Verona is a city in northern Italy near Lake Garda and in a bend of the fast-flowing river Adige, a strategically impeccable location as the river flows from the slopes of the Alps to the plain. It is the second largest city of the Venice region and the administrative center of the province of the same name with a population of 252,600 people.
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Called the city of bridges (there are ten), Verona was once the most important city of the Venetian state, located in mainland Italy. Filled with picturesque streets and squares, famous for its art and architecture, the city is very attractive for tourists.
Verona was glorified by the great William Shakespeare and became one of the most romantic places in the world and most visited city in Italy. Millions of travelers from all over the world rush here to see Juliet’s house and stand under her balcony. The city of love gives everyone the opportunity to feel the special, existing only here romantic atmosphere. Although the great playwright was never in this city, we think that if he had been here today he might have enjoyed the Arena Festival and the annual wine fair so much, that he would surely have thought of a happier ending to his play.
Many tourists are attracted to this Italian city by its beautiful buildings and historical monuments. Verona is on par with Venice or Milan in the number of attractions and is considered a “Rome in miniature”.
View of the Lamberti Tower
The first settlements in this area were formed by the Venetians, Etruscans and Raetians. In the first century BC the city became a colony of Rome and was called Verona.
The advantageous geographical position of the city more than once made it a desirable prey of conquerors. At various times it was visited by the Goths, Franks, Byzantines and Lombards. Cultural and economic prosperity Verona experienced in the XIII-XIV centuries, during the reign of the noble Ghibelline dynasty della Scala (the Scaligers). From the beginning of the XV to the end of the XVIII century it was part of the Venetian Republic, which was succeeded by Napoleon and then by the Austrians. It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that Verona became part of Italy.
Modern Verona is a thriving industrial, cultural and tourist center of the country which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The city is divided into several districts. The oldest buildings of Verona, preserved since Roman times, are concentrated in Citta Antica. In addition, the city has a historic center, where most of the buildings constructed in the Middle Ages are located. Opposite the Castelvecchio, on the opposite bank of the River Adige, are the student quarter Veronetta and the neighborhoods around the Basilica of San Zeno. The Borgo Roma industrial area and Borgo Trieste business district are the latest in Verona. They are located only a kilometer from the central part of the city.
Attractions in Verona
The historic center of the city is a popular pedestrian zone, which is closed to traffic twice a day – from 7:30 to 10:00 and from 13:30 to 16:30. All the sights are located here so compactly that you can walk around them in an hour and a half. The distance from the train station to the Giusti Garden is about 3 km, and to the Arena – only 1.5 km.
The Arena di Verona (Via Dietro Anfiteatro, 6b, Piazza Brà) is the oldest architectural monument of the city, preserved since the times of Ancient Rome. It was built in 30 B.C. out of a beautiful pink marble. The Arena of Verona can only be compared in size and historical significance with the Roman Colosseum. It is amazing that the ancient monument survived the destructive earthquake of the XII century, and today it continues to be used as a huge opera house.
Arena di Verona
During the summer tourist season, it constantly hosts concerts by the best opera performers. And in addition to the productions, the Amphitheater offers daily guided tours for tourists from 8:30 to 7:30 p.m. Excursion tickets for an adult cost 4 euros, and for a child – 1 euro. Tickets for musical performances start at 15 euros.
Ponte Pietra Bridge
The Ponte Pietra, a 120-meter bridge spanning the Adige River, has also been preserved in Verona since Roman times. One end of this stone bridge rests on an ancient watchtower. At the end of World War II, German troops, leaving Verona, blew up the ancient bridge. And it had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, using debris lifted from the river bed and reconstructing it from old photographs.
Places associated with the tragedy of Shakespeare have become a must-see for all tourists coming to Verona. First of all it is Juliet’s House where according to the legend lived the young beloved of Romeo (Via Cappello, 23).
It is interesting to note that until the 1930s the old building did not stand out in any way among the surrounding buildings and did not attract much attention. Interest in it arose after the film adaptation of the tragedy and the release of Romeo and Juliet. Realizing that the story of two lovers is becoming more and more popular, the city authorities of Verona actively undertook restoration of the old house. This took several decades. Juliet’s balcony appeared on it in 1997 and was made from a carved slab of the XIV century.
