it on arrival or find a safe parking place where you won’t need to worry about or move it for the duration of your stay. 

Planning on renting a car in Italy? When we book a rental car in Italy, we use Discover Cars . We always find the best deals here, plus the insurance is affordable.

How to get around Verona?

Two days in Verona

Verona is a very walkable city and everything on this list of places to go in Verona, Italy is close together. It would likely take more time to drive or to wait for public transportation to get from place to place than to simply walk.

That being said, there are buses in the city which can get you around quite quickly — this is especially useful for any trips to the outskirts.

You can buy tickets for cheap online or on the bus, but keep in mind that if you purchase the Verona card all of your bus travel is included for the duration of its validity. 

Best Time to Visit Verona

Verona in the fall

Summer in Verona is definitely nice, but shoulder seasons — spring and autumn, are the best choice. Not only will the weather be more mild, but the crowds will be thinner and the prices for things like accommodation and flights will be more affordable.

In both the spring and the autumn you can expect day time temperatures in the mid 60s F with minimal rainfall. The best shoulder season month is September, the crowds (and school kids) have left but the temperatures remain in the mid to high 70s F with very minimal rainfall. 

In addition to the warm months, Christmas is a wonderful time to visit . The city has one of the best Christmas markets in Northern Italy, plus you can enjoy mulled wine and see the city all lit up and decked out for the holidays!

FAQ: Things to do in Verona

places to visit verona italy

What is Verona, Italy best known for? 

Verona, Italy is best known as the home of Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Though the story is fictional, you can find many spots which inspired, and were inspired by, the famous tale.

In addition to the fictional romance, Verona is known for its history — dating as far back as the first century BC when the Romans first founded the city. 

Is it worth visiting Verona? 

Yes! It is very much worth visiting Verona. The city is full of fascinating things to see and do. You can explore Roman ruins and discover the ancient history of the city.

You can see art and sample gelato, you can raft down the river and climb towers. You won’t need to wonder what to do in Verona because there is simply plenty to do!

Is Verona a walkable city? 

Yes, Verona is a very walkable city. The central area of Verona is compact and much of it is pedestrianized, making it both easy and safe to navigate on foot.

The city is also largely flat so you won’t need to be climbing up and down hills for much of your Verona sightseeing. 

More information for your trip to Italy

  • Bologna to Verona day trip
  • Milan to Verona day trip
  • Best Things to do in Bologna
  • Is Venice worth visiting?

ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE Italy Travel Insurance  – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out  Safety Wing  to find the best plan for you. Italy Rental Cars  – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through  Discover Cars  (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling. Italy Phone Plans –  If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used  Airalo  during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed. Italy Hotels –  Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through  Booking  for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

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PlanetWare.com

17 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Verona

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Dec 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

About halfway between Milan and Venice, Verona is one of Italy's most popular cities for tourists, who revel in its art, architecture, opera, and literary fame . It lies in the sweeping S-curve of the River Adige as it emerges from the Alps. Verona's Centro Storico, the historic center, where you'll find most of the attractions and things to do, is linked with the left bank neighborhoods by 10 bridges.

Because Verona is so often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor, Venice , tourists often try to see it in one day, but there are so many things to do here that you'll want to spend longer in this charming city.

Verona became a Roman colony in 89 BCE and developed into an important town. There are several remains from this time, including the Roman amphitheater , and the city is equally rich in Romanesque churches from the 11th and 12th centuries.

Verona was an important artistic center in the Renaissance and earlier, under the powerful della Scala family. You'll meet them everywhere, referred to as the Scaligeri. The leading 15th- and 16th-century architects, Fra Giocondo and Michele Sanmicheli, were responsible for several splendid buildings and the bastioned town walls.

You'll find it easy to plan your visit with this handy list of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Verona.

See also: Where to Stay in Verona

1. Castelvecchio and Ponte Scaligero

2. arena di verona (roman amphitheater), 3. casa di giulietta, 4. basilica of san zeno maggiore, 5. piazza delle erbe, 6. piazza dei signori and loggia del consiglio, 7. arche scaligere (scaligeri tombs), 8. piazza bra, 9. duomo di santa maria matricolare (cathedral), 10. sant'anastasia, 11. stroll through the giardino giusti, 12. teatro romano and ponte pietra, 13. san fermo maggiore, 14. shop on via mazzini, 15. climb or ride to the top of the torre dei lamberti, 16. day trip to mantova (mantua), 17. day trip to sirmione and rocca scaligera, where to stay in verona for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in verona, verona, italy - climate chart.

Castelvecchio and Ponte Scaligero

On the banks of the Adige, Castelvecchio was built by the Scaligeri in 1354-55, an impressive defensive fortress certain to remind any rivals of the power of the della Scala family. Crossing the river is the beautiful castellated Ponte Scaligero, a 14th-century bridge that's traffic free and among the locals' favorite places to go for a stroll.

The castle's main tower and ramparts afford views of the bridge, the city, and surrounding hills. The castle interior has been brilliantly restored and transformed into bright exhibit space by architect Carlo Scarpa, without sacrificing the integrity or history of the castle.

The collections of the Civico Museo d'Arte are shown here, featuring Veronese sculpture, applied art, and paintings, with works by Bellini, Rubens, Montagna, Guardi, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Pisano, and artists of the 15th- and 16th-century Veronese school.

A few steps up Corso Cavour is the Arco dei Gavi, a first-century stone arched gate that spanned a Roman road; look for the grooves worn by chariot wheels in the stone below the arch.

Address: Corso Castelvecchio 2 (off Corso Cavour), Verona

Arena di Verona (Roman Amphitheater)

One of the largest of its kind and among the best preserved Roman amphitheaters, Verona's arena was built in the reign of Diocletian, about 290 CE. Only four arches of the outer wall on the north side have survived, but the vaulting and seating are intact and in regular use.

Its 44 rows of seating can accommodate 22,000 spectators, and in July and August, it is the home of the Verona Opera Festival , one of Europe's major summer music events ranked with the Bayreuth and Salzburg festivals. Concerts and other events are also held inside.

Address: Piazza Brà, Verona

Casa di Giulietta

Verona is perhaps best known internationally as the setting for Shakespeare's famous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Inevitably, tourists asked where the star-crossed lovers lived, and Veronese obligingly pointed out a small medieval palazzo just off Piazza delle Erbe that had an attractive courtyard where tourists could stand without blocking the street.

In the 1930s, the city added the missing ingredient, building a balcony overlooking the courtyard. Several decades later they added a bronze statue and set up displays inside the house for tourists to look at on their way to be photographed on the balcony.

No matter that the story is fiction, the characters purely imaginative, and the plot not based on any actual events or people in Verona (where Shakespeare had never been), the city has still become a place of pilgrimage to the point where they hire a team of secretaries to answer mail left for the mythical Juliet.

Address: Via Cappello 23, Verona

Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

The large 11-12th century Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is considered the finest Romanesque building in northern Italy. The beautiful main front of alternating strata of brick and white tufa is flanked by a slender Romanesque campanile (1045-1178) and the 14th-century battlemented defensive tower of a former Benedictine abbey.

Although you enter through the elegant Romanesque cloister via a gate at the side, be sure to see the bronze doors on the front portal, with outstanding Romanesque reliefs of Biblical and secular scenes.

The interior has an unusual 14th-century timber roof and beautiful Romanesque capitals. In the aisles are frescoes from the 13th to 15th centuries . In the choir is a marble figure, thought to be 14th-century, of St. Zeno, the fourth-century bishop of Verona. His reliquary is in the crypt, which is quite unusual in that it is equal in size and prominence to the chancel above it. On the high altar is a 15th-century Madonna with Saints by Mantegna.

On the third Sunday of the month, a locally popular flea market fills Piazza San Zeno, where you may find everything from salami to antiques.

Address: Piazza San Zeno, Verona

Piazza delle Erbe

The central feature of Verona's Centro Storico is the rectangular Piazza delle Erbe, one of the most picturesque squares in Italy. It stands on the site of the Roman forum and is now a fruit and vegetable market. In the center of the square is the 16th-century Berlina, a canopy on four columns, formerly used for elections. To the north of it is a fountain from 1368 with the Madonna di Verona , an ancient marble statue that was repurposed in medieval times.

At the north end of the square, a marble column holds the lion of St. Mark, the emblem of Verona's former Venetian rulers. At the northeast corner stands the Casa Mazzanti , originally built by the Scaligeri. Like many houses here, it is adorned with Renaissance frescoes. On the north side of the square is the Baroque Palazzo Maffei from 1668, and to the left of this, the 1370 Torre del Gardello .

The Casa dei Mercanti at the corner of Via Pellicciai was rebuilt in 1878 in its original 1301 form. Opposite, rises the 84-meter-high Torre dei Lamberti , with a medieval bell, El Rengo. From the end near the lion of St. Mark, Corso Porta Borsari is interrupted by Porta dei Borsari , a Roman city gate built in the first century CE and restored in 265. At the opposite end is the pedestrianized Via Mancini, Verona's most fashionable shopping street.

Piazza dei Signori and Loggia del Consiglio

Accessed through an archway from Piazza delle Erbe , Piazza dei Signori is surrounded by palaces, and in the middle stands a monument to Dante erected in 1865. The Palazzo della Ragione (Town Hall), on the south side of the piazza was begun in 1193 but altered in later centuries. The main front of the building is Renaissance, dating to 1524. In the courtyard are a Gothic grand staircase from 1446-50 and the entrance to the Torre dei Lamberti .

Also in the square are a battlemented tower and the Palazzo dei Tribunali , converted in 1530-31 from a Scaliger Palace and with a Renaissance doorway by Michele Sanmicheli. On the east side of the square is the Palazzo del Governo , originally another Scaligeri palace and also containing a doorway by Sanmicheli.

On the north side of the Piazza dei Signori stands the Loggia del Consiglio, one of the finest Early Renaissance buildings in Italy. It was built by Fra Giocondo from 1486 to 1493, and is crowned by statues of famous citizens of Verona. Recent excavations here have uncovered a Roman street, mosaics, and other remains below the current street level, which you can explore from an entrance off the adjoining large courtyard.

Arche Scaligere (Scaligeri Tombs)

The lovely little church of Santa Maria Antica was completed in the 12th century and became the family church of the della Scala princes, who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries. Their imposing Gothic tombs almost overshadow it, topped by their effigies in full armor. Look for their symbol: the ladder (scala) was the heraldic emblem of the family and frequently recurs in the elaborate wrought-iron railings.

Above the church door are the sarcophagus and a copy of an equestrian statue of Cangrande della Scala, who died in 1329 (the original is beautifully displayed at Castelvecchio). To the left are the mural monument of Giovanni, who died in 1359, and the sarcophagus of Mastino I from 1277. Inside the railings, under a canopy, are the sarcophagi and equestrian statues of Mastino II and Cansignorio, who died in 1351 and 1375 respectively.

Address: Via Arche Scaligere, Verona

Piazza Bra in Verona at dusk

The arena forms one side of the wide Piazza Brà, opposite the Palazzo Malfatti, created by Michele Sanmicheli. Adjoining the long building of the Gran Guardi, the old guard-house from 1614, is the gate and tower of I Portoni della Brà , the landmark entry point to Piazza Bra and the old city. Beneath its Romanesque arches is a bust of William Shakespeare and his lines from Romeo and Juliet beginning "There is no world without Verona walls..."

Forming a third side of the piazza is a long row of restaurants with sidewalk terraces that are almost always filled with people. Step through one of the passageways to the tangle of streets just behind the row of restaurants and you'll find several excellent choices that are less crowded with tourists. Two good options are Torcolo on Via Carlo Cattaneo or Ristorante Nastro Azzurro on Vicolo Listone.

Duomo di Santa Maria Matricolare (Cathedral)

The cathedral is a 12th-century Romanesque basilica with a 15th-century Gothic nave. Adjoining it is a campanile on a Romanesque base, designed by Sanmicheli but not completed until 1927. On the beautiful main doorway of the cathedral are figures of Charlemagne's two paladins, Roland and Oliver, done between 1139 and 1153.

Inside, on the first altar to the left, is the church's primary highlight, Titian's 1525 Assumption , and at the end of the south aisle is the Gothic tomb of St. Agatha, from 1353. Especially striking are the red marble pillars and marble choir-screen. To the left of the cathedral is a Romanesque cloister built in 1123, with an early Christian mosaic floor on the lower level.

Address: Piazza Duomo 21, Verona

Sant'Anastasia

A brick church from the late 13th century, Sant'Anastasia towers above a little piazza in the heart of Verona and is the city's finest example of Gothic architecture. Over its portal are scenes from the life of St. Peter carved in stone, and above them, a 15th-century fresco.

Just inside, a pair of grotesques carved from marble hold holy water fonts, the left one by Gabriele Caliari, the father of the artist Paolo Veronese. Don't miss the fresco of St. George and the Princess by Pisanello.

The slender bell tower, 72 meters tall, is known for its nine bells, rung in a traditional style known as Veronese bellringing , an art perpetuated by the Scuola Campanaria Verona in S.Anastasia, an academy of bellringers based at the church.

Address: Piazza Sant'Anastasia, Verona

Giardino Giusti

Behind the 16th-century Palazzo Giusti is the lovely garden, Giardino Giusti, with paths among its eight formal parterres, each with a different pattern of hedges, along with fountains and statues.

A path leads from the back, up the steep embankment to a less formal garden with a grotto and views of the city framed by beautiful old cypresses. Although it's not the largest, it is ranked among the best Renaissance gardens in Italy . Especially in the summer heat, it's a peaceful retreat from the city.

Address: Via Giardino Giusti 2, Verona

Teatro Romano and Ponte Pietra

Across the Roman bridge of Ponte Pietra, on the hillside below Castel San Pietro , the Roman Theater was built in the first century during the reign of Augustus and excavated between 1904 and 1939. Of the theater itself, you can see the remains of the stage building's tufa walls and stones in the stage pit with holes where the ropes were drawn to open and close the curtains.

More remnants are visible of the auditorium, which was built into the hillside in galleries and terraces, including the floor of the orchestra seating with geometric inlaid marble. The theater is the home of the summer Verona Jazz Festival . The Roman bridge, Ponte Pietra, was blown up during World War II, as were all Verona's bridges, but after the war, the stones were retrieved from the river and painstakingly sorted and reassembled into the bridge that crosses here today.

Address: Regaste Redentore 2, Verona

San Fermo Maggiore

The first San Fermo Maggiore was built in the eighth century in memory of saints Fermo and Rustico, believed at the time to have been martyred in the arena. It was replaced in the 11th century with the present structure, and the crypt is the only surviving part of the original.

The current church retains its 11th-century Romanesque lower portion, with a Gothic upper section from the 13th-14th century. The facade is beautifully decorated in marble. The church houses a 14th-century wooden crucifix and Alessandro Turchi's Adoration of the Shepherds. Look for the Pisanello frescoes above the Brenzoni monument, and more frescoes surrounding the ornate pulpit.

Address: Via San Fermo, Verona

Via Mazzini

Leading from Piazza Bra to Piazza delle Erbe, the narrow Via Mazzini runs through the heart of the Centro Storico. The marble pavement of this pedestrianized street is worn by centuries of feet, and the buildings at either side house Verona's most elegant shops. Display windows show the latest in Italian and international fashions, with a mix of trendy names and local boutiques.

Here, as everywhere else in Verona, history is never very far beneath your feet; the ground floor of the Benetton store is covered in glass, so you can see the 1st-century Roman Domus excavated beneath it. Although it's Verona's favorite shopping street, it is also the most popular place to go for the traditional passeggiata , or evening stroll.

Torre dei Lamberti, Verona

Constructed in 1172 and heightened to its current lofty 84 meters (276 feet) in the 1400s, Torre dei Lamberti dominates the skylines of both Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza dei Signori. You can distinguish the two periods of construction, as the old tower was built in layers of tuffa and terra cotta, giving it a striped appearance.

You can climb the 368 steps spiraling to the top to see the stonework up close, or you can take the glass elevator for a faster view of the interior. As you might expect, the views from the top are spectacular, encompassing the entire center of Verona, the Adige Valley, and the surrounding hills.

Mantova (Mantua) Day Trip

Fifty kilometers south of Verona, the provincial capital of Mantua was the residence of the Gonzaga family from 1328 until 1707, and they made Mantua one of the most refined and cultivated of princely capitals, a great center of art and learning. Their sumptuous residence, the massive Palazzo Ducale , dominates the town and is still one of Italy's most splendid palaces.

Today, it houses several important collections, including paintings, Greek and Roman sculpture, medieval and Renaissance sculpture, and tapestries made from cartoons by Raphael. These are displayed in opulent rooms decorated with frescoes, ceiling paintings, and richly sculptured ceilings.

Also in the center of Mantua, the church of Sant'Andrea is a masterpiece of Early Renaissance architecture built by Leon Battista Alberti in 1472-94, with a transept and choir from 1600. Mantova's third major attraction is the single-story Palazzo del Te , built for the Gonzagas between 1525 and 1535 by Giulio Romano. It is decorated with beautiful frescoes and stucco work.

Sirmione and Rocca Scaligera

At the tip of a long promontory reaching out into the southern end of Lake Garda , about 40 minutes from Verona , Sirmione could be a stage set. You enter the town across a drawbridge, at the foot of a picture-perfect castle, Rocca Scaligera, built in the 12th century by Verona's ruling Scaligeri family. After touring the castle's restored rooms, climb to the tower for views across the lake and town.

Stroll along Sirmione's main street of chic shops, and walk or take the tourist trolley to the far end of the peninsula. Here, the Roman poet Catullus, who lived from 84 to 54 BC, built a villa to take advantage of the sulphur springs, which are now used by a luxury spa. The remains of his villa, Grotte di Catullo , and the complex surrounding it are extensive and worth exploring both for their history and for the beautiful lake views.

Verona's main attractions, with few exceptions, lie within the hairpin bend in the River Adige, where the Romans built their town. Castelvecchio, the Roman Arena, Juliet's House, Piazza delle Erbe, the cathedral, and several art-filled churches all cluster in this Centro Storico. Happily for tourists, so do several hotels, and others are a few minutes away. Here are some highly rated hotels in Verona:

Luxury Hotels :

  • In a well-preserved palazzo, Due Torri Hotel shares a little piazza with Sant'Anastasia, one of Verona's top attractions. Bountiful complimentary breakfasts, a rooftop restaurant, and exceptional concierge service distinguish this historic property, where deluxe guest rooms have marble bathrooms and wood-paneled walk-in closets.
  • In the old center near Piazza delle Erbe, a five-minute walk to the arena, Academia Hotel serves an excellent free breakfast, as well as drinks and light snacks every afternoon in the sitting room.
  • Also overlooking Via Mazzini, Escalus Luxury Suites Verona serves made-to-order breakfasts that are brought directly to its stylish rooms. Although the building is a historic one, the interior décor and amenities are contemporary, and there is an elevator. This member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) also offers valet parking.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • On the main street connecting the rail station (which is also the airport bus stop) to the Centro Storico, the four-star Best Western Hotel Firenze is a 10-minute walk from the Arena and on a direct bus line. All rooms have either a steam bath or Jacuzzi, and apartments in the annex, called Casa Cavallino, have kitchenettes. Free Wi-Fi is available in every room.
  • Along with rain showers and free continental breakfast, Hotel Milano has a rooftop terrace with a tiny pool, Jacuzzi, and café overlooking the arena; on opera and concert nights, you can hear the music drifting up. The spa includes a Turkish bath, sauna, and ice waterfall.
  • Hotel Trieste , five minutes from the arena on the main street between the rail station and old town, has brightly furnished rooms, complimentary breakfast, underground parking, and free bicycles for guests.

Budget Hotels:

  • On a quiet back street just off Piazza Bra next to the arena, Giulietta e Romeo Hotel has some rooms with balconies. The generous included breakfast has hot dishes, as well as the usual breads and pastries. The hotel has an elevator.
  • On a small street between the Roman Arena and river, Best Western Hotel Armando offers guests free on-street parking and complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Some rooms are accessible to disabled guests.
  • Just off Piazza Bra, between the arena and Castelvecchio, the Hotel Torcolo has plain rooms, an elevator, a very helpful staff, and parking spots for guests. Especially for a hotel with such modest prices, rooms are very well equipped, with refrigerators, safes, hair dryers, and Wi-Fi.

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Places to Visit near Verona: While the magical canals and opulent palaces of Venice are less than 90 minutes away, the same train will also take you to Vicenza , with its elegant Palladian villas, and to Renaissance Padua , with its shrine of St. Anthony and magnificent Scrovegni chapel lined in frescoes by Giotto.

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Where to Go Next: Verona sits at the heart of some of Northern Italy's most popular attractions, but it is also easy to travel to other major tourist cities by direct train. In less than 90 minutes, a train will take you to the Renaissance treasures of Florence , a good base for visiting the hill towns and other places to visit in Tuscany .

Verona Map - Tourist Attractions

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Italy Travel Guide

26 BEST Things to do in Verona, Italy + Where to Stay

26 Best Things to do in Verona Italy 2023 - Travel Tips, Accommodation, Map

Hugging the banks of the Adige River in northern Italy, it’s not hard to fall in love with Verona with all her impressive artwork, ancient architecture, rich history, and stunning skyline. 

Italy’s fair Verona extends beyond her fame for being the city of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Verona was nicknamed piccola Roma (little Rome ) thanks to its importance during the Roman times, Verona was established as a Roman settlement in 89 BC. With its long history and so much on offer, I’ve gathered 26 best things to do in Verona.

My top money-saving travel tip when visiting Verona is to pick up a VeronaCard . With the VeronaCard you get either free or reduced fee entrance to top attractions, monuments and churches plus discounted tickets to selected concerts, opera and theatre productions and free bus travel. For a full list of what’s included and to buy your Verona Card, click here.

Haven’t decided where to stay? Don’t miss my guide on where to stay in Verona .

Map of 26 Best Things to do in Verona

To help you locate each of the magnificent viewpoints in Verona that I’ve included in this list, I’ve created a handy Google map you can use. Got a question? Just ask me in the comments below.

Watch my Verona video guide here

1. piazza bra.

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Piazza Bra palazzi at sunrise

Fun fact: A marble liston is a Venetian word used in various cities of the Veneto region. The term liston refers to a long marble slab used for paving the streets. The term far el liston , means “to walk around the square”.

Tips for visiting Piazza Bra

  • Piazza Bra is fully pedestrianised so it’s a safe place to wander around without having to dodge traffic.

Address: Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona

Opening hours: 

  • Cafés and restaurants open early for breakfast around 8am and close around 2am at night.
  • Shops open from 9.30am and close at 9pm.

2. Roman Arena (Arena di Verona)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Roman Arena at sunrise

The Roman Arena is located in the lively Piazza Bra full or bars, restaurants and a park giving you plenty of vantage points from which to enjoy one of Italy’s largest amphitheatres.

Thanks to its elliptical shape, the Roman Amphitheatre has excellent acoustics, which is why in summer it hosts the biggest names in the music and opera and seats up to 30,000 patrons on its various orders of tiers. The high quality production and performances are unforgettable making it one of the absolute best things to do in Verona. 

Verona’s Roman Amphitheatre wasn’t always a happy place though. At the centre of the area floor gladiators would fight for life against wild beasts. Sadly, thousands of souls died inside these pink-tinged marble walls. 

Tips for visiting the Roman Arena

  • Tuesday – Sunday: 8:30 – 19:30 (the ticket office closes at 18:30)
  • Monday: 13:30 – 19:30 (the ticket office closes at 18:30)
  • Free entrance & Priority Entrance with the Verona Card
  • Adult: 10,00 €
  • Reduced:  7,50 €
  • Groups (min 15 pers): 7,50 €
  • Schools and 8-14 years old: 1,00 €
  • 0-7 years old: Free 

Visit the official Arena website to buy opera tickets

3. Palazzo Barbieri

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Palazzo Barbieri

Tips for visiting the Palazzo Barbieri

Address: Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona Opening hours:  The Palace is not open to visitors, but it can be admired from the outside. Admission: Free to wander around the exterior.

4. Palazzo della Gran Guardia

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Palazzo della Gran Guardia

The palace was designed by Domenico Curtoni at the start of the 17th century, but it wasn’t completed until Giuseppe Barbieri came along in the mid-19th century.

The Palazzo della Gran Guardia is one of Verona’s most important historic buildings. It was intended to be used as a covered space for soldiers to train in during bad weather and was also used as barracks for the occupying Austrian Army forces during Italy’s first struggle for independence in 1848. 

Today, Palazzo della Gran Guardia is a venue for exhibitions and cultural events including art shows and Vinitaly, Verona’s wine conference. 

Tips for visiting Palazzo della Gran Guardia

  • Its interior is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

Address: Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona Opening hours:  Palazzo della Gran Guardia is only open to the public during exhibitions or other events. Admission: Prices vary with each event.

5. Portoni della Bra

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Portoni della Bra

Tips for visiting Portoni della Bra

Address: Piazza Bra, 1, 37121 Verona Opening hours: All day, every day Admission: Free 

6. Porta Borsari

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Porta Borsari

Porta Borsari was located on Via Postumia which served as the Decumano Massimo (the main east-west street) a major Roman road. It was the city’s main entrance, which is why is it’s so richly decorated. 

The gate’s original Roman name was Porta Iovia, because of its proximity to a small temple dedicated to Jupiter lustralis.

In the Middle Ages it was renamed Porta di San Zeno, while its current name derives from the guard soldiers which were paid the dazio (Latin bursarii).

Tips for visiting Porta Borsari

Address: Corso Porta Borsari, 57A, 37121 Verona Opening hours: All day, every day Admission: Free 

7. Castelvecchio and Castelvecchio Museum and Gallery 

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Castelvecchio Bridge stairs

The Castlevecchio was the greatest engineering achievement for the Scaliger dynasty who built the moated fortress to protect the family in case of revolt. 

Later, Castlevecchio suffered major damage by Napoleon and bombings in WWII but was restored and reinvented by architect Carlo Scarpa.

Today, the castle is now home to the Castelvecchio Museum and Gallery which documents the history of the castle through a series of medieval artefacts, factual displays and a diverse collection of paintings by Pisanello, Giovanni Bellini, Tiepolo, and Veronese. Included in your ticket, is access to the two guard towers which give excellent elevated views of the city and river.

Tips for visiting Castelvecchio Museum and Gallery

  • The bridge is fully pedestrianised so there’s no traffic to dodge
  • The museum is partially accessible to wheelchairs and strollers via an internal elevator.

Address: Corso Castelvecchio, 2, 37121 Verona

  • Tuesday – Sunday: 8:30 – 19:30 (the ticket office closes at 18:45)
  • Monday: 13:30 – 19:30 (the ticket office closes at 18:45)

Admission: 

  • Free entrance with the Verona Card or persons with disabilities
  • Adult: 6,00 € 
  • Reduced: 4,50 €
  • Schools and 8-14 years old: 1,00  €
  • First Sunday of the month between October and March: 1,00 €

Visit the official Castelvecchio website for more information

8. Castelvecchio Bridge (Ponte Scaligero)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Castelvecchio Bridge sunset

One of the best things to do in Verona is to wander across the bridge itself and enjoy the views of the Adige River by peeping through its series of crenellated battlements. Don’t forget to admire the bridge from the river bank. The best view is from the north side looking back towards both the fort and bridge.

Tips for visiting Castelvecchio Bridge

Address: Corso Castelvecchio,2, 37121 Verona Opening hours: All day, every day Admission: Free 

9. Arco dei Gavi

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Arco dei Gavi

In 1805, French troops dismantled  Arco dei Gavi in order to enlarge the north-eastern entrance gate to the town. By 1932, the monument was re-assembled next to Castelvecchio where it stands today.

Tips for visiting Arco dei Gavi

  • Arco dei Gavi looks especially beautiful at night when all lit up.

