If you’re looking for a city to visit that has beautiful views, a relaxed atmosphere, gorgeous food and so many wonderful things to see, Verona is probably the place for you. Based in Northern Italy just a short drive away from the famous Lake Garda, Verona is a city probably best known for its links with the much loved Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. So if you’re planning a trip to fair Verona, there are lots of things for you to see and not to fear, you can certainly navigate your way around the key attractions in a relatively short visit like I did.
Casa di GiuliettaAn obvious choice for anyone visiting the city that knows its ties to the famous tale of Romeo and Juliet, Casa di Giulietta is a beautiful courtyard based in heart of the city on a side street just off Via Cappello, featuring the iconic Juliet’s balcony. It might be easy to miss if not for the countless tourists stopping to cram their way inside and the names of friends and lovers scribbled on the wall. This is a lovely little stop off and it’s wonderful to see but after hearing a few reviews, it doesn’t appear as if it’s worth the money to pay the entrance fee to the house – we didn’t.
The Roman ArenaVerona’s Roman Amphitheatre located in Piazza Bra was built into the first century and can seat 30,000 visitors, hosting live music and theatre events in this grand venue throughout the year. As probably one of the best things to see in the city, the theatre is an open space and is open to visitors all year around. The arena makes for a pretty impressive sight for just €10 general admission but if you’re lucky with your dates, between January to May and October to December, admission is just €1 for the first Sunday of every month. It’s definitely worth stopping off at this one but don’t expect it to be on the same level as Rome’s Collesseum.
Torre dei LambertiIf you’re looking for gorgeous city views then the Torre dei Lamberti is for you. Based in the main city centre, the 84m tower can mostly be tackled thanks to the help of a lift but you will have to climb the last few stairs in the metal staircase. For the full price entrance, this was €8 but the rooftop views make this absolutely worth it.
Castel San PietroIf you’ve seen cityscape views of Verona featuring the Adige river, it’s likely that this was shot from the picturesque Castel San Pietro. Built into the green hills overlooking Verona, it is a castle fortress which has a history dating all the way back to 7BC. However, you cannot visit inside but you can admire its exterior – besides, it’s worth the trek up just to appreciate the views if nothing else.
Giardino GiustiSaid to be one of the most romantic spots in the city, the gardens are beautifully crafted with Renaissance landscaping at Giardino Giusti. As a mix of carefully created landscaping and wild natural plants, this is a relaxing spot to come for an additional piece of calm within the city with a number of different garden elements to appreciate. Fun fact – lovers who manage to find each other within the small labyrinth within the gardens are said to be destined to stay together so bring along your special someone and put it to the test.
Ponte PietraStanding tall over the Adige river, this Roman bridge was completed in 100BC and is said to be the oldest bridge within the city. This red-brick bridge is a lovely site and just happens to be a scenic route to take to the Castel San Pietro.
Basilica di San Zeno MaggioreWould it be a trip to Italy without visiting a magnificent church? Probably not. Named after the patron saint of Verona, Zeno, you can enter this Basilica through an unassuming side door that would be most-easy to miss. Free to those who wish to worship, the church charges a small fee €3 per person for tourist entry. But the site is Verona’s most visited church, although it’s not hard to see why as it’s home to some incredible pieces of artwork which alongside its lovely architecture is quite a breathtaking experience.
Verona is truly a beautiful city in Northern Italy that attracts thousands of tourists every year. But despite its international appeal, Verona doesn’t seem to get overcrowded and stays true to its local charm which to me, makes it even more appealing. I would recommend paying a visit to this little city, even just for a few days to soak up the culture, and eat all of the food, of course.