Juliet Balcony Wall of Notes
Today, Juliet’s House is a full-fledged tourist attraction. This place has become overgrown with many superstitions and traditions. People like to hold weddings here. It is customary for lovers to kiss under the famous balcony. And to touch the bronze statue of the protagonist of the tragedy is considered a very good omen. On the walls of the house on the side of the patio you can see a lot of notes with declarations of love, written in all languages of the world. Tourists themselves write letters to Shakespeare’s heroes. For this purpose, special mailboxes and computers are created in the House. And the processing of unusual mail and responses to letters is done by volunteers from the Juliette Club. The courtyard, where Romeo confessed his love for his beloved, can be visited for free. And a tour of Juliet House costs 5 euros.
Popular with tourists is Verona’s old square – Piazza delle Erbe. It is surrounded by majestic Renaissance buildings, and along the perimeter there are cozy cafes that attract guests with the unique flavors of Italian cuisine. By day the square is full of souvenir sellers, and in the evening locals and visitors come here to drink good wine and eat freshly baked pizza.
Piazza delle Erbe
If you want to see Verona from above, you should visit the Tower of Lamberti (Via della Costa, 1), which began to be built in the 12th century. Climb its steep steps (or for 1 euro in an elevator) and take a detailed look at the picturesque quarters of the city. You can get to the 84-meter tower every day from 8:30 to 19:30, and the entrance ticket costs 8 euros.
The largest building in the city is the ancient Castelvecchio (Corso Castelvecchio, 2), built in the 14th century. It now houses various collections of the Historical Museum, and exhibits rare coins, paintings of famous masters and ancient sculptures. Entrance ticket to the museum costs 6 euros.
One of the main attractions of the city is also a huge Cathedral, built in the XII century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Piazza Duomo, 21). Its magnificent marble facade and interiors amaze the tourists. The walls of the temple are decorated with paintings by Titian and inside there is an atmosphere of solemnity and grandeur.
The Cathedral of Verona Giusti Garden
For a break from the noise of the city, you need to visit one of Verona’s most beautiful parks, the Giusti Garden, created during the Renaissance period (Via Giardino Giusti, 2). It was many times rebuilt and nowadays it looks like a typical English free plan park. Surprisingly, the old citrus trees, so admired by Goethe, are preserved here. In addition, the picturesque garden has many sculptures and flower beds. The price of admission to the famous garden is 7 euros. And you can get here all year round.
Verona (Italy) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Verona with descriptions, guides and maps.
The city of Verona (Italy).
Verona is a city in north-eastern Italy on the Adige River in the region of Venice. It is an ancient corner of Veneto, which is known as one of the most romantic places in the world thanks to the tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. Verona is two thousand years of history, which are frozen in the charming old streets: an ancient Roman amphitheater, medieval churches, as well as numerous sights and monuments. This is a city steeped in an atmosphere of romance and a centuries-old past, with a magnificent historic center, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
What to do (Verona):
€250 per tour
“Shakespeare in Love”: In the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet
The myths and secrets of the most famous love story on a guided sightseeing tour of Verona
€550 per tour
Enogastronomic Journey: The Secrets of Amarone
A short sommelier course, wine tasting in the cellars and a walk in the beautiful vineyards of Amarone
Geography and climate
Verona is located at the foot of the Lessin Mountains, 30 km from Lake Garda and 105 km from Venice. The city is crossed by the river Adige which is part of the Po river valley. Verona has a moderate continental climate. Summers are dry and hot, while winters are quite cool with frequent fogs, light frost and occasional snow.
Snow in Verona
In ancient times Verona was the hub of the land and water transportation systems of northeastern Italy. Four consular roads crossed here: Via Gallica, Via Claudia Augusta, Vicum Veronese and Via Postumia.
Information for tourists
- The population is 257 thousand people.
- Area – 198.9 square kilometers.
- Language: Italian.
- Currency – euros.
- Visa – Schengen.
- Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
- What to do in Verona: climb the Lamberti Tower, climb the observation deck in the San Pietro Tower, rub Juliet’s breasts.
The exact date of the founding of the settlement on the site of modern Verona is not known. There may have been an Etruscan or Euganean village. It is known for sure that in 89 BC Verona became a Roman colony. At this time the city was actively growing, building and developing. In the 3rd century Verona served as an outpost on the path of the barbarians. At the beginning of the 5th century it was defeated by the Goths, led by Alaric.