Address:   Corso Cavour, 37121 Verona Opening hours: All day, every day Admission: Free 

10. Piazza delle Erbe

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Piazza delle Erbe fountain

Today, Piazza delle Erbe is surrounded by important buildings including the Torre dei Lamberti, the Casa dei Giudici (“Judges’ Hall”) and the ornately frescoed Mazzanti Houses. 

On the western side of the piazza is stunning Baroque Palazzo Maffei, decorated by statues of Greek gods including Jupiter, Venus, Apollo, Hercules and Minerva. Located directly in front of Palazzo Maffei is a white marble column with a St. Mark’s Lion adorning the top, a symbol of the Republic of Venice . 

On the southern end is the Casa dei Mercanti (“House of the Merchants”, also known as Domus Mercatorum), now the seat of the Banca Popolare di Verona. 

The masterpiece of the Piazza delle Erbe is its fountain, built in 1368 by Cansignorio della Scala with a Roman statue called Madonna Verona, dating back to 380 AD. 

Tips for visiting Piazza delle Erbe

  • The centre of the square is pedestrianised to the east with a quiet road reaching around the west side.
  • Piazza Erbe, 16, 37121 Verona 
  • Located between Via Mazzini and the Corso Porta Borsari.

Opening hours:  

  • Cafés and restaurants open between 07:00 – 09:00 to as late as 02:00. 
  • Shops open between 09:30-10:00 to 19:00-19:00 and may close for lunch between 13:00-15:00.

Admission: Free 

11. Torre dei Lamberti

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Michele standing below Torre dei Lamberti

Torre dei Lamberti continues to dominate the skyline standing 83 metres tall and offers gorgeous panoramic views from its bell tower.

Tips for visiting Torre dei Lamberti

  • A lift is available to whisk you up two-thirds of the way before walking up the remaining flights of stairs
  • The ticket includes a visit to the Modern Art Gallery (closed Mondays).

Address: Via della Costa, 2, 37121 Verona 

  • Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 18:00
  • Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 – 19:00
  • Public holiday – 11:00 – 19:00
  • Last admission 45 minutes before closing

Admission:  

  • Adult: 8,00 €
  • Reduced: 5,00 €
  • Children 0-7 years: Free
  • Monday: 5.00 € (due to Modern Art Gallery being closed)
  • Schools and 8-14 years old (Monday only): 1,00 € 

Visit the official Torre dei Lamberti website for more information

12. Piazza dei Signori / Piazza Dante 

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Piazza dei Signori and Italian flags

The piazza is flanked by important historical and architectural important buildings, such as the  Loggia del Consiglio (the former city hall), the Palace of the Government, and the Domus Nova. 

Dante Alighieri, born in Florence in 1265, was a poet and writer and just like Shakespeare is to English , Dante is considered the father of the Italian language. In the late Middle Ages, most poetry was written in Latin, which made is only accessible to the most educated readers. Dante defended the everyday vernacular and began writing in his Tuscan dialect, thus making his work widely accessible. His most famous piece is epic poem The Divine Comedy . This highly unorthodox choice set a precedent that was later adopted by other Italian writers including Petrarch and Boccaccio. 

A statue of Dante stands here because when he was 39, Dante come to live in Verona for seven years after he was exiled from Florence. He was taken in and hosted by Bartolomeo and Cangrande della Scala of the ruling Scaligere family. 

Two other noteworthy statues here are dedicated to Scipione Maffei and Girolamo Fracastoro. 

Girolamo Fracastoro was a doctor, poet, and astronomer, and is depicted wearing a Roman toga and holding a sphere representing the world. According to legend, the sphere will fall on the head of the first true gentleman who passes underneath him.

Tips for visiting Piazza dei Signori

  • Piazza dei Signori is pedestrianised with the odd passing of local authority.
  • The square has a few cafés and restaurants where you can dine al fresco or inside.

Address: Piazza dei Signori, 37121 Verona Opening hours: Cafés and restaurants open from 10:00 until late Admission: Free 

13. Scaliger Tombs (Arche Scaligere)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Scaliger Tombs

The first tomb built here is that of Cangrande I, the most famous of the family dynasty and the protector of the poet Dante and whose tomb is attached to the exterior church wall. This name cangrande means “big dog” in Italian, which is why there is a statue made in his likeness on horseback decorated with harnessed dogs.

Two angels watch over the tomb of Mastino II, and Cansignorio’s tomb is the most ornate with warrior saints protecting him.  The final two tombs are for Alberto II without a canopy and Giovanni, whose tomb is also built into the church wall.  

Tips for visiting Scaliger Tombs

  • While the Scaliger tombs can be seen from behind the ironwork fence for free, you can pay a small entrance fee to see the monuments up close. 

Address: Via Arche Scaligere, 37121 Verona

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 13:00 and 15:00 – 18:00
  • Free entrance with the Verona Card  
  • Entrance: 1,00 € 

14. Casa di Giulietta and Juliet’s Balcony

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Casa di Giulietta Juliets house and balcony

Shakespeare took inspiration for his famous play from a true story of family rivalry which happened in Verona during the 1300s. Their names were Montecchi and Capuleti (from which we get the Capulets and Montagues) and at the time were genuine rival political factions.

Shakespeare wasn’t the first to write about the love story between Romeo and Juliet. Luigi Da Porto was the first author of the celebrated story in 1500.

Juliet’s 13th century house was indeed that which belonged to the Dal Cappello family and today houses a small museum with a collection of paintings, prints, and ceramics. Added years later (for the benefit of fans of the play) is Juliet’s balcony, the supposed location of the famous scene where Romeo hails Juliet from her balcony.

The balcony overlooks a small courtyard where a bronze statue of Juliet dating from 2014 stands, replacing the original from 1969 which is now located in the museum’s atrium.

Lining the walls of the entrance to the courtyard are thousands of post it notes covered in declarations of love. 

Some 50,000 letters addressed to Juliet are sent to Verona each from those seeking advice from Shakespeare’s romantic heroine. A group of volunteers set up The Juliet Club to act as “secretaries of Juliet,” and respond to these letters, thus keeping alive the magic and romance of one of the most powerful love stories in history.

Tips for visiting Juliet’s House

  • Juliet’s House gets very busy during high season, I recommend visiting first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds and have a less crowded experience inside the museum.
  • You can visit the courtyard where you can see Juliet’s statue and balcony for free. To access the balcony, this is only possible by purchasing a ticket to the exhibition inside.
  • If you want to leave a love notes on the walls outside, you’ll need to bring your own pen, paper and adhesive.
  • Don’t forget to rub the right breast of Juliet’s statue to bring good luck.

Address: Via Cappello, 23, 37121 Verona

  • Monday: 13:30 – 19:30
  • Tuesday – Sunday: 08:30 – 19:30
  • Last entrance: 18.45 
  • Free entrance with the Verona Card
  • Adult: 6,00 €
  • Groups (min 15 pers): 4,50 €

Visit the official Casa di Giullietta website here for information

Going to Verona with someone special? Tell them how you feel and learn how to say ‘I love you’ in Italian  

15. Casa di Romeo (Romeo’s house)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Romeo's House

The house looks like the Della Scala palaces, being both Romantic and Gothic in style. On the façade of the house is a plaque (unfortunately now covered in graffiti) with an inscription in both Italian and English dedicated to the memory of the two young lovers. It reads: “Oh Dov’è Romeo?… Taci, ho perduto me stesso: io non sono quì e non son Romeo, Romeo è altrove” (Act 1, scene 1). ” Tut, I have lost myself, I am not here: This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.”

Tips for visiting Romeo’s House

  • The house itself cannot be visited but you can get closer by visiting the restaurant located within its walls.

Address: Via Arche Scaligere, 2, 37121 Verona Opening hours:  Closed to the public. This is a private residence so please be respectful.

16. St. Zeno Maggiore Church (Basilica di San Zeno)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Inside Basilica di San Zeno

Even if you’re not a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet, Basilica of San Zeno is definitely worth visiting. Located on the west side of the River Adige, Basilica of San Zeno is one of the most important religious buildings in Verona, famous for its Romanesque architecture and beautiful rose window (called “Wheel of Fortune”). It is also home to the famous triptych by Mantegna depicting the Madonna with Child and Saints.

Both the Basilica and the adjoining Benedictine monastery were built in honour of St. Zeno, the patron saint of Verona, who died in 380 AD.

Tips for visiting Basilica di San Zeno 

  • Visitors should cover their shoulders and knees before entering the church.

Address: Piazza San Zeno, 2, 37123 Verona

  • Monday – Saturday 08:30 – 18:00 (luglio e agosto fino 18.30)
  • Sunday and religious holidays 12.30 – 18.00
  • Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 13.00 and 13.30 – 17.00
  • Sunday and religious holidays 12.30 – 17:30
  • Last entry is 15 minutes before closing time
  • Adult: 3,00 €
  • 0-11 years: Free
  • Schools: 1,00 € 
  • Group (min. 20 people): 2,00 € 

17. Juliet’s Tomb at San Francesco al Corso Monastery 

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Juliets tomb

Today, the old monastery has been transformed into the Museum of Frescoes G.B. Cavalcaselle. The museum houses frescos from Veronese buildings dating from Medieval times through the sixteenth century as well as nineteenth-century sculptures.

If you’re so inclined you can even join the thousands of people who have come here from around the world to get married in one of the cosy halls of the museum.

Tips for visiting Juliet’s Tomb

Address: Via Luigi da Porto, 5, 37122 Verona

  • Last entry: 18:30
  • Adult: 4,50 €
  • Reduced: 5,00 € (over 60, students)

18. Ponte Nuovo

Crossing the Adige River to the east of the city is Ponte Nuovo. The attraction here isn’t the bridge itself but the lovely perspective it provides of the historic centre.

Tips for visiting Ponte Nuovo

  • This is a lovely place to take a stroll down at dusk when the street lamps illuminate the path and side streets towards Ponte Pietra on the west bank.

Address: Ponte Nuovo, 37121 Verona VR, Italy

19. Giardino Giusti

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Giardino Giusti and statue

Giardino Giusti is an oasis of greenery and the only sixteenth-century Italian-style garden in Verona which has attracted the likes of Goethe and Mozart.

The gardens are made up of 8 different squares with a unique design and a central fountain or decoration. There is also a hedge maze and series of grottoes landscaped into the hillside.

Tips for visiting Giardino Giusti

Address: Via Giardino Giusti, 2, Verona

  • Monday – Sunday: 09.00 – 19.00
  • Closed on 25 December
  • Reduced entrance fee with the Verona Card  
  • Persons with disabilities: Free
  • Reduced: 7,00 € (over 60, students, groups of over 15 people)

Visit the official Giardino Giusti website for more information

20. Roman Amphitheater (Il Teatro Romano)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Roman Theatre

Built on the hills of St. Peter in the middle of Augustinian age, this spectacular theatre was lost over centuries of various civil and religious buildings being built over its ruins. It wasn’t until  1834 that the rich Veronese merchant, Andrea Monga, bought the houses in the area and set about archaeological excavations which unearthed the original marble floor of the orchestra pit and rows of stone seats. 

The only damage the Roman Theatre suffered was to part of the seating when the Church of San Siro was built on the site during the 10th century. 

Located on the hill above the theatre is the former Convent of San Gerolamo which houses an Archaeological Museum. Here you’ll find a wealth of Roman artefacts  found throughout the Verona area including coins, mosaics and sculptures. On top of that, the museum has beautiful views over the river and city landscape.

Today, this Roman Theatre is once again open to the public hosting open-air concerts, opera, and ballet from early June to the end of July seating up to 15,000 people.

Tips for visiting Roman Amphitheater

  • During the summer, the Roman Theatre is wheelchair accessible via gangways. During winter, those touring the theatre and gain access via Vicolo Botte. 
  • The Archaeological Museum is not wheelchair accessible.
  • A tour of the theatre and museum is a must for those interested in Roman history.

Address: Regaste Redentore, 2, 37129 Verona

  • Monday: 13.30 – 19.30
  • Tuesday – Sunday: 08.30 – 19.30 
  • Last entrance: 18:30
  • Closing times may vary if there is a performance on in the evening.
  • Adult: 4,50 € 
  • Groups (15+ people): 3,00 €
  • 8-14 years: 1,00 €
  • 0-7 years: Free
  • Admission includes audioguide

Visit the official Teatro Romano Summer festival website for more information

21. Verona Cathedral (Complesso della Cattedrale Duomo)

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Verona Cathedral

Consecrated in 1187, Verona Cathedral is one of the oldest religious buildings in Verona. The Cathedral is the central structure of a complex of buildings which include San Giovanni in Fonte, Santa Elena, and the Canon’s Cloister. 

Tips for visiting Verona Cathedral

  • The cathedral is closed during Mass.
  • The main church is wheelchair accessible; the Baptistery and secondary churches have steps at the entrances.
  • As with all churches, visitors should cover their shoulders and knees before entering.

Address: Piazza Duomo / Piazza Vescovado, 37121

  • Monday – Saturday 10:30 – 17:30 
  • Sunday and religious holidays 13.30 – 17:30
  • Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 17.00
  • Adult: 3,00 € 
  • Groups (min. 20 people): 2,00 €
  • 0-11 years: 1,00 €
  • Schools: 1,00 €

Visit the official Verona Cathedral website for more information

22. Basilica of Saint Anastasia

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Basilica of Saint Anastasia

The interior features a richly decorated vaulted ceiling with ornate side chapels. Don’t miss 15th-century artist Pisanello’s famous fresco located above the entrance to the Pellegrini chapel.

Tips for visiting Basilica of Saint Anastasia

  • Free entrance if you’re attending mass.

Address: Piazza Santa Anastasia, 37121 Verona

  • Monday – Saturday 10:30 – 18:00 
  • Sunday and religious holidays 13:30 – 18:00
  • Sunday and religious holidays 13:00 – 17:00

Visit the official Basilica of Saint Anastasia website for more information

23. Ponte Pietra

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Ponte Pietra at sunset

A lovely want to enjoy this part of Verona is by getting a gelato at the local hotspot Gelateria Ponte Pietra Verona located on Via Ponte Pietra, 13 and taking a stroll across the bridge. Take your time to admire the buildings lining the river bank before heading north across the bridge and walking along the river bank to the west. 

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Gelato from Gelateria Ponte Pietra

Tips for visiting Ponte Pietra

  • This is a lovely spot to sit by the water and watch the world go by. The colours here are sunset are epic!

Address: Ponte Pietra, 37121

24. Take the funicular to Castle San Pietro 

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - View of Verona from Castle San Pietro sun on horizon

Tips for visiting Funicolare di Castel San Pietro

  • Pack wine, cheese, and panini and do as the locals do and head here for an aperitivo as you watch the sunset. This place is absolute perfection.
  • The funicular is located at Via Santo Stefano, 12, 37129
  • Alternatively, you can go by foot by taking the stairs which start at Scalinata Castel S. Pietro.

Funicular Opening hours: 

  • Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 21:00
  • Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00
  • Closed: January 1st, December 25th
  • The ticket office closes 15 minutes before closing time.
  • Return ticket: 2,00 €
  • One way: 1,00 € 
  • Groups (min. 15 people): 1,50 €
  • 0-10 / over 65 years: 1,00 €
  • 0-1 year old / persons with disabilities / teachers / tour guides: Free

Visit the official Funicolare di Castel San Pietro website for more information

25. Take a day trip to Sirmione on Lake Garda

places to visit verona italy

Why not spend the day relaxing by Lago di Garda aka Lake Garda fringed by villages, mountains, vineyards and citrus groves. Lake Garda is only 40 minutes from Verona making it incredibly close, so it would be a shame to miss out on visiting Italy’s largest lake while you’re in town.

One of the closest and picturesque spots to Verona on Lake Garda is the town of Sirmione where you’ll find Castello Scaligero (also known as the Rocca Scaligera or the Rocca di Sirmione), a 13th century fortress built by the Scaligere family. It was built over the top of the ruins of an ancient Roman fortress is one of the most complete and well-conserved castles in Italy. The castle sits at the narrowest point of the peninsula and protected the Medieval town which was accessed by crossing one of the castle’s bridges and passing through the city gate.

Also in Sirmione is the Roman Villa of the poet Catullus, known also as “Grotte di Catullo”, lots of lovely beaches some smaller than others, pretty narrow alleys, and loads of cafes and restaurants. 

Tips for visiting Lake Garda

  • To reach the eastern side of Lake Garda, “Riviera degli Ulivi” you can take the local ATV local bus.
  • Bus lines from Verona are 162, 163, 185. To go further, to the northern part of the lake, you can take busses 483 and 484. For more bus information and times, visit ATV.verona.com
  • If you don’t want to bother with public transport, join this Sirmione and Lake Garda small group tour or this full-day Lake Garda tour .
  • 08:30 until 19:00. Closed Mondays.
  • Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 8.30-19.30
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Sunday: 8.30-14.00
  • Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 8.30-17.00
  • The ticket office closes 45 minutes before closing time.
  • Full: 6,00 €
  • Ticket includes entrance to Grotte di Catullo and Villa Romana di Desenzano
  • Full: 8,00 €
  • Reduced: 4,00 € (Europeans between 18-25)

Visit the official Castello Scaligero di Sirmione for more information

Visit the official Grotte di Catullo for more information

26. Take a day trip from Verona

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Day trip to Santuario della Madonna della Corona

Santuario Madonna della Corona

Verona is located in an ideal spot from which to venture out and visit any of the many wonderful cities and locations in the area. In under an hour you can be bathing your feet in Lake Garda, shopping in the super chic city of Milan, savouring local wine and Parmesan cheese and Parma ham in the Parmigiano-Reggiano factory in Parma, wandering the canals of Venice , seeing the colourful houses of Burano , or eating a real spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna. 

Getting to any of these places is super easy. Search for and book your train tickets using either Trenitalia , or for a more luxurious experience and faster commute, book with Italo. P.S. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before travelling! 

For something closer to home, here are some top-rated day tours that will simplify your travel plans.

  • Wine tasting experience and guided tour at Villa Mosconi Bertani in Verona
  • Visit the beautiful medieval Soave Borgo for a Wine tasting tour
  • Join this Dolomites small-group day trip with Lunch
  • Gardaland Amusement Park: Skip-the-line ticket
  • Verona food walking tour with wine tasting
  • Risotto and Pasta Cooking Class
  • Spend the day in Parco Giardino Sigurtà , voted the most beautiful park in Italy in 2013.
  • Compare the best car rental prices here or catch a train and visit Santuario Madonna della Corona (pictured above) that clings to the rising mountains 774 meters above sea level, overlooking the valley of the Adige river.

Watch my vlog on the best things to do in Verona

How to get to Verona from the airport

Getting to Verona city centre is very easy. Look out for the big blue shuttle bus at the front of the terminal. This will take your to the main strain station, Verona Porta Nuova. Tickets cost €6 and can be bought from the driver. Only cash is accepted.  The journey is takes 10 minutes or so.

From Verona Porta Nuova station, take either b us 11, 12, 13 towards Piazza Bra and alight there. From there you can walk to your accommodation relatively easily. Bus tickets must be purchased from the ticket machine for €2.

Getting around Verona

Verona is a very walkable city and everything can be reached by foot. With your VeronaCard  public transportation is free so you can always use it to catch the bus and travel the length of the city more quickly if you only have a short time.

Where to stay in Verona

When it comes to accommodation, Verona has something for everyone on any budget. When you’re ready to book, use my special link and get 10% of your booking back . Win-win!   Here are some of the top-rated hotels to choose from in Verona.

B&B Primavera — Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t be in a central location. Located less than 5 minutes from Verona Arena, B&B Primavera is the perfect budget accommodation. The rooms are clean and well-furnished and decoration, which is rare when it comes to budget hotels. 

Check room rates and book your stay at B&B Primavera

Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Accommodation - Hotel Bologna

Check room rates and book your stay at Hotel Bologna here

Hotel Milano & Spa — What could be more luxurious or special that a stay at Hotel Milano. Their most famous feature is their rooftop jacuzzi which overlooks Verona Arena. I really want to stay here but they were fully booked, for obvious reasons! Don’t miss your chance, book your room well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Check room rates and book your stay at the Hotel Milano & Spa

Need more options don’t miss my complete guide on where to stay in verona ., don’t be treated like a tourist. learn italian with my 80/20 method.

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26 Best Things to do in Verona Italy - Travel Tips, Accommodation, Map

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30+ Unique & Fun Things to do in Verona, Italy

Last Updated: October 28, 2022

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If you’re looking for an exhaustive list of all the fun things you can do in Verona, I’m happy to step up as chief fangirl because this city has an absolute chokehold on me.

After all, longtime readers/stalkers will know that it was a spontaneous trip to Verona and Venice in early 2016 that got my waffley boyfriend to finally commit and ask me to be his girlfriend.

It was pouring, cold, and disgustingly romantic, and ever since then I’ve always thought of Verona with these dreamy sepia-toned love-goggles.

I’ve since been back a few more times, most recently on my own in the thick humid heat of Europe’s Great Heatwave of 2019 (I believe some headlines called it “hell on earth”).

… and I still love Verona. I sweated a lot, but I still loved it. And truthfully, the better I get to know it, the more I appreciate all there is to do in this romantic little city, far more than what standard guidebooks would tell you.

So, in the spirit of sharing the love, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite things to do in Verona, filled with the touristy musts that are worth your time, along with some hidden gems I’ve discovered during my last three visits. Here we go!

places to visit verona italy

Save this list of Things to do in Verona for later!

You’ll be very glad you did.

First: Quick Verona Activity Recommendations

In a rush? I detail a lot of my top Verona recommendations below in depth, but here are some quick links if you just want to book and go:

  • Buy a Verona Card if you plan on visiting a lot of main sights (it’ll save you loads of money
  • Book this food tour if you’re wanting to try a lot of local specialties at once
  • Book this cooking class if you’re interested in learning how to make your own pasta and tiramisu from scratch
  • Book this tour if you’re interested in doing a day trip out to the nearby wine region
  • Book this tour if you want to do a day trip to Lake Garda

places to visit verona italy

1. Enjoy the view from Castel San Pietro

Let’s start with one of my favourite (free) things to do in Verona. Castel San Pietro is a dreamy hilltop castle that overlooks the city. Occupied since pre-Roman times, this used to be a prime spot for anyone who wanted to control the Adige River. Today, it’s one of the most spectacular places in Verona to catch sunset.

Although much of the castle was destroyed when Napoleon arrived in 1801, visitors these days can still walk past the ruins of the Roman theatre to the top of the hill or ride the funicular to get to the top in less than a minute.

Once you reach the top you’re treated to almost 360 ° views of Verona, truly the best vantage point to see all those church spires, the old town and the river.

If you get up early enough, you can even enjoy the views without all the crowds of tourists! Although trust me, sunset is really the time to come here, especially if you bring a bottle of your own vino to enjoy.

places to visit verona italy

2. Visit Juliet’s House (and balcony)

Next up: the famous Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House).This is another one of the most famous things to do in Verona, but I want you to lower your expectations, because (while it’s a famous must-do), this is an activity I personally find overrated.

Pretty much everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, whether by reading the play or just swooning over Leo DiCaprio in the 1996 film version.

And, according to Veronese tourist lore, this is the house where Juliet lived and had her super-romantic balcony moment with Romeo… ignoring the fact that, you know, Romeo and Juliet were not actually real people.

Nonetheless, thousands of tourists flock here today to get their own balcony photo and rub the boob of Juliet for luck. It’s a little pervy, and often terribly crowded, but it’s just one of those Verona must-dos that you can’t escape. I’d say – go early in the morning, check it off the list, and mosey on.

NOTE: If you want access to the balcony, you’ll have to pay to access the museum. It’s included with the Verona Card , so worth a quick stop if you’re doing other big attractions in the city, but I found the museum itself a bit boring, to be honest.

places to visit verona italy

3. Scope out the Verona Arena

The Arena di Verona (Verona Arena) is a Roman amphitheatre built in the first century and still in use today. It’s one of the best-preserved structures of its kind, although not as big or as famous as the Colosseum in Rome.

Still, with a capacity of 15,000, it’s a popular spot for concerts and other performances… and sightseeing!

It’s pretty cool that the stones here have seen everything from gladiator fights and operas, to One Direction concerts, and it’s even going to be the location for the closing ceremony of the 2026 winter Olympics in Milan.

During my visit, a lot of was obstructed as they were setting up for an opera, but it was still extremely cool to see the inside, so be sure to put it on your list!

PS: if you’re looking to save money, admission is included with a Verona Card .

places to visit verona italy

4. Attend an opera or live performance at the Arena di Verona

Admiring the facade of the Arena di Verona is nice. Walking along the epic interiors is better. But the best is getting to witness a live performance inside.

This is one item on my bucket list I can’t wait to cross off someday, and if you feel the same, you can check out their calendar of performances here.

PS: For my fellow humans who got brainwashed into Italian obsession thanks to the Lizzie McGuire movie, this may be the closest you get to experiencing a concert in the Colosseum, because the one in Rome doesn’t host live events.

places to visit verona italy

5. Prance across Ponte Pietra

With its scenic location hugging the banks of the Adige River, Verona has no shortage of pretty bridges, but if there’s one I’d give a specific shoutout to, it’s Ponte Pietra (AKA Stone Bridge).

This Roman arch bridge is a real stunner. Completed in about 1508, she’s looking pretty good for her age… although admittedly she has had some work done, as four of her arches were blown up by retreating German troops during WWII. Luckily for eager sightseers like you and I, they’ve since been repaired.

Ponte Pietra is very pretty obviously, but so are the views you get from here of pretty vine-covered buildings and the rushing waters of the Adige. This is a pedestrian-only bridge as well, so feel free to pose for as many selfies as you want without needing to worry about being run over by cars.

places to visit verona italy

6. Get a beautiful view from Lamberti Tower

Verona is a city of views, and one of my favourites is from the Lamberti Tower or Torre dei Lamberti. You won’t be able to miss this huge clock tower as you can see it towering above from nearly anywhere in the city.

For €8 (or free with the Verona Card ) you can climb the 84 metres to the top of the tower to enjoy 360 °  views, or just take the transparent elevator if you don’t feel like walking up 368 steps, especially if it’s the middle of another European heat wave…

places to visit verona italy

7. Enjoy the beauty of Verona’s main squares

There are a lot of pretty piazzas in Verona, but the three main ones are also the prettiest and most worth exploring.

Piazza Brà: Brà (as the locals call it) is the largest piazza in Verona and the one where you can see the big Roman amphitheatre, now known as the Verona Arena. Don’t get too distracted by it though or you’ll miss the pretty garden in the centre of the piazza as well as the many cafes and restaurants lining the square. This is also where you can visit the historic town hall (Palazzo Barbieri) and the Palazzo della Gran Guardia.

Piazza delle Erbe:  Piazza delle Erbe is the diamond-shaped piazza located close to Juliet’s Balcony. There’s an ancient fountain in the centre (built in 1368) as well as a Roman sculpture dating to 380 AD! Most of the buildings lining the square are gorgeous, from the frescoed Mazzanatti houses to the Baroque style Palazzo Maffei and its statues of Greek gods.

Piazza dei Signori:  This piazza might not be as popular or busy as the other two but it’s still so cute! There are lots of pretty arches and in the centre is a famous statue of Dante (yeah, the one who wrote the Divine Comedy) since he was given shelter in Verona after being exiled from Florence in 1302.

places to visit verona italy

8. Go church hopping

If you’re one of those travellers who can’t resist a nice church peek, then Verona is the perfect destination for you. There’s a wealth of beautiful and unique churches here which are worth exploring. Here are some of my favourites!

