“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Ah, Shakespeare’s famous, tragic love story. Why am I bringing up an English play write when discussing the best of an Italian city? Because the minute you step foot in Verona, you’ll understand why Shakespeare chose this glorious city as the setting for his masterpiece. Located in Northern Italy, Verona is close enough to Venice that you can make it a day trip, or stop by on your way to or from Venice. Either way, you have to see Verona, Italy and I’m going to list the very best of Verona to explain why.
Things to See/Do
Verona’s history dates back to Ancient Rome, so there are plenty of ruins sure to please the architecture/history buff in all of us. What’s fantastic about some of the ruins in Verona is that some are still functional, being used today; so you not only get to see them, you get to explore and enjoy them! Verona’s architecture isn’t limited to ancient Rome; you may also enjoy beautiful representations of the medieval period. Here’s what newcomers should see in Verona, and what to do while you’re there:
Piazza delle Erbe
When in Italy you must visit a piazza. The Piazza delle Erbe is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful plazas in the country. Take that larger and more popular Italian cities! What makes the Piazza delle Erbe worth seeing is its ornate central fountain and the surrounding palaces that stem from the Renaissance era.
What to Do: Shop at the Piazza delle Erbe’s daily market by day, and then relax at an outdoor cafin the evening.
The Scaligeri family ruled over the beauty of Verona during the 13th and 14th centuries. They had a lot of power… and money… and their tombs prove it! After you’re done shopping at the Piazza delle Erbe market, wander around the corner to see what many consider the finest example of Gothic art; the burial site of the Scaligeri family.
What to Do: Head behind the tombs and pay a visit to the beautiful Church of Santa Maria Antica.
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
This 4th-century basilica inspired the many other churches you will find in Verona and was a continual work in progress itself until the 12th century. The church is quite a site to see, with its beautiful facades and stained-glass windows. For your particular viewing pleasure, you must take in the 48 panels of biblical history that make up the basilica’s famous 11th century bronze doors.
What to Do: Learn how the Italians celebrate religion by attending an authentic Roman Catholic mass in this magnificent building.
You will find a perfect example of a medieval fortress when you visit Castelvecchio. Built in the 14th century, Castelvecchio is a huge encampment with four buildings, a fortified tower, seven additional towers, and some unbelievable fortress walls. The fortress is a museum itself, taking its visitors back to a time when rulers called such magnificence “home”.
What to Do: Visit the Museum of Art located inside the Castelvecchio to appreciate the works of Italian masters Bellini, Mantegna, and Pisanello among others.
Ancient Rome buffs take note! The Arena Verona is a 1st century amphitheater that the city still uses today! You could argue that the Arena Verona inspired the famous Roman Colosseum, not only because the two look similar, but also because Verona built its arena first. This ancient ruin is one of the best preserved in the world, so you definitely want to see it.
What to Do: Enjoy famous Italian opera under the summer sky during Verona’s Summer Opera Festival held in the Arena di Verona.
O Food, Food! Wherefore art thou Food!
You’re probably hungry after crossing all the things to see and do off the above list. I know I am! I love Italian food; but I’m Italian, so I’m also biased. Traditional Verona cuisine goes way beyond pizza. Verona residents love their risotto, stewed meats, polenta, and fish. When looking for something to eat in Verona, I always recommend seeking out local cuisine. This allows you to experience the flavors of the region in which you are visiting, as well as broaden your understanding of, in this case, Italian food. The very best restaurants of Verona are:
Tried many gastronomic and Michelin star restaurant but this one was definitely one of the best I ever been too. Superb – friendly and attentive service and beautiful carefully prepared food. Highly recommended to anyone!
Even though this is a pizzeria, you are still going to be expanding your notion of Italian food. Pizza isn’t just flat and topped in Verona, at the Corte Farina, the chef serves a rolled pizza called a sfilatino, which is filled with zucchini and cheese inside. You have to try this! It is super-yum!
Trattoria le Vecette
If you’re looking for some of the more traditional dishes of Verona, such as the risotto or stews, check out the Trattoria le Vecette. Authentic Verona cuisine is prepared in this charming restaurant, with rib-sticking meals sure to satisfy even the hungriest of people.
Verona is a charming city. It is breathtaking, historical, and warm and friendly. If you are pressed for time, you can thoroughly enjoy Verona in one day. If you’d like to take your time, you can enjoy Verona for several days. The city is worth whatever time you can afford it. Whether you’re touring Northern Italy, on your way to Venice, or simply wanting to get away to a little slice of Italian heaven, our local travel designers are here to help you plan your perfect trip to Verona.