Located just a short drive from the romantic city of Venice, is the even more romantic city of Verona, famous for being the setting to Shakespeare’s tragic love story – Romeo and Juliet.
Although it’s a small city, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Verona that can be easily seen even within a day trip from Venice.
With a quaint and charming medieval old town nestled on the banks of the glistening Adige River, simply walking around is one of the top attractions of Verona.
But if you’re not sure what to do in Verona, whether you’re visiting for a day or longer, here are 13 of the most exciting things to see and do.
- Is Visiting Verona Worth it?
- Verona and the House of Della Scala
- Things to Do in Verona (in two days)
- 1. Walk (or Bike) Around the Old Town
- 2. Visit Juliet’s House and Courtyard
- 3. Pay Respects at Juliet’s Tomb
- 4. Travel Back In Time at Verona Arena
- 5. Walk Over The Castelvecchio Bridge (Scaligero Bridge)
- 6. Visit Castelvecchio
- 7. Relax in Giusti Garden & Villa
- 8. Marvel at Torre dei Lamberti / Piazza dei Signori
- 9. Join a Verona Highlights Walking Tour
- 10. People Watch in Piazza delle Erbe
- 11. Soak up life in Piazza Bra (wander, eat, & drink)
- 12. Shop in Via Giuseppe Mazzini
- 13. Catch the Sunset from St Peter’s Hill
- Save Money with the Verona Card
- Where to stay in Verona: Hotel Milano & Spa
- The Verona House
- Verona Map
- Final Thoughts
- You may like these Italy travel guides for nearby places:
Handy Booking Checklist for Verona
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Verona! Here are some of the top tours, hotels, and useful items you may need before your trip!
Airport Transfers, Trains and Sim Cards
Top Experiences and Tours in Verona
- The Verona Card (best way to save money)
- Arena di Verona Opera Ticket the hottest ticket in town!
- City Highlights Walking Tour of Verona Best overview of the city’s history and culture
Top Accommodation and Hotels in Bangkok
Is Visiting Verona Worth it?
As I mentioned, you can easily visit Verona on a day trip from Venice, but I recommend reversing it. Verona is one of my favorite places in Italy, so I recommend you base yourself here and visit Venice on a day trip (a place I think is overrated, but still worth seeing in a day)
I first visited Verona in 1998 on a Eurovan trip with girlfriends and I fell in love. It was so charming and romantic and far less busy than Venice.
While I’ve heard stories from other travelers who’ve had a different experience, on our recent visit to Verona as a family at the end of June 2023, there were hardly any tourists around.
We had no lines for any attraction, including the infamous Juliete’s balcony that can be packed with hundreds of people. The Verona Arena was so empty Craig could run around like a wannabe Gladiator.
Verona is a gentler and slower travel experience in Italy, and I do think it’s worth it. We stayed three nights to accommodate for our Venice day trip. Two nights would also be adequate.
Verona and the House of Della Scala
The Scaliger family, also known as the Scaligeri (The House of Della Scala), played a significant role in the history of Verona, Italy, during the medieval period. This noble family ruled from the 13th to the late 14th century and left an indelible mark on Verona’s political and cultural landscape.
The Scaligeri were known for their ambitious architectural projects, and their elaborate Gothic-style tombs and funerary monuments, such as the Arche Scaligere, still stand as striking symbols of their wealth and power in Verona.
The Scaliger family’s rule in Verona, like many noble families of their time, was marked by both achievements and controversies. While they contributed to the city’s prosperity and cultural flourishment, their rule was not without its challenges and conflicts.
Like many medieval rulers, they engaged in power struggles, alliances, and conflicts with neighboring cities and factions.
You’ll learn about them as you visit different Verona attractions. You may want to participate in guided tours in order to learn more.
Things to Do in Verona (in two days)
There are so many great things to do in Verona, both free and paid. Here is what we recommend you can do in two days in Verona. We know it because we did them all!
Plan your itinerary around what days you are in Verona (as some attractions are closed on certain days) and what time you book the major attractions. I recommend at least booking Juliet’s House.
1. Walk (or Bike) Around the Old Town
The charming old town of Verona is one of the main draws to the city, with its cobblestone streets, colorful Renaissance houses with shuttered windows and bustling piazzas, you’ll be transported back to the Renaissance era.
As you walk down the streets the romantic charm follows you everywhere. Dip into quaint cafes, boutique stores or Venetian restaurants and soak in the atmosphere.
Verona is a compact city and it’s easy to walk from one attraction to the next, enjoying Verona’s daily life along the way.
For a more adventurous way of seeing the city, consider renting bikes and cycling the streets instead. Our apartment at Verona House had free bike rentals.
We loved cycling around the Piazza through the winding streets, along the Adige River and to Juliet’s tomb. It’s a fun and easy way to get around Verona if you no longer want to walk.