Duomo di Verona: Possibly the most famous and most-visited church in the city is the Duomo di Verona, AKA Verona Cathedral. It’s a Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary and has been standing in Verona since 1187. Not only is this a very pretty Cathedral, with a big tower giving off serious Rapunzel vibes, but it’s also home to one of the oldest continuously functioning libraries in the world. So you can pretend to be Belle as well as Rapunzel!

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore: The Basilica of San Zeno is mostly famous because this was where Romeo and Juliet were supposedly married in Shakespeare’s play. But putting aside the location of a fictional marriage, this is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture that marks the burial site of Saint Zeno of Verona . There’s a statue of the saint inside and a pretty belltower on the outside as well.

Basilica di Santa Anastasia: If you prefer your churches more Gothic, then the Sant’Anastasia near the Ponte Pietra might be your fave. This is a church of the Dominican Order and features lovely stained-glass windows, Gothic arches, statues, carved facade panels and the famous fresco of St. George and the Princess by the Italian master Pisanello. See if you can spot a little statue of a hunchback while you’re there!

Chiesa di San Fermo: A really beautiful church with a belltower holding six different bells and pinnacles on the rooftop. Inside is just as interesting as this church is split over two levels and the wooden ceiling kind of looks like the hull of a ship that’s been decorated with hundreds of paintings.

places to visit verona italy

9. Stop by the Scaliger Tombs

Rounding off this section of classic Verona sights, the Scaliger Tombs are a group of five Gothic funerary monuments dedicated to members of the Scaliger family.

The Scaligers were the ruling family of Verona during the 13th and 14th centuries so it kind of makes sense that they’d have some very over-the-top tombs, especially the one for Cangrande I – which means “Big Dog” in Italian!

The highlight for many visitors is a big statue of Cangrande on a horse on top of his tomb, which is a popular spot for photos. While there is an entry fee to get up close, the tombs are built in such a grand way that they can be admired from outside the iron fence, making it an easy add-on while exploring other Verona attractions.

places to visit verona italy

10. Enjoy some truly incredible handmade pasta

Alright, let’s move onto some delicious foodie things to do in Verona. We’ll start with my favourite affordable must do: at La Bottega della Gina you can eat some of the freshest and most drool-worthy handmade pasta you’ve probably ever had.

Even though it’s kind of a snack-bar style place, the quality of the pasta and the friendly service of the staff will have you coming back for every meal in Verona.

Seriously, the tortellini is so good, I was ready to propose.

places to visit verona italy

11. Sample other local Verona foods – some more adventurous than others

As with any place in Italy, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from in Verona, but while here, you should make sure you try some specialties of the Veneto region in particular.

After all, Italian cuisine is surprisingly diverse, so be sure to step out of the usual tourist routine of pasta + pizza, and try some of these Veronese specialties…

  • Risotto all’Amarone : Risotto made with local red wine
  • Bollito e pearà : Boiled meat served with a peppery and creamy sauce
  • Sfogliatine di Villafranca: A sweet puff pastry
  • Potato Gnocchi: Often paired with a horse meat sauce in some restaurants, if you’re feeling adventurous

places to visit verona italy

12. Savour a delicious food tour

One of the first world problems that visitors face in Verona is simply that their stomach space isn’t sufficient for all the delicious foods they want to try.

Luckily, an easy solution for that is a food tour, where you get to try bite-sized portions of things while learning more about them as you go.

Food tours are one of my favourite activities when I travel, and this three hour one covers a lot of Veronese classics like codfish, pastissada (polenta), and risino (a rice-based dessert).

Click here to check reviews and availability.

places to visit verona italy

13. Go hunting for whale ribs

Looking for something a bit quirkier and offbeat to do in Verona? Well, one of the city’s weirdest sights is the whale bone that can be found hanging from the Arco Della Costa. It’s weird partly because Verona is nowhere near the sea, but also because nobody seems to know how or why it got there!

It’s believed that this bone is a rib and it has been hanging from a metal chain at this spot since at least the 1700s.

There are a few different myths and legends surrounding why it’s there but the truth is nobody really knows. Regardless, it’s worth tracking it down to have a look and try to figure out the mystery.

places to visit verona italy

14. Hike up to an alternative viewpoint at Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes

The views from Castel san Pietro over Verona are great, but if you want another stunning viewpoint that’s not quite as touristy then head to the Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes.

That mouthful translates to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Lourdes, and after a 30-minute hike up a hill, you’ll come to the beautiful sanctuary with even more incredible views.

It’s a fairly steep walk at the end but you’re rewarded by both a pretty church to explore and a truly breathtaking view over the city of Verona. It’s a quiet spot and there’s also a pretty garden that’s perfect for relaxing while enjoying the solitude.

places to visit verona italy

15. Explore Castelvecchio

Castelvecchio (Old Castle, in Italian) is a castle that was the most important military building built during the Scaliger dynasty – remember the big dog guy? Yeah, it was built by him.

Nowadays the castle is a museum, and visiting the interior is well worth it for history buffs (especially since it’s included with the Verona Card ). The castle itself is a good example of Gothic architecture, with seven towers, an elevated keep and four buildings within the walls.

If you like exploring castles then it’s very fun to explore the museum and all the fine art on display.

There are some beautiful frescoes here, as well as lots of gold pieces, ceramics, ancient weapons, paintings, statues, sculptures and even old bells.

Most of the sculptures date back to the Romanesque period, including works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Andrea Mantegna, and Pisanello… so it’s well worth it if you’re in search of historical and cultural things to do in Verona.

places to visit verona italy

16. Look for a gaping hole in the street with Roman ruins

One of the weirdest sights you might stumble across while walking through Verona is a literal gaping hole in the street (at Porta dei Leoni) where you can look down on some Roman ruins.

Luckily for the clumsy, there are now viewing platforms and railings surrounding it so you can easily have a look without taking a historic tumble.

Of course, this is where the remnants of the historic Porta dei Leoni are located, showing that this huge fortified gate would have also had two defensive towers and an inner courtyard.

Pretty impressive to look at while just having some lunch!

places to visit verona italy

17. Enjoy the peace (and beautiful hidden viewpoint) at Giardino Giusti

If you’re looking for a true hidden gem in Verona, the Giardino Giusti Palazzo is a 16th-century palace and garden that is unbelievably gorgeous.

Located in the Veronetta area on the left bank of the river Adige, it’s easily walkable to get here from the city centre but once you’re in the garden, it feels completely removed from the tourist chaos in the center.

The garden is generally considered to be one of the finest examples of an Italian renaissance garden, featuring beautiful statues, topiary, a maze and even a little tower leading to a secret viewpoint over the city.

It may cost €10 to enter the gardens, but you’ll feel like you’ve left behind all the hustle and bustle of the tourists as you wander along pretending that you live here, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a calmer and more peaceful Verona activity.

places to visit verona italy

18. Visit the supposed oldest library in the world

I mentioned Biblioteca Capitolare briefly already, but it really deserves its own entry. The Verona Cathedral Chapter Library has been named the “Queen of ecclesiastical collections” due to the many important ancient Roman and early Christian texts it still houses.

It’s arguably the oldest working library in the world (some other libraries may still be fighting for that crown) while the likes of Dante and Charlemagne’s son have even studied here.

Over the years, this library has withstood an earthquake, the plague, Napoleon, floods and bombs, so if you’re even slightly interested in books and history, you’re going to want to visit, although beware of their limited opening hours:

places to visit verona italy

19. Trace the city’s ancient gates and walls

Did you know that part of the reason Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is because of its walls and fortifications? No brainer then that another Verona must-do is checking some of them out!

As the Romans conquered the Italian peninsula, Verona was in an important strategic location for controlling routes to the Balkans and Danube provinces, not to mention the bridge over the River Adige being a very handy asset.

So the Romans made sure the city was well fortified. As did later occupiers such as Venice and Austria.

Today, visitors can’t see much of the Roman walls apart from two main gates, the Porta Borsari and the Porta dei Leoni, but both locations are worth a quick look while you’re exploring town.

NOTE: History nerds like me can enjoy walking a route put together by Verona’s Tourism board that will take you all over the main wall locations and ruins.

places to visit verona italy

20. Visit the Roman Theatre

While the Arena di Verona is no doubt the most amphitheatre in town, there’s another theatre that’s often missed by visitors: the Roman Theatre or Teatro Romano.

Built in the 1st century BC, today only a portion of the theatre remains, but luckily you can still identify the most important parts, such as the stage, orchestra, and auditorium.

Despite its scenic location near Ponte Pietra, this is one of the quieter and lesser-known tourist attractions in Verona, so I’d recommend stopping by if you need a break from the crowds, and want to venture a bit more off the beaten path.

places to visit verona italy

21. Enjoy a sunset stroll along the Adige

A lot of people make the mistake of missing sunset in Verona because they’re having a meal or taking a break at their hotel.

Don’t let this be you!

Golden hour is one of the most special times to be exploring Verona, especially if you go for a stroll along the river.

I can’t emphasize how important this Verona must-do is if your goal is to fall in love with the city. Do it please. And take pictures. And send them to me on Instagram. Thank you.

places to visit verona italy

22. Take a cooking class

Sure you can stock your suitcase full of magnets and postcards, but the best souvenir you can take home from Verona is (honestly) the ability to make your own pasta and tiramisu from scratch!

For those interested in foodie things to do in Verona, this 3.5 hour cooking class is a must-book. I did a similar one in Bologna and still use those skills every time I’m in the kitchen.

Click here to check prices and availability

places to visit verona italy

23. Go for a day trip to wine country

It should be no surprise that there’s quite a few things to do in Verona for wine lovers, but one of the more special ones (if you have the time) is a day trip out to the nearby wine region of Valpolicella valley.

In this four hour stress-free tour , you get picked up/dropped off in Verona, and get to visit two typical wine cellars, while learning the secrets of Amarone wine. This is an ideal way to go if you’re not driving on your own, and want the ease of having a guide bringing you around.

Click here to check prices and availability.

places to visit verona italy

24. Go truffle hunting and sample regional products

Another unforgettable foodie thing to do in Verona is going on a truffle hunting tour… which, in case you were wondering, is indeed a real thing!

In this 2 hour tour, you set out with an actual Italian Tartufaro in search of truffles, and then get to enjoy some truffles paired with local wine and other regional specialties.

Click here to check reviews and availability on this experience

25. Learn how to make your own gelato

An inevitable thing that will happen during your Verona trip is that you will eat the equivalent of five dumptrucks worth of gelato.

Another inevitable thing is that you will dream about said gelato for years to come… so why not bring a piece of the magic home with you by learning to make your own? For those with a sweet tooth, this is one foodie experience in Verona that cannot be missed.

places to visit verona italy

26. Enjoy a half-day tour out to Lake Garda

With any city break, I always find it’s a nice idea to get out of the city and enjoy some surrounding nature, when possible. This allows you to develop a full appreciation for the region and everything it has to offer.

In the case of Verona, Lake Garda, one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes is within day trippable distance, making it a no-brainer if you have the time for it.

If you prefer a guided experience, this half-day tour includes a boat trip, guided walking tour, and roundtrip transportation from Verona.

places to visit verona italy

27. Go cycling around wine country

If you’d like to burn some calories while also recklessly consuming them, this E-Bike tour around the Valpolicella Valley sounds like a perfect fit.

Famed for its tasty wine and picturesque rolling hills, this region is one of the most popular day trips from Verona, and for good reason.

28. Visit “Juliet’s Tomb” and its fresco museum

Alright, so most people know that one of the top things to do in Verona is Juliet’s house… but remarkably few tourists know of another Juliet-centric attraction in the city: fair Juliet’s tomb.

Beneath the former Monastery of San Francesco is a tomb that, according to Shakespeare’s play, was where Romeo and Juliet were laid to rest. After the play became so popular, a sarcophagus was placed here for fans to come and visit, which (fun fact) was also the same sarcophagus used in the 1937 film version.

Even famous fans have visited this spot, like Napoleon’s wife Marie-Louise of Austria. Today visitors can also get married here.. you know, if you’re really looking for a morbid place to start your new life together.

Of course, there is also a museum here, the Museo degli Affreschi, which opened in 1975 and houses some beautiful 16th – 18th century frescoes from the palaces of Verona.

While I admit this is kind of a morbid and offbeat thing to do in Verona, it is free entry with a Verona Card , so it’s worth checking out if you get one.

places to visit verona italy

29. Shop on Via Mazzini

Via Mazzini is the main street between Piazza Brá and Piazza del Erbe, which is verrry popular with those looking to burn a hole in their wallet.

What used to be lined with barracks and warehouses is now home to the most expensive Italian stores, which are usually filled with ambling packs of tourists.

Shopping isn’t usually my top choice when it comes to Verona activities, but in case you’re looking for a place to shop around during your visit, this is a good bet.

places to visit verona italy

30. Savour some drinks with an epic view

Imagine sipping a goblet of wine while overlooking the Verona Arena, and try not to get giddy about it.

Seriously – what a way to feel like you own the place, right?

Luckily, there’s a place you can experience exactly that – the Terrace Arena Sky Bar. Sure, it won’t be the cheapest drinks you’ve had, but remember: you’re paying extra for the view, the memories, and the immaculate main character energy.

31. Enjoy an elegant (splurgey) meal

Verona has some truly outstanding restaurants, so if you’re looking for something romantic or memorable to do during your trip, then treating yourself to a nice sit-down meal might be worth scheduling.

And while I’m usually more of a “inhale pot of pasta on the street” kind of girl (see my La Bottega della Gina recommendation), I do actually have a fancy restaurant recommendation for Verona, because I went there by accident.

Picture this: it’s pouring rain, you’re starving, every place you’ve been to is fully booked, and your last resort is a crinkly map your BNB host gave you, with a restaurant starred as his favourite.

That’s what led me to Ristorante Maffei, a beautiful restaurant just off of Piazza Erbe. The food was delicious. The restaurant was beautiful… and (despite being absolutely broke students that were way underdressed) we enjoyed our experience a lot.

Plus… you get to walk in on a literal red carpet, so that’s fun.

32. Watch Letters to Juliet and hunt for filming locations

Lastly, please allow me to get on my soapbox and announce that I think Letters to Juliet is a criminally underrated masterpiece of a rom com.

If you’re looking for a fluffy watch that will get you absolutely jazzed for your Verona trip, make sure it’s this one. The best part is, it features many of Verona’s most iconic locations, so you’re sure to see a lot of them as you explore!

And, if you really want to get into the rom com mood, there’s also Love in the Villa , which is funny in a very cringey and predictable way.

places to visit verona italy

Did I miss any of your favourite things to do in Verona?

Let me know in the comments, and I hope you have an amazing trip!

places to visit verona italy

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The 14 Best Things to Do in Verona, Italy

places to visit verona italy

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

Considered one of the most popular travel destinations in Italy for romance , Verona is located between Milan and Venice in northern Italy's Veneto region. Verona is famously known as the setting for William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," but it's also home to several historic and contemporary attractions. From touring the original home of the Roman Forum at Piazza delle Erbe to watching the opera inside an authentic Roman arena, you're sure to find plenty of inspiring activities on your trip to Verona at any time of year.

Ride the Funicular to Piazzale Castel San Pietro

The Castel San Pietro sits at the top of the hill and is accessible by foot or by a very modern automated funicular. From the top of the hill, you can capture one of the most picturesque views of the city. If you do choose to walk, it's a great opportunity to appreciate all the small houses and quiet streets on the way up. Visitors are allowed to enjoy the views from the square, but the castle is not open to the public. Still, it has an interesting history worth learning about, from its origins as the site of a Roman fortress to the existing building's 19th-century construction.

Take a Walking Food Tour

Don White / Getty Images

Typical dishes of Verona include everything from Risotto with minced pork and pasta with beans, and you could spend weeks here trying all the different specialties. If you're working on a much shorter timeline, a walking food and wine tour is in order. Ways Tours offers a top-rated tour led by a guide who will show you the city's main landmarks while guiding you through tastings of espresso, pastries, and Valpolicella wine. Going with a guide ensures you get a behind-the-scenes look at real Italian kitchens to see how pasta is made and a local expert on hand at the wine shop to help you decide on the best vintages to take home.

See the Roman Forum at Piazza delle Erbe

To start your trip with a bit of history, head to the original site of the Roman Forum, Piazza delle Erbe. This rectangular piazza is located in the heart of historic Verona and is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings and towers. In its center, you'll find a 14th-century fountain topped with a Roman-style statue.

Although once used as a central location to sell produce and handmade goods, most of the stalls at Piazza delle Erbe now offer tourist souvenirs instead. However, you'll also find small cafes where you can have coffee in the morning or a glass of wine to end the day along one side of the piazza.

Step Through an Arch to Piazza dei Signori

From Piazza delle Erbe, walk through the Arco della Costa, an arch with a whale rib hanging from it, into Piazza dei Signori, a small square surrounded by monumental buildings. In the center is a statue of Dante, and perched atop buildings around the square are more famous signori . This square was once the seat of the city's public institutions, and you'll see the tower of the Palazzo del Capitanio , the 15th-century Loggia del Consiglio that was the town hall, and the 14th-century Palazzo della Prefettura, formerly the Palazzo del Governo that was a residence of the Scaligeri family.

Pay Respects at the Scaliger Tombs

RnDmS / Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most influential families in the history of Verona, the Scaligers ruled the city throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. As a result, several monuments were constructed around Verona, including the Scaliger Tombs. This group of five Gothic funerary monuments is located in a courtyard outside the church of Santa Maria Antica, and each tomb is dedicated to a different Lord of Verona: Cangrande I, Mastino II, Cansignorio, Alberto II, and Giovanni. The Scaliger Tombs are free to enjoy and open every day of the year; however, each tomb is separated from the street by a wall with iron bars that prevent tourists from disturbing the dead lords that rest there.

Climb Lamberti Tower

Located just off Piazza delle Erbe near Palazzo della Ragione, Lamberti Tower ( Torre dei Lamberti ) is a good place to get an overview of Verona. Climb the stairs to the top or pay to take the elevator most of the way, and you'll have fantastic views of the city and beyond. Construction for its medieval bell tower started in the 12th century; it was raised a few times since then until it reached its final height of about 275 feet in 1436. Additionally, Count Giovanni Sagramoso added a clock to the tower in 1798 to replace the one on the nearby Torre Gardello that had stopped working.

Tour Juliet's House and Balcony

Perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Verona, the 13th-century building known as Juliet's House is home to a museum dedicated to the titular female protagonist of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." The house is a great example of Gothic architecture in the city, and inside the museum, you'll find a collection of period furniture meant to replicate what Juliet would have had in her home during the time. Located in a courtyard off Via Capello, Juliet's House also features the famous balcony where Romeo professed his love to the young Juliet and a statue of Juliet herself. Visitors can see the balcony and bronze statue for free, but access to the museum requires a small fee.

Alternatively, you can also see the house attributed to Romeo's family on Via Arche Scaligere. Afterward, sample the traditional food of Verona, including horse or donkey meat, at ​Osteria al Duca next door.

Visit the Roman Theater and Archaeological Museum

Built into a hill overlooking the Adige River, the Roman Theater and Archaeological Museum is easily accessible from Juliet's House via Ponte Pietra, a picturesque stone bridge that crosses the river. The 1st-century Roman theater found here hosts outdoor performances in the summer, and the museum—which is housed in the former Convent of Saint Jerome—features Roman mosaics, Etruscan and Roman bronze sculptures, and Roman inscriptions. Both attractions are open seven days a week, and tickets are required to get inside each one.

Explore Castelvecchio Castle and Museum

Built as a residence and fortress in the 14th century, Castelvecchio now serves as a museum dedicated to medieval life in Verona. The building complex includes several towers and keeps as well as a brick bridge crossing the river, and the former parade ground inside is now a nice courtyard for the museum, which features 16 rooms of the former palace filled with sacred art, paintings, Renaissance bronze statues, archeological finds, coins, weapons, and armor. Tours are available daily throughout the year, and tickets are required to explore the museum.

See the Opera at Fondazione Arena Di Verona

The biggest and most imposing monument in the city, the Fondazione Arena Di Verona is the third-largest Roman arena in Italy after the arena in Capua and the Colosseum in Rome. Built in the 1st century, the amphitheater holds up to 25,000 spectators and now hosts a variety of musical concerts including Verona's leading opera companies and the prestigious opera festival known as the Festival lirico all'Arena di Verona since 1913.

However, the best time to visit this Roman arena is during the daytime when the sun shines brightly on the stage. Although part of the seating is now covered in bright orange and red chairs, it's still easy to imagine the original look of the amphitheater when it was used for less savory activities than watching a play or opera.

Wander Through Giardino Giusti

altrendo travel / Getty Images

Located on the grounds of a large castle complex on the eastern shores of the Adige river, Giardino Giusti is a sprawling garden designed in the Italian Renaissance style and known as one of the best examples of Italian gardens in the country. Along with eight separate sections of gardens, this famous attraction also features a hedge maze and a walking trail through a small, wooded area on the edge of the grounds. Throughout the year, the Giusti Garden also opens its doors to a variety of events including the Festival of Beauty, the Singing Garden, and rotating contemporary art exhibitions.

Take a Day Trip to Lake Garda

If you have a bit of time to explore around Verona, consider taking a day trip to Lake Garda. Known as Lago di Garda in Italian, Lake Garda is one of the biggest lakes in Italy and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike thanks to its crystal blue waters, pleasant climate, and clean beaches.

The town of Sirmione, located at the south end of the lake, is home to the towering fortress known as Rocca Scaligera, which was once owned by the influential Scaliger family, as well as Grotte di Catullo, the remains of a Roman villa that used to exist on the peninsula. On the western shore in the town of Gardone Riviera, you'll also find the former home of poet d'Annunzio, known as Vittoriale degli Italiani.

Say a Prayer at Duomo di Verona

The Romanesque Cathedral, also known as Duomo   di Verona , is a complex of buildings that includes a 12th-century Baptistery, the Canons Cloister, Saint Elena Church, and the remains of a 4th-century paleo-Christian basilica.

The octagonal Romanesque baptismal font, decorated with carved Biblical scenes, was carved out of a single block of marble, and the Baptistery has frescoes from the 13th to 15th centuries. The cathedral's frescoes are from the 15th to 18th centuries and the exterior is decorated with 12th-century reliefs. the Cathedral Complex is open on Sundays through Fridays year-round, with varying hours by season, and tickets are required to tour the facilities. However, you can also see the inside of the cathedral during religious services on Sundays for free all year long.

Stoll Around Piazza Bra

Once a suburban braida (field), Piazza Bra is a huge piazza located inside the main gate entering Verona. You'll see the Roman Arena on one side of the piazza, next to the neoclassical Palazzo Municipale, and several porticoed buildings with cafes and restaurants along a broad walkway on the opposite side. Piazza Bra is also home to an extensive garden with a central fountain, which makes for a great place to take a picnic lunch or bring your carryout from one of the restaurants nearby.

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12 Best Things to do in Verona, Italy

By Carl Austin · Last updated on May 4, 2024

Verona is for lovers, especially for lovers of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Here, travelers can see the house where the Juliet who inspired the play was born; they can see the tomb where she is buried and in-between they can visit the church where Shakespeare married off the ill-fated couple. But Verona is much more than a play about star-crossed lovers.

Verona

Things to do in Verona include exploring majestic churches, important palazzos, castles, ancient Roman bridge and one of the most magnificent Italian Renaissance gardens in Italy. This northern Italian town is, indeed, a charmer filled with Roman ruins and Gothic buildings. As the Bard himself might have said, “hie thee to Verona.”

Map of Verona

Map of Verona

12. Porta Borsari

Porta Borsari

In the days of the ancient Romans, Porta Borsari was the gate through which travelers entered the city of Verona. It also was the point where these travelers paid a tax to enter and leave the city. Since it was the city’s main entrance on Via Postumia, it was ornately decorated with columns and arched windows.

Today, this first century gate, which also served as a fort with look-out towers, is somewhat in ruins today. There’s still enough left of it, however, for visitors to imagine how grand it must have been. Only the limestone façade is visible today since visitors aren’t allowed inside.

11. Giardino Giusti

Giardino Giusti

Low hedges neatly trimmed into symmetrical shapes are interspersed with tall slender trees, fountains, grottoes that echo and statues at the Giardino Giusti. This 16th century garden is an awesome sight to behold. It’s so awesome, in fact, that Giardino Giusti is considered one of the best examples of an Italian Renaissance garden in the country.

It’s a reason why the garden, built by the Giusti family for their palazzo, is one of the city’s top attractions. Even visitors who don’t have green thumbs can appreciate that some of the original plants are still flourishing.

10. Piazza dei Signori

Piazza dei Signori

Piazza dei Signori is a key square in Verona’s historic center that is surrounded by notable buildings, including the palazzos of Ragione and Consignorio, and the Church of Santa Maria Antica. In the beginning, it served as Verona’s political and administrative hub.

The square is also known as Piazza Dante because of the statue of the great Italian author Dante, who lived in Verona for awhile. Piazza dei Signori also is the main place to see and be seen in Verona, especially on Wednesday nights. A flurry of activities such as guitar playing and flamenco dancing takes place then.

9. Duomo di Verona

Duomo di Verona

Simple is in the eye of the beholder, but simple can get complicated when it is applied to the Duomo di Verona. The white and rose marble exterior is Romanesque, so it is simpler than many other major cathedrals.

It features a clock over the front entrance. The interior, with its five bays, three naves, and white and rose marble floors, seems cavernous and ornate, but, again, not as ornate as some cathedrals. Still, it has its fair share of frescoes and paintings in the chapels. The Duomo di Verona, formally known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare, was consecrated in 1187.

8. Lamberti Tower

Lamberti Tower

Who could ever have imagined that something built in 1172 would continue to today to be the tallest structure in Verona. That honor goes to the Lamberti Tower, which, at 84 meters (275 feet) tall, provides panoramic views of the city. Only the height of the tower was unique when it was built as towers were common additions to the medieval homes.

Lamberti Tower is famous for its two bells: Matangona, which rang when the work day was over and also served as a fire alarm, and Rengo, which rang in times of war. Visitors today have two ways to ascend the tower: traditional steps or an elevator.

7. Castelvecchio

Castelvecchio

Designers of the Castelvecchio built it with three purposes in mind. First, it was to be a fortress to protect the people of Verona. Secondly, it was a palazzo for a wealthy family and, finally, since it was built on a river, it was to provide an escape route if the fortress fell. Castelvecchio is a massive red brick symmetrical structure with seven towers and crenellated roofs situated on the Adige River.

The connecting bridge over the river was destroyed in WWII, but later rebuilt. It’s a museum today, with 29 rooms filled with paintings, weapons and sculptures from 1300 to 1700.

6. Casa di Giulietta

Casa di Giulietta

In a country known for romance, romance is what draws most visitors to Casa di Giulietta, the 13th century house where Shakespeare’s Juliet reportedly was born. There is some speculation as to whether the real-life Juliet lived in the house, though it did once belong to a Cappello family.

This doesn’t deter tourists from flocking to the house where they’ve made the balcony where Shakespeare’s Romeo pledged undying love to Juliet undoubtedly the most photographed balcony on earth. The fact that the balcony was added in the 20th century also doesn’t bother tourists. Inside the house, visitors will find the bed and costumes from Franco Zeffirelli’s lavish 1968 Romeo and Juliet, but not much else.

5. Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra

Florence has its Ponte Vecchio and Venice, the Rialto Bridge. In Verona, the not-to-be-missed bridge is Ponte Pietra across the Adige River. Built around 100 BC, this bridge is considered one of the most important Roman monuments in Verona.

The bridge is colorfully made with red brick and white stones, and reflects various architectural styles depending on when it was worked on. It has several arches, but only one of its towers stands today. Original arches can be seen today on the river’s left bank. Some of the bridge was destroyed by Germans during World War II, but later restored using original materials.

