25 Amazing Things to Do in Verona, Italy

If you love history, old churches, beautiful views, and great food and wine, you must put Verona on your itinerary for your next visit to Italy. The charming northern Italian city will wow you. Keep reading to discover 25 amazing things to do in Verona, Italy!

Verona, the second largest city in the Veneto region of Italy, is probably best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. And it’s true that you’ll find references to Romeo and Juliet everywhere you look in the city.

But Verona is so much more! Its fascinating history, spectacular location on the Adige River, and charming Centro Storico, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, all combine to make it that special destination that you just cannot overlook.

Verona in Northern Italy

Verona will wow you!

The Best Things to Do in Verona

Verona became a Roman colony in the year 89 BC, and 2,000+ years later, Verona’s Roman heritage is still evident in many gorgeous structures around the city. And in medieval times, Verona’s rulers oversaw the building of beautiful churches, palazzos, castles, and bridges, adding to its architectural riches. Walking around Verona is like walking through history.

The city of Verona in Italy

The beautiful city of Verona

Verona is also set in the midst of an amazing agricultural region in Italy, so you will enjoy sampling the food and wine here. And with many lively shopping streets, piazzas perfect for people watching, and parks and gardens to stroll, you have a wealth of choices when trying to decide what to do in Verona!

Here is my list of 25 amazing things to do in Verona, to help you build your itinerary for this fair city!

#1 Check out the Verona Arena

Exploring the Roman Arena in Piazza Bra is one of the top things to do in Verona. The massive Roman amphitheater was built in the 1st century and is still used for performances, especially opera. The day we visited, the stage was being prepared for an evening show. The Verona Opera season runs from some time in June until early September.

Verona Arena Verona Italy

The Verona Arena is more than 2000 years old!

Much like the Colosseum in Rome, the Verona Arena was used to stage games and shows in ancient times, with a capacity crowd of about 30,000 spectators cheering on the participants.

Inside the Verona Arena in Italy

Inside the Arena

The oval-shaped structure, located outside the ancient city’s walls, today looms large over the historic center. It is made of pink and white limestone. With multiple entrances and passageways that lead into the cavernous open air theater, the Arena is remarkably well preserved.

The Verona Arena in Italy

The beautiful stone of the Arena

#2 Stroll Piazza Bra

While the Arena dominates Piazza Bra, the square contains other noteworthy structures. Strolling around the historic piazza and the park in the middle is a must when you are in Verona, as is people watching from an outside table at one of the many restaurants, cafes, or bars that line the square.

I Portoni Piazza Bra Verona Italy

The beautiful I Portoni gates at Piazza Bra

It is a huge square, one of the largest piazzas in Italy, but it still seems crowded most of the day! Embrace the crowds and the lively atmosphere and you’ll have fun.

Piazza Bra Verona Italy

Piazza Bra is huge!

The Palazzo Barbieri, Verona’s Town Hall, is one of the important buildings looking out on to Piazza Bra. It was designed by architect Giuseppe Barbieri, and features a beautiful portico with columns.

Also view the Gran Guardia, completed by the same architect. Admire I portoni della Brà, the beautiful gates that lead into the historic center of Verona. Stroll the park in the center of the square, with its fountain and equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II.

Piazza Bra Verona Italy

Park in Piazza Bra

#3 Hang out in the Piazza delle Erbe

An atmospheric square that feels more like the beating heart of the historic center than Piazza Bra, the Piazza delle Erbe is lively and bustling most of the day and into the evening. This is the place in Verona to people watch!

Piazza delle Erbe Verona Italy

The lively Piazza delle Erbe

The square, which functioned as Verona’s forum during Roman times, is lined with lots of restaurants and shops, and it hosts a produce market as well. We couldn’t resist the fresh fruit cups being sold in the produce stalls and stopped for them more than once!

Market at Piazza delle Erbe Verona

There are lots of stalls in the Piazza delle Erbe

Beautiful historic buildings line the piazza. The Palazzo Maffei, a Baroque palace with statues of Greek gods, forms the backdrop for a tall column, on which sits the Venetian St. Mark’s lion.

