Julie Italy 31 Comments

Have you ever visited a new place and instantly fallen in love with it? For us, that was Verona.

Verona may not be as popular as other Italian cities like Florence and Venice, but don’t let that fool you. Verona is underrated as an Italian destination, as we just discovered.

Tim and I only had a few hours to tour Verona. We visited this city as a quick side trip while traveling between Cervia (for Ironman Italy) and Venice.

Verona is gorgeous, similar to Venice but without the canals, the decay, and the huge numbers of tourists. We were pleasantly surprised, and we were here just long enough to know that we can’t wait to return again someday.

If you have plans to visit Italy and are not sure if Verona should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this post are lots of photos and ideas of things to do. I have a hunch that if you include Verona in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.

12 Best Things to do in Verona

#1 Wander through Centro Storico

Centro storico is the historic center of Verona. This is where you will find many of the main sights in the city, like the wide piazzas, Juliette’s house, and churches galore. This part of the city is made for wandering (and for taking tons of photographs). Wander the side streets, have lunch in an outdoor café, and have fun exploring Verona.

Verona Centro Storico Entrance

Beautiful Verona Italy

Verona Street best things to do in Verona

Love Verona

Walking through Verona best things to do in Verona

#2 Piazza Bra

This is main piazza in Verona. It’s a huge open square lined on one side with outdoor cafes. Many people start their tour of Verona in Piazza Bra, as this square sits on the edge of centro storico.

Julie in Verona best things to do in Verona

Piazza Bra best things to do in Verona

Piazza Bra | Best things to do in Verona

#3 The Verona Arena

The Verona Arena sits adjacent to Piazza Bra. This is one of the best preserved Roman ampitheaters and it is still is use today. You can purchase tickets to tour the inside of the arena or, if your timing is right, see a performance here.

Verona Arena

Verona arena | Best things to do in Verona

For the performance schedule, visit the Arena’s official website.

Tickets to tour the inside of the arena cost €10 and the standard opening hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm with the last admission at 6:30 pm. Opening hours can be reduced when preparations are being made for events. Therefore, it is best to check here for changes to the standard opening hours. That link also outlines who qualifies for a reduced price ticket. 

You can also take a guided tour of the inside of the arena, which includes your entrance ticket and allows you to skip the line. 

Italy Travel Guide

#4 Take in the View from Torre dei Lamberti

For one of the best views of the city, visit Torre dei Lamberti. The quickest way to the top is via the elevator, but if you want to eat more gelato, take the steps to the top.

Torre dei Lamberti Verona

Torre dei Lamberti | Best things to do in Verona

 

Julie in Verona Italy

Torre dei Lamberti View

Italy best things to do in Verona

Piazza delle Erbe Verona

Overlooking Piazza delle Erbe | Best things to do in Verona

The tower is open everyday of the year except December 25th. Ticket prices are €6 and the hours of operation are 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and 11 am to 7 pm Saturday and Sunday. It is located next to Piazza delle Erbe.

#5 Piazza delle Erbe

This is another scenic spot in Verona. It’s also a great place for people watching, to go shopping, or to dine at an outdoor café if the weather is nice.

Piazza delle Erbe best things to do in Verona

Piazza delle Erbe | Best things to do in Verona

#6 Join the Crowds at Juliette’s House

Touristy? Yes.

Overcrowded? Very.

Worth it? Maybe.

Verona is home to Shakespeare’s legendary love story, Romeo and Juliette. While in this city, you have the chance to see the famous balcony of Juliette’s house. Thousands of people cram into this small square everyday to see this balcony and to have their picture taken with the statue of Juliette. Just be aware that the balcony was built in the 20th century and this really is nothing more than a tourist trap.

But if you know to expect the crowds and the tacky stores that sit all around the square, it can be a short but entertaining visit. Tim and I had fun watching people eagerly waiting in line to have their photo taken with Juliette.

Crowds at Juliette's House best things to do in Verona

Love Notes best things to do in Verona

Juliette's House Verona

You can pay to tour the museum and stand on the balcony, if you want the full experience.

Tickets cost €6 and the opening hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm with the last admission at 6:30 pm. Click here for more details.

#7 Walk across Ponte Pietra

This is one of the prettiest bridges in the city. Ponte Pietra connects the old city of Verona with Teatro Romano and Castel San Pietro.

Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra | Best things to do in Verona

#8 Piazzale Castel San Pietro

For another great view, climb up the stairs or take the funicular to Piazzale Castel San Pietro. From here you get one of the best views of Verona.

Verona

The view from Piazzale Castel San Pietro | Best things to do in Verona

Just down the hill, sitting near Ponte Pietra, is Teatro Romano, an ancient Roman theater and Archaeological Museum you can tour.

