City Guide: Verona
Verona is known for Romeo & Juliet and the Arena, but the city has way more to offer than just that. In this city guide I’ll help you get an idea of the city and all the places you should definitely see when visiting!
Verona has not only lots of history, but most of the impressive historic buildings in Verona are still in a very good shape, which makes Verona a unique place to visit. Plus, the city offers some of the best food you can get in Italy. To be honest: Is there something better than a combination of a romantic historic old town with great restaurants pretty much everywhere?
Roman City Center of Verona
The Arena of Verona is world-famous, but that’s not really due to its history. It’s more about how the Arena is used for special events nowadays. However, the Verona Arena is actually even older than the Colosseum in Rome.
Additionally, it’s the third biggest Colosseum in whole Italy. While there is a fee for visiting even when nothing is happening inside, I’d highly recommend checking the Arena of Verona out.
You are allowed to walk pretty much everywhere freely, allowing you to enjoy the Arena in your own speed. After visiting the Arena, I’d recommend roaming around the beautiful Piazza Bra for a while.
Yet, the Arena is just one landmark of the Roman past. Other very interesting buildings stemming back from the Roman times are the Arco dei Gavi and the Porta Borsari.
If you are passing through Porta Borsari, you are literally stepping on a street with lots of history as this once was the original Via Sacra of Verona. Practically, all these Roman landmarks are located right in the city center, making it easy to explore them by walking.
Piazza delle Erbe in Verona
Something I really liked about Verona is the combinaton of Roman influences and Medieval architecture. You might not spot the difference at first sight, but you’ll just feel like you are in a historic city wherever you go. In the immediate city center, there is Piazza delle Erbe, which is the most famous square in Verona.
In the Medieval Ages, Piazza delle Erbe was the cities main trading place, nowadays it’s one of the best spots to have a romantic dinner in the heart of the city. If you are walking around the Piazza delle Erbe, you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying several beautiful buildings from different centuries.
You’ll also find yourself right next to Torre dei Lamberti, which is one of Verona’s landmarks. Additionally, the famous Casa di Giulietta, famous due to the love story, is just steps away.
You may enter for a fee or just enjoy the atmosphere in the courtyard, where people till today write letters to Juliet to finally find the love of their life.
Castelvecchio und Ponte Scaligero
If you are short on time, the third area I’d highly recommend visiting is Castelvecchio.
Right next to the Medieval castle, you’ll also find Ponte Scaligero, which is not only a special bridge, but also one of the most beautiful spots to take a picture of the city and the river Etsch.
Castelvecchio itself is a beautiful historic castle from the outside and also has a lovely courtyard. The castle is also housing a museum, which is well worth visiting if you are interested in arts.
Something I usually recommend in city guides is just walking around a little bit to enjoy the city in your own pace. Especially in the Castelvecchio area, that’s something you should definitely do. Not only are there several other interesting historic buildings, but the famous Palazzo Bevilacqua is only steps away as well.
The Porta dei Borsari is in this area, too. For those of you who like going for a run or a walk, there’s a beautiful stretch of nature on the opposite side of river Etsch, where you can not only enjoy a nice run, but also great views of the city.
Churches, Basilicas and Cathedrals in Verona
Verona is not only a historic, but also a very religious city. That’s easy to spot if you are just looking for churches. The city has many beautiful churches, which are spread around the city center. The Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is quite a walk away from the city center, but well worth visiting.
It’s actually the most famous church in Verona, but I personally didn’t find it to be ‘that amazing’. The Basilica of San Lorenzo is another Romanesque church, which is worth visiting if you got some spare time. Other churches I enjoyed spotting on my tour through Verona are the Santa Anastasi Church and the Verona Cathedral, which is located in the Northern city center, close to the River Etsch.
The whole area around the Verona Cathedral is quite nice as well, making it an area worth exploring.
Other spots worth seeing in Verona
As you’ll know from my city guides, I just like walking through a city (endlessly). Like that, I’m able to spot several nice buildings, which might not be ‘world-famous’. When it comes to Verona, I really liked the Arche Scaligere, which has a very special look.
The Arsenale Verona and its park, located close to the Castelvecchio, are quite nice as well. Close to the immediate city center, you may also have a look at the historic City Wall and the Domus Mercatorum, which looks quite different than most other historic buildings in Verona.
The Teatro Nuevo, known for special cultural events, is a nice building as well. However, I enjoyed spotting the endless palazzos (including Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Palazzo Barbiere Comune di Verona and Palazzo del Capitano) and city gates (Porte della Bra and Porte Nuova Verona among others) even more.
All these historic buildings are truly worth seeing and help you get an idea of how Verona must have looked a couple of centuries ago.
Overal impression of Verona
It’s quite tough to describe Verona in words. The city is very diverse, but feels like heaven for all of you who just enjoy walking through the streets of a lively city. Not only you can get great food at every corner, but regardless around which corner you turn, there’s a beautiful building waiting for you.
I tremendously enjoyed visiting Verona, maybe especially because it wasn’t too crowded in January. Yet, I’d highly recommend visiting Verona regardless of the season. It is totally worth it, especially if you love historic cities with Roman and Medieval influences!
Have you been to Verona? What do you like most about the city?