4. Chiesa di Sant’Anastasia

Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia

Not too far away from the Ponte Pietra is the most famous and important religious Gothic building in Verona: Chiesa di Sant’Anastasia. Construction took 100 years, beginning in 1280, but the exterior façade remains unfinished today. The inside of the basilica is nothing short of majestic with 12 huge marble columns supporting the ceiling.

Works by some of Verona’s best painters grace the interior, which features 16 altars and chapels. Be sure to look for the famous Pisanello fresco, “St. George and the Princess” in the Pellegrini chapel. A bell tower started with four bells, it has nine pealing today.

3. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

Basilica di San Zeno Maggior isn’t the biggest or the most important Catholic church in Verona, but it may be the most visited. Its crypt is where, according to Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet were married. This Romanesque church, the model for later Veronese Romanesque churches, also does well on its own.

Its bronze doors are famous in Verona, and has a large rose window dubbed the “wheel of fortune.” Inside, visitors will find 13th and 14th century frescoes and a crypt containing the remains of San Zeno, the fourth century saint for whom the basilica is named.

2. Piazza delle Erbe

Piazza delle Erbe

Piazza delle Erbe has been around since the days of the ancient Romans when it served as a forum complete with chariot races. Then it became a market that specialized in selling herbs. Today it’s a bustling market where shoppers can buy not only herbs but other produce fresh from the farm.

It’s a good place for travelers to put together a picnic lunch before visiting nearby Lamberti Tower. Visitors will find a medieval fountain in the middle of the square; it is topped by a statue of the Virgin of Verona. Some buildings have frescoes on their facades.

1. Verona Arena

Verona Arena

Not too many travelers can say they attended an event at a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater, but visitors to Verona can. This open-air amphitheater, the third largest in Italy, has been a venue for events since the year 30. It was originally built to hold 30,000 spectators at gladiator contests, but now only 15,000 are allowed at events.

Its elliptical shape enhances acoustics, making it ideal for music events from pop concerts to Puccini operas. Every summer, the arena hosts a world-famous opera festival where opera aficionados light up the arena with small candles.

Best Time to Visit Verona

If you want to avoid the heaving crowds and unpredictable summer weather, both spring and autumn are the ideal times to visit Verona. From April to June and September to October, visitors can enjoy lower prices, fewer queues and daytime temperatures ranging between 18 and 26°C (64 – 79°F).

Although the popular summer months of July and August bring oppressive heat and high prices, the fabulous Verona Arena Opera season also takes place then.

As well as watching one of their performances, incredible concerts, plays and dance shows are held as part of the Verona Summer Theatre season. July is usually unbearably hot, however, and August often has sudden thunderstorms.

Outside of all the months mentioned, November to March are the quietest yet coldest times to visit. While prices are more affordable, both rain and fog can make exploring the historic centre less pleasant. Some fine skiing can be had however in the mountains nearby.

In March, one of Europe’s oldest carnivals – the Bacanal del Gnoco – also takes place. Loads of fun, it has plenty of parades, parties and traditional pastries for you to enjoy.

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January 20, 2020 at 6:10 pm

I have been to Verona last summer and Torre dei Lamberti was my favorite place.

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11 Things to Do in Verona, Italy + Useful Tips from a Local

11 Things to Do in Verona, Italy + Useful Tips from a Local

Verona isn’t the most popular city in Italy, like Rome , Venice, or Milan, but you should definitely include it on your Italy itinerary as it is one of the best cities to visit in Italy .

I first came to Verona for 2 days back in 2014, then revisited the city in 2017, and moved to Verona in 2018 for 1.5 years . Clearly, my husband and I liked Verona a lot.

Mostly known to tourists from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, there’s way more to do in the city than visiting Juliet’s house. While you can see Verona on a day trip from Venice or Milan as most tourists do, I highly recommend spending at least one night here as it’s much quieter and local than nearby big cities.

You could also treat Verona as a base for various day trips to Lake Garda or Dolomites . During the summer there’s also an option of seeing an opera or a concert at the Arena.

places to visit verona italy

Verona is an easily walkable city , so there’s no need to take tourist buses or trams – unless you have some serious mobility issues.

If you’re planning on visiting a few spots in a day or two, get Verona Card which provides discounts. The Card can be purchased for 24 hours or for 48 hours and can be purchased online or at selected hotels or attractions.

1. Walk Through Centro Storico

Walking through Cento Storico you’ll be able to admire various sites, stop for coffee or drink, take photos, and let it all in. Coming from the train station to centro storico , right before Piazza Bra where the Arena is, you’ll first stumble upon a gate with a clock. It’s a beautiful place to photograph.

Points worth your attention at Piazza Bra :

  • Palazzo della Gran Guardia – Beautiful building started in the 17th century and completed by Giuseppe Barberini. It’s now used for exhibitions and events, but it was used as barracks for soldiers during the revolutions of the Spring of Nations.
  • Palazzo Barbieri – Neoclassical building from 1848, today a municipal place.
  • Portoni della Bra – A gate with a clock on it, part of a Medieval city gate.

Other photo spots worth your attention would be:

  • Arco dei Gavi – Roman gate from the 1st century next to the river. Repurposed as a gate multiple times, it’s now a monument.
  • Ponte Scaligero – Iconic Medieval bridge connecting to Castelvecchio. Beautiful, yet functional and at the time of its construction the longest in the world.
  • Porta Borsati – Arched limestone gate that served as the main entrance to the city.
  • Porta Leoni – Another ancient gate, but also a unique opportunity to see ancient Verona under the streets.

places to visit verona italy

If you want to get off the popular tourist path, try to find the well of Il Pozzo dell’Amore (Well of Love) just off Corso Porta Borsari. It’s linked to a tragic love story between the soldier Corrado of San Bonifazio and Isabella of Donati family.

The young Corrado had hopelessly fallen in love with the beautiful Isabella, but the woman refused his courtship. Corrado accused Isabella of being as cold as the water in the well that was next to them at that moment and, in response, she challenged him to throw himself into the well to feel if the water was truly so cold.

In full winter it was freezing, but Corrado, who was trying in every way to conquer his beloved, jumped in and unfortunately drowned. Isabella felt so terribly guilty about what had happened that she chose to die with him following him into the cold well.

Recommended Tours: Small Group Guided Walking Tour with Arena Tickets History and Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour

2. Visit the Arena or Go for the Opera

The most well-known attraction of Verona is naturally its arena, located at Piazza Bra. Dating back to the 1st Century, this arena is one of a few that’s still functional and the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in the world , with frequent operas and concerts hosted inside in the summer.

If you’re in Verona during the day or off-opera season, you can get inside and admire it. The arena seats up to 30,000 spectators.

For the performance schedule, visit the  Arena’s official website . It’s totally fine to get the cheapest unnumbered seats, but you might want to get in a bit early . People begin to fill the arena a few hours before each show, so if you go last minute you’ll be sitting slightly on the side.

Cushions to rent are totally worth the 2 EUR, unless you actually like sitting on a hot stone for a few hours!

places to visit verona italy

Recommended Tours: Verona Arena Skip-the-Line Guided Tour Arena di Verona Opera Ticket

3. Climb Torre dei Lamberti

When I first climbed Torre dei Lamberti I loved the view, but unfortunately, since my first and second visits things have changed and now there’s a net (I assume people were throwing things down). It’s still fun to go up if you have the time.

The tower is 83 meters high and in 1464 an octagonal tower floor was added. The tower has an elevator, but afterward you’ll still have to climb a few last steps yourself.

Overlooking Piazza dei Signori in Verona with its vibrant red roofs in the shape of a heart

4. Visit Piazza della Erbe

Piazza della Erbe was once the town’s forum during the time of the Roman Empire . Nowadays the square is a great spot for a drink, lunch, people-watching, and buying trinkets from street vendors.

The masterpiece of the Piazza delle Erbe is a fountain built in 1368 by Cansignorio della Scala. It features a Roman statue called Madonna Verona, dating back to 380 AD.

When you’re at the square, take a look and find giant whalebone hanging from one of the surrounding arches leading to Piazza della Signori.

According to legend, the whalebone should fall on the first truthful and just person to walk through, but so far the old bone has stayed put. No one really knows why is the bone there or how did it get there back in the 17th century.

places to visit verona italy

5. Admire Piazza dei Signori

Right next to Piazza della Erba is Piazza dei Signori, often overlooked by tourists. While on a daily basis it’s often used for Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s markets, it’s historically very important spot .

To start with, it’s often called Piazza Dante because of a monument of Dante Alighieri, the author of The Divine Comedy. Did you know that Dante actually lived in Verona from 1312 to 1318? Now you do.

Next to the Piazza you’ll find the Della Scala family tomb , one of the monumental funerary complex built in the Gothic style.

6. Castelvecchio Museum

Right next to Ponte Scaligero there’s a castle turned into a museum – Castelvecchio , constructed in 1354.

The castle had some unfortunate history after the fall of the Scaligeri family as it was used by the Venetians as a weapons depot and then became barracks during French and Austrian dominion. The restoration of 1926 removed the military elements and inserted late Gothic and Renaissance ones.

It’s a surprisingly big museum that I enjoyed a lot , as most tourists don’t realize the size of the collection and skip it – making it almost always empty for you to enjoy the art in peace.

places to visit verona italy

7. See Juliet’s Balcony

Verona is home to Shakespeare’s legendary love story, Romeo and Juliette . Even though Shakespeare just adopted the story and no one is actually sure whether any of Romeo and Juliet’s stories were true, Verona surely adopted it well.

That said, Verona has Juliet’s balcony and while it has nothing to do with any of the original stories (it was built in the 20th century) it’s simply a photo opportunity to take a photo on the balcony or with Juliet’s statue. Many visitors have rubbed the foot and breast of the statue for good luck.

If you decide to spent a few Euros to go up to the balcony you’ll also be able to see a small collection of costumes and furniture from the movie Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo di Caprio.

There’s also Romeo’s house nearby , but it’s simply marked by a sign and isn’t open to the public as it’s a private home close to the Arche Scaligere. On its gothic façade you can read an inscription “ Oh! Where is Romeo? … I’m not myself. I’m not here. This isn’t Romeo – he’s somewhere else. “(Act 1, Scene 1).

Recommended Tours: Juliet’s House & Piazzas Skip-the-Line Private Tour Romeo and Juliet Guided Walking Tour

8. Climb to Piazzale Castel San Pietro

For a slightly different view of Verona climb up the stairs or take the funicular to Piazzale Castle San Pietro. The way is actually very picturesque – I walked my cat there a few times.

places to visit verona italy

9. Visit Basilica di San Zeno

If you want a full Romeo and Juliet immersion tour, take a detour to Basilica di San Zeo. Its crypt is the location of the wedding in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet , but it’s also home to many stunning frescos and bronze doors.

This church is also one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy and its actual appearance seems to date back to the XII century. It’s also gorgeous!

10. Explore Verona Cathedral

Verona Cathedral, also known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare, features different styles across centuries and it’s probably one of the most interesting churches in the area .

It’s fully accessible (I managed with a stroller) and costs only 3 EUR to visit, or free with the Verona Card .

11. Stroll through Giardino Giusti

While Verona is indeed a brick city, it’s not lacking some greenery. One of the most attention-worthy gardens is Giardino Giusti , the only sixteenth-century Italian-style garden in Verona that has attracted the attention of Goethe and Mozart.

The gardens are full of fountains, statues, beautifully trimmed mazes, and places to sit and relax for a bit. It costs 12 EUR to enter.

Personal tip: don’t try to go there in the afternoon of autumn. The gardens will be in the shade then which attracts way too many mosquitos. I got totally eaten..

Lush green gardens of Giusti Palace and Garden in Verona, visiting here is a tranquil escape and a top thing to do.

How to Get to Verona?

Verona is located halfway through between Milan and Venice so getting to Verona couldn’t be easier. Verona also has an international airport as it’s the closest airport to the Dolomites (there aren’t any more airports in the mountains).

If you’re flying, you can fly to either Verona directly, or alternatively Venice or Milan and take a train. Verona Airport is small which means things move fast and there’s no need to be there hours before your departure.

You can take a bus from the airport that will drop you off at the central train station (Porta Nuova). There are also many taxis and while it does take 15 minutes, it’ll cost you around 35 Euros to the old town.

Check on  Skyscanner which airline is the cheapest to fly to Verona with from your destination.

If you’re taking a train, there are many options for regional and high-speed trains . Check TrenItalia for schedules and to pre-book your tickets. You can reach the town center within a 15-minute walk, take a bus, or a taxi.

And lastly, if you’re driving simply hop on a Milano-Venezia highway. As in any other Italian city, you cannot bring your car into the old town as it’s considered ‘zona trafico limitato’ , but there are many secure garages within a 5-minute walk.

places to visit verona italy

When to Visit Verona, Italy?

Choosing the best time to go to Verona depends on whether you want to experience heat or cold. Verona gets very hot during the summer (up to +40 C) while winters are moderate as the city doesn’t really get snow (down to +5 C) .

Winter visits open up possibilities to take a trip to the mountains for skiing, while summer is the only time that will allow you to see an opera at the Arena. However, the city does get incredibly busy then.

Where to Stay in Verona

There are plenty of amazing and centrally located hotels in Verona, here are some I recommend.

Vista Palazzo – Stunning 5 star hotel in a beautiful building with a great spa and top-of-the-range facilities.

Hotel Milano – Located right next to the arena, this hotel has the best rooftop bar with a jacuzzi in the city. It’s my personal favorite place to stay!

Hotel Colomba d’Oro – Set in a restored Medieval convent near many restaurants, and bars and within walking distance of all the attractions.

B&B Hotel Verona Sud – Near the highway and very easy to reach any destination in town.

places to visit verona italy

Best Restaurants in Verona

You might not be aware but Verona is famous for gnocchi . It has been around for five centuries as a significant part of the Verona carnival, whose origin dates back to 1531 (yes, it’s older than the Venezian Carnival).

However, you can eat more than just gnocchi in Verona. There is also risotto all’Amarone (with red wine), bigoli (thick spaghetti) and in this region, a horse meat stew is very common.

You’ll also discover that many dishes contain beef cheek or veal liver, which I’m personally not a fan of.

  • La Griglia – While this spot is known for its steaks I actually go there for a truffle fettuccini served in a bowl made of cheese. What more can I say…
  • Bella Napoli -This spot isn’t particularly fancy, as it feels more like a casual old Italian bar, but their pizza is delicious. I’ve eaten there multiple times and need to say that my favorite pizza is the one with white asparagus and egg.
  • Nastro Azzurro – While it is a touristy restaurant just off Piazza Bra, I keep enjoying the place and return. They have amazing homemade heart-shaped ravioli and their pizzas are delicious.
  • Hotel Milano & Spa – Even if you decide not to stay there, you could just visit their rooftop for a drink. While as a non-hotel guest, you’ll have no access to the rooftop jacuzzi, you could enjoy an aperitivo with a view from 15:00 to 21:00.
  • La Lanterna – Whether you’re actually vegan or not I highly recommend a dinner at La Lanterna. Their menu is fully vegan and changes every month. When I brought my non-vegetarian friends there they still loved it! Reservation is highly recommended, otherwise, you can try to get a table but only after 9:30 PM.
  • Re Teodorico – Once you climb to the viewpoint you can also stop by for a drink or snack. Their menu is simple but good. If you’re into steaks you won’t regret it.
  • Cafe Wallner – Great cafe with a huge selection of brioches, cookies, cakes, and savory dishes as well. You can opt for inside or outside seating. Closed on Mondays.

places to visit verona italy

For more activities and organized tours check Viator here .

places to visit verona italy

Did I miss something? Do you want to ask me anything about Verona? Post your question in the comment section below 🙂

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Sunday 6th of August 2023

Hi Anna, are you offering day tours in Verona yourself or might recommend someone? My husband and I are planning to be in the area beginning of Sept.

Anna Karsten

I'm afraid I'm not, but there are various reliable tours on Viator!

Sunday 6th of November 2022

Can Madonna Corona and Lake Garuda be done in the same day?

Yes, totally :)

Monday 5th of September 2022

Hello Anna, thank you for this informative post. Can you recommend any day trips to vineyards? Looking to go end of September for my honeymoon 😊 Thank you.

Sunday 4th of September 2022

Hi. I'd like to rent a car in Pienza and return it in Verona. Is this possible? Are there extra expenses for one way rental? Thank you.

There's always a fee for one-way rental and it varies depending on the rental agency, but you cannot rent a car in Pienza. You would have to rent in Siena or other bigger place.

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

We (5 adults and four kids ages 3 to 10) will be in Verona in late July and are trying to choose between Ostaria Bertoldo and Vescovo Moro. Which do you recommend?

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

You can't go wrong with either but depends on how much of picky eaters the kids are and their patience. Mine are active so I don't think they'd sit through a whole degustation menu, but Vescovo Moro tends to have more options and various simpler stuff that kids might like as well.

Rossi Writes

Day Trips from Verona – 16 Destinations in Italy to Fall in Love With (With Travel Times and Train Tips)

By Author Rossi Thomson

Posted on Last updated: 4th September 2022

Categories Day Trips in Italy , Lists , Veneto , Verona

Verona in the Veneto is a great base for your exploration of Northern Italy.

The city is very pretty and offers a long list of things to do, see and experience. plus, it is compact, so you can do it all on foot..

However, when you have ticked off all the Romeo and Juliet , ancient Roman and medieval sights you wanted to see there though, consider taking at least one day trip from Verona.

It doesn’t matter if you are an art aficionado, a self-confessed foodie or a hiking fiend. It’s not a problem if you love small off-the-beaten-track places or adore the hustle and bustle of large cities. There are many options for exciting day trips to take within a short distance of Verona to satisfy the needs and wants of even the most capricious traveller.

Each of these day trips from Verona has been personally tried and tested by me. For ease of use I have organised them in alphabetical order. I have also included lots of interesting information, travel times and photos bellow to give you an idea what to expect and to whet your appetite. The maximum travel time is 2 hours one way, as no-one wants to spend a large chunk of the day just getting there, when there is so much to see and do within a very close proximity to Verona.

Italy is an exciting country with a rich heritage. The more you see the more you want to see and to experience it all. So, take your pick according to your interests – art, nature, architecture, history, even spa and wellness!

With a few exceptions, all day trips from Verona given here are by train. Train travel in Italy is well organised and it doesn’t cost the earth, so there is nothing to stop you from exploring. Plus, at the end of the article I have provided lots of tips to help you navigate the Italian train system like a local.

Let’s start!

16 of the Best Day Trips from Verona

A visit to Ala in the Northern Italian autonomous province of Trentino is a very easy and incredibly pleasant day trip from Verona. Not many people have heard of Ala, which makes the town beautifully free of large crowds of tourists and very authentic in its look and feel. Between the 17th and the 18th centuries the town was an important centre of silk production. The silk velvet made in Ala was highly valued all over Europe. Don’t miss the following sights and events:

  • Ala’s Baroque palaces – built with the income from the sale of the silk velvet, the palaces are beautiful. Visiting them one by one is an enjoyable way to spend a leisurely day;
  • At Christmas each year a large Christmas market is staged all through Ala and its Baroque palaces. Only local artisans exhibit so you can buy unique handicrafts and locally produced honey, oils and other products;
  • Historic centre – one of Trentino’s best preserved historic centres with cobbled streets and authentic atmosphere;
  • Museo del Pianoforte Antico (Antique Piano Museum) in Palazzi de’ Pizzini – the palace has played host to such illustrious personages as Bonaparte and Mozart. The museum holds the pianos of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert;
  • Citta di Velluto – City of Velvet is a yearly event held in July when Ala returns to the 17th century with a splendid town-wide reenactment;
  • Local churches and San Valentino Sanctuary – for a taste of local life and religious observance.

Ala is a little Baroque jewel in the crown of day trips from Verona. Off-the-beaten path, it will give you a chance to explore Italy from a new point of view and learn about its artisan history.

Travel times:  From 35 mins (Regionale Veloce) and from 45 mins (Regionale)

Tips:  You can combine a quick visit to Ala with a longer visit to Rovereto (see point 12 below) for a day trip from Verona to remember.

Bologna is the capital of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and the seventh most populous city in Italy. Bologna is famous the world over for its food traditions. Millions of people flock to the city each year to experience its fabulous fresh pasta, more-ish mortadella, genuine gelato in dozens of flavours and universally famous meat sauce locally which Italians call ragu (and everybody else calls bolognese ). Apart from eating lots of great food, in a fast-paced day, you can see several of Bologna’s main sights. Here are the most spectacular ones:

  • Archiginnasio – the first permanent seat of the University of Bologna which is the oldest University in the world still in continuous operation today;
  • Asinelli and Garisenda towers – witnesses of Bologna medieval past when close to 200 towers graced the city’s skyline;
  • Basilica of Santo Stefano (also known as Sette Chiese) – built over what was originally a temple of the goddess Isis and then grew into a complex of seven interconnected chapels and churches;
  • Neptune’s Fountain;
  • Quadrilatero – the city’s medieval market which is still going strong;
  • Basilica di San Petronio – Bologna’s main church;
  • Piazza Maggiore – lined up by splendid palaces like Palazzo d’Accursio and the largest brick cathedral in the world – the Cathedral of St. Petronius;
  • Endless porticoes keeping you from rain and shine alike;
  • FICO Eataly World – the largest agri-food park in the world.

Very different to Verona, Bologna will give you a chance to delve deeper into Italy’s history and art. Plus, there is simply no chance to have bad food in the city which is known as La Gorda (the Fat One) Italy-wide.

Travel Times:  From 50 mins (Frecciargento) and from 1 h 24 mins (Regionale Veloce).

Tips:  Click here for more information about what to do and see in Bologna. Click here for more details about Bologna University and its historical seat – the Archiginnasio.

Bolzano is an Alpine town and the capital of the Italian autonomous province of Alto Adige (in English, South Tyrol). Visiting it is a chance to experience the beauty of the Northern Italian mountains. Every year the city hosts a large Christmas market which attracts people from all over Europe and beyond. Due to the history of the province, German is widely spoken there and the whole area has a pronounced German/Austrian feel to it. It is a very different Italy to the popular cliches applied to the country. When in Bolzano don’t miss these wonderful sights:

  • South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology with its exposition dedicated to Ötzi the Iceman;
  • Assumption of Our Lady Cathedral with its beautiful colourful roof and Romanesque/Gothic architecture plus the adjacent Cathedral Treasury museum;
  • Dominican Church with its 14th century frescoes, as well as several other centuries-old churches large and small;
  • Walther Square which is surrounded by colourful buildings and serves as the stage of the annual Christmas market and Flower market;
  • at least one of the four splendid castles within easy reach from Bolzano: Runkelstein Castle, Mareccio Castle, Sigmundskron Castle and Flavon Castle Haselburg;
  • Laubengasse or Via dei Portici – a long street with medieval arcades;
  • Museion – Bolzano’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art which holds over 4500 works of art.

Bolzano, huddled in a valley surrounded by lush vineyards, is a very picturesque place. Put it on top of your wish list with day trips to take from Verona if you want to experience a completely different side of Italy.

Travel Times:  From 1 h 27 mins (Eurocity and Frecciargento) and from 1 h 40 mins (Regionale Veloce).

Tips: Click here to learn more about Runkelstein Castle.

4. Borghetto, Valeggio sul Mincio and Garden Park Sigurta

This is a great day out from Verona with the potential to delight garden enthusiasts, dedicated foodies and history buffs alike. Valeggio – a pretty town on the shores of the river Mincio – is only about 30 km away from Verona. When you visit it, don’t miss the following sights:

  • Garden Park Sigurta – one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy and Europe, famous for its huge tulip displays. Read more about it here;
  • Scaliger Castle – the proud ruins of this medieval castle stand on top of a hill offering a stunning view over the valley of the river Mincio on one side and the town of Valeggio sul Mincio on the other;
  • Visconti Bridge – built in 1393 this defensive bridge with still surviving fortified towers needs to be seen to be believed. 650 m long and 25 m wide, it straddles the river Mincio and looks over the picturesque Borghetto sul Mincio;
  • Borghetto sul Mincio – a small hamlet with old watermills of Valeggio sul Mincio. Borghetto is officially renowned as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. People have been living there since ancient times and in more recent history Borghetto was the scene of a battle between Napoleon and the Austrian army.

When in Borghetto and Valeggio sul Mincio don’t miss the local delicacy – tortellini (also known as tortelli). These are little pasta wraps stuffed with morsels of tasty fillings. A local legend calls them ‘loveknots’ and tells the story of a river nymph who fell in love with a mortal man (read all about it here ). Enjoy a portion of handmade tortellini in one of the restaurants housed in Borghetto’s old watermills on the river Mincio.

Travel Times: From 1 h 2 mins by bus. From 47 mins if you take the train to Peschiera del Garda and then the bus to Valeggio sul Mincio.

Tips: You can read more about Borghetto sul Mincio here  and here . Work out a generous portion of tortellini by going on a little hike from Borghetto to the Scaliger Castle. Read entry 2 in this list for details how to do it.

Brescia is a hidden gem in the Italian province of Lombardy. While most tourists head over to the Lombardian capital Milan, make sure that you get off the train at Brescia to experience its unexpected beauty. The city’s history spans 3200 years and offers a rich tapestry of sights and museums for you to explore. Among these are:

  • Monumental area of the Roman Forum – which contains the best preserved Roman public buildings in Northern Italy;
  • Huge medieval castle with battlements, a tower, drawbridge, rampart and an Arms Museum in the keep. Its position on the steep Cidneo hill also offers unparalleled views over Brescia;
  • Many spacious squares lined up by stunning buildings. Don’t miss the Art Deco Piazza della Vittoria (with its Torrione – the first skyscraper built in Italy) and the Renaissance Piazza della Loggia (with the inspiring  Palazzo della Loggia  and the beautiful  astronomical clock ).
  • Duomo Vecchio and Duomo Nuovo (The Old and the New Cathedrals);
  • Monastic Complex of San Salvatore/Santa Giulia (Santa Giulia City Museum) – with 11 000 works of art and archaeological finds;
  • Teatro Grande – a lavish opera house.

There are so many things to see and experience in Brescia, you can have a very full and exciting day there. Make sure that you plan well so as to cover as much ground as you can.

Travel Times:  From 35 mins (Frecciarossa) and from 41 mins (Regionale).

Tips:  Try the local cheese Bagoss. It is produced in small quantities in the nearby village of  Bagolino  and it has a lovely dense and salty flavour with hints of walnuts and chestnuts. Click here for more details about Brescia’s stunning Palazzo della Loggia.

Ferrara is beautiful and has so much to offer to the discerning traveller eager to learn more about Italy’s medieval history and art. Ruled by the House of Este in the 14th and 15th centuries, the city boasts several splendid palaces, a Romanesque cathedral with a fabulous facade, and 9 km of ancient defensive walls which are (alongside those of Lucca in Tuscany) the best preserved Renaissance walls in Italy. Ferrara’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Some of the main sights here are:

  • Castello Estense – an iconic medieval brick building surrounded by a moat in Ferrara’s heart;
  • Cathedral of San Giorgio with its lace-like facade, the construction of which started at the beginning of the 12th century;
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti – the seat of the National Gallery;
  • University of Ferrara with its Botanical Garden – Copernicus being one of its most notable students;
  • Natural History Museum with a dreamy building;
  • Teatro Comunale – its internal courtyard (called Rotonda Foschini in honour of the engineer Antonio Foschini) will make you marvel at its perfectly elliptical shape.

Ferrara is also an incredibly easy city to explore with children in tow. Head over there to give your little ones a chance to run and have fun in the many playgrounds installed all over town.

Travel Times:  From 1 h 23 mins (Frecciarossa and Frecciargento).

Tips : Come to Ferrara in September when Italy’s most important ballooning event takes place. Over nine days colourful baloons fly over the historical centre of Ferrara twice a day. The Ferrara Balloons Festival is held in the Bassani Urban Park just outside of the city’s Renaissance defensive walls. It is a big event with thousands of people flocking to see it, with pop-up restaurants and lots of entertainment options for little ones and grown-ups. Click  here  to find out more.

