When they say Venice is romantic, I say Verona’s better! Situated by the picturesque Adige River in northern Italy, Verona is incredibly charming, with plenty of medieval & Roman history, vibrant piazzas, and simply a very romantic Italian city. The historic city of Verona was founded in the 1st century and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other than a rich history, it also has some of the prettiest views graced by the river, hilly landscape, and romantic architecture around town. It’d be hard to not fall in love with this beautiful city and in this travel guide, we will share with you all the information and details you need to make the most out of Verona Italy!
How to Get to Verona
For our trip, we went to Verona via train from Venice. It was roughly a 90-minute journey then. The train will stop at Porta Nuova, which is the main train station in Verona and is located right by the historic city centre.
Alternatively, Verona has its own international airport, Verona Villafranca Airport, should you be looking to fly there directly. From the airport, you can then either take the Aerobus (i.e. the airport shuttle) or a train to Porta Nuova.
Where to Stay in Verona
Verona may not have big international hotel brands in the city but there are a few boutique hotels and plenty of holiday apartments available to stay in. You can choose to either stay within the historic centre or across the bridge in the Veronetto area. Verona is quite a small compact city so either location is very much walkable to get to see everything you need to.
What to See & Do in Verona Italy
- Museo di Castelvecchio
- See the Juliet’s Balcony
- Visit the Arena di Verona
- Soak Up the Atmosphere at Piazza Bra
- Enjoy a Semifreddo at Gelateria Savoia
- Take a Stroll Along the Adige River
- Wander Around Piazza delle Erbe
- Climb to the Top of Torre dei Lamberti
- Catch the Sunset from Castel San Pietro
- Take a Day Trip to Lake Garda
- Explore Veronetta & Giardino Giusti
Tip: if you are planning to visit a lot of sights & museums and use public transportation in Verona, consider getting a Verona Card! It is available for either a 24 or 48-hour period, priced at €20 and €25 respectively. The card includes free entry to most of the sights and free transportation within the time frame you purchased. It is available to purchase at the tourist office.
Museo di Castelvecchio
The Castelvecchio Museum is a 14th-century fortress that is now converted into a museum. It houses plenty of paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. We didn’t pay to go into the museum section but it’s free to visit the courtyard and the famous Castelvecchio Bridge, which is the best part in my opinion. The red brick bridge leads towards the very picturesque Adige River and is a fantastic photo spot.
- Prices: Free entry to the courtyard & bridge. €6 per person for entry to the museum / included in Verona Card
See the Juliet’s Balcony
The famous love story of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is based in Verona, Italy. Every day, tourists from around the world flock to Juliet’s House in Verona and would queue to get up to Juliet’s balcony to recreate their “Romeo, Romeo, where there art thou Romeo?” moment. It faces a courtyard where it stands a statue of Juliet and people believe that it brings you good luck in love. On the way to the house, you’d find graffiti scribbles and love notes from visitors and inside the museum house showcase sections of the Romeo & Juliet play in each room as well. It’s a nice spot to swing by but, personally, I didn’t and wouldn’t bother to pay and brace the long queues just to get up to the balcony.
Prices: Free entry to the courtyard. €6 per person to enter the museum house & access the balcony
Visit the Arena di Verona
Rome isn’t the only place with a Colosseum. The Verona Arena is one of the biggest & best-preserved Roman amphitheatres and it is still actively in use today. It can hold 30,000 people and regular performances are held at the Verona Arena, especially opera shows. If you are interested, you can check out their performance schedule here. It may not have as many exhibitions as the Rome Colosseum but is just as rich in history. If you are using the Verona Card, you can skip the line at the entrance.
- Prices: €13.25 per person for entry / included in Verona Card
Soak Up the Atmosphere at Piazza Bra
The Piazza Bra is the largest square of the city and where the Verona Arena is located. Aside from the amphitheatre, it is also home to the Palazzo Barbieri (Verona’s town hall) and the Gran Guardia. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants lining up along the piazza and presenting a lively atmosphere. It is known as the heartbeat and pulse of Verona and is a great location to hang out in.