Gaze up at the beautiful Torre dei Lamberti, which rises up from one end of the square. Admire the beautiful frescoes on the facades. Walk over to view the 14th century fountain, topped by a much more ancient Madonna statue from the 4th century.

Mazzanti Houses Piazza delle Erbe Verona Italy

Beautiful facades on houses on the Piazza delle Erbe

#4 Take in the views from the Torre dei Lamberti

For fabulous views over the city, ascend to the top of the Torre dei Lamberti. The bells chime on the hour and the half hour. You can climb the 360+ steps to the top, or you can take the elevator up to the last few!

Torre dei Lamberti Verona Italy

Climbing to the top of the handsome Lamberti Tower is a must-do!

On a good weather day, this is a must-do sightseeing activity in Verona. The views of the rooftops of Verona and into its streets are simply spectacular, and you can even see the mountains in the distance.

View from Lamberti Tower Verona Italy

View from the Lamberti Tower on a gorgeous day!

View of Verona from Lamberti Tow

Another of the panoramas from the top of the tower

The tower was built by the Lamberti family in the 12th century, as a symbol of their wealth and power. After it was struck by lightning in the 15th century, it was restored, and enlarged at the same time. It is about 275 feet tall, the tallest in Verona.

There is at least one other popular place (keep reading!) for fabulous views, so if you are short on time you can pick one or the other. We did both and thought both sets of views were awesome!

#5 Visit the Verona Cathedral

Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Duomo di Verona is beautiful. It dates from the 12th century, and was built in the Romanesque style. If you enjoy churches, visiting the Verona Cathedral should be near the top of your Verona itinerary.

Cathedral of Verona Italy

The exterior of Verona’s Duomo in the signature red and white colors

The interior of the cathedral, redesigned in the 15th century, is gorgeous, featuring columns made of red Verona marble, a lovely gold organ, and many beautiful Renaissance frescoes on the walls and at the altar.

Interior of the Cathedral in Verona, Italy

The Verona Cathedral features beautiful frescoes

Your admission is to a complex, which includes the baptistery, an archaeological site, and the older Church of Saint Elena. The octagonal baptismal font in the baptistery is stunning. It is made from a single piece of marble, and features gospel scenes on each of the eight sides.

Baptismal Font Verona Baptistery Verona Italy

The baptismal font features eight such lovely reliefs!

At the archaeological site, you can see remains of the original mosaic floors of the two basilicas that stood at the site prior to the current structure, and remnants of frescoes on the walls.

#6 View Juliet’s balcony

One of the most popular attractions in Verona, Juliet’s balcony draws a huge number of Instagrammers that want to pose for photos, so getting a photo of the balcony without anyone in it is difficult unless you are prepared to wait for a rare lull in the queue!

Juliet's Balcony in Verona Italy

Juliet’s balcony is actually a sarcophagus!

The 13th century home now known as the Casa de Giulietta belonged to the Capello family from Verona. The interior of the house is now a museum, with period costumes and the bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 movie based on the Shakespearean play.

The walls in the courtyard below the balcony are covered with notes and graffiti from lovers from across the world. You’ll also see a bronze statue of Juliet, and a gift shop selling everything Romeo and Juliet.

Juliet's Statue Verona Italy

Statue of Juliet and lots of notes in the courtyard!

Verona is home to many other Romeo and Juliet attractions, including Romeo’s house (which you can’t enter) and Juliet’s tomb.

#7 Visit the Basilica di San Zeno

Saint Zeno’s Church is a bit of a walk, but if you have the time, it is most definitely worth the effort to get there. The walk is along the river for a part of the way, and through quiet residential streets.

San Zeno Maggiore Verona Italy

The lovely interior of Basilica San Zeno

We visited in the late afternoon and we saw young children playing in the courtyard in front of the church and local seniors relaxing on benches in the shade. It was a really heartwarming scene, away from the tourist hub.

San Zeno Maggiore is considered one of the best preserved Romanesque churches in all of Northern Italy. The church is flanked by two towers: one of them is the bell tower, and the other the tower of the old monastery.

The facade is pleasing but not ornate. The canopied porch features two lions and iconography on either side of the doors, and a lovely rose window above.

Basilica San Zeno Verona Italy

Isn’t this church gorgeous?