7. Lake Garda with Gorgeous Lakeside Towns and World-Class Amusement Parks

Lago di Garda is Italy’s biggest lake. Its shores are dotted with picturesque towns and villages and its landscapes leave you breathless. You can get there very swiftly from Verona to experience la dolce vita in its true sense. Medieval castles, Roman ruins, frescoed houses, lake views, nature hikes, spa procedures, boat trips, sublime gelato. You can savour it all in one perfect day. Peschiera del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione, Lazise, Bardolino, Garda, Torri del Benaco; Monselice, Torbole and Riva del Garda are some of the towns on Lake Garda which you can reach with ease for a fantastic day trip from Verona. You can spend a lazy day in just one town or, even better, zip between several of them from dawn til dusk. Don’t miss:

  • Fortress and external fortifications in  Peschiera del Garda  – part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list;
  • Archaeological Museum, castle, old villas and Tower of St. Martin in  Desenzano del Garda ;
  • Scaliger Castle,  Grottoes of Catullus (the ruins of a huge Roman villa), spa treatments, beaches and boat trips around the promontory in  Sirmione ;
  • Defensive wall, Scaliger Castle (not open for visits), lakefront promenade, Church of San Nicolo in Lazise ;
  • Church of San Nicolo, lakefront promenade and marina in Bardolino plus the Olive Oil Museum in nearby Cisano ;
  • Palazzo dei Capitani, Villa degli Albertini (not open for visits), lakefront promenade and marina in Garda ;
  • Punta di San Vigilio near Garda ;
  • Scaliger Castle and ferry across the lake to Maderno in Torri del Benaco ;
  • Scaliger Castle and funicular to the top of Mount Baldo (called ‘The Garden of Europe’) in Monselice ;
  • Several large amusement parks and aquaparks. Check Gardaland , Caneva The Aquapark and CanevaWorld Movieland among others.

Lake Garda and the towns on its shores offer so many options and so much beauty to experience in a day that even the traveller who really knows their mind will find it difficult to choose. As such, make a plan before you go so that you can see as much as possible and yet feel refreshed and full of happy memories at the end of your day trip from Verona.

Travel Times:  From 14 mins (Frecciarossa) and 13 mins (Regionale) to Peschiera del Garda. From 19 mins (Frecciarossa) and 23 mins (Regionale) to Desenzano del Garda/Sirmione. From 1 h 29 mins (Frecciarossa and Regionale Veloce) and 1 h 48 mins (Regionale) to Monselice. To reach Lazise, Garda and Torri del Benaco from Verona you can get a coach from Verona Porta Nuova train station. Travelling times vary depending on the destination, but are less than 2 hours one way. You can also easily walk from some of the lakefront towns to the next. For example, from Lazise to Bardolino. Shuttle buses are available at Peschiera del Garda train station to ferry you to the amusement parks.

Tips:  Lake Garda is gorgeous to visit any time of the year. July and August tend to be crowded, but any other month (including the Christmas period) the place is gorgeous. Beware that most historical sights may be closed on Mondays. Look into visiting Torbole, Riva del Garda, Limone sul Garda, and Maderno, if you are looking for more ideas as to cute little towns to see on the shores of the lake. For more tips and information about Lake Garda, have a look at my articles  here ,  here ,  here ,  here  and  here . For more information as to what to see and do in Sirmione see point 16 here .

8. Mantua (Mantova)

Mantua or Mantova (as they call it in Italian) is a dreamy city where exquisite palaces with fully frescoed rooms will compete with the delicious local cuisine for your attention and love. The city’s historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three artificial lakes (created in the 12th century) surround Mantua on three sides thus ensuring its defense in medieval times. Here are some of the main sights:

  • Ducal Palace – the abode of Mantua’s once ruling family the Gonzagas. Seeing all of its splendid rooms will take a significant chunk of your time, so plan accordingly. Particular attention deserves the Camera degli Sposi  (Bridal Chamber) frescoed by one of my favourite painters Andrea Mantegna. Look up to see the charming cherubs peeking into the room;
  • Palazzo Te – a 16th century Renaissance palace of leisure;
  • Rotonda of San Lorenzo – the most ancient church in the city built on the spot once occupied by a Roman temple dedicated to Venus;
  • Basilica of Sant’Andrea – a 15th century Renaissance work of architecture;
  • Bibiena Theatre – a beautiful 18th century building where Mozart played at 13 years of age.

In terms of food, make sure that you spend some time indulging in such local delicacies as: pumpkin tortelli, cotechino sausage and Sbrisolona cake. The latter is sold in shops all over the city and makes for a wonderful present.

Travel Times: From 46 mins (Regionale)

Tips: If you can extend your day trip from Verona to two days, consider visiting nearby Sabbioneta built to be the Ideal Renaissance City.

9. Medieval Walled Towns

Within very easy reach of Verona, you will find a gorgeous bunch of medieval walled towns. With their mighty defensive walls and picturesque sights they are able to make the heart of a history and art buff sing with happiness and appreciation. Here are four for your consideration:

  • Soave  – an elegant medieval walled town famous for its white wine. Walk its cobbled streets lined by colourful houses and take a hike to the top of Mount Tenda where you can visit Soave’s medieval castle and then walk through olive groves and lush vineyards. Have a look at entry 17 in this list for details about this light and very pleasant hike. Have a look at this article for more photos and information about visiting Soave.
  • Castelfranco Veneto  – the cutest of the pack. An almost intact defensive wall circumnavigates the town’s historical centre. Don’t miss Giorgione’s House, then visit the adjacent 18th century cathedral where you can admire the artist’s breathtaking  Castelfranco Madonna . The views from the Torre Civica are worth the steep steps to reach the tower’s top. If you can, come in September, when the town holds a  Medieval Fair .
  • Cittadella  – one of my most favourite  small towns in Northern Italy . Here you will find ‘Europe’s best medieval parapet walkway’. In simple English this means that you can circumnavigate the whole town by walking on its medieval defensive wall. For this you need to climb 14 meters up the wall via narrow passages and steep steps and then follow a path by the battlements. At certain points you will need to go even higher – up to 30 meters in fact. All this exercise will offer you an unparalleled view of the old town encircled by the wall and, beyond it, the Pre-Alps on the horizon.
  • Monselice – a gorgeous medieval town where the Venetian noblemen used to holiday every summer. It has a stunning castle which can be visited as part of a guided visit. Not to be missed. Then you can go for a walk to the Sanctuary of the Seven Churches. Visiting them grants you the same papal indulgences as those granted to the pilgrims who have visited the seven Holy Year churches in Rome. Have a look at entry 11 in this list for more details how to do it.

There are many medieval walled towns in the Veneto. The four I have suggested above are some of the most splendid and easiest to reach from Verona. If you want more suggestions, check out:  Asolo ,  Marostica  and  Noale .

Travel Times:  From 44 mins (by bus from Verona Stradone Scipione Maffei) to Soave. From 1 h 20 mins (Frecciarossa and Regionale) and from 1 h 29 mins (Regionale Veloce and Regionale) to Castelfranco Veneto. From 1 h 8 mins (Frecciarossa and Regionale) and from 1 h 17 mins (Regionale Veloce and Regionale) to Cittadella. From 1 h 29 mins (Frecciarossa and Regionale Veloce).

Tips:  You can explore Castelfranco Veneto and Cittadella in one day. There is a direct train line connecting these two medieval walled towns, so that you can spend the morning in one and the afternoon in the other. This particular train line starts in Vicenza (see point 16 below) and finishes in Treviso (see point 14 below), so you can also combine a visit to either Castelfranco Veneto or Cittadella with a visit to either Vicenza or Treviso and make it a mega day trip from Verona to remember.

10. Milan (Milano)

Second in Italy in terms of its population, the city of Milan is a hustling and bustling metropolis where you can certainly feel the modern heart of the country beating a frenetic drum. In comparison with other smaller Italian cities and towns, Milan may look a bit grey, rough around the edges and uninspiring at a first glance. You just need to look deeper beneath the surface to easily discover impressive sights. Some of these are:

  • Milan Cathedral (Duomo) – the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. With its lacy facade it is a sight to behold;
  • Sforza Castle – a medieval fortress which in the 15th century was enlarged by the ruling Sforza family;
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – it is advisable to book your ticket in advance;
  • La Scalla Theatre – if you can’t catch a performance, make sure that you visit the theatre’s museum telling the story of this historical institution;
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the world’s oldest still active shopping mall;
  • A skyscraper-dotted skyline.

A day is hardly enough to see all that Milan has to offer. Yet, provided you plan well and are clear as to which sights you want to squeeze in your available time, you will be able to gain a good idea of the character of this dynamic albeit a bit dusty Italian city.

Travel Times: From 1 h 4 mins (Frecciarossa) and from 1 h 50 mins (Regionale)

Tips: If you want to see Milan from above, have a look at point 2 in this list  for the best bird’s-eye viewpoints.

11. Padua (Padova)

Tucked between Venice and Verona, Padua is often overlooked for one of these two much more famous cities. Still, if you look into it, you will soon discover that the art, the museums, the history and the shopping make Padua a real gem to have in your travel schedule. The city is mainly known as the setting of Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, however there is much more to Padua than this. When you are there, don’t miss the following sights:

  • Scrovegni Chapel with its stunning frescoes by Giotto. Tickets are in demand and tied to a time slot, so head there as soon as you arrive or book in advance;
  • Palazzo della Ragione – read more about it  here;
  • Padua’s 800 years old daily market (Sundays excluded) which is still going strong – read more about it  here;
  • Palazzo del Bo – the seat of Padua’s University. Founded in 1222, it is one of the oldest Universities in Europe and the second oldest University in Italy. This is where Galileo Galilei used to teach. You can visit the historical part of the University as part of a guided tour taking place several times a day. Read more about it here ;
  • Prato della Valle – a huge elliptical square with a surface of 90 000 sq m which is the biggest in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe;
  • Orto Botanico – the oldest botanical garden in the world. Read more about it  here ;
  • Basilica of St Anthony of Padua – where the body and the relics of the saint are venerated;
  • Caffe Pedrocchi – two hundred years old and one of Italy’s historical coffee houses. It used to be open 24/7. You will find its beautiful building just opposite Palazzo del Bo.

There are so many unique and wonderful things to be seen and experienced in Padua, it is impossible to mention them all here. The train journey from Verona takes just over 40 mins, so it makes for a wonderful day trip.

Travel Times:  From 42 mins (Frecciarossa) and from 58 mins (Regionale Veloce).

Tips:  Set some time aside to explore Padua’s hidden gems. Visit the Church of the Eremitani to see the Mantegna frescoes. Read  here  the amazing story of how they were destroyed during the bombings of the Second World War and then decades later restored using advanced mathematical calculations. Don’t miss the Baptistery right next to Padua’s Duomo. It is covered in splendid frescoes and photos there are not allowed, so you can immerse yourself in a beautiful moment of art appreciation. Another little gem is St. Anthony’s School (just off the Basilica of St. Anthony) which is covered in frescoes (mainly) by Titian. Finally, when in Padua, don’t miss the fabulous cakes and sweets typical for this beautiful Italian city. Click  here  to find out more about them.

12. Rovereto

Are you looking for that undiscovered Italian gem? Go to Rovereto! Huddled on the edge of the Italian Alps, the cit is a paradise for hikers, history buffs and lovers of modern art. Here are some of the main sights:

  • Italian War History Museum – housed in Rovereto castle, the museum keeps the memory of the Great War and modern conflicts;
  • Depero’s House of Futurist Art – founded in 1919 by the Italian futurist painter, writer, sculptor and graphic designer Fortunato Depero;
  • MART – one of Europe’s most important museums of contemporary and modern art;
  • St. Marks’ Church – where Mozart held his first concert in Italy on 26th December 1769;
  • Bontadi – a historic cafe with an adjacent museum dedicated to the history of coffee;
  • Annual Mozart Festival;
  • Stunning frescoed buildings and picturesque squares.

Rovereto offers so much more. You can spend a whole day there and never be bored. Or you can combine a visit to Rovereto with a stopover at nearby Ala to see its Baroque palaces (see point 1 in this list with day trips from Verona).

Travel Times: From 37 mins (Eurocity or Frecciargento) and from 46 mins (Regionale).

Tips:  Click here for 20 photos to make you fall in love with Rovereto in the Italian Alps. Click here for my travel video ‘Rovereto – Live Your Italian Dream’.

Trento is the capital of the Northern Italian autonomous province of Trentino and also the place where the Council of Trent took place in the 16th century. The historical centre of the city is very beautiful while a modern Science Museum is a magnet for kids and adults alike. Here are some of the things you can enjoy seeing in Trento on a day trip from Verona:

  • Cathedral of Saint Vigilius (Duomo);
  • Piazza Duomo – a breathtaking square lined up with frescoed buildings. Here you can also see the majestic Neptune’s fountain;
  • Buonconsiglio Castle – dating back to the 13th century;
  • Many churches and palaces telling the story of Trento;
  • MUSE Science Museum of Trento – you can easily spend a whole day here. We particularly loved the glacier exhibit with a real-life model of a glacier.

A visit to this lovely city is enriching on so many different levels. Put it high on your wish list if you love history, science or if your soul sings at the sight of frescoed buildings.

Travel Times: From 51 mins (Frecciargento) and from 1 h (Regionale)

Tips: If by any chance you have a car at your disposal and are looking for a one-of-kind experience, consider driving from Trento to a nearby farm. Called Maso Eden, it specialises in lama- and alpaca-rearing. It also organises forest hikes in the gentle company of lamas and alpacas. Click here for more details.

14. Treviso

People usually fly into Treviso and then head straight to either Venice or Verona, completely bypassing this rather very pretty Northern Italian city. Don’t make the same mistake. Treviso with its breathtaking frescoed and decorated buildings and narrow curving streets guarantees a day of exciting exploration. Some of the main sights here are:

  • Piazza dei Signori – the main square where you can admire the imposing Palazzo dei Trecento – built in the 13th and the 14th centuries, it was the seat of Treviso’s Highest Council (the main administrative body of the city) and nowadays it houses the municipal council.
  • Loggia dei Cavalieri – an elegant structure with faded frescoes in the heart of the old town. It was built in the 13th century to serve the local nobility as a place for meetings, conversations, and games.
  • La Pescheria – a small river island in the historic centre of the city where the fish market is held. 
  • San Francesco Church – a prime example of the late Romanesque/early Gothic style, this church was used as a stable by Napoleon’s troops. Here are the tombs of  Petrarch’s  daughter Francesca and  Dante’s  son Pietro.
  • Church of San Nicolo’ – for its many frescoes and also the earliest depiction of spectacles (eyeglasses) in Europe.
  • The seven-domed cathedral where you can admire a Titian and a very atmospheric crypt among other things.

Follow Treviso’s cobbled streets to the  Museum of Santa Caterina for its outstanding collection of paintings, frescoes by Tomaso di Modena and rich archaeological section. This is also where some of the best art exhibitions in the Veneto are held. Then head to the Luigi Bailo Museum in town for a lovely portion of art by local artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Travel Times:  From 1 h 34 mins (Frecciarossa and Regionale Veloce).

Tips:  Treviso is the birthplace of a dessert, a vegetable and a drink which make our lives so much better. The first one is tiramisu – that glorious dessert made with coffee- and marsala-dipped ladyfingers which are then layered with mascarpone beaten with raw eggs. The second one is the radicchio rosso – also called Italian chicory in English. Its bitter taste is a great complement to any fresh salad, plus it is very tasty grilled and added to pasta dishes, too.  The third one is prosecco which nowadays is incredibly popular in the UK. You can combine half a day in Treviso with a visit to a nearby medieval walled town. Castelfranco Veneto and Cittadella are both very easy to reach from Treviso’s train station.

It would be a shame to spend just a day in Venice, but when the time is tight, don’t hesitate to dedicate a day to this beautiful unique city where there is so much to see and do. Venice is a very popular destination and for the most of the year it is rather overcrowded with eager tourists. Make sure that you have a good idea as to what you want to see and consider that you will spend the whole day mainly walking, so wear your most comfortable shoes. Here are some suggestions for places to explore and things to do for a pleasant day in Venice avoiding the crowds as much as possible.

  • Take the vaporetto line 1 down the Grand Canal all the way to St. Mark’s Square. Yes, it is pricey, but it is a fabulous introduction to the beauty of Venice. Along the way you will see such stunning buildings and structures as Ca Pesaro, Ca d’Oro, Rialto Bridge,  Ca Rezzonico, Accademia Bridge, Gallerie dell’Accademia, the church Santa Maria della Salute and the St. Mark’s Basin with St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace on one side and the islet of San Giorgio Maggiore on the other;
  • Visit the Doge’s Palace – it will give you a really good idea of Venice as a political and commercial titan during its heyday. You will also gain an understanding of the Republic of Venice unique governmental structure and will see some stunning art;
  • If you can (queues allowing) visit St. Mark’s Basilica and go up its adjacent bell tower;
  • Tuck into a generous selection of cicchetti – Venice’s own traditional snacks washed down with a glass of wine;
  • Explore Rialto fruit and veg market and Rialto fish market. Learn more about the latter here ;
  • Take a traghetto across the Grand Canal. Click here to learn more about Venetian traghetti;
  • Explore a less crowded museum or sight like Fondazione Querini Stampalia, the Ships Pavillion , La Fenice Opera Theatre or Ca Pesaro;
  • Book a private tour of Venice tailor-made to your exact specifications and expectations. I recommend Luisella Romeo from  See Venice  and Erika Cornali from  When in Venice ;
  • If you are lucky to be there at the right time, enjoy a historical event, like Carnevale ,  Venice Historical Regatta , Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics or even the annual Befana race;
  • Walk everywhere and visit every church you will come across.

Venice is such a delight. Approached with a little bit of planning, a day trip to the city on water can be a travel highlight to remember and cherish for years to come.

Travel Times:  From 1 h 10 mins (Frecciarossa) and from 1 h 27 mins (Regionale Veloce).

Tips: The train station you need to get off at is Venezia Santa Lucia. It is the last stop on the train track. Don’t get off at Venezia Mestre as this is the train station of mainland Venice.

16. Vicenza

Known as the Pearl of Renaissance, the Heart of Veneto, the City of Palladio and the Gold Town, Vicenza lies half-way between Venice and Verona in the Northern Italian region of the  Veneto . The city is a creative hub of art, jewellery traditions and one-of-a-kind events. Plus it is a veritable open-air museum of architecture. Its streets are lined with sumptuous palaces and buildings which have inspired architectural cannons all over Europe and North America for the past 500 years. This is also the city I have been calling home for the past three years. So, obviously, I have a lot of recommendations as to what to see and do here. Don’t miss the main sights:

  • Basilica Palladiana – a stunning work of architectural art and the jewel in the crown of Andrea Palladio – the most influential architect of the Western world for the past 500 years who used Vicenza as his own personal architectural playground;
  • Piazza dei Signori – Vicenza’s central square lined up with Palladio’s buildings and seeped in history;
  • Church of  St. Mary of Mount Berico – overlooking the city and one of Italy’s most important and visited sanctuaries;
  • Teatro Olimpico – the theatre designed by Palladio where you can see the world’s oldest surviving stage set still in use today. Click  here  to read more about this jewel of Vicenza;
  • Many lavish jewellery shops confirming the fact that Vicenza is one of Italy’s most important centres of jewellery making;
  • Jewellery Museum – the first in Italy. Read more about it  here ;
  • Church of Santa Corona – see the precious works of art by Bellini and Montagna. Worship the thorn from Christ’s Crown which has been sheltered here for centuries (for security reasons, nowadays the thorn is shown to the public only on big Christian holidays, the rest of the time it is kept in the nearby Diocesan Museum);
  • Villa Capra ‘La Rotonda’ and Villa Valmarana ai Nani – within a short walk from Vicenza’s train station, you can see two of the most famous and most beautiful Venetian villas. La Rotonda is one of the most copied buildings in the world and it has inspired the design of the White House.
  • Gallerie d’Italia at Palazzo Leoni Montanari – a stunning art museum. Read more about it here . Find more details about its vast collection of Russian Orthodox icons here .

For all that it has to offer, Vicenza keeps itself away from the trodden tourist track. This makes it all the lovelier to explore and peaceful to enjoy. If you are an architecture aficionado or are looking for that rare gem of a city which has it all but it lacks crowds and cheapened attractions, come to Vicenza for a day trip from Verona to remember for years to come.

Travel Times : From 24 mins (Frecciarossa) and from 39 mins (Regionale Veloce).

Tips:  Have a look at the Vicenza category of blog posts  here  for a detailed inside look on what to see, eat and do in this exciting yet off-the-beaten-track destination in Northern Italy.

And finally…

Trains in Italy – Tips and Tricks for Quick and Cheap Day Trips from Verona

Train travel in italy is generally very well organised and can take you from a to b quickly and (in most cases) cheaply..

Here are some tips and tricks to help you enjoy these great day trips from Verona by train:

1. There are different types of trains in Italy depending on their speed:

  • Frecciarossa  and  Frecciargento  are the high-speed trains which will zip you from Verona to, for example, Ferrara and Bologna in no time.
  • Regionale Veloce  stands for fast regional trains which connect towns and cities within the region and are travelling at rather fast speeds.
  • Regionale  are the slowest trains of them all. They stop at all small towns and villages along the way.

2. Where possible, try to travel by Regionale Veloce:

  • The tickets for this type of train are several times cheaper than the tickets for the high-speed trains Frecciarossa and Frecciargento.
  • The Regionale Veloce tickets also don’t fluctuate in price, so you can buy them on the day.
  • For example, a one-way ticket from Verona to Vicenza with the Frecciarossa train can cost as much as 15 euros if you buy it online. If you take a Regionale Veloce train, you will pay only 5.65 euros. The difference in travel times is only 15 mins. Frecciarossa takes 24 mins from Verona Porta Nuova to Vicenza. Regionale Veloce takes 39 mins.

3. Travel by Frecciarossa/Frecciargento to destinations which are further away from Verona, like Ferrara and Bologna. You will pay more, but you will spend much less time travelling.

  • In this case, try to buy you tickets in advance online, as they will be cheaper than buying them on the day at the train station.

4. Travel by Regionale trains only if there are no other options. They are cheap, but they can take a very long time.

5. Use the  Trenitalia  website to compare prices and travel times for the different types of trains.

  • You need to type the names of your departure and destination cities in Italian. For example, Venezia for Venice and Padova for Padua. It doesn’t matter if you are using the site in English or Italian. I don’t know why this is so, just be aware that if you type ‘Venice’, you will get an error message. Above I have provided in brackets the Italian names of the different cities where they diverge from their English version.
  • All train travel times given above are from Verona Porta Nuova train station.

6. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before boarding the train:

  • Look for the small oval machines attached to walls and pillars at train stations and train platforms;
  • You don’t need to validate tickets for Frecciarossa/Frecciargento bought online which you have printed at home. These are usually tickets with an assigned seat and for a train leaving at a particular time;
  • You need to validate all other tickets (especially for Regionale Veloce and Regionale trains) bought at the station (from the ticket office or the ticket machine);
  • Tickets for the Regionale Veloce and the Regionale trains are ‘open’, in the sense that you can use them for any such train on the day you purchased the ticket for.
  • However, once validated, your ticket is valid for the next 4 hours. In other words, you need to board the train within the four hours after having validated your ticket.
  • Insert the ticket in the machine’s slot, pushing it in and as much to the left as it would go and then wait for the whirring sound. Take your ticket out and check if the machine has printed a long line with numbers on your ticket. The first few numbers are the time and the date.

7. You can buy tickets in advance or on the day at the train station:

  • Lines for the ticket office can be long and slow-moving;
  • You can use the ticket machines to either buy a ticket or print a ticket bought online;
  • Beware that some ticket machines only take cards and others take both cards and cash. Check the symbols in the upper right corner of the machine to make sure you are using the correct machine depending on how you want to pay;
  • The ticket machines are multilingual – you can select the language you want at the start of the operation;
  • There is a recorded message about pickpockets and being vigilant. You cannot skip it, you can only start buying your ticket once the message has finished playing;
  • Some ticket machines print the ticket on large rectangular pieces of card. Other machines print the ticket on small rectangular pieces of card. It seems to depend on the machines and the station, but all machines look the same and operate the same at all stations.

8. Always arrive with plenty of time to buy your ticket. Queues can be long.

9. Trains arrive a couple of minutes before the time of departure, so they stay on the platform a little longer than trains in England, for example, where they arrive and leave within a very short window of time.

10. Trains often have two floors with upstairs and downstairs seats. For the best views, go upstairs.

11. Always buy a ticket before you travel. If you are caught without a ticket, with the incorrect ticket or a not validated ticket, you may be given an option to buy a ticket at a higher price, but you may as well be fined a rather large amount of money.

Have fun exploring what Italy has to offer in the immediate vicinity of Verona. Let me know which ones of these great day trips from Verona you will be taking or have already taken.

More Helpful Links

  • 20 Best Things to Do and See in Verona in One Day – The Ultimate Itinerary with Photos and Tips
  • Best Things to Do in Verona, Italy – Story
  • Day Trips from Padua, Italy – Over 35 Unmissable Destinations in the Veneto, Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna
  • Day Trips from Vicenza, Italy – Over 90 of the Best Destinations
  • 11 of the Best Day Trips from Venice (With Lots of Photos, Travel Times and Italy Train Tips)
  • Italian Piazzas – 20 Most Beautiful Squares in the Veneto, Northern Italy
  • Parco delle Cascate and Molina – A Great Day Out in the Province of Verona
  • Verona Opera Festival – A Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Opera Event
  • The Intriguing Story of Madonna Verona Fountain – The Symbol of Verona
  • Letters to Juliet or What Happened when I visited the Juliet Club in Verona, Italy
  • Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona – Visiting Italy’s Church Suspended Between Heaven and Earth
  • Top 15 Places to Visit in the Veneto, Italy – The Ultimate Guide
  • Best 12 Towns to Visit around Lago di Garda – Italy’s Largest Lake
  • Lake Garda with Kids or the Best 11 Things to Do at Lake Garda for Families
  • Italian Food – 13 Ways to Eat Well in Italy Without Breaking the Bank
  • Video of  Juliet’s House  in Verona
  • Video of the display of a  traditional Italian patisserie  in Verona
  • Video of  The Juliet Club  in Verona
  • Video of  Piazza Bra with Arena di Verona
  • Video of  Verona’s skyline  seen from Giardino Giusti
  • Video of  Verona’s skyline  seen from the funicular of Castel San Pietro
  • Video of  Verona Marathon

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Thursday 10th of October 2019

Your blogs are fantastic and much better than reading travel books. I am planning a trip to northern Italy next September. With regard to train tickets, is it better to buy one-way ticket or buy a return ticket? Then would you need to validate the return ticket before you commence your return train ride back to Verona?

Many thanks for your kind words! I appreciate them. In reply to your query: - if you buy tickets for the fast regional train (Treno Regionale Veloce) or the regional train (Treno Regionale), it's best to buy a return ticket (provided you are returning to the point of departure). There is no discount, i.e. both tickets cost the same as bought individually but you won't have to queue twice. The tickets are also printed individually so you will need to validate each ticket before boarding the respective train. Don't validate them at the same time (i.e. at departure), do the departure one at the outward journey and the return one at the return journey. I hope this makes sense. - if you buy tickets for one of the speed trains like Frecciarossa, for example, it's again best to buy the return ticket at the same time and, if possible, in advance of the journey, as the prices for these trains get more expensive the closer to the day of travel you buy them. These tickets don't need to be validated as they come with an assigned seat and carriage. I hope the above answers your query.