#9 Basilica of St. Anastasia

Also located near Ponte Pietra is Santa Anastasia church. This is a 13th century Gothic church featuring famous frescoes and a stunning interior.

Visitors are asked to pay €3 to enter. Opening hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 1 pm to 6 pm. Click here for updates and more details.

Sant Anastasia best things to do in Verona

Sant Anastasia Basilica

#10 Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

Remember when I said that Tim and I had just a few hours in Verona? With our limited time, we did not get to see everything on this list. This Basilica is one of those places that we missed, but I wanted to include it in this post simply because other visitors to Verona rave about this place.

Why is this basilica worth a visit? For one thing, the crypt is the location of the wedding in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This basilica was also recently renovated and is home to stunning frescoes and ornate bronze doors.

The Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore is located a little outside of the main city center, which is why we missed it with our limited time. But if you enjoy visiting churches, this may be the best one in Verona.

Visitors are asked to pay €3 to enter. Opening hours are Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 1 pm to 6 pm. Click here for updates and more details.

#11 Arco dei Gavi

This Roman gate was constructed in the 1st century over the Roman road leading into Verona. It stood for centuries until French engineers destroyed it during Napoleonic rule. It was reassemble in 1932.

Arco dei Gavi

Arco dei Gavi | Best things to do in Verona

#12 Ponte Scaligero and Castelvecchio

This old, medieval bridge is one of Verona’s iconic spots to visit. This is also a great spot for a photo-op.

Castelvecchio Bridge

Ponte Scaligero | Best things to do in Verona

You can also visit the museum in Castelvecchio, a medieval castle that was constructed in 1354. 

Tickets to the Castelvecchio Museum cost €6 and the opening hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm with the last admission at 5:30 pm. Click here for more details.

Should You Buy the Verona Card?

The Verona Card covers most of the main sites in the city. The Card can be purchased for 24 hours (€20) or for 48 hours (€25). If you plan on visiting many of the sites that have an entrance fee (such as the Arena, Castelvecchio, Torre dei Lamberti, the museum at Juliette’s house, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Teatro Romano, etc.) then buying the card is worth it. Once you purchase the Verona Card, it allows you to enter these sites for free.

The Verona Card can be purchased online, at the sites in Verona that accept the Card, and at several hotels in the city.

Click here to learn more about the Verona Card.

Click here to purchase the Verona Card online. You will receive a voucher which you then exchange for the card at the tourist information office located in Piazza Bra.

Timed Entry Reservations

Some of the more popular sites (such as the Arena, Juliette’s House, etc.) have a limited number of entries. Therefore, it is advisable to reserve a specific date and time for entry to these busier sites in advance. You can do this by clicking here.

You should do this even if you purchased the Verona Card. During the timed entry reservation process deselect the default option to purchase the entry ticket and select the Verona Card option since your entry is free with the Verona Card.

If you don’t plan on purchasing the Verona Card then you can purchase your entry to the individual sites at the same time you are making your timed entry reservation. 

How Much Time Do You Need in Verona?

One day is just enough to visit all of these sites. We saw everything in just under four hours, only skipping the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Castelvecchio, and a walk across Ponte Scaligero. But we did move super fast, quicker than we would have liked, but we had a plane to catch later in the day.

However, when we return to Verona (which we will someday…how we loved it here!) we will spend at least one night here. There is a tradition throughout Italy called the passeggiata, an evening stroll through the city, and it is quite popular in Verona. Italian families dress up for a leisurely walk through the city. Join the locals or have a glass of wine at an outdoor café and enjoy the view. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend an evening in Italy.

Taking a Tour of Verona

If you prefer to explore Verona with an experienced guide, then here are several highly rated tours to consider:

 

With More Time in Verona

Take a break from exploring the historic sites of Verona to learn Italian cooking tips and techniques, to learn how to make Italy’s famous gelato, or to indulge in a wine tour of the nearby Valpolicella Valley.

Take a Cooking Class

In this hands-on cooking class you will make fresh pasta and tiramisu. Yum!

Learn how to make Gelato

In this family friendly cooking class you will learn how to make gelato from scratch. If only I could sample your creations!

Take a Wine Tour of Valpolicella Valley

In this guided tour you will visit two wine cellars of the Valpolicella wine region. Just make sure you save some Ripasso and Amarone wine for me!

Day Trip to Lake Garda

Lake Garda is just a short drive or a short train ride from Verona. The easiest place to visit is Sirmione, a tiny, fun to explore town that is located at the end of a peninsula jutting into the southern end of the lake. From Sirmione, Peschiera, or Desenzano, you can take a boat tour of Lake Garda or explore the lake using the ferries.