Enjoy a Semifreddo at Gelateria Savoia
When in Italy, it is a no-brainer to indulge in gelato. In Verona, the most famous gelateria is Gelateria Savoia, who’s been serving delicious gelato in front of the Arena since 1939. Their most famous treat is the Semifreddo, which is essentially like an ice cream sandwich with a big block of ice cream stuffed in between waffle-like biscuits. The Semifreddo was certainly delicious and Penguinos are also a popular pick. As for the gelato alone, personally, I don’t necessarily think they’re the best gelato ever. But gelato is gelato, it’s still decent and you can’t go wrong with it!
Take a Stroll Along the Adige River
This is possibly my favourite of Verona. For a little geographical background, the Adige River runs from the Alps in South Tyrol to the Adriatic, with Verona in between, and is the second-longest river in Italy. The river snakes across Verona in a pretty S-shape curve and the views along the way are simply serene and so picturesque that I couldn’t stop snapping pictures! If you fancy a little activity, you can go rafting on the Adige River, which I’m sure would be super fun and offers a different perspective of the city!
Wander Around Piazza delle Erbe
While Piazza Bra is the largest, Piazza delle Erbe is the socio & political heart of the city of Verona, Italy. Back in the Roman days, it serves as the ‘forum’ for the Veronese. Today, it’s a busy market square, with plenty of market stalls and home to plenty of charming cafes & restaurants. At the very centre of the piazza is the fountain of Madonna Verona where the statue atop dates all the way to the 4th century. You can also find some of Verona’s prettiest streets around here and it’s simply a lively area to be.
Climb to the Top of Torre dei Lamberti
Looking for a high viewpoint to get a good look at Verona from above? Then head to the top of the Torre dei Lamberti for a 360 bird’s eye view! It presents some of the best views of Verona, stretching not just the historic centre but also modern Verona and the countryside beyond. To reach the top of the bell tower, there’s an elevator that would take you to the last leg of the stairs to get there. Or, if you’d prefer to work your muscles and burn off all the calories from gelato & pasta, it’s precisely 368 steps up the stairs to reach the top!
- Prices: €6 per person for entry / included in Verona Card
Catch the Sunset from Castel San Pietro
The view of Castel San Pietro from below looks amazing enough but an even better view awaits at the top which is reachable either by stairs or the funicular. It is a medieval fortress perched on a hilltop overlooking Verona. Hence, this is also known as the best viewpoint of Verona and rivals that from Torre dei Lamberti. Catch the view by sunset if you can and it’s going to be one of the most romantic moments of your visit! Sitting just below the hill is the Roman Theatre (not the Verona Arena), which is another ancient Roman monument and worth visiting while you’re there.
- Prices for the Funicular: €2.50 round-trip / €1.50 one-way
Take a Day Trip to Lake Garda
We didn’t get to do this on the trip but, if time allows, you ought to spend a day trip away from Verona to go see this beautiful gem in Italy. Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and offers some of the country’s most beautiful views. Plenty of charming towns surround the lake but the most popular and must-visit is Sirmione. This is the town home to the famous Rocca Scaligera, an impressive Roman fortress dominating the harbour and offering spectacular views. There is plenty to see & do in Lake Garda alone so some may even opt to stay for a few days!
You can either take the train from Verona Porta Nuova station to Descenzano del Garda / Peschiera del Garda stations, or take the LN026 bus from Piazza Bra/Porta Nuova to one of the towns in Lake Garda.
Explore Veronetta & Giardino Giusti
If you have time, it’s well worth spending a little time exploring the Veronetta area, which is just across the bridge from the historical centre. It is an up-and-coming university quarter and has many cool restaurants and cafes there. From Veronetto, it’s well worth visiting the gorgeous Italian gardens of Giardino Giusti, dated from the 16th century. It is a lavish garden, filled with Italian Cypress Trees and elegantly designed to impress. Over the years, it has welcomed many influential and prestigious people of the country, including Kings, rulers, famous artists and academics, etc. Additionally, it also presents an amazing viewpoint of the city!
Prices for Giardino Giusti: €10 per person for entry / €7 for Verona Card holders