Best wishes and Have a great time in Italy!

Tuesday 27th of August 2019

Your list is wonderful, thank you so much! It helped me shape up my plans for the trip. One quick question on the Dolomites, do you know if there is any moderate hike from Bolzano with good views of the mountains that's accessible by public transport? I will be traveling with my parents, who can't do strenuous hikes but would still like to see the mountains on a day trip from Verona. Otherwise, I was thinking taking train to Brixen and then a bus to Plose. Would you recommend this option, or is there something closer/nicer? Best wishes, Maria

Dear Maria,

Thank you for your kind words. I am pleased that the above blog post has been of help to you. In reply to your query: the train journey from Verona to Bolzano mainly follows a narrow valley through the mountains, so you will enjoy some stunning mountain views even when you travel. Once in Bolzano, you can get the free shuttle to Runkelstein Castle - this medieval castle was built on top of a steep hill surrounded by the mountains and visiting it allows you to enjoy lots of mountain views while learning about the local history. The shuttle leaves you at the bottom of the hill on which the castle is built so you have a walk of about 10 mins (if you walk slowly) up a wide cobbled path. All details about the shuttle and the castle are here: https://www.runkelstein.info/visitor-info. Another option to reach the mountains is to take the Bolzano cable car. For details, please, have a look: https://www.bolzano-bozen.it/en/cable-cars-bolzano.htm. Or you can contact directly Bolzano's Tourist Information Office and ask them to recommend an easy mountain walk. They have some at this page (their contact details are there, too): https://www.bolzano-bozen.it/en/walking-excursions-bolzano.htm Unfortunately, I haven't been to Brixen myself so I can't give you a first-hand tried and tested recommendation with regards to it. Have a great time in Italy!

Best wishes,

John Beeson

Friday 2nd of August 2019

Hi Rossi. Thank you so much for the very useful information you've provided. My wife and I are also thinking of a day trip to the Dolomites from Verona. We'll be staying within walking distance of the Porta Nuova train station. What can you suggest please. Many many thanks. John

Saturday 3rd of August 2019

Thank you for your kind words. In response to your query: the Dolomites cover a very large area. What are your plans for the day: sightseeing, hiking, cycling, museums, castles, lakes or something else? Once you have narrowed your plans for the day, then it would be easier to pinpoint a town or a place in the Dolomites you may be interested to visit. You can find many options and recommendations here: https://www.dolomites.org/. Otherwise, you can simply get the train from Verona Porta Nuova to Rovereto, Trento or Bolzano (three stops on the same train line), enjoy the stunning mountain views as you travel and then spend a great day exploring one of these three cities and the many museums, sights, and castles in and around each one of them. Have a great time in Italy!

Sallyann Ducker

Sunday 14th of October 2018

Cara Rossi - thank you so much for your article. It is wonderful. We live in Australia and have just returned from a trip to Italy and I was just thinking about another one in two years time. Verona has always sounded wonderful and I think you have clinched Verona in our plans for our next trip. We like to stay in one place for a while and then use it as a base. It sounds like we could spend at least a week in Verona! Molto grazie, Sallyann

Monday 15th of October 2018

Dear Sallyann,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Verona is very pretty and there is lots to see and do in the city and in the vicinity. Happy planning your next Italian adventure! Best wishes,

Monday 8th of October 2018

We are heading to Verona from NYC today and we are so grateful to you for writing this very informative and useful guide for day trips from Verona. This article is exactly what we were looking for and what we will use to make our special first trip to Italy a wonderful enriching experience. Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences.

Tuesday 9th of October 2018

Many thanks for your very kind words. I am glad to have been of help. Have a wonderful first trip to Italy! Best wishes,

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Verona In-Depth Guide: 12 Reasons Why It is Worth Visiting

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As I was meticulously planning the ultimate trip through Northern Italy , I stumbled upon a gem of a city that surprisingly doesn’t often make it to the “top 10 places to visit in Italy” lists. The name of this overlooked beauty? Verona.

Just like Rome , Verona boasts its own colosseum, or arena. Similar to Venice , Verona is home to romantic bridges. And akin to Florence , Verona is a treasure trove of beautiful architecture and art. Despite these similarities, I’ve often wondered why Verona isn’t as renowned as these cities in the realm of tourism. So, I decided to explore the city myself to find an answer.

Having delved into the tourist attractions and hidden gems of Verona, I can confidently say Verona is the most underrated among the Northern Italian cities I’ve explored. Verona exudes a romantic charm similar to Venice, yet offers a more intimate experience, perhaps due to its association with the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet.

As you wander through the streets of Verona, it’s easy to envision the star-crossed lovers in the very locations immortalized by Shakespeare. While this distinct character of Verona might be what draws most visitors, I’ve found that there’s so much more to this city that makes it worth exploring.

In this post, I’ll reveal all the fascinating things I uncovered in Verona. Should you decide to Visit Verona, this article can already serve as a guide to help you make the most of your time in Verona.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you.

places to visit verona italy

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Nestled in the Venetia region of Northern Italy, Verona is a “not-so-hidden” gem waiting to be discovered by the throngs of travelers visiting Italy. Its strategic location between the vibrant cities of Venice and Milan makes it an easily accessible retreat for those in search of a mix of history and romance. Just hop on a train, and within 1.5 hours from either city, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Verona.

The thing is, Verona is a city that wears its history with pride. Its Roman amphitheater, the Verona Arena, stands as a testament to its rich past. This, coupled with an array of ancient and religious structures scattered throughout the city, has earned Verona its endearing nickname – “Little Rome.”

The city’s historic and romantic allure is palpable in its cobblestone streets, charming piazzas, and beautiful landmarks. Literature enthusiasts will definitely find it easy to recognize Verona as the backdrop to one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays — “Romeo and Juliet.”

If you’re planning a trip to Verona, I’ve put together a sample 3-day Verona itinerary that you can easily adapt for a 1 to 2-day stay in the city.

Check out these links to find the best hotel deals in Verona and for a list of the best things to do in the city, including tours and special experiences.

It’s worth noting that Lake Garda , the largest lake in Italy, is merely minutes away from Verona by train or car. Therefore, if Verona is on your itinerary, it’s highly recommended to also pay a visit to the breathtaking Lake Garda .

places to visit verona italy

1. Verona, a City of Love and Romance

What makes Verona a city to love is simple: it is a city of love.

Verona, the backdrop for Shakespeare’s moving love story, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, is a city where couples can discover new depths of connection and inspiration.

Intriguingly, while Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a work of fiction, it was inspired by a real-life couple from Verona who lived between the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Shakespeare is believed to have discovered this tragic love story through Arthur Brooke’s 16th-century poem, ‘The Tragical History of Romeo and Juliet.’

As Verona embraces this cultural heritage, every part of the city has something romantic to offer.

Landmarks like Juliet’s balcony at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House) in Cappello Street (house number 23) help bring the bittersweet love story of Romeo and Juliet to life. It is said that this 13th-century edifice is where Romeo first courted Juliet. A bronze statue of Juliet graces the courtyard of Casa di Giulietta, and many believe that touching her right breast will bestow good luck in matters of the heart.

House of Juliet, Verona, Italy

The house and courtyard, which showcase the iconic balcony, are accessible for free (museum and balcony access not included), drawing in many curious visitors. So, if you are going to Verona to see visit this be prepared – Juliet’s House can attract a large number of tourists, especially during high season.

Don’t let the crowd spoil your moment when you see the balcony in Verona. Arrive early in the morning to fully immerse yourself in the scene where Romeo wooed Juliet. Juliet’s House is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6:30 pm). For more information, please check the official website of Verona .

The story of Romeo and Juliet has made Juliet’s Balcony a popular attraction in Verona, but it is not the only place where you can experience the city’s romantic atmosphere.

The city is full of beautiful structures that surrounds its visitors with romantic flair. You can also admire the historic arches, towers, and bridges that dot the city, such as the Ponte di Pietra Bridge, Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Signori, Arco dei Gavi, and Colle San Pietro. 

You may come across a well that looks like it belongs to the Middle Ages. That is the Well of Love, and it has a tale of its own.

Its tale? It is the legend of the Well of Love, where a young soldier named Corrado and a beautiful girl named Isabella met their fate.

Corrado loved Isabella, but she seemed to reject him. One day, he accused her of being cold as the water in the well. She challenged him to jump into the well to prove his love. He did, and she realized that she loved him too. She followed him into the well, and they died together.

The well is in a courtyard near the Church of San Marco, in a small street called Vicolo San Marco in Foro. You can see a plaque above the well that says you can make a wish for your love by throwing a coin.

2. Verona Arena & Operas

Verona is not just a destination for couples, but for anyone who loves history, architecture, and art. You can visit Verona with your friends, family, or even by yourself and have a wonderful time.

The city has many attractions that will amaze you, such as the Verona Arena. This ancient landmark is the main attraction of Verona and it will take you back to the time of gladiator fights, just like the Roman Colosseum in Rome.

Arena, Verona, Italy

The arena is over 2000 years old and has survived natural disasters such as the earthquake of 1117. It has been restored several times, but it still preserves its original shape and structure. The arena’s architectural style is still Roman, but with some changes and additions. 

Arena, Verona, Italy

The only part of the outer ring that remains is the wing, which reminds us of how the arena looked like in the past. 152 meters long and 123 meters wide, Verona Arena is one of the biggest Roman amphitheatres in the world.

You know what’s amazing about the arena’s architecture? It’s huge and it makes the sounds inside the arena great. It has such good acoustics that you can hear everything clearly without too much amplification.

Arena, Verona, Italy

Want to try its acoustics? Watch Verona Arena’s opera under the stars , where you can enjoy some of the most famous operas in the world, like Aida, Carmen, Turandot, or Tosca.

Aside from the acoustics, the opera is a unique experience because you can feel the history, culture, and emotion of the arena. You can see a live performance that connects you with thousands of years of human history and artistic expression. And at the end of the show, you can join the tradition of waving a white handkerchief to show your appreciation. It’s awesome!

If you’re attending the night opera show and you want to be more comfortable at the arena, you can rent some cushions there, but you don’t need them if you have seats with chairs. You can also get some blankets there or bring your own if you get cold at night.

Bringing food inside the Verona Arena isn’t allowed. You can buy some snacks and drinks at the arena or outside before or after the show.

By the way, you can also check out the arena during the day, if you want. You can book a guided tour or get an audio guide. Tickets are available online or at the box office.

On regular days, there’s no special pass for the arena, but you can get a ticket that lets you see other things in Verona too. For example, you can get a Verona Card that gives you access to more than 20 museums, monuments, churches, and public transport in Verona for 24 or 48 hours. Or you can get a Verona Opera Pass that gives you access to three opera shows at the arena for a cheaper price.

You know what’s the best time to see the arena and watch an opera?

It’s during the summer season when they have the opera festival, the Arena di Verona Opera Festival . It’s one of the best opera festivals in the world, and they have all kinds of operas, concerts, ballets, and special events that you don’t want to miss if you’re in Verona in summer.

You can check out their website to learn more. But, just a heads up, summer is also the most crowded and pricey time to visit, so you should get your tickets and hotel booked early and be ready for lots of people and lines.

3. Beautiful Architecture in Verona

Verona is a city that has a story to tell which you can discover not only through the operas from its arena.

This story — it that spans over two millennia, from the ancient Romans to the modern Italians. A story that is written in stone, brick, and marble. A story that is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Verona is a city that showcases the best of art and architecture from different eras.

Arche Scaligere, Verona, Italy

Where to begin? After Verona Arena, the best you can go to the Castelvecchio which is a testament to the power and influence of the Scaliger dynasty.

This imposing structure, built entirely of red bricks, stands as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture. Its stark and robust design is a stark contrast to the ornate and decorative style typically associated with this period.

Sant’Anastasia is another must-see. It’s a church that is as much a part of Verona’s history as it is its skyline. The interior is a symphony of art and light, creating an atmosphere that is both heavenly and inviting for a prayer.

Just a short walk away is the Duomo Di Verona, a magnificent cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cathedral’s Romanesque style exterior gives way to a stunning interior, where tall red Verona marble pilasters support Gothic arcades.

After exploring these architectural wonders, it’s time for a leisurely stroll through the Giardino Giusti. Created in the late 1400s, this garden is considered one of the most beautiful Renaissance gardens in Europe. The terraced layout offers breathtaking views of the city.

Crossing the Adige River, we come upon the Ponte Pietra, Verona’s oldest bridge. This Roman arch bridge, completed in 100 BC, has stood the test of time and remains an iconic part of Verona’s cityscape.

Last, I’ll mention (but there’s more) is Castel San Pietro, perched high on San Pietro hill. Built by Giangaleazzo Visconti in 1398, this castle offers panoramic views of Verona.

If you love castles, you’ll be amazed by these two gems in Germany. They are Neuschwanstein Castle and Lichtenstein Castle , and they look like they came straight from a fairy tale. Check them out!

4. Medieval Pilgrimage Churches

Verona’s spiritual character has been at the heart of the city since medieval times.

For centuries, Verona has been known as the “little Jerusalem,” attracting countless pilgrims to its churches. Legend has it that the city was founded by Shem, the son of Noah, and was originally named “Minor Jerusalem.”

It served as a helpful alternative for European pilgrims who couldn’t make the journey to the Holy Land. To this day, Verona is a famous pilgrimage site that preserves its unique character from centuries past.

Church Trails, Verona, Italy

The churches that medieval pilgrims have visited in the past still exist today. And they offer a compelling reason to visit Verona for their historical, artistic, and religious significance.

To get the most out of your visit, consider the checking foundation created by the diocese of Verona, Verona Minor Hierusalem . This foundation offers routes you can follow, and they have volunteers to guide you in discovering each pilgrimage site in the city.

Their itineraries include Rebirth From Water, Rebirth From Earth, and Rebirth From Heaven.

The itinerary,  Rebirth From Water , includes six churches on the left of the Adige River. These churches are the church of San Giovanni in Valle, Santi Siro and Libera, Santo Stefano, San Giorgio in Braida, San Pietro Martire, and Santa Maria in Organo.

This route, a circular path stretching approximately 3.5 kilometers, is your path to tranquil discovery, symbolically starting in Ponte Pietra across the River Adige. As you pursue the path of Rebirth From Water, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city from two panoramic terraces – Castel San Pietro and San Zeno in Monte.

From this vantage point, you can admire the Roman Theatre from above and stumble upon water fountains that whisper tales of the ancient and echo stories of the new.

Rebirth From Earth  itinerary also includes six churches, San Zeno in Oratorio, San Lorenzo, Sante Teuteria and Tosca, Sant’Eufemia, San Giovanni in Foro, and San Benedetto al Monte.

The route follows the old Via Postumia, the road that runs in the heart of Verona. It has wealth of monuments — from the remnants of Roman civilization to the awe-inspiring Scaligeri Castle, and the grand palaces lining Corso Cavour. Along the way, you’ll also encounter sacella, small sacred spaces used for worship, and crypts hidden beneath the city’s surface.

By the end of this path, you should have gained new insights into the history of Verona.

Last but not least is the itinerary,  Rebirth From Heaven .

It includes the churches in the multicultural district in Verona of Veronetta: Santa Toscana, Santa Maria del Paradiso, San Tommaso, San Paolo, and SS. Nazaro and Celso. This journey is a harmonious blend of history, traditions, music, and art — an experience that metaphorically represents the human journey from earthly existence to celestial transcendence.

You can begin your exploration of these historic churches at the Verona Minor Hierusalem foundation’s headquarters, nestled within the Church of San Pietro Martire. The information point is open for visitors from Thursday to Sunday, between 10 am and 5:30 pm. For more details about the foundation, you can visit their contact page.

5. Veronese Renaissance Art

Statue of Paolo Veronese, Verona, Italy

Art is an integral part of Verona’s rich heritage; another thing to love about Verona.

From the sacred walls of churches to the historic castles and lively city squares, artistic expressions are woven into the city’s fabric. But did you know that Verona takes pride in its very own artist? That’s Paolo Veronese.

Paolo Veronese, born as Paolo Caliari, was a distinguished painter from the Italian Renaissance, renowned for his grand history paintings that depict religious and mythological themes. Born in Verona in 1528, he’s often referred to by the name of his birth city.

Veronese’s artistry is admired for its clear storytelling through intricate and thoughtful compositions that are vibrant and full of painterly effects. He was a master of color and, after an early period with Mannerism, he developed a naturalist style of painting, influenced by Titian.

His works are known for their elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful style, complete with majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. He is particularly famous for his large paintings of biblical feasts, filled with figures, painted for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona.

In Verona, you can admire his masterpieces in the churches that are part of the “Rebirth from Heaven” itinerary created by the Diocese of Verona which we discussed previously.

Three artworks by Paolo Veronese have etched themselves into my memory.

The first one that stands out is his depiction of ‘Saint George’s Martyrdom,’ housed in the Church of San Giorgio. This painting offers a unique narrative, focusing on the martyrdom of Saint George, a theme less frequently portrayed compared to the famed legend of Saint George slaying the dragon. Created in 1566, this oil-on-canvas masterpiece was born during a pivotal phase in Veronese’s life.

It was a time when he returned to his hometown, Verona, to marry Elena, the daughter of his esteemed mentor, Antonio Badile.

When you make your way to Castelvecchio, be sure to seek out Veronese’s ‘Deposition of Christ.’ This oil-on-canvas masterpiece, dating back to 1548-1549, is a testament to Veronese’s signature style. It poignantly captures the moment when Christ is being lowered from the cross after his crucifixion.

Another must-see artwork at Castelvecchio is ‘Pala Bevilacqua Lazise.’ This gem from 1548 was commissioned by the Bevilacqua-Lazise family for their funerary chapel in San Fermo Maggiore church in Verona.

The painting depicts a tranquil scene of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, surrounded by saints and angels. Its harmonious composition, elegant figures, and intricate details reflect Veronese’s naturalist style, bearing traces of Titian’s influence.

6. The Picture-Perfect Basilica di San Zeno

What makes Verona more interesting is a landmark where art, spirituality, scenic beauty, and romantic heritage come together in a breathtaking blend. This place is none other than the Basilica di San Zero.

While it isn’t the most beautiful church in Italy, it is still a sight you’ll undoubtedly won’t regret seeing.

San Zeno Basilica, Verona, Italy

The Basilica of San Zeno, with its construction spanning four centuries from 967 to 1398 AD, is one of Verona’s most iconic landmarks.

Its fame is partly due to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as it was within the crypt of this very basilica that the star-crossed lovers were wed in the tale. However, even without this literary connection, the basilica would undoubtedly be one of Verona’s premier attractions.

With its stunning interiors, remarkable artworks, and unique architectural design, the Basilica of San Zeno is undeniably a sight to behold.

interiors of San Zeno Basilica, Verona, Italy

A visit to the Basilica of San Zeno transports you to the heart of the Middle Ages. The church’s murals and bas-relief sculptures serve as silent storytellers, recounting life from centuries ago. Artworks depicting saints, biblical narratives, and mythical creatures embellish the basilica’s portals, balconies, and walls.

Be sure to take in the stunning altarpiece, the beautifully detailed bronze door, and the crypt that holds the relics of San Zeno.

Murals inside San Zeno Basilica, Verona, Italy

The altarpiece of the San Zeno Basilica is a stunning example of Byzantine iconography, intricately crafted with remarkable detail. This beautiful triptych, a masterpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, took three years to complete, from 1457 to 1460. The artwork depicts the Madonna and baby Jesus enthroned, surrounded by various biblical events.

A unique feature of the basilica you must also lay your eyes upon is the bronze door. This door, with its medieval charm and 48 square panels – some of which date back to the 11th century – is one of Italy’s unique treasures. Notably, some of these panels were created by the Saxon masters from Hildesheim in Germany.

Cloister of the San Zeno Basilica, Verona, Italy

Don’t miss out on exploring the crypt when you visit the Basilica of San Zeno.

But if you’re looking for that picture-perfect moment for your Instagram feed, make sure to visit the cloister. With its arcades and columns, red bricks, and lush greenery, it’s a photographer’s dream. The vibrant colors are simply irresistible to capture.

And if you’re lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, the intense light dramatically transforms the scene, creating a stunning contrast.

Cloister of the San Zeno Basilica, Verona, Italy

With all these treasures waiting to be discovered in the Basilica of San Zeno, it’s no hard to understand why this church is considered a top reason to visit Verona!

7. The City Walls of Verona

Wandering through Verona, much like Rome, you’ll be amazed by the ancient landmarks that have withstood more than 2000 years. It’s quite a contrast to our modern buildings that, despite all our technological advancements, only last a few decades.

Porta Borsari, Verona, Italy

Another sight you’ll appreciate in Verona is its city walls and gates, some of which remain intact today. They may not look spectacular, but they provide a window into life in northern Italy during ancient times.

Did you know that some sections of these walls were built in the 1st century BC? That’s over two millennia ago! Again, seeing them still standing is truly remarkable.

As the city grew, new walls were constructed, remnants of which can still be found in Verona today. The city walls of Verona can be found in various parts of the city, but the most significant sections are undoubtedly the Porta Borsari and the Porta dei Leoni. Situated on the east and west sides of the old town, or Citta Antica, these gates hold a wealth of history.

Porta Borsari, in particular, served as the main gateway to the ancient city of Verona in the first century.

While some visitors might dismiss it as just an old crumbling wall, it’s actually a remarkable piece of history that deserves a closer look: An inscription from the reign of Emperor Gallienus reveals another reconstruction in 265 AD.

Originally known as Porta Iovia due to its proximity to a small temple dedicated to Jupiter lustralis, it was later referred to as Porta di San Zeno in the Middle Ages. The current name, Porta Borsari, is derived from the term ‘bursarii’, referring to the guard soldiers who were paid the ‘dazio’.

In contrast to the well-preserved Porta Borsari, only a fragment of Porta dei Leoni, located on Verona’s other side, survives today. Nonetheless, it offers an intriguing visit. Next to it lie the underground remnants of ancient Roman baths. These ruins are intriguingly nestled in the heart of the street, allowing passersby a sneak peek into history.

Should you feel hungry, numerous cozy cafes surround the site for a relaxing respite post-exploration. Additionally, a range of dining options can be found in the vicinity of Porta Borsari.

Do you want to see towns and villages with intact medieval walls? Discover Aigues-Mortes , Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber , and Lucerne .

8. Panoramic City Views of Verona

It’s undeniable: a city without a scenic viewpoint lacks a certain romantic charm, don’t you think?

We all crave that perfect sunset spot to end our day on a romantic note. In Verona, you’ll find numerous viewpoints that offer truly stunning golden hour vistas of the city skyline. Among the viewpoints in Verona, Torre Dei Lamberti, also one of the landmarks that shape the city skyline of Verona, is the most famous.

Torre Dei Lamberti

The Torre dei Lamberti, standing tall at 84 meters, is a testament to the legacy of the influential Lamberti family who began its construction in the 11th century. The tower has witnessed several historical events, with its two bells – the Marangona and the Rengo – signaling fires, work times, and calling the population to arms.

Torre Dei Lamberti, Verona, Italy

Today, the tower serves as a popular tourist attraction by day and transforms into an enchanting rooftop terrace for exclusive events by night. You can choose to climb its 368 steps or take a transparent elevator to reach its panoramic terraces.

From the heights of Torre dei Lamberti, you’ll be treated to more than just a bird’s eye view of Verona’s rooftops, church spires, and city towers. On a clear day, your gaze can wander beyond the Adige River, all the way to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.

Here’s the official website of Torre dei Lamberti for more information.

Ponte Pietra

The Ponte Pietra, or Pons Marmoreus, is a Roman arch bridge that has stood over the Adige River in Verona since 100 BC. Built by the Romans to provide access to their theatre, it’s seen its fair share of history.

The bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, most notably in 1945 during World War II, only to be lovingly restored in 1959.

Ponte Pietra, Verona, Italy

Walking across the bridge, it’s hard not to think that despite the trials of time, the Ponte Pietra retains its original Roman architectural style. Its Roman arches and smooth stone surface are a testament to the engineering prowess of the Romans. The two central brick arches, remnants from the Middle Ages, add a touch of historical charm.

Today, the Ponte Pietra is more than just a bridge; it’s a window into Verona’s past and a popular tourist attraction.

As you walk across, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Adige River and the cityscape beyond. It’s an experience that’s available to everyone, anytime.

In my opinion, the most breathtaking view of Ponte Pietra can be found at Rigastre Redentore , just across Piazza del Foro. From this spot, you’ll see the bridge set against the picturesque backdrop of Verona’s hilly side. The welcoming tower that greets those crossing Ponte Pietra, connected to the bridge itself, is a sight to behold.

Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes

As you stand on Ponte Pietra and gaze northward, your eyes will be drawn to the San Leonardo hill, crowned by a striking white edifice. This is the Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes, another gem in Verona’s scenic landscape.

This spot is yet another picturesque locale in Verona, offering additional sweeping vistas for your viewing pleasure.

Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes, Verona, Italy

The Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes has a rich history that dates back to 1908. Despite being destroyed during World War II, the sanctuary was lovingly rebuilt on a hill overlooking Verona, transforming an old Austrian fortress into a beacon of hope.

Today, the sanctuary serves as a place of pilgrimage. Its tranquil setting offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. When you arrive and looked around, you’ll notice that the sanctuary’s architecture is a blend of modern and eclectic styles, with its circular shape being one of its most distinctive features.

Come inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of art, including fifteen bas-reliefs depicting the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

However, it’s the panoramic view from the sanctuary that will make your visit unforgettable. The Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes boasts a spacious, sun-drenched balcony, framed by picturesque trees that stand like columns around the church.

As you approach the concrete guardrail at the edge of the area, prepare to be stunned by the sweeping vistas of north-central Italy’s vast plains, the entire city of Verona, and the winding Adige River.

Want to visit? You can find this sanctuary at Colli Street in Verona. It’s just a short 20-minute walk from Ponte Pietra or a quick bus ride from Borgo Trento if you’re coming from the train station. The sanctuary welcomes visitors every day from 7:30 am to 12:00 pm and again from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

For more details about tickets or special passes, it’s best to check their o fficial website or give them a call .

Castel San Pietro

Even without a car or the desire for a long walk, you can still capture a stunning view of Verona from a single location.

Your destination? Castel San Pietro. Conveniently located just a 5-minute stroll from Ponte Pietra, it’s the perfect spot for panoramic city views.

Castel San Pietro, Verona, Italy

Castel San Pietro has a rich history that dates back to 890 when Berengarius built a castrum.

Over the centuries, it underwent significant changes. In 1393, Gian Galeazzo Visconti commissioned a complete reconstruction. Unfortunately, the castle was largely destroyed by the French in 1801, and later the Austrians completed the demolition. Between 1852 and 1858, they built fortified military barracks on the grounds.

While the castle itself is not open to the public due to its deteriorated condition, you can still enjoy a visit. A footpath and stairs starting from Ponte Pietra leads you up to the castle.

The real treat is the terrace before the castle which offers an invaluable panoramic view over Verona and the archaeological area of the Teatro Romano.

The view from Castel San Pietro is truly breathtaking, much like the one from Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes. However, from here, you’ll get a closer look at the Citta Antica of Verona and the River Adige.

Keep in mind that it might be a bit more crowded here than at Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes, as it’s a bit more accessible.

Castel San Pietro, Verona, Italy

Not a fan of stair climbing? Don’t worry, there’s a funicular to Castel San Pietro conveniently located behind the Chiesa di Santo Stefano. This ride to the top is not only a knee-saver but also a unique experience. Check out the funicular’s operating hours and other details here .

Castel San Pietro, Verona, Italy

Are you like me? I love cities with panoramic views like Verona. Seeing such scenery gives me a weird feeling, like I did not miss anything during my visit. Here are other European cities which also have panoramic views: Paris (from Eiffel Tower), Lyon (from La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière), Avignon (from Jardin des Doms), Bern (From Rose Garden), Nuremberg (from Imperial Castle), and Stuttgart (Stuttgart TV Tower).