One Last Place to Visit: Madonna della Corona

Madonna della Corona is not located within the city of Verona. It is one hour north of Verona, just over 45 kilometers away. This church literally clings to the side of a mountain. It is quite the sight to see.

Santuario Madonna della Corona

Santuario Madonna della Corona

How to Visit Santuario Madonna della Corona

The walking path to Santuario Madonna della Corona begins at the intersection of Strada Provinciale 8 (SP8) and Localita Gabbiola. SP8 is the main road leading to this area and Localita Gabbiola is a paved pedestrian track you follow to Santuario Madonna della Corona. This walking path is about 0.8 km (0.5 miles) long with about 90 m (300 feet) of elevation change each way. All of the elevation change will be down on the way to the sanctuary and then up on the return.

There is also a bus that runs from Spiazzi to the church.

Hotel Corona serves as a good landmark for GPS devices when driving to this area as it is near the above-mentioned intersection and there are several parking lots along SP8 between Hotel Corona and Residence Stella Alpina Hotel. There is also a track that leads to Santuario Madonna della Corona from Residence Stella Alpina Hotel but just note that it is a steeper track.


Do you have any questions or comments about the best things to do in Verona? Comment below!

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

BEST OF ITALY: In our Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 20 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy. 

LAKE GARDA: Learn what there is to see and do in Sirmione in our article Best Things to Do in Sirmione. We also have information on how to visit Riva del Garda.

VENICE: For Venice, read our 2 day Venice itinerary for the best way to spend 2 days in Venice. Learn about the best hotels in Venice for all budgets in our Venice Hotel Guide.

SAN MARINO: San Marino is a tiny country located entirely within Italy. It is gorgeous to explore and one of the most underrated places to visit in Europe.

MILAN & LAKE COMO: Learn how to visit Milan on a day trip or while traveling between the Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. Lake Como and Bellagio are two more beautiful places in Italy that are great day trip destinations.

DOLOMITES: To learn about some great hikes in the Dolomites, check out our hiking guides for the Cinque Torri, Rifugio Averau and Rifugio Nuvolau, the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint, and the Puez-Odle Altopiano. In our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites.

 

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

 

 

Verona Italy Best Things To do

Verona Italy Itinerary

 

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Comments 31

  1. Avatar for Roger Gould
    Roger Gould

    Great to see another Verona fan! Wife and I love Italy and we’ve been many times, maybe stayed in 20 or so places , but we have not been for three years due to Covid. We are going to Verona in September for a week. This will be our fourth holiday in Verona,,,we love the city. And easy to do day trips by train to Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Mantua, Bologna and even Florence. We are going to Florence to visit the Uffizi once again this coming trip.
    Verona is great for strolling around with a cafe/bar it seems on every corner. There are some super restaurants too, and we have already booked a few ahead of this trip.
    We both feel that if someone is wishing to go to Italy for their first time Verona is close to being the ideal place for a first visit. Maybe three days there plus others to explore nearby cities by train?
    Cannot wait for the first Peroni in Piazza Bra!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Roger. Thanks for writing in! One week in Verona sounds wonderful! Enjoy your time, and your Peroni, in Piazza Bra. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Sally
    Sally

    Hi Julie
    This article on Verona is so helpful, thanks. Is it possible to send it to me in a printable version?
    Kindest regards
    Sally

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Unfortunately, we don’t have a printable version of it. You can print it or save it as a PDF. Press CTRL+P (command+P on a mac) to bring up the printer dialog box. From here you can save and/or print it, or just print the pages you want. However, the website is not optimized for printing so it will be a lot of pages. I hope you have a great time in Italy! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Tania Afram
    Tania Afram

    Thank you from the heart. You have the best posts explaining the important things to see in every city.

    we are going on a road trip from Como to Bologna passing one day by Verona.

    Thanks again it was very beneficial to read your post.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
  4. Avatar for Lisa
    Lisa

    Thank you for this post! We are driving from Lake Como to Venice & want to stop in Verona. How much time did you have in Verona? We will also have limited time & I want compare your timing with all the wonderful things you’ve outlined. Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      I believe we had just under 4 hours in Verona. And we moved very fast and never stopped for food anywhere, other than maybe some gelato (we probably snacked on something in the car ride to Verona). Have fun in Italy! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for lauren
    lauren

    hi! thanks so much for all the information. you said you only had a few hours in Verona. what did you do with your luggage while you walked around? please advise as i plan to only spend a few hours there. thank you!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      We had a rental car so we left our luggage in the trunk. However, most train stations in Italy have luggage storage areas where you can safely drop your luggage while you go out and explore (for a fee). We did this in Pisa, Naples, and other cities around Italy. There is a very, very good chance that the Verona train station will have a luggage storage area but it is worth double checking this online first. You could start by Googling “luggage storage in Verona Porta Nuova.” Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for lauren
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