A panorama of Verona
The period after the collapse of the Roman Empire (5th-7th centuries) was a rather eventful one. The Goths were defeated by Byzantine troops in the 6th century, the Byzantines were defeated by the Lombards, who were in turn defeated by the Franks in the 8th century. In the Middle Ages the city was used mainly as a fortress. Verona was under the influence of various influential families (Romano, Visconti, Carrara) until it became part of the Venetian Republic in 1405. The city remained under the power of Venice for 4 centuries.
At the end of the 18th century Verona was conquered by Napoleon’s troops. After the Congress of Vienna the city became part of the Habsburg Empire. In 1866 Verona became part of Italy. In 1882 there was a major flood. The Adige River overflowed its banks and flooded much of the city. During World War II the city was bombed several times, but for the most part it retained its original historical appearance.
How to reach Verona
Verona has its own airport which is about 12 km from the city. To get from the airport to the center is possible by bus, which goes to the main train station. The number of destinations and carriers is quite extensive: Moscow, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Palermo and London.
Verona Porta Nuova railway station is served by regional, high-speed and international services. Trenitalia trains connect the city with Venice, Milan, Turin, Rome, Trieste, Florence and Bologna. International destinations include Munich, Geneva, Paris, Dijon, and Vienna.
Verona is located at the crossroads of two highways. From north to south is the A22 (Modena-Brennero), east-west is the A4 (Milan-Venice).
Via Mazzini is the main shopping street in Verona, which is located between Piazza Bra and della Erbe. Many expensive brand name stores are located here. Many different stores are located on Corso Porta Borsari. On Corso Santa Anastasia you can buy antiques.
Horse meat is very popular in Verona: pastissada de canal (horse stew) and picula de canal. Interestingly, there aren’t many pizzerias here, but pasta is quite popular. Try pizzocheri (buckwheat pasta with cheese and sage), casoncelli (Verona ravioli), bigoli (thick spaghetti), casoela (pork casserole), bollito misto – meat mix with pearà sauce made only in Verona.
Verona is a city with a rich and ancient history. Here you can find sights from the ancient period, as well as from the Middle Ages.
The arena is the main attraction of Verona and one of the largest amphitheaters ever built by the Romans. The arena was built in the 1st century for gladiatorial fights. The elliptical shape was designed to accommodate a large number of spectators and had good acoustics (the amphitheater accommodated about 30,000 people). The arena was built outside the walls of the Roman city to avoid the crowds in its center. Most of the outer ring of the amphitheater was damaged in the earthquake of 1117, but the inner part was well preserved. The outer ring was also destroyed in the 5th or 6th century to build a second city wall. During the Renaissance, the arena was dismantled for the construction of new buildings. In the Middle Ages there were numerous shops. Nowadays it is used for the summer opera seasons.
Juliet’s house and her balcony
Juliet’s house is a symbol of Verona, a place of attraction for huge crowds of tourists. Supposedly the place of the famous scene from the famous tragedy of the genius Shakespeare. In fact the house has nothing to do with Juliet, although the building is old (13th century). The balcony was added in 1936 and declared “Juliet’s House” to attract tourists. Which it successfully copes with. Usually the small courtyard is filled with couples in love, who take pictures on the balcony, leave notes on the famous wall and touch the chest of the sculpture.
The Mausoleum of the Scaligers is a monumental Gothic funerary complex of the della Scala family, destined to contain the tombs of their most important representatives. The tomb is enclosed by a wrought-iron fence. The oldest sarcophagus dates back to the 14th century.
Erbe is Verona’s oldest square, the heart of the ancient Roman city. The piazza is surrounded by palaces (palazzos). On the square there is also a fountain. Of the historic buildings should be highlighted:
- Domus Mercatorum – a Gothic building of the early 14th century, the residence of the merchants’ guild.
- Maffei Palace – a beautiful baroque palace, decorated with statues of ancient gods. In front of the building is a column with a winged lion – the symbol of Venice.
Lamberti is the tallest tower of Verona, completed in the 15th century. The beginning of the construction of the tower dates back to the 11th century. Its height is 84 meters. To get to the top you have to overcome 238 steps. Although the tower has an elevator. In 1295, two bells were installed in the tower: the Marangana bell signaled the end of work for craftsmen or the alarm in case of fires, the Reno bell summoned the town council or called for arms in case of danger to the town. The clock on Lamberti was installed in the late 18th century.