9. Wines of Verona

Imagine strolling through the medieval streets of Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet. The architecture, the history, the romance, it’s all there.

But there’s something else that makes Verona truly special — its wines. Verona is capital of Italy’s wine trade. The province of Verona is home to some of the most famous wines in Italy, including Amarone and Recioto from Valpolicella, Bardolino, Recioto from Soave, Custoza, Soave, Lessini Durello and Lugana.

Wine isn’t just a beverage in Verona; it’s a way of life! Just outside the city begins the vineyards of the Valpolicella region.

Once known for producing cheap table wines, today it’s producing some of Italy’s finest red wines. Many winemakers open their doors for tastings and even offer bed and breakfast accommodations. The experience of sipping a light Valpolicella Classico or a potent Amarone while enjoying the hearty cuisine of the Veneto region is something that can make your visit to Verona even more memorable.

There are plenty of rustic osterie and family-run agriturismi where you can enjoy these fine wines. If you’re interested in tasting some of these exquisite wines, there are several places in Verona that offer wine tasting experiences.

Small wineries offer a chance to learn about how the wines are produced and aged directly from the winemaker. You can also check out Degustazione Vini // Wine Tasting Verona and Pagus Wine Tours for a great wine tasting experience.

Here’s where you can find the best wine tours in Verona .

Interested in wines? Compare Verona with other cities in Europe listed below.

  •   Reims . This city is one of the centers of the UNESCO Champagne region in France, where you can drink freshly made Champagne and discover how they are made. 
  • Geneva  or  Montreux . From these cities, you can visit the UNESCO Lavaux vineyard. It has unique wines you can only buy in the area. You’ll also love the view of the French and Swiss Alps from the vineyards.
  • Carcassonne . It is one of the most preserved medieval cities in Europe. There are plenty of wine-growing industries around it. And you can have a wine-tasting tour after wandering in its time-transporting streets.
  • Wurzburg . It is one of the towns in Franconia (the part of Bavaria in Germany famous for wines). In one of Wurzburg’s tourist attractions lies the largest fresco in the world!

10. Verona’s Vibrant Market Square

For those of us with a passion for exploration, the thrill of encountering lively and vivid European squares is unparalleled. Piazza Delle Erbe in Verona perfectly embodies this experience. It’s a mini destination that makes the journey to Verona all the more worthwhile.

Piazza Delle Erbe, Verona, Italy

Once the bustling forum during the Roman Empire, Piazza Delle Erbe has transformed into a vibrant marketplace, brimming with life and color. As you stroll through the square, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a rich tapestry of architectural marvels.

Piazza Delle Erbe, Verona, Italy

On the northern side, the ancient town hall, the towering Torre dei Lamberti, the Casa dei Giudici, and the frescoed Mazzanti Houses stand as silent witnesses to Verona’s illustrious past.

To the west, the Baroque Palazzo Maffei reaches for the sky, its façade adorned with statues of Greek gods. The buildings around the square are a canvas of façade frescoes, each one a masterpiece in its own right.

Piazza Delle Erbe, Verona, Italy

Piazza delle Erbe is not just about history and architecture. It’s also a paradise for food lovers and shoppers. The daily market is a feast for the senses, offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to souvenirs and local products.

Piazza Delle Erbe, Verona, Italy

After a day of exploration and shopping, you can unwind at one of the many nearby restaurants. Whether it’s Hi Poke’s Hawaiian bowls or Berbere Verona’s artisanal pizzas, there’s something to satiate every palate.

11. Verona is a Picturesque City

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a novice enthusiast, Verona unfolds a wealth of opportunities to capture its timeless beauty. It’s one of the reasons why I think Verona is worth visiting.

As you might have spotted, this city is packed of architectural wonders waiting to be photographed! From the venerable town hall to the soaring Torre dei Lamberti, the Casa dei Giudici, and the fresco-adorned Mazzanti Houses, Piazza delle Erbe boasts an array of gems.

Palazzo Maffei, a Baroque masterpiece adorned with statues of Greek deities, stands as another prominent landmark. Meanwhile, the Castelvecchio Museum, an imposing fortress nestled along the banks of the Adige river, seamlessly blends medieval and modern architecture, offering breathtaking city vistas.

Photo Inspiration Verona, Italy

Verona’s scenic splendor is abundant, where Gothic and Medieval architecture graces the cityscape with charming red brick houses.

St. Peter’s hill beckons with its awe-inspiring panoramas, just a stone’s throw from the city center. The Scaligero Bridge, also known as Castelvecchio Bridge, links the western shore of the Adige to Castelvecchio, inviting a leisurely, romantic stroll amidst the hues of a captivating sunset. Surely, you would like their appearances preserved in your camera!

Photo Inspiration Verona, Italy

The golden hour in Verona is pure magic, casting a warm, ethereal glow over the city’s red roofs and historic edifices, setting the stage for captivating photographs. Viewing Verona during this enchanting time, whether from the vantage point of Torre dei Lamberti or St. Peter’s hill, promises an unforgettable experience.

Photo Inspiration Verona, Italy

12. More Other Things to Do in Verona

Verona, a city teeming with activities, is yet another reason to make Italy your next travel destination. And what I’ve shown you is just the half of it (perhaps)! With every new place you discover and experience you gain, your interest will only grow.

Be sure to check out my handpicked collection of thrilling day tours, experiences, as well as passes and tickets.

See the complete list of the best things to do in Verona here.

Should you find yourself questioning what other adventures await in Northern Italy apart from Verona, or seeking suggestions for your journey after Verona, I have the following recommendations:

  • Cinque Terre  – The charming coastline towns of Northern Italy.
  • Milan   – Home to the genius’ ( Leonardo da Vinci ) artworks and science. 
  • Bergamo   – The scenic and medieval city of northern Italy. 
  • Lake Como   – One of the world’s most beautiful lakes .
  • Venice  – Another romantic city where three architectural styles meet and mix.
  • Trento  – The city to introduce you to the Dolomites (visit mountains, lakes, and castles ).
  • Bolzano  – Home of Otzi , the gateway to the Dolomites.
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo  – The town in the heart of the Dolomites .
  • Florence – It’s where you can find the best Renaissance artworks.
  • Rome  – The beautiful eternal city where you can start or end your trip to Northern Italy.

Best Time to Visit Verona

The ideal time for your Verona adventure really depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your visit. Let’s take a moment to explore the different factors that could shape your experience.

Consider the Temperature and Rain

Spring (March to May) : Spring breathes life back into Verona after the winter. The city starts to warm up with temperatures ranging from a cool 9.3°C in March to a more comfortable 18.3°C in May. Rain may come frequent in May as summer approaches.

Summer (June to August) : Summer is when Verona truly shines. The days are long, hot, and filled with sunlight. Temperatures peak at 24.7°C in July, making it perfect for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions. But remember to carry an umbrella as June and July are also the wettest months.

Autumn (September to November) : As summer fades, autumn paints Verona in beautiful hues of orange and yellow. The weather cools down gradually from 19.8°C in September to a chilly 8.6°C in November. Rainfall is less frequent, making it a great time to explore without getting wet.

Winter (December to February) : Winter wraps Verona in a cold embrace with temperatures dropping to -0.7°C in January. Despite the cold, there’s a certain charm to the city covered in frost. And with February being the driest month, you might get lucky with some sunny winter days.

Consider the Budget

If you’re mindful of your budget, consider planning your trip to Verona in November. This is when the city isn’t teeming with tourists, and as a result, hotel prices take a dip.

On the flip side, the summer months from June to August see a surge in visitors. This is the peak season, and as you might expect, the costs for hotels and flights go up.

Just to give you a ballpark figure, a night’s stay at a mid-range hotel during the peak season can set you back around $144.00. But if you choose to visit during the low season, you might find the same room for almost half the price at $72.00.

Remember, these are just average prices, and they can fluctuate. So, it’s always a good idea to check the current rates closer to your trip. 

Consider the Experience

Avoiding the Crowds  — If you’re looking to escape the crowds, consider visiting Verona in late spring or early autumn. These periods are typically less busy compared to the bustling summer months of July and August.

Sunlight and Rain  — For those perfect sunny photos, July is your best bet as it’s the month with the most sunlight. However, keep in mind that May, June, and July are also the rainiest months, so don’t forget your umbrella!

First Impressions  — Verona is a city that leaves a lasting impression any time of the year. However, if you want to avoid long lines at attractions and crowded restaurants, it might be best to steer clear of the peak summer months. The city can get quite packed with tourists during this time (long queues especially in Verona Arena).

Consider Cultural Events

Experiencing cultural events can add a unique flavor to your visit. In the charming city of Verona, there are three events that I believe would pique your interest.

  • Verona Opera Festival : Imagine watching a grand opera under the stars in the city’s Roman Arena. That’s what you get at the Verona Opera Festival, which runs from June to September. It’s a magical experience that draws opera lovers from around the globe.
  • Vinitaly : If you’re a wine enthusiast, Vinitaly is a must-visit. It’s the world’s largest wine exhibition, where you can learn about the art of wine-making and taste some of the finest wines. It’s not just for professionals in the wine industry, but for anyone who appreciates a good glass of wine.
  • Estate Teatrale Veronese (Verona Summer Theatre Season) : This is a summer theatre festival that runs from July to August. It’s not just about Shakespeare, although there’s plenty of that too. You’ll also get to enjoy concerts from various artists across different genres.

Discover more events from Verona’s calendar of events .

How Long to Spend in Verona

So, you’re planning a trip to Verona?

Great choice! Now, you might be wondering how many days to set aside for this charming Italian city. Well, it really depends on what kind of traveler you are.

Just want to catch the main attractions like the town center museums and those stunning vantage points? Then, a quick  one to two-day  trip should cover it. You can hit up the major spots like Piazza Bra, the Arena, and Juliet’s balcony all in a day. If you’ve got an extra day to spare, why not take it slow and soak in the city vibes?

But maybe you’re the type who wants to see it all — every nook and cranny, every hidden gem, and even sneak in a day trip to the gorgeous Lake Garda. If that’s you, then  three days  in Verona would be just about perfect. Spend two days getting lost in the city’s charm and save that third day for Lake Garda.

Remember though, these are just suggestions. Your trip is your own, so feel free to take it at your own pace. 

Get more ideas: How Many Days to Spend in Verona: A Guide to Help You Decide

How to Get to Verona

When you’re flying into Verona, you’ll be landing at Verona Villafranca Airport (VRN), which is just a short 10 km hop from the city center. Once you’ve grabbed your luggage, you have a few options to reach the heart of Verona.

The quickest and most economical way is to catch a bus operated by Azienda Trasporti Verona Srl, which will whisk you to Verona Porta Nuova in about 15 minutes. If you prefer a more private ride, a taxi will get you there in roughly 20 minutes.

If you’re already in Italy and planning to visit Verona, it’s a breeze to get there from other major cities. Direct trains from Venice and Milan are frequent and convenient. And if you’re coming from further afield, flying into Verona’s airport is also an option.

Wondering if you need to rent a car in Verona? Well, it depends on your itinerary. If you’re sticking to the city center or planning to visit other major cities like Venice, Rome, or Milan, then public transportation or trains are your best bet. But if you’re thinking of exploring the countryside or regions like Tuscany, having a car could be handy.

Verona is not just about the city itself; it’s also an excellent base for exploring the region. You can easily do day trips to places like Lake Garda, Dolomites, Custoza, or Vicenza. Whether you need to rent a car for these trips really depends on your specific plans. But rest assured, many of these places are accessible via public transportation as well (aside from the Dolomites).

Where to Stay in Verona

Where should you stay? Let’s dive in!

First up, we have the  Historic Center , also known as  Città Antica .

It’s right in the heart of the city and is perfect if you want to be close to top attractions like Juliet’s House and the Roman Amphitheater. However, it can get a bit crowded and prices might be a tad higher due to its central location.

Next, there’s  Porta Nuova . If you’re planning lots of day trips from Verona, this area is your best bet. It’s less crowded and conveniently located near the Stazione Verona Porta Nuova train station.

If you’re on a budget, consider staying in  Veronetta . It’s a lively university district with affordable accommodation options and a buzzing nightlife. Just keep in mind that it can get a bit noisy due to student activities.

For those seeking peace and quiet,  Borgo Trento  is a great choice. It’s a residential neighborhood that’s ideal for families. However, dining and entertainment options might be limited compared to the city center.

Lastly, there’s  San Zeno . It’s just outside of the historic center and offers a more authentic and peaceful experience of Verona.

In terms of budget-friendly areas,  Veronetta  takes the cake. It offers student-friendly prices and has many lovely coffee shops.

And if convenience is what you’re after, look no further than the  Historic Center . It’s got everything – transportation, restaurants, and attractions!

Find the best hotel deals in Verona here.

Getting Around Verona

When you’re in Verona, you’ll find it’s a breeze to get around. The city has a fantastic public transportation system run by ATV , with buses that’ll take you all over the city and beyond. But if you’re in a hurry, there are always taxis waiting at the ranks throughout the city.

Fancy a bit of exercise? Why not rent a bike from Verona Bike and pedal your way around the city? And don’t forget, many of Verona’s must-see spots are just a short walk away from each other. So, lace up your walking shoes and explore at your own pace.

For a fun twist, you could even tour the city on a Segway! Now, if you’re thinking about venturing further out or want to dive deeper into what Verona and its surroundings have to offer, renting a car could be a good move.

Now, about that trip to Lake Garda — no worries, you won’t need to rent a car unless you want to. You can easily catch a train to Peschiera del Garda or Desenzano del Garda, two beautiful lakefront towns. If you prefer the scenic route, hop on a bus from Verona to Garda.

As for renting a car, it could come in handy if you’re planning to explore multiple locations around Lake Garda or other areas outside of Verona.

But when it comes to the old town of Verona itself, save yourself the hassle of parking and just go on foot. After all, the best way to soak up the charm of Verona’s old town is by strolling through its streets.

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12 Reasons to visit Verona, Italy

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places to visit verona italy

places to visit verona italy

7 Exciting Things To Do In Verona, Italy

V erona, Italy, is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and romantic cities we’ve ever visited. The atmosphere is full of ways to spend your time with so many options it can be hard to choose. The city is relatively compact, making it easy to experience a lot of the highlights even on a short visit. But there are also some wonderful ways to savor the romance and excitement of Verona if you have the time to dig deeper and explore.

Verona is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it incorporates artistic elements from each period of its history: Roman, Romanesque, medieval, and Renaissance. If all of that history is not enough, Verona also has a world-famous opera festival and numerous cafés and restaurants.

Whatever interests you may have, Verona likely has something that will please you. There are fabulous cultural and historical features, museums, architectural attractions, theatrical arts, and musical performances that make the city come alive. Known also as the city of love closely associated with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona offers a lot of options for memorable romantic experiences as well.

To spark a few ideas for any visit, here are what we think are some of the most exciting things to do in Verona, Italy.

1. Verona Arena

One of the most exciting things about Verona is the Verona Arena . This massive amphitheater was built by the Romans in the first century AD and is one of the best preserved of such amphitheaters in the world. Originally used to watch gladiator fights during Medieval times, it was home to many live tournaments and events. Today, it holds over 20,000 spectators and is used for live concerts, operas, and performances. The Verona Arena is an enduring piece of architecture that embodies the living history of the city and has become its signature monument.

Pro Tip: If you have the opportunity to be out in Verona at night, take a stroll around the perimeter of the Arena. It is an architectural wonder, and at night, you can imagine all the people who have passed through its gates, sat in its seats, or participated in its events. There’s something quite special about being immersed in that history.

2. Piazza Delle Erbe

The oldest public square in Verona, Piazza delle Erba was the cornerstone of Veronese life and still exerts a significant presence in everyday activities. The market square was traditionally the place where textiles, coffee beans, herbs, spices, and other imported items were sold. Today, there is a farmers produce market Monday through Saturday as well as fresh flowers and souvenirs. There are many architectural features in the square including the old town hall, frescoed houses, the famous Lamberti Tower (take in a view from the tallest building in Verona), and the Madonna Verona fountain. Exploring the square provides insight into Verona’s past as well as its present.

Verona Christmas Markets

If you are able to visit Verona around mid-November through the Christmas holiday, the Verona Christmas Markets take over Piazza delle Erbe, Piazza dei Signori (also called Piazza Dante), Piazza Bra , Cortile del Mercato Vecchio , and other spots around the city in glittering holiday cheer. Wooden stalls offer locally made gifts, handcrafts, art, holiday décor, food, cheese, chocolate, mulled wine, and sweet treats of all kinds. It’s fun to stroll around each piazza and take in the bright lights, festive decorations, and holiday cheer. Try a bit of the famous Pandoro , a simple sweet cake in the shape of a star that is synonymous with the Verona Christmas season.

3. Palazzo Maffei House Museum

As part of exploring Piazza delle Erbe, pay a visit to the extraordinary Palazzo Maffei House Museum . This former private home of a notable businessman and art collector has been turned into a spectacular museum containing works of art in various mediums. The interplay between paintings, sculptures, applied arts, and the home itself results in a uniquely intimate and impressive experience. Works appear thematically arranged in one part of the museum, while another space has a more traditional gallery with pieces from famed modern and contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, Amedeo Modigliani, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and others. The museum is a real treat for the senses and a unique way to enjoy the pleasures of art.

4. Hotel Gabbia D’Oro

There are several options for exciting places to stay in Verona. But one splurge-worthy choice in the heart of the old city took our breath away. The exquisite Hotel Gabbia D’oro is an adventure unto itself. This converted 14th-century palazzo is cozy but opulent, charming, and elegant, with gracious service and luxurious accommodations that make guests feel like long-awaited VIPs. The beautiful breakfast room offers a quiet, personalized experience that is indulgently satisfying. A special treat is the back sunroom, where a pair of beautifully colored parrots — appropriately named Romeo and Juliet — keep company with those who might like to have tea or take an afternoon break in the lovely, nature-inspired environment.

5. Pasticceria De Rossi

Love is all around in Verona, and one of our truest loves is Pasticceria De Rossi , where every delicious carbohydrate-filled dream comes true. Located on the beautiful Corso Porta Borsari , the bakery is in its third generation of De Rossi family operations. Beautiful loaves of bread, gorgeous pastries, cookies, cakes, tarts, pasta, and sweet and savory treats of all sorts are created every day. Since 1974, this iconic establishment has been thrilling Veronese tastebuds. One look through the window will ensure that you walk through the door. Get a treat for yourself then stroll along the pedestrian-only ancient Roman road, one of the loveliest shopping streets in Verona.

6. Trattoria Tre Marchetti

Of course, dining in Verona is an absolute delight. Whether enjoying a morning espresso, sipping on a spritz, or tasting fresh pasta, the culinary offerings of the city are divine. But for those who want a little surprising entertainment with a phenomenal dinner, Trattoria Tre Marchetti is a hidden gem that will leave a lasting impression. Chef Matteo Barca is also a passionate opera singer. He came into the dining room to sing an aria during our dinner. The restaurant now offers an immersive visual experience incorporating images, sound, music, and color to enhance the meal. The menus themselves are works of art. A la carte options join tasting menus of meat, seafood, or a combination. Our tasting menu included handmade pasta with freshly shaved truffles and wine-braised beef topped with gold leaf. Yes, it’s that kind of place, but more reasonably priced than you would imagine.

7. Arena Opera Festival

Every summer to fall, Verona has hosted a fabulous festival of opera using the famous Roman arena as its venue for the past 100 years. The Arena Opera Festival offers spectacular sets, costumes, lighting, and performers in each and every show. Stars like Placido Domingo perform and there are opera as well as ballet performances. Favorites like Carmen, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, and The Barber of Seville are given the grand treatment in every sense. The productions are larger-than-life feasts for the eyes as well as the ears. With illustrious artisans and talented performers, the entertainment that takes place in the arena is unforgettable.

Romeo And Juliet In Verona

It’s true that Shakespeare set the eternal story of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet in beautiful Verona. There are tickets to visit Juliet’s home , which contains a small museum of costumes and memorabilia from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version. Though the characters and story are fictional, romantics line up to tour the home and rub the right breast of Juliet’s statue for luck in love. Our tip is that the courtyard is free and you can see the famed balcony there. Go early to avoid the biggest crowds. You can skip the wait altogether and sneak a side peak of the balcony by walking around the block where you can get a glimpse through an archway on the street.

Verona is filled with history, romance, and Italian culture galore. With palaces and architecture, literature and music, artistic and culinary delights, we’ve just scratched the surface of exciting things to do in Verona, Italy.

Related Reading:

  • 9 Tips For Hiking The Famous Path Of The Gods
  • 5 Incredible Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations To Visit In Tuscany
  • I’ve Lived In Italy For 15 Years, These Are My 6 Favorite Wine Regions

This article originally appeared on TravelAwaits

Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

Français

Visit Italy: Top 20 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

The 20 best things to do in italy (bucket list).

You’re planning to visit Italy for your next trip and you’re looking for the best places to visit?

Great choice, there are many beautiful things to see in the country, you will love it!

With many beautiful cities , a rich history , stunning landscapes , some of the most beautiful Mediterranean islands and of course delicious food , I can say without a doubt that Italy is one of my favourite destination in Europe.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this list of the 20 best things to do in Italy , with all the highlights and must-see attractions. It will for sure give you an idea of your next travel destination.

So, what are the best points of interest in Italy? Discover Rome , the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sicily and much more now!

1. Rome : the capital

2. florence: the art city, 4. venice: the romantic city, 5. the cinque terre, 6. lecce: the baroque city, 7. verona: the shakespearean city, 8. genoa: port city, 9. naples : historic city, 10. capri: magnificent island, 11. turin: the city of cinematography and chocolate, 12. milan: the capital of fashion, 13. lake maggiore and the borromean islands, 14. lake como, 15. garda lake, 16. the dolomites, 17. the amalfi coast, 18. gargano national park, 20. sardinia, flight prices to italy, you’re traveling in italy these articles will help you, visit italy: the 20 best places to visit and must-see attractions.

I will start this guide of the best things to do in Italy with the capital, Rome. The Eternal City city attracts millions of tourists every year but, despite what you might think, it isn’t the most touristic city of the country. Florence and Venice both attracts more international visitors!

Rome is a beautiful city, with the added advantage of being very easy to visit on foot. It’s full of ancient monuments, beautiful squares and museums. Here are the must-see:

  • The Coliseum
  • The Roman forum
  • The Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Piazza Navona

If you are visiting Rome, you should also go to the Vatican City. Don’t miss the following:

  • Saint Peter’s Square
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica , the world’s largest basilica
  • The Sistine Chape l and Michelangelo’s major work: The Last Judgement
  • And all Vatican museums

For more details about the city, you should read my article: The 25 best things to do in Rome .

rome Italy

Florence, undoubtedly the most beautiful city of Tuscany, is home to numerous museums and Renaissance palaces. The Cultural Heritage is immense : Half Italian works of art are located in Florence. No wonder why it’s one of the most visited city in Italy along with Venice!

So will you be one of the 15 million tourists that will visit the city this year?

Must-see places in Florence:

  • The Uffizi gallery and its famous paintings
  • The basilica San Miniato al Monte , from which you will have a panoramic view over Florence. A tip: go there for sunset
  • Piazza della Signoria: a real open-air museum
  • Cupola del Brunelleschi: climb 400 steps for a 360 degree view of Florence. Remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid the queue.

And don’t forget to visit the Tuscan countryside , famous for being the most beautiful in Italy!

To learn more about the best places to visit in Florence, you should read my dedicated article: The 27 Best Things to do in Florence.

Florence, one of the most visited city in Italy

When you hear about Pisa, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably the famous leaning tower, the symbol of the city. However, there are also other things to see in the city, so you can easily spend a full day in town.

  • The Piazza dei Miracoli , is the touristic heart of the city: all the famous monuments of Pisa are located there!
  • The tower of Pisa , with it’s 20€ entrance fee (it can be a surprising price!)
  • The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption
  • The Baptistery of Saint John of Pisa
  • The Monumental Cemetery Camposanto
  • La Piazza dei Cavalieri , a small typical Italian square with fewer tourists
  • Borgo Stretto: shopping hotspot and ideal place to eat or have a drink in one of the numerous restaurants.

You will find every information you need to visit Pisa in my article: The 10 best things to do in Pisa.

Pise-Italie

I can’t write an article about the Best of Italy without mentioning the famous City of Venice!

Venice is one of the most touristic cities in Europe, a great choice if you want to spend a weekend or more in Italy. With its numerous canals and its famous gondola rides, it’s also the perfect destination for a romantic stay. The Venice Carnaval takes place every year in February and attracts tourists from all over the world. If you don’t mind the crowds, it can be a good time to visit the city!

The places to visit in Venice:

  • Saint Mark’s Square: heart of the city and pigeons’ area
  • Saint Mark’s Basilica and its golden mosaics
  • The Ducale Palace
  • The Bridge of Sighs: Venice’s famous bridge
  • The islands of Murano (world famous for glassmaking) and Burano with its typical colorful houses.

You can find more info about the best places to visit in Venice in my article: The 31 best things to do in Venice .

Venise

This guide of the best places to visit in Italy wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Cinque Terre , 5 stunning cliff-side villages overlooking the Mediterranean sea. You have probably already seen pictures of them, these spectacular colourful towns are amongst the most famous sights of Italy!

Cinque Terre villages are located close to each other. To visit them, you have 3 choices:

  • Do the hiking trail that connects them (but be careful, depending on the season, some of them might be closed). The routes between each village can go from ½ hour to 2 hours.
  • Take the train that connects all the villages: The Cinque Terre Express.
  • By boat, with amazing views over the villages.

The Cinque Terre villages are the following:

  • Monterosso al mare: located in the northernmost part, it is the largest of the villages and the only one with a large sandy beach.
  • Vernazza with its colourful houses and small port.
  • Corniglia, the only one that isn’t connected to the sea, can be reached by a staircase of more than 350 steps.
  • Manorala: the oldest village.
  • Riomaggiore, situated in the very East, at “the end” of the Cinque Terre.

If you want more information about Cinque Terre, you should read my detailed article: How to visit Cinque Terre?

Cinqueterre italie

Much less known than the previous cities, it’s however definitely worth a visit during your trip to Italy. Lecce , located at the base of the “Italian boot” in Puglia region, is a very beautiful baroque town. There are churches, museums and palaces everywhere, all sharing the same architectural style.

  • La Basilique santa Croce
  • The Basilica of the Holy Cross
  • The historic center
  • The dome of Lecce
  • Sant’Oronzo Square
  • Faggiano Museum

Lecce, Italie

Verona is the city of love and of the tragic destiny of Romeo and Juliet. Everyone has already heard about it, but do you know what are the best things to do in town?

Here are the best places to visit in Verona:

  • Juliette’s house: the opportunity to admire the famous balcony and take a picture with your lover
  • The piazza Bra, where Verona arena is located
  • Piazza delle Erbe with its market, bars and restaurant terraces
  • The basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, the oldest church in Verona
  • The Castelvecchio, a 14th century castle turned into a museum

Verone, en Italie

Genoa is and have historically always been a port city. Christopher Columbus, one of the most famous adventurers of all time was born here!

The city is also full of monuments and beautiful sites to admire. Not many people visit it but it’s a shame, because there are very nice things to see in Genoa.