The bronze doors in this basilica, featuring biblical scenes, are an absolute must see. The reliefs were executed by several artists working in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The altarpiece by Mantegna is beautiful. It was reportedly carried away to France as booty by Napoleon, but later returned to Verona. You’ll also see beautiful frescoes on the walls.

Mantegna's Altar San Zeno Verona Italy

Altarpiece by Mantegna

Walk through the lovely serene cloister of the abbey that stood adjacent to the church. The tower and the cloister are the only elements of the monastery that are left.

An overall beautiful basilica, and one I loved visiting!

#8 Wander Verona’s historical center

Verona’s historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is a joy to wander. We got lost a couple of times because we turned into streets that looked amazing and before we knew it we were deep in a labyrinth of alleys!

Centro Storico Verona Italy

The historic center of Verona makes for a fabulous stroll

Away from the main streets, you’ll enjoy the beautiful colored facades, pretty balconies, and cobblestone pavement. Quiet squares will tempt you to linger, and little bakeries will invite you in with their window displays.

Street in Verona, Italy

A beautiful street in the historical center of Verona

If you enjoy shopping, stroll the Corso Porta Borsari: it has several nice shoe shops! Or Via Mazzini, which leads out of Piazza Bra, and features many brand name stores.

A guided walking tour is a wonderful way to get oriented to the historical center and the major sights, and to learn a little bit about Verona’s fascinating history. Check out this highly rated 2-hour small group walking tour of the historical center of Verona!

#9 Admire the Scaliger Tombs

The Scaliger family ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries. A set of five beautiful Gothic tombs, celebrating five prominent members of this ruling family, can be viewed in Verona’s historic center.

The tombs are located in the courtyard of the Church of Santa Maria Antica. The most ornate tomb is that of Cansignorio, created in the 14th century. It is decorated with lots of statues, and topped by a statue of Cansignorio on a horse.

Scaliger Tombs Verona Italy

The most ornate Scaliger tomb!

We saw visitors attempting to photograph the tombs from outside the enclosure, and being reprimanded by a guard. It is worth paying the entrance fee to view the gorgeous details up close!

#10 Visit the Basilica of Saint Anastasia

Verona has many beautiful churches, and the Gothic Basilica di Sant Anastasia is definitely one you must visit. The Saint Anastasia Church, the largest in Verona, was built with support from the Scaliger family, who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Interior Church of Saint Anastasia Verona Italy

The stunning ceiling of the Basilica di Sant’Anastasia!

Although the church retained the name of an older church at the site, the current church is dedicated to Saint Peter the Martyr, who, along with Saint Zeno, is considered the patron saint of Verona.

The entrance to the basilica is spectacular. Inside, you’ll find columns of red Veronese marble, a pavement of red and black marble, and a lovely ceiling with touches of red for a unified design palette.

Basilica di Sant'Anastasia Verona Italy

The gorgeous entrance to the Basilica of Saint Anastasia

Don’t miss the striking holy water fonts at the entrance, supported by sculptures of hunchbacks. Touching the hump is supposed to bring good luck!

Hunchback Saint Anastasia Church Verona Italy

A hunchback holding up a holy stoup

#11 Take lots of photos from the Ponte Pietra

The Ponte Pietra is a multi-arched stone bridge across the Adige River. It is the oldest bridge in Verona, dating back to 100 BC. Cast in shades of burgundy and beige, similar to many other attractions in Verona, the bridge makes for lovely photos from the shore.

Ponte Pietra Verona Italy

The gorgeous colors of Ponte Pietra

But the views of both banks of the river from the bridge are equally, if not more, spectacular. You see the spires of Verona’s many churches rising gracefully from the midst of orange rooftops, colorful facades, and the Santuario Madonna di Lourdes, looking down upon the city from its hilltop location.

View from the Pietra Bridge in Verona Italy

A view of the riverbank from the bridge

View from Ponte Pietra Verona Italy

A view from the Ponte Pietra

The bridge is on the easiest walking route from the Piazza Bra or the Piazza delle Erbe to the funicular for Castel San Pietro, so you will find yourself on it if you plan to explore sights on the other side of the Adige. But if not, I would still say go up to the bridge for the fabulous views!