Be sure to take a moment to admire the intricate details of the Gothic-inspired Verona Cathedral, (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare), a Roman Catholic cathedral on the banks of the Adige River.
2. Visit Juliet’s House and Courtyard
Perhaps the most famous building in the old town is Juliet’s House, a place that whispers the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet.
As you step into the inner courtyard, adorned with a bronze statue of Juliet, you can’t help but feel the weight of history and romance in the air.
This iconic site is believed to be the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s tragic play, capturing the hearts of lovers around the world. where the Dal Cappello family probably lived since the 13th century. The legend and popular belief identifies it as the birthplace of Giulietta Capuleti, Romeo’s real-life love.
Be sure to partake in the tradition of rubbing Juliet’s right breast for luck in love, a gesture steeped in folklore. I did much to the embarrassment of my teens!
We stopped in here around 4pm on our first afternoon, just for a quick look at the courtyard and balcony. (We had a tour booked for Juliet’s House the following morning.) To our surprise there were hardly any people in what is typically a packed courtyard.
The following morning at 9am, it was also quite empty and remained so until we left nearly 45 minutes later.
I did not know if going inside Juliet’s House would be worth it as I know most people go to just see the balcony (for free) from the courtyard.
But, since the house was on the Verona Card and free for Savannah, I thought we might as well.
Imagine my surprise when we walked in and saw that you could actually stand on Juliet’s Balcony!! I had no idea you could do this. I didn’t see anyone doing it on my first visit, and I did not read this tip anywhere in my research.
As a Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet lover, this was one of my favorite things to do in Verona – especially since it was a surprise. I know it’s not real, but still, it’s romantic and carries the essence of My Fair Verona.
I highly recommend it. But do book your tickets in advance for the 9am entry. We only had to line up for five minutes to get on the balcony, and only because people spend at least 2 minutes (the regulation) taking their photographs.
The girls really loved this as well. And of course, we played It’s a Love Story in the courtyard while looking up at the balcony (Swiftie family!)
The rest of Juliet’s House is quite sparse with nine rooms to wander through and some costumes and furnishings. It wasn’t that exciting, but it was great to see the inside of a Medieval mansion.
In Juliet’s bedroom is the original bed used in the 1968 adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet. There are other furniture and costumes from the movie around the house.
3. Pay Respects at Juliet’s Tomb
Hidden within the walls of a Franciscan monastery lies Juliet’s Tomb. Whispers of forbidden love and eternal devotion surround this sacred site, drawing countless curious souls from across the globe.
Steeped in history, this resting place is believed to be the final resting spot of Juliet Capulet, the tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s timeless tale.
As you step into the atmospheric chamber, adorned with delicate frescoes and ancient relics, you can’t help but feel the weight of love’s enduring power.
It had a little haunting energy to it as well, which our empath, Savannah picked up on as she slowly crept into the underground room of the tomb.
It’s not the original resting place; it was originally in the courtyard garden of the abbey, but they moved it underground to protect it.
It’s a pilgrimage spot for romantics and Shakespeare enthusiasts, as well as a chance to stand in the presence of a legendary love story that continues to captivate hearts.
There are plaques on the wall sharing words from some of those pilgrims like Charles Dickson and Lord Byron reflecting their thoughts on the tomb.
Inside the Tomba di Giulietta is also the Museum of Frescoes, which we just skipped through it.
Entry to the Museum is free for those who’ve bought a Verona Card. A combined ticket for both the Tomb and Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta) can be purchased.
If you’re short on time, I’d skip this. It wasn’t all that great. We visited just because it was on our Verona Card, and we could easily ride there. It was good to see after going to Juliet’s Balcony though and give more of the story to the girls.
4. Travel Back In Time at Verona Arena
Standing proudly in the heart of Verona, the Verona Arena is a majestic Roman amphitheater, constructed in the 1st century and has stood the test of time and still stands largely intact to this day.
As you step inside, you can almost hear the resounding applause of ancient crowds. Today, the Verona Arena continues to enchant visitors with its breathtaking architecture and hosts a myriad of spectacular performances, from operas to concerts, under the starlit sky.
As we did not have a good experience in the Colosseum in Rome (way too overcrowded) exploring the Verona Arena was more captivating to me than its older cousin. There’s not a lot to see, but I enjoyed having space to wander around, enjoy its beauty, and laugh at Craig’s gladiator reenactments.
I especially love how it’s still an operating venue with the Opera Festival. Nearly 2000 years after its construction in 30 AD between the reign of Augustus and the reign of Claudius, it still draws in 30,000 strong crowds for its opera season and festival. It is the largest Roman amphitheater still in use.
5. Walk Over The Castelvecchio Bridge (Scaligero Bridge)
Standing proudly above the Adige River, the Castelvecchio Bridge is both a testament to architectural brilliance and historical significance.
This medieval marvel, constructed in the 14th century, not only served as a vital link between the city’s past and present but also as a fortress protecting the ruling Scaliger family.