Gardello is a brick tower on the left side of Erbe Square, often called the Clock Tower. The tower was built in the 14th century.
The Duomo is a cathedral built in the 12th century on the site of an old 8th-century church that was destroyed in an earthquake. The Duomo has a richly decorated marble Romanesque façade with a bell tower attached nearby. The interior contains many works of art.
Church of Santo Stefano
Santo Stefano is one of Verona’s oldest early Christian churches, founded in the 5th century. The church contains precious paintings from the 14th century and works by Renaissance artists Caroto, Farinati and Brusasorzi.
Church of San Giorgio
San Giorgio, a church with an impressive dome (designed by Michele Sanmicheli) dominates the Adige. The Romanesque tower was shortened to make room for the dome and the interior of the church contains precious works of art, among them Tintoretto’s Baptism of Christ, works by Domenico and Felice Brusasorzi, Carotto and Farinati.
San Giovanni is a church founded in Lombard times. It was probably built on the site of a pagan temple dedicated to the cult of the sun. It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1117. The church was completely rebuilt in the splendid Romanesque style and is one of its best examples.
Basilica of San Zeno
San Zeno is probably the most beautiful church of Verona with the richest interior contents. It is located a little away from the city center, 15 minutes walk from Castelvecchio. It is dedicated to St. Zeno, the patron saint of Verona. The Romanesque basilica was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1117 on the foundations of a 4th or 5th century building. Note the external facade with the large pink window called “Wheel of Fortune”, the marble bas-reliefs on both sides of the porch, the famous bronze doors, the bell tower and the abbey tower. Inside the church you can see frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries, a baptismal font, a ceiling with a ribbed vault, a crypt containing the remains of San Zeno and a statue of the saint.
Santa Anastasia Basilica
Santa Anastasia is a Gothic church built between 1290 and 1481. Note the unfinished façade with its magnificent Gothic portal. Inside you can see altars and chapels with works by Pietro da Forlezza, Cattaneo, Michele da Firenze, Liberale da Verona, Girolamo da Libri, Giolfino, Brusasorci.
Piazza Bra is the central square of modern Verona and the starting point for exploring the old city. On the west side of the piazza you can see the Portoni della Bra gate, which is the entrance to the square and the majestic palace. On the south side is the neoclassical Palazzo Barberini.
Museum of Lapidary Inscriptions
The Museum of Lapidary Inscriptions collects epigraphs and other finds from different periods: Etruscan, Greek, Roman.
Castelvecchio is the most impressive medieval building in Verona. This brick castle was built on the banks of the Adige in the 14th century. It now houses a museum within its walls.
The Bridge of the Scaligers is a beautiful brick bridge over the Adige River that links Castelvecchio to the opposite bank.
Bridge of Petra
Peter’s Bridge was built in the 1st century. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The original Roman arches can still be seen on the left bank of the Adige. There are also remnants of the Roman wall.
Piazza Signoria is Verona’s most elegant square. In this square you can admire many palaces: Palazzo della Ragione and Cortile Mercato Vecchio, Palazzo del Capitano and Palazzo del Guando, Loggia del Consiglio and Domus Nova. In the center is a sculpture of Dante.
In a small, dark crypt beneath the convent of San Francesco al Corso you can find the red sarcophagus in which Giulietta is said to be buried.
The Romanesque theater is an ancient Roman theater built in the 1st century AD. The archaeological museum of the theater contains important artifacts and finds from Verona’s Roman past.
Borsari is an ancient gate that was the entrance to the city. Today only the facade survives. Its decorative elements were added later. The Porta Borsari was essentially a fort with observation towers, a courtyard and a garrison.
The Lion’s Gate
The Gate of the Lion is one of the oldest Roman monuments of Verona. It has an inscription dated to 49 AD.
Interesting guided tours
€150 for a guided tour
Art of Verona – Art Walk
Explore the city with an art historian and find Roman Verona, Falconetto frescoes and amazing streets
€420 for the tour.
Lake Garda. La Dolce Vita.
Guided tour and enogastronomic cruise with boat trip