#12 Take in the views from Castel San Pietro

My husband and I were blown away by the views from Castel San Pietro. I was reminded of being on Piazzale Michelangelo and seeing all of Florence spread out below us: the views of Verona spread out below us were almost as spectacular.

Verona Italy from Castel San Pietro

Magnificent view from Castel San Pietro

Verona, Italy

The Adige River cuts through the city

There are several viewpoints along the area at the top, so walk around and spend some time finding the best spots! The castle itself is fairly new: it was built by the Austrians in the 19th century, after the 14th century Castel San Pietro built by Visconti was destroyed by the French army in 1801. You can’t visit the interior of the structure.

View of Verona Italy from Castel San Pietro

A view of Verona from Castel San Pietro

Take the funicular to the top and back (you get great views from the funicular as well, so position yourself at the bottom end of the car so you can enjoy them). Or you can climb up and down if you are fit, or take the funicular up and walk down. You can also take the bus or a taxi.

View from Funicular Verona Italy

The beautiful view from the funicular!

#13 Visit the Roman Theater

If you enjoy history and architecture, you’ll want to visit the Teatro Romano, on the other side of the Adige River. Walk across the Ponte Pietra, turn right, and the theater comes up after a very short walk.

Roman Theater Verona Italy

Looking down at the Roman Theater

Verona’s Roman Theater was built in the 1st century BC. Given that it is more than 2000 years old, the theater is reasonably well preserved, with parts of the original stage still visible, as well as a lot of the stone seating and parts of walls.

Roman Theater in Verona Italy

New seats and old at the Roman Theater

Performances are still held in the theater. You can walk up to the top row and take a seat on the original stone bench, and look down upon the stage just like ancient audiences did.

#14 Tour the Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is housed in an old historic structure ( a former monastery) on the hill above the Roman Theater. From the museum, you get fantastic views of the city rooftops, as well as the theater. There is also an old church in the complex.

Teatro Romano Verona Italy

Climbing up from the theater to the museum

The museum contains Roman artifacts found in Verona and the surrounding countryside. Some findings come from the Roman Theater below! You will see parts of columns and walls, beautiful mosaics, sculptures, and more. The exhibits are tastefully laid out inside the monastery, and outside it in a series of terraces.

Archaeological Museum Verona Italy

Roman remains at the Archaeological Museum

Civic Archaeological Museum Verona Italy

The museum is housed in an old monastery

Your admission covers both areas of the complex, and if you love history, art, and architecture, you will definitely want to visit the museum! There is an elevator you can use if you do not want to climb the steep stone steps.

#15 View the Castelvecchio Bridge

Verona has a number of gorgeous old bridges, and the Castelvecchio Bridge is definitely one of the most photogenic. Also called the Scaliger Bridge, the arched fortified bridge looks stunning in red and white, a color combination you will see in many places in Verona.

Built in the mid 14th century by the Scaliger ruler of the time, Cangrande II, the bridge was to be a way for him to escape safely from his castle in the event the citizens of Verona rose up against him.

Ponte Castevecchio Verona Italy

Looking down on to Ponte Castelvecchio

The left tower of the Castelvecchio Bridge was partially blown up by the French in the first part of the 19th century and the bridge was totally destroyed by the Germans in 1945. After the war, Ponte Scaligero was rebuilt to its original design (except for the left tower).

Castelvecchio Bridge in Verona Italy

The Castelvecchio Bridge from the castle

You can walk the bridge, or view it from the castle. Either way, you’ll be impressed by its grandeur. If you walk the bridge, you can climb the steps to get views of the banks from the bridge.

#16 Snap a photo of the Arco dei Gavi

You’ll find the beautiful Arco dei Gavi by the river, near Castelvecchio. It’s a photogenic structure, but it also has a fascinating (and long) history. The ancient arch dates all the way back to the 1st century, when it was built under the auspices of the Gavi family of Verona.

Arco dei Gavi Verona Italy

The beautiful Arco dei Gavi

In Roman times, if you were traveling by the Via Postumia, the ancient Roman road running through northern Italy, you would enter Verona through this arch. (You can travel the Via Postumia today as a pilgrim route!)

