Michael our Commercial Executive discovered the enchanting city of Verona in March 2022.
“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene” Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
As you step through I Portoni della Brà and catch your first glimpse of the epic Arena and the café-lined cobbled streets of Verona, you are transported into a Shakespearian dream that is a world away from the knot of canals and pathways that is Venice.
Situated a comfortable 75-minute train journey away from Milan, around a 90-minute journey from Venice, or just 15 minutes away from the southern tip of Lake Garda, Verona is the perfect day trip or overnight destination, and small enough that you will not have to worry about transport while you’re there. Stroll through the historic streets of the City of Love and take in the stunning views looking over the city, visit churches full of beautiful murals and ornaments, and wander around galleries teeming with wonderful art.
Start your day by entering the Arena di Verona. This imposing 2000-year-old Roman amphitheatre in the heart of Verona is one of the best-preserved structures of its kind, and is internationally renowned for hosting opera performances, plus other events regularly throughout the year. When there are no events, you can pay an entry fee to walk around and take a seat in the theatre, admiring the ancient architecture that remains in excellent condition. Keep an eye out on the 2026 Winter Olympics, as the Arena will play host to the closing ceremony.
Walking through the bustling streets of the Città Antica historic centre, you will come across Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House). Originally built in the 14th century, this house is said to be the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In the courtyard, there is a bronze statue of Juliet, and it is said to bring you good luck if you touch her right breast! You can also pay to enter the house and stand on the balcony made famous by Shakespeare, as well as seeing artwork and sets dedicated to the play.
A short walk away is the Piazza delle Erbe. This public plaza is adorned with breath-taking fountains and monuments, plus contains the market selling local gifts and produce. Here is the perfect opportunity to eat lunch al fresco in one of the numerous cafes in the square, each selling a selection of local delicacies. The statue-topped Torre del Gardello plus the striking Palazzo della Ragione provide the backdrop to your meal. After filling up on some delicious bruschetta or the wide variety of fish and pasta dishes on offer, take the elevator up the plaza’s bell tower, the Torre dei Lamberti, for some spectacular 360-degree views of Verona.
Verona has more than its fair share of amazing artwork, basilicas, and museums to get your culture fix. As with all Italian towns and cities, religion has played a key role in shaping the history and layout of Verona, and the city plays host to more than 40 churches. In terms of artistic and historical legacy, you will want to prioritise the 4 runs by Associazione Chiese Vive (the association of living churches); Basilica di Santa Anastasia, Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare, and Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore are all located within the city centre, whilst Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore is in the west of the city. Individually, these cost €3 each to enter, or €6 for an all-in-one ticket (prices correct at time of writing). If you are pushed for time, the cathedral is a must-do, containing artwork by the likes of Titian, a baptistry, plus the archaeological remains of one of the first basilicas ever built in Italy.
Museo di Castelvecchio, accommodated in a medieval castle a short walk away from the cathedral, is well worth a visit. You can view a large selection of artistic and sculptural masterpieces spanning across the last 800 years, created by a wide variety of historical Italian artists. Make your way onto the roof of the fortress, where you can get a gorgeous view down the River Adige.
End your exploration of Verona with a walk across the 2100-year-old Roman bridge Ponte Pietra across the river and climb the hill to reach Piazzale Castel San Pietro, for a breath-taking southwestern view of the city. For those feeling lively, you can climb the stairs all the way to the top; alternatively, take a seat on the relaxing funicular railway ride that takes you up in no time. From the viewing platforms, overlooking the misty city in the early-evening sunlight, the beauty of the city and of the various churches are highlighted, whilst you can also catch a glimpse of the manicured Giusti Garden in the east (well worth a visit if you have more than a day in the city), plus marvel at the Santuario della Madonna di Lourdes sanctuary in the hills to the north.
No matter how many days you visit Verona for, whether you are visiting on a weekend getaway, or if it is a stop-over between Venice and Lake Garda, you will find more than enough to keep yourself occupied and entertained. You are sure to fall in love with this picturesque city, and you will soon be wondering when you can return. Parting is such sweet sorrow.