Things to do:

  • The port of Genoa where you can visit the aquarium and see a replica of a pirate ship. Don’t forget to take the glass elevator to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
  • The historical center with the piazza dei Ferrari and its beautiful fountain
  • Walk along Via Garibaldi and visit one or more palaces such as the palazzo reale, the palazzo bianco or the palazzo Rosso.
  • Stroll along the Lungomare, a 3 km seaside promenade
  • Go to Boccadasse, an old fisherman’s village with colourful houses

Que faire en Italie: visiter Gênes

Naples is the European city with the largest historical centre, so you can be sure there are a lot of churches and monuments to visit in the city! Naples is also very famous around the world for its gastronomy: the pizza (created in the 1600s as a street food for the poorest Neapolitans) as well as the famous Neapolitan sauce.

Naples must-see attractions:

  • Start with the historic centre and its Duomo
  • The Piazza del Plebiscito, a huge and very photogenic square with beautiful monuments surrounding it
  • The Vigiliano Park and its magnificent view over the bay
  • Visit the archaeological museum which houses objects from Pompeii archaeological site
  • Go to Pompeii,  located about 40 minutes by bus or train from Naples and witness the damage caused by the murderous eruption of the Vesuvius.

Visiter l'Italie: Naples

From Naples you can easily take the ferry and go to Capri island for a day trip.

You will start your visit of one of the most beautiful places in Italy in Marina Grande port. You should then take the funicular: it will take you directly to the famous Piazzetta, in Capri town center. With its café terraces and magnificent view over the bay, the place is magical!

Other things you shouldn’t miss in Capri are the Arco Naturale , a large 20m height rocky arch and the viewpoint of Tragara , which also offers a magnificent view. And of course the must-see attraction of Capri: the blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra in Italian), named after the unique water color inside.

Capri - Italie

You may not know it, but Turin is THE chocolate city. Yes, there is not only Swiss or Belgian chocolate! Italian one is also very famous. Your favourite sweet thing has even been invented by a master pastry chef from Turin! Every year, the chocolate festival takes place in town, with many events and tasting.

But Turin is also the city of cinema. Located in Turin’s emblematic monument, the Mole Antonelliana, the Cinema Museum is one of the best in the world. You will learn more about the history of cinema and you can even see masks of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings! Don’t forget to take the panoramic lift to the upper terrace, you will enjoy a 360° view over the entire city.

Also worth seeing during your trip to Turin:

  • The Egyptian museum : the 2nd largest after the one in Cairo and the oldest Egyptian museum in the world
  • The automobile museum, with its impressive collection of vehicles
  • The Palazzo Reale, former residence of the Dukes of Savoy

To plan your visit to Turin, you can read my definitive guide about the city: The 20 best things to do in Turin

turin en italie

Milan is the capital of fashion and design, with many renowned designer’s luxury boutiques and showrooms. In addition, there is also many historic buildings to visit in the city!

The tourist attraction you shouldn’t miss in Milan:

  • The Piazza del Duomo and its magnificent Cathedral: the Duomo di Milano . Don’t hesitate to take the entrance ticket with rooftop terrace access, it’s worth it!
  • The Sforza Castle and Parco Sempione, just nearby
  • The Vittorio Emmanuel II gallery and its huge glass roof, a luxury shopping spot
  • The Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera art gallery) and its rich collection of paintings by Italian masters such as Raphael, Bellini or Caravaggio.
  • The monumental cemetery: The burial place of celebrities, featuring some very unusual tombstones.

If you have planned to go to Milan, you should my detailed article, with all my best tips to visit the city in 1, 2 or 3 days: The 15 best things to do in Milan

Milan

The Lake Maggiore , along with  Lake Como and Lake Garda is one of the 3 biggest (and most beautiful) Italian lakes. If you plan to visit Milan during your stay in Italy, it can be a great idea to spend a day or 2 around Lake Maggiore, as it’s only at 1h30 by car. And if you don’t have a car, many tour companies offer day trips from Milan.

Lake Maggiore is especially known for the Borromean Islands: the great new is that you can perfectly visit all 3 of them in 1 day with one of the many boat tours available.

The 3 islands

  • The Isola Madre, where you will be able to admire its famous exotic garden with freely wandering peacocks.
  • The Isola Bella, with the Borromean palace, its garden and the shell grotto
  • The Isola Superieure, an island of fishermen.

lac majeur Italie

Located at only 1 hours from Milan, Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy. The lake is a very popular jet set holiday destination and is famous around the world for its many majestic villas and lush gardens.

It’s also a very popular shooting location: for example, you might have seen in it in Star Wars episode II! A part of the movie was shot at the Balbianello villa , one the lake shore. But Lake Como is more than this: around the lake you can visit beautiful fishing villages and enjoy many hiking trails. A must visit in Northern Italy!

Best Places to see:

  • Como city and its pedestrian center
  • Tremezzo  and Villa Carlotta with its sumptuous botanical garden
  • Bellagio and villa Melzi , a source of inspiration for Stendhal himself
  • Varenne and the villa Monastero with its promenade at the edge of the water
  • Castello Di Vezio and its panoramic view of the lake below
  • And of course, if you’re Star Wars fan, the Villa Balbianello.

Lac de Côme

Lake Garda is the largest and one of the most touristic lake in Italy. It’s located at only 1h30 by train from Milan.

Besides the lake itself, you can visit some of the nearby towns:

  • Sirmione: the most famous town on Lake Garda. Its medieval castle marks the entrance to the city, and it’s vert pleasant to stroll in the small typical alleys. Catullo caves archaeological site is also worth seeing for its ruins of Roman temples and villas.
  • Malcesine : in the city, you can visit Scaliger Castle and the Palazzo dei Capitani. Then take the cable car to Monte Baldo and enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Garda.
  • Torri del Benaco: with its small fishing port and Scaligero castle, it also deserves a stop.

Lac de Garde

If you love hiking and Italy, then the Dolomites are made for you! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the area has 18 mountain peaks, some of them being more than 3,000 meters height.

Famous for their very particular shape, sculpted by the elements, they are even more beautiful at sunrise and sunset.

To fully enjoy the landscape, you can drive along the Dolomites road from Bolzano to Cortina . There is around 130km and the road offer breathtaking views on the mountains.

Don’t hesitate to stop in the villages or at the lago di Carezza. Cortina is one of the best starting point for the numerous hiking trails in the region. If you love outdoors activities, the Dolomites is the region you should see during your next trip to Italy!

Les dolomites

You are looking for the top sights in Italy? Then the Amalfi coast is a great choice for your next trip!

Located South of Naples, the Amalfi coast is famous for being one of the most beautiful coasts of Italy. With its wild coast and amazing cliff-side villages, no doubt you will love it!

Overview of the best places to visit:

  • Sorrento , standing on a cliff with a view over the bay and the island of Capri.
  • Positano, a colorful cliffside village. It’s popular jet-set destination for its fashion boutiques and trendy cafes.
  • Nocelle: if you go to Positano, you should really do the Path Of Gods Trail, it start from Nocelle, a bit above Positano.
  • Amalfi and its magnificent Duomo
  • Ravello and the villa Cimbrone: with its 6 hectares garden overlooking the sea, it’s a must-do in Ravello.

La cote amalfitaine, en Italie

Located in Puglia region, Gargano Natural Park is the largest natural park in Italy. The coast is famous for the limestone rocks the sea has carved over time. You will be able to see numerous caves, wild coves and faraglioni .

The center of the Gargano is a great place for peaceful hikes, especially in the Umbra forest, literally “the forest of shadows”. Stroll under the hundred years old trees and enjoy the flora and fauna.

The small town of   Vieste is also a must in the region!

Vieste, parc naturel de Gargano, en Italie

Sicily, the biggest island in the Mediterranean sea, is the ideal place to visit if you want to mix relaxation at the beach and discovery of world class archaeological sites. Add the delicious Italian cuisine to the mix and the result is a perfect combination for unforgeable holidays!

Best places to see in Eastern Sicily:

  • Catania and the Piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral of Santa Agatha
  • Syracuse and the island of Ortigia : Take a walk the small alleys of the historical center, admire the grandiose Piazza del Duomo and enjoy the view of Castello Maniace
  • Baroque towns: Noto, Modica and Ragusa
  • Taormina : For the famous Greek theatre, the view over the Etna and its magnificent pebble beach: “Isola Bella”.
  • Etna, the most active volcano in Europe.

Places to visit in Western Sicily: 

  • Palermo , with the beautiful palatine chapel , the Norman palace and the unusual Capuchin Catacombs
  • Cefalu, a small traditional fishing village
  • Agrigento and the valley of the temples
  • The beaches of “Scala dei Turchi” and Eraclea Minoa
  • The Egadi Islands , a paradise on earth.

Discover all of my articles about Sicily .

Isola-Bella

You love beautiful beaches and you’re wondering where to go in Italy?

Sardinia , the 2nd biggest Italian island, is famous around the world for its stunning beaches. It’s the perfect destination if you want to enjoy holiday in the sun.

Best places to visit in Sardinia:

  • Cagliari , the capital of Sardinia which stretches over several hills. Visit the Castello district , most of the tourist attractions are located there.
  • Maddalena Islands , with beautiful wild beaches.
  • Costa Smeralda : the perfect jet-set destination for a luxury holiday. The road, all along the coast, offers a spectacular view.
  • The Gulf of Orosei : Huge and impressive limestone cliffs, hosts some of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.

You’re planning to visit Sardinia during your next trip? Have a look at my article about the best things to do: The 20 best places to visit in Sardinia.

sardaigne

And you, what do you plan to visit in Italy? What are your favorite places?

So, you want to go to Italy? In order to get the best price, I highly recommand you to check flight prices now. It’s quick and easy, just use our flight comparator below!

Once on the results page, feel free to compare several sites, to make sure that no fees are added to the final rates.

Italy travel Guides

  • Buy the Lonely Planet Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy the Rick Steves Italy guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk

Discover all my articles about Italy : All my articles to help you plan your trip to Italy are listed there.

  • The 20 Best Things to do in Italy – All the must-see places!
  • Cinque Terre: The definitive guide to plan your visit
  • Florence: The 27 best things to do and must-see attractions
  • Milan: The Top 15 things to do in the city and around
  • Pisa: Top 21 must-see attractions + Tips
  • Rome: The 25 best things to do and see
  • Siena: Top 20 best places to visit
  • Turin: The 20 must-see attractions
  • Venice: The 31 best things to do (+ Tips)
  • 2 days in Florence
  • 3 days in Florence
  • 4 days in Florence
  • 5 days in Florence
  • 2 days in Milan
  • 3 days in Milan
  • 4 days in Milan
  • 2 Days in Rome – How to visit Rome in 48h
  • 3 Days in Rome – The best itinerary to visit Rome in 72h
  • 4 Days in Rome – The best places to visit in 4 days
  • 5 Days in Rome – How to spend 5 days in Rome
  • 6 Days in Rome – The ultimate Itinerary + Where to stay
  • One week in Rome – The perfect 7-day itinerary
  • 2 Days in Venice – An Epic 48h itinerary
  • 3 Days in Venice – The perfect 72h itinerary
  • 4 Days in Venice – Itinerary + Best Things to do + Tips
  • Where to stay in Milan? My guide to the best areas and hotels for a perfect stay
  • Where to stay in Rome? – The definitive guide of the best areas!
  • Where to stay in Venice? My selection of the best hotels and districts for an epic stay
  • Omnia Card: The definitive guide
  • Colosseum: The 7 best skip the line tickets
  • Trevi Fountain: History, Secrets and Facts
  • Rome’s Hidden Gems : The Definitive Guide with 17 secret spots!
  • The 20 Best museums in Rome – With all my best tips!
  • Rome in May: The definitive guide to plan your visit: weather, things to do, itineraries and more!
  • Rome in June: Guide + All my best tips

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Visit Italy

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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12 incredible day trips from Venice

Julia Buckley

May 15, 2023 • 16 min read

places to visit verona italy

Escape the clamor of Venice on a day trip © Andrea Comi / Getty Images

Venice is one of the world’s greatest cities – a floating work of art, an open-air museum, and a place that everyone wants to visit at least once in their lifetime.

But what makes it great also makes it crowded...and then some. This fragile city is the poster child for overtourism and not only is it unpleasant to be part of that, but a whistle-stop tour of the sights makes you part of the problem. Our advice? Stay longer. A week is a decent amount of time to get a feel for the real Venice, beyond the crowds, and to take a couple of day trips beyond the canals.

The Italian railway system is excellent and in this part of the country, there are regular high-speed trains that can whisk you to another world in less than half an hour. Whether you’re looking for somewhere close by or fancy a day out in another region or even in the mountains, here are some of the best places to go.

1. See world-changing art in Padova

Travel time: 26 minutes by train

If it wasn’t so close to Venice, Padova (or Padua) would be one of northern Italy’s most feted cities. As it is, not many tourists make it to the place that changed art history – yet it’s one of the easiest day trips from Venice by train. Here, in the Cappella degli Scrovegni – the chapel of the Scrovegni banking family, which now sits in a little park, just 10 minutes’ walk from the train station – Giotto spent two years from 1303 to 1305, frescoing it from top to bottom. What he produced shattered medieval artistic conventions, introducing perspective and humanizing his figures, instead of keeping them stiff and sculptural. If his Nativity and Flight to Egypt scenes are familiar, that’s because they make regular appearances on Christmas cards around the globe.

Other sights include the colossal Basilica di Santa'Antonio – where the remains of St. Anthony of Padua are kept – and Prato della Valle , a huge square (said to be Europe’s largest) where grand statues of local luminaries stand guard over a moated island (join the locals and buy a pizza at nearby Pizzeria Orsucci, going strong since 1922, and eat it in the square). Don’t miss Piazza delle Erbe, where there’s still a busy food market, both inside and out. Looking for souvenirs? La Bottega del Pane is a pantry of exceptional local foods.

How to get to Padova from Venice:  The easiest way to get there is by train. Fast trains can take as little as 26 minutes, and slower (cheaper) regional trains can take double that time.

2. Pay homage to Romeo and Juliet in Verona

Travel time: 72 minutes by train

In fair Verona , where we set our scene, little has changed since the 16th century, when Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet here. The Piazza delle Erbe still hosts a lively market beneath its frescoed palazzos; the Adige river still loops around the elegant center; and the Giardino Giusti’s impeccably laid out garden hasn’t undergone anything more radical than a trim in 500 years. Juliet may not have existed in real life but her spirit lives on in Verona, where " Juliet’s House " – complete with balcony, of course – lures visitors, and a bronze statue is said to bring love to those who rub its breast (nobody could accuse Italy of being politically correct).

Verona may be known as a romantic getaway, but its real attraction is its Roman amphitheater, the Verona Arena , constructed from rosy-pink stone from a local quarry. Back in the day it put on gladiator battles; today, it’s rather more sophisticated, hosting an annual opera festival that’s one of Italy’s iconic summer events.

How to get to Verona from Venice:  The train is the fastest and easiest way to get there. There are fast trains (the Milan-Venice route stops at Verona) or slower, cheaper regional ones. The journey ranges between 72 minutes and nearly two and a half hours.

View of the Piazza dei Signori, the square and the Loggia del Capitaniato in Vicenza

3. See bombastic Renaissance architecture in Vicenza

Travel time: 44 minutes by train

Just as Padova is overshadowed by Venice, Vicenza is the often overlooked sibling of nearby Verona. It wasn’t like this 500 years ago, when the local dignitaries were building palazzos, each grander than the last along what was the Roman decumanus (main drag) and is now called Corso Palladio, after Renaissance starchitect and adopted vicentino , Andrea Palladio.

Today, you can still walk along the street, just as they did – the only thing that’s changed is that it’s now pedestrianized and the “most elegant street in Europe,” according to 19th-century historian Cesare Cantù. The jewel in Vicenza’s crown, though, is the Teatro Olimpico – a jaw-dropping theatre by Palladio, its interior crafted entirely from wood, stucco and plaster to aid the acoustics. Its trompe l’oeil stage set is the oldest in the world. If you have a car, it’s worth driving around the countryside, which is littered with sumptuous villas also designed by Palladio – La Rotonda is one of the finest.

How to get to Vicenza from Venice:  Fast trains from Venice are quick (from 44 minutes) and easy, or it’s a 50-minute drive.

4. Hit the water at Lake Garda

Travel time: 93 minutes by train

Yes, you can do a day trip from Venice to Lake Garda – in fact, Italy’s largest lake makes for a fun day trip on public transport. Take the train to Desenzano , from where the (water) world is your oyster. Ferries zigzag across the lake – top stops include Lazise, a picture-perfect village on the crystal clear water; Gargnano, where you’ll find Limonaia La Malora, one of the only remaining lemon groves which Garda used to be famous for; and Limone sul Garda, where there’s a footpath cantilevered over the water on the outskirts of town.

At Sirmione, a peninsula thrusting out into the lake from the southern shore, there are the remains of a Roman villa, the Grotte di Catullo , while on a hill above Gardone Riviera is the Vittoriale , the former home of beloved Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. The views from the rambling grounds (which include a warship dug into the hill) are spectacular. It’s a great family day trip but you may want to extend that into an overnight or two – it’s the perfect destination to combine with Venice.

How to get to Lake Garda from Venice:  To do it all by public transport, you can take the train to Desenzano, from where ferries depart for towns and villages around the lake. Otherwise, you can drive from Venice, rent a car at Desenzano or, if you’re sticking to the east side of the lake, Verona.

A view of canal Vena at dusk in Chioggia with colorful buildings along each side

5. See a Venice without tourists at Chioggia

Travel time: 75 minutes by ferry and bus

Perched at the southern end of the Venice lagoon, Chioggia is close to Venice on a map, but getting there by road is tortuous. That’s why you should visit during summer, when one of Europe’s most beautiful public transport routes is running: the 11, which takes the form of a bus all the way along the Lido island, then transfers to a ferry across to Pellestrina, continues the length of this toothpick-thin island separating the lagoon from the Adriatic, before dropping you off for a final ferry crossing to Chioggia.

Often described as a mini Venice, Chioggia certainly shares a lot with La Serenissima – a settlement clumped over islands, linked by bridges – but where Venice has an elegant feel of decay, Chioggia is a living, working town. Instead of tourist gondolas, you’ll see fishing boats lined along the canals, and there are even cars driving along the streets. Don’t miss the church of San Domenico, where a painting of St. Paul by Renaissance artist Carpaccio sits in the dark, alongside votive paintings by fishermen. It’s a brilliantly atmospheric yet cheap day trip from Venice.

How to get to Chioggia from Venice:  Take a vaporetto from the city to the Lido, where the number 11 bus route whisks you eastwards, transfers to a ferry to Pellestrina, continues to the end of the island, and then drops you off at the ferry for Chioggia. Note that this route is only active in summer. Otherwise, it’s about an hour’s drive (but on frustratingly slow roads) south of Venice.

6. Soak up the cross-cultural history of Trieste

Travel time: One hour 50 minutes by car

It takes a while to get to Trieste – just over two hours by train, or a quicker (but stressful) drive – but it’s absolutely worth it. Reward an early start with a capo in b – a micro-sized cappuccino, served in an espresso glass. This used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, so the coffee scene is more Vienna than Venice, here. Instead of downing an espresso at the bar, people sit down with a newspaper to savour their break. Caffe degli Specchi is the place to go – it sits on Piazza Unità d’Italia , one of Italy’s most spectacular squares, with frothy Habsburg-era buildings on three sides, and the sparkling Gulf of Trieste on the fourth.

Wander the old city – home to Roman ruins and the 15 th -century Castello di San Giusto , which has spectacular views over the water – then head northwest from the center to Miramare , a fairytale castle of gleaming white stone, cantilevered over the water. On the way back into town, take a dip; the sidewalk doubles as a sun terrace, where the Triestini lay their towels, sunbathe, and hop in the calm waters of the Gulf to cool off.

How to get to Trieste from Venice:  It’s quickest to drive, at around 1 hour 50 minutes, but the road’s a busy autostrada  with tolls. Better to take the slower but scenic train, which weaves around the lagoons at the very northern tip of the Adriatic Sea.

A detailed facade of an old cathedral

7. Travel back in time to mysterious Ferrara

Travel time: About one hour by train

Often mist-swirled and always mysterious, Ferrara is a time machine back to the Renaissance period. The Castello Estense , the ominous brick castle of the Este dynasty, dominates the city – today you can go for a boat ride in the moat that once separated the family from their citizens and mooch through the castle which, 500-odd years ago, was one of Italy’s cultural capitals. Fancy a taste of their lifestyle? Much of Ferrara’s traditional food comes from the Este family’s Renaissance cookbook – try pasticcio, a sweet-pastry pie filled with macaroni cheese, meat ragù and bechamel sauce, and salama da sugo, a spicy kind of sausage, served with mash and said to be Lucrezia Borgia’s favorite food. Both are acquired tastes, but a fascinating glimpse into how they ate hundreds of years ago.

Ferrara’s Palazzo dei Diamanti , an exhibition space in a 15 th -century palace whose façade is studded with diamond-shaped stones, reopened in 2023 after two years of closure. It was originally damaged in the 2012 earthquake, along with much of the city. Check out its website for what’s on during your visit – its exhibitions are usually top notch and well worth the trip.

Until the Second World War, Ferrara had a renowned Jewish community; this was the setting for The Garden of the Finzi-Continis , by Giorgio Bassani, and you can still wander the narrow streets of what used to be the Jewish quarter. Learn the history of the community – both here and more widely in Italy – at the exceptional MEIS , or National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah.

How to get to Ferrara from Venice:  It’s easiest to go by rail. High-speed trains take just over an hour, while regional ones are around 90 minutes. Otherwise, it’s an easy 75-minute drive along the autostrada, but it’s a toll road and city center parking is expensive.

A shop window brimming with food in Bologna, Italy

8. Eat some of Italy’s best food in Bologna

Where to go from Venice by train? Further than you think. By high-speed rail, it’s easy to turn Italy’s culinary capital into a daytrip. Step off the Frecciarossa (“red arrow” train) into La Rossa (“the red” – one of Bologna’s nicknames, along with “the learned” and “the fat”), for a day of shameless indulgence.

Wander the streets of the Quadrilatero  (home to food stalls since the medieval period), take a pasta-making class (we like the offerings at Salumeria Bruno e Franco ), and end with an aperitivo on Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square, where a hulking naked statue-fountain of Neptune dominates one side, and the Basilica di San Petronio , a barn-like church, dominates the other. Any of the restaurants will do you proud – must-try dishes are tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini in brodo (tiny pasta pockets filled with a meaty, cheesy stuffing and swimming in broth), and cotoletta alla petroniana, or alla bolognese – a veal cutlet swathed in prosciutto, layered with cheese, then baked to oozing perfection.

How to get to Bologna from Venice:  It’s easiest by train – high-speed Frecciarossa trains can whisk you there in just over an hour and a half. It’s roughly the same by car, though you should add autostrada tolls and the road is quite monotonous.

9. Climb into the Dolomites at Cortina d’Ampezzo

Travel time: Two hours by car

Within a two-hour drive from Venice, you can be in the heart of the Dolomites . Head due north, and within an hour you’ll be winding up through mountain passes towards Pieve di Cadore, the birthplace of Renaissance painter Titian (his birthplace is now a museum, and there are paintings by his artist family in the local church). From there, fork west, hugging the mountainsides, to Cortina d’Ampezzo .

This is one of Italy’s chi-chiest ski resorts, but there’s plenty to do year round, from hiking to eating (try the Michelin-starred SanBrite , whose owners source all their ingredients locally). This is part of the Ladin community, an ancient population of the mountains that have their own language and traditions. Learn about the Ladins, and the Regole – essentially a collection of centuries-standing families who "govern" the town – at the Ethnographic Museum, housed in an old sawmill.

How to get to Cortina d’Ampezzo from Venice:  This is definitely one to drive. The two hours by car (or 80 minutes from Venice Marco Polo airport) changes to a minimum of five and a half by public transport and you’ll have to change at least twice.

Rolling hills with trees in various shades of yellow, red, orange and green

10. Wallow in volcanic mud in the Euganean Hills

Travel time: 45 minutes by car or train

The wider region around Venice, Veneto , tends to be pretty flat except where the landscape rears up towards the Dolomites. This is one of the exceptions – a group of cone-like volcanic hills, 81 of them to be precise, rearing up from the plains south of Padova.

Of course, their volcanic origin should give you a hint that Italy’s famous thermal spas will be nearby. The small, neighboring towns of Montegrotto and Abano are home to various springs and spas that have been going since Roman times. Today, along with other nearby towns Galzignano, Battaglia and Teolo, they’re said to form the oldest, and largest, thermal spa in Europe, with 240 thermal pools between them. One of our favorites is the Abano Ritz Hotel Terme – family- and female-owned for three generations. The thermal mud they use in balneotherapy treatments comes from right beside the hotel and the pools in their 6,000-square-meter waterpark stay a constant 33 degrees (91.4F), thanks to the thermal waters that spent 25 years and 100km (62 miles) underground before gushing out here.

Don’t spend all your time wallowing, though – the whole area is designated the Euganean Hills Regional Park, and there are trails for hiking, biking and horse-riding, as well as breathtaking views from behind the wheel if you prefer a road trip. Visit one of the sprawling Renaissance country villas on offer (try Villa Barbarigo , known as the hills’ answer to Versailles, near Galzignano). Can’t go to Italy without seeing some Roman remains? You’ll find bits of 2000-year-old spas at Montegrotto and Abano.

How to get to the Euganean Hills from Venice:  Trains take between 37 minutes and an hour to reach the Terme Euganee-Abano-Montegrotto station, which serves the spa towns. If you want to explore the park, though, you’ll need a car – it’s about a 45-minute drive from Venice.

11. Wind back the centuries at Aquileia

Travel time: 80 minutes by car

Across the border in Friuli Venezia Giulia and en route to Trieste is this fascinating time capsule, where the history of the northern Adriatic is layered like a lasagne. Now a Unesco World Heritage site, this was one of the richest cities of the early Roman Empire before it was destroyed by the Huns in the fifth century CE. There’s not a lot from that era visible, since most of it lies unexcavated below fields, although the Roman river port is fascinating in its detail.

What you’re really going for is the later history – the basilica , dating back to the fourth century and rebuilt in the medieval period after an earthquake. The original mosaic floor was saved from damage and today it’s an astonishing, colorful carpet of early Christian artwork, with astonishingly vivid depictions of Bible stories like the Good Shepherd and Jonah and the whale, in between cameos of rich Roman locals, and lagoon wildlife.

How to get to Aquileia from Venice:  The easiest way to get there is by car; it’s about an hour and 20 minutes’ drive from Venice, and about two thirds of the way to Trieste. By public transport you’ll need to take a train to Cervignano-Aquileia-Grado and then swap to a bus – the journey takes just over two hours.

Pedestrians walk along Barberia street, near Signori Square, in Treviso

12. Visit Venice’s inland empire at Treviso

Travel time: 31 minutes by train

These days, Treviso is best known for its airport, home to budget airlines galore, but there’s nothing low-end about the town itself. Elegant, petite and pretty, Treviso is still a place for residents rather than tourists, and a walk around its calm centro storico is like one big exhale if you’ve come from crowded Venice. Once part of the Stato da Tera, Venice’s historic inland empire, it’s curiously similar to La Serenissima – all porticoes, art-filled churches and elegant palazzos – only without canals taking center stage (though there are a few – the Canale dei Buranelli, sweeping through the center, is the prettiest).

Don’t miss the Fontana delle Tette , a fountain in the shape of a naked woman which used to spout wine from her breasts – white from one, and red from the other – every time a new mayor was sworn in. The original has been moved to the Palazzo dei Trecento, the 13th-century castle-like building dominating the Piazza dei Signori but there’s a replica in situ just off Calmaggiore, the main street dating back to Roman times. The church of San Nicolò is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, which you won’t find much in Venice.

How to get to Treviso from Venice: Trains run every half hour or so, and take 30-40 minutes to Treviso Centrale. Otherwise, it’s a simple, if not particularly scenic, 40-minute drive from Piazzale Roma.

This article was first published Mar 18, 2019 and updated May 15, 2023.

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