In medieval times, when walls were built around Verona, the arch was used as a gate into the city. The French demolished it in the early 19th century, and the rubble lay in a square and then in the Arena.

In the 20th century, the arch was rebuilt at a spot close to its original location, using as much of the original stone as could be salvaged. It looks beautiful lit up at night!

#17 Tour the Museo di Castelvecchio

The tour of Castelvecchio was one of my favorite things to do in Verona. The views are lovely, and the museum is super interesting. Allow at least 90 minutes to do the exhibits justice.

Castelvecchio Museum Verona Italy

A decorated wall in the Castlevecchio

Castelvecchio was built in the mid 14th century by then ruler of Verona, Cangrande II from the Scaliger family. Cangrande was frightened for his life and he wanted a residence that was impregnable, yet came with an escape route. He lived there only 5 years though, before being killed by followers that betrayed him.

Castelvecchio Verona Italy

The Castelvecchio in Verona

The castle became a museum in the early 20th century. It has four majestic towers and an impressive courtyard, from which you enter the museum. Inside, you’ll view lots of beautiful frescoes, artifacts and armor, and sculptures. It is definitely a must-visit if you love art, history, and architecture!

Mural Castelvecchio Museum Verona Italy

Mural in the Museo di Castelvecchio

#18 Visit the Church of San Fermo

The Chiesa di San Fermo in Verona is actually two churches in one. The remains of the two martyrs, Fermo and Rustico, were placed in a stone sarcophagus in the original church. When the church was remodeled in the 11th century, the monks built two churches, one on top of the other, to avoid disturbing the remains of the martyrs.

Church of San Fermo in Verona Italy

The altar in the Upper Church

Built in the gothic style, the church features a striking striped facade. The Upper Church has a gorgeous 14th century wood ceiling and beautiful art. Don’t miss Antonio Pisano’s first work: the Brenzoni family mausoleum. The detail, and the colors, are incredible.

The Lower Church also has fabulous frescoes on its columns. The colors are so beautiful! I loved the beautiful arches. Because of the low levels of light filtering into this church, the monks whitewashed the walls!

Church of San Fermo Verona Italy

There are so many beautiful frescoes in this church!

#19 Gawk at the beauty of Piazza dei Signori

Piazza Bra has the grandeur and Piazze delle Erbe the atmosphere, but for sheer beauty, you have to visit the Piazza dei Signori, just off Piazza delle Erbe.

Piazza dei Signori in Verona Italy

One of the beautiful buildings in the square

The architecture you see around this square is gorgeous. In the middle of the square is a statue of Dante Alighieri. There are several beautiful palazzos to admire and photograph. Don’t miss the gorgeous gate to the Palazzo del Podestà, topped  by the Venetian Lion.

Piazza dei Signori Verona Italy

Statue of Dante in the Piazza dei Signori

During the morning, this piazza is quieter, since there aren’t any shops here, but it does get a little busy when the restaurants are open. The monuments look gorgeous lit up at night. So, if you have the time, visit in the morning to look around at leisure and take photos, and again at night!

#20 Admire the Porta Borsari

The Porta Borsari is another of Verona’s beautiful Roman gates. It dates back to the 1st century and is made of beautiful white limestone. The old Roman road, Via Postumia, passed through the gate.

Porta Borsari Verona Italy

Porta Borsari, one of Verona’s beautiful Roman gates

The two-arched gate is topped by a two-story wall, each with six arched windows. It is a beautiful old structure and I couldn’t help stopping to take photos each time we passed it!

Wall on Porta Borsari Verona Italy

The double story wall on top of the Porta Borsari

Through the gate you enter onto the Corsa Borsari, the road that leads to the Piazza delle Erbe. The street features many high end shops, and pretty balconies.

#21 Admire other Verona balconies

The historical center of Verona is full of beautiful balconies. So much so, I actually felt that Juliet’s balcony, while charming, was eclipsed in terms of sheer beauty by others that we saw as we walked around!

Balconies of Verona Italy

Pretty balconies in Verona!

On Piazza delle Erbe, admire the balcony of the Mazzanti Houses. With the backdrop of frescoed walls, and adorned with pretty flower boxes, they make for a lovely picture.

Mazzanti Houses Verona Italy

The pretty balconies of the Mazzanti Houses

The balconies along the Corso Porta Borsari are lovely as well. My favorite balconies on this street were draped with mature jasmine vines and wafted a heady sweet aroma as we walked the street.

#22 Gorge on gelato

We ate a lot of gelato in Verona! Everywhere we go in Italy, we try to look for gelato artigianale, with natural ingredients. There are two gelaterias we thought were especially amazing, so when you visit Verona, be sure to try them both!

Gelateria Verona Italy

One of our two favorite gelaterias in Verona!

Our favorite gelato in Verona came from L’Arte del Gelato. We visited three times during our 5-day stay in Verona! The gelato was creamy and not too sweet, which means the flavors shone through. The chocolate was decadent, and the pistachio redolent of roasted pistachios. The shop is located by the Roman ruins.

Chocolate gelato from L'Arte del Gelato Verona Italy

Rich chocolate gelato made with organic chocolate at L’ Arte del Gelato!

The other awesome gelateria we found was on the other side of the Adige, on the way to the funicular. E’ Buono – Gelateria Artigianale served us fresh and extremely flavorful gelato.

I had the pistachio, and it was so good that on the way back, we stopped in again, and my husband got the same flavor, but in a brioche bun. Yum!

Gelateria E' Buono Verona Italy

Delicious pistachio gelato from E’ Buono!

Read more: My Top Ten Gelaterias in Italy!

#23 Do a day trip to Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, with many pretty towns along its shore. On a day trip from Verona, you might want to visit two (or maximum three) towns around the lake, to minimize time spent on travel.

For an easy independent day trip, visit Sirmione, Garda, and Bardolino. Take the bus (the earliest one you can) to the picturesque town of Sirmione. Savor its stunning location, wander its pretty streets and alleys, and visit the impressive Scaligeri Castle. Sirmione can get crowded during the day, so visit it early or late in the day.

Sirmione Lake Garda Italy

The pretty town of Sirmione on Lake Garda

Next, take the boat (or the bus) to the town of Garda, which is located on a beautiful bay. Walk the promenade that runs along the water, enjoying the views. If you enjoy walking, you can do the 1-hour walk to Bardolino, else take the bus.

In Bardolino, wander the town: you’ll see some lovely churches, pretty piazzas, and charming streets with lots of shops! The red wine of Bardolino is famous, so if you enjoy wine, sample some before taking the bus back to Verona.

If you prefer a guided tour, you can choose a half day small group tour to Sirmione, or a full day tour that includes three of Lake Garda’s most charming towns: Sirmione, Limone sul Garda, and Malcesine!

#24 Enjoy a day trip to Vicenza

When we were planning our trip to Verona, one of the things that excited me the most was a planned day trip to Vicenza. The gorgeous architecture of Andrea Palladio has to be seen in person: photos do not do it justice.

The city of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. You could spend 3 days here soaking in all the history and architecture, but you can see a lot on a day trip too.

Villa Capra La Rotonda Vicenza Italy

Palladio’s La Rotonda is said to have inspired the design of the White House portico

Palladio’s swan song, the magnificent Teatro Olimpico (it was not completed until after his death), and his gorgeous Palazzo Chiericati, are of course must-sees, but Vicenza has beautiful architecture everywhere you look.

Palazzo Chiericati Vicenza Italy

The gorgeous Palazzo Chiericati, now a museum

Start early, so you can see a couple of the beautiful villas outside the city in the morning and then head to the historic center for the afternoon, or vice versa. We visited the Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico (we walked up the hill like the pilgrims of old!), then toured the Villa Valmarana ai Nani and Villa Capra “La Rotonda,” and spent the rest of our time in the historic center of Vicenza

#25 Do a day trip to Padua

The historic city of Padua is 42 minutes from Verona by train, and makes for a fabulous day trip if you love art, architecture, and history. Padua is home to Giotto’s mesmerizing Scrovegni Chapel! But it also has many other must-see sights.

The Scrovegni Chapel, with its beautiful blue ceiling, was completed in 1305. The stunning frescoes on the walls are arranged in three levels and in chronological order. More than three dozen artists helped Giotto complete the commission for his wealthy patron, the banker Enrico Scrovegni.

Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel Padua Italy

Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel is gorgeous!

Padua’s Botanical Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded in the mid 16th century, and is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens. Padua also boasts Italy’s largest square: Prato della Valle is actually oval-shaped, and gigantic.

Botanical Garden Padua Italy

Padua’s Botanical Garden is a must-see!

Marvel at the Basilica of Saint Anthony and the Chiesa degli Eremitani, walk through the Palazzo della Ragione, and stroll the market at the Piazza delle Erbe.

Palazzo della Ragione Padua Italy

The detail in this Palazzo della Ragione ceiling is so beautiful!

Save with the Verona Card

We bought the 48-hour Verona Card and found it super useful. We got priority entrance into the Arena, and free admission to many other sights. The card also comes for a 24-hour duration. Transportation is included.

So if you plan to visit many of the sights I have listed above, definitely consider purchasing the Verona Card! You’ll get free admission to many of Verona’s best attractions, including the Arena, the Verona Cathedral, Castelvecchio, the Torre dei Lamberti, and Casa di Giulietta, among others.
Check prices and buy the Verona card

Getting to Verona

Verona is located in the Veneto region of northern Italy, near the lakes region. It is the second largest city in the region, after Venice, and is easily accessed.

By Air

Verona has an airport, and you can fly into Verona from other Italian cities and from major cities in Europe. The airport lies a few miles out of the city center, so take the bus or a taxi to get into the city.

By Train

Verona is a stop on the high speed train line connecting Milan and Venice, but you can also travel to Verona on the slower but cheaper regional trains. The fast train from Venice will get you to Verona in about 50 minutes, and the fast train from Milan in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Trains also connect Rome and Florence with Verona. The direct fast train from Rome reaches Verona in about 3 hours. The direct fast train from Florence to Verona takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes.

To book train (and bus) tickets for Europe in advance, consider Omio. I found the booking experience easy and hassle-free. They do charge a small service fee, but I thought it was well worth the convenience!

By Bus

You can travel to Verona by bus from other Italian cities or other cities in Europe. The bus is especially useful if you are traveling to Verona from nearby places, such as from the towns of Lake Garda.

Drive

Verona is on the A4 motorway that runs between Milan and Venice. From Milan to Verona, it is about 100 miles, and you can make the drive in about 1 hour and 45 minutes in normal traffic. From Venice to Verona, it is about 75 miles, and the drive will take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes in normal traffic.

Looking to book a car rental for your Italy trip? We have found great deals on Auto Europe. Compare car rental rates and find your car here.

Getting around in Verona

We walked everywhere in Verona, only taking the bus once in 2 full days and 2 part days of exploring the city. You will rack up a lot of steps if you choose to walk everywhere. If you prefer, you can take the local bus for longer distances. If you get the Verona card, public transport is included.

Verona has a bikeshare plan, and you can rent a pair of wheels to get around if you enjoy biking. You’ll find bike stations at major sights like Piazza Bra and Castelvecchio.

You can also use taxis, which must be booked in advance or at taxi stands. We only used taxis to transfer from the train station to our hotel and vice versa.

Where to stay in Verona

Hotel Gabbia d’Oro is located right in the historic center, near the Piazza delle Erbe, but the rooms are quiet. Rooms are elegantly furnished, if a tad small, and the architectural details of the hotel are amazing. If you love being in the center of the action, and ambiance is important, then this boutique hotel is for you!
Book a stay here

If you do not mind a 10- to 15-minute walk to and from the historic center, then check out the stunning Relais Fra’Lorenzo. Set on a hillside, with fabulous views over the city, this hotel features a saltwater swimming pool and gorgeous gardens. Rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished, all with city views.
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Where to eat in Verona

When in Verona, you have to try risotto, made from vialone nano rice produced in the area. Risotto all’Amarone combines this rice with the red Amarone wine from Valpolicella. The pizzas we had in the city were some of the best we’ve had in Italy.

Saporè Downtown is an award-winning experimental contemporary pizzeria located near the Roman ruins. The chef, Renato Bosco, is known for the different types of crusts he creates in his lab.

Bread with Tomatoes Sapore Verona Italy

Bread with tomatoes and olive oil at Saporè Downtown

Everything we had here was amazing! Don’t miss the dense bread starter. Served doused with butter, and encrusted with nuts and dried fruit, it is divine.

Bread Sapore Downtown Verona Italy

Bread with nuts and dried fruit

Pizza at Sapore in Verona Italy

Pizza at Saporè

Santa Felicita is housed in an old church near the Ponte Pietra and has the most delightful ambiance. I had read about it before our trip, and we stopped in for pizzas for lunch. They were delicious!

Santa Felicita Restaurant Verona Italy

The dining room of Santa Felicita is a deconsecrated church

Pizza at Santa Felicita Verona Italy

At Santa Felicita, try pizza that includes the red onion of Tropea!

Corte Farina is located in a little piazza near the Porta Borsari. We had some trouble finding it, but it was worth the effort, because we loved the offerings here. We ate here more than once!

If you enjoy food tours, consider this highly rated 3.5 hour small group walking tour with a local food expert! You will start with espresso and pastries, visit a bottega to taste local cheese and salumi, enjoy tastings of some Valpolicella wines and local foods, and finish with gelato. Yum!

How long should you spend in Verona?

Verona is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. You could easily spend a week (or more!) here, enjoying everything the city has to offer. But you can also cover many major sightseeing attractions if you have just one or two days in Verona.

If you have just one day in Verona, start by strolling Piazza Bra, and visit the Verona Arena. Next, walk through Piazza delle Erbe to the Casa di Giulietta, where you can see the famous balcony before making your way to the Piazza dei Signori to admire the gorgeous architecture.

After lunch, climb to the top of the Lamberti Tower for the beautiful views. Visit the Verona Cathedral, and then cross the Adige River via the Ponte Pietra. Take the funicular to the Castel San Pietro and enjoy the magnificent views over the city.

In two active days, you can cover all of the sights on the one day Verona itinerary, plus Castelvecchio, the Roman Theater and the Archaeological Museum, and the three other historic churches of Verona I have described above.

With 3 days in Verona, you can add in a day trip to another nearby city, such as Vicenza or Padua, or even Venice, if you haven’t visited yet. If you enjoy wine, consider a private tour of the Valpolicella wine region. The landscape of Amarone is gorgeous, and you’ll taste many of the region’s top wines!

The best time to visit Verona

The Verona Arena opera season runs from June through August, and if attending a performance is important to you, you should visit during the summer.

If not, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are much better times to visit: you’ll deal with fewer crowds, and enjoy lower prices on accommodation. Plus, the weather will be much better. Summers in Verona tend to be hot and humid, and exploring outdoors is not fun.

The months of May and October are ideal. We visited in mid May and found the weather pleasant. The piazzas were crowded during the day, but inside the churches and museums, we were able to view everything comfortably and take our time.

*****

So there you have it: my suggestions for the best things to do in Verona, Italy. Have you visited this beautiful Italian destination? If you have, I would love to hear about your visit! Comment below to respond.

If you have not yet visited, I hope you will put Verona on your itinerary for your next visit to northern Italy. And if you are planning your first ever visit to Italy, check out our 3-week Italy itinerary and our Italy guide for ideas!

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MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR ITALY TRIP

Rome: 25 Best Things to Do in Rome for First-Timers
Cinque Terre: 2 Magical Days in the Cinque Terre
Venice: How to Make the Most of 2 Days in Venice
Florence: The Top 10 Things to Do in Florence
Amalfi Coast: Driving Italy’s Amalfi Coast
Tuscany: See the Best of Tuscany in One Week
Siena: One Day in Siena
Capri: How to Spend One Perfect Day in Capri
Orvieto: What to See and Do in Orvieto in One Day
Sorrento: The Best Day Trips from Sorrento
Val d’Orcia: How to Do the Most Scenic Drive in Tuscany
Ravenna: A Guide to the Mosaics of Ravenna

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Discover the best things to do in Verona, Italy, from seeing historic gems like the Verona Arena and the Verona Cathedral to great food and wines and fabulous views for photography!

About Dhara

Dhara is passionate about travel, photography, and writing. Her travel interests are eclectic, spanning everything from natural beauty to art and architecture. Through her writing, she hopes to inspire you to seek, and savor, sublime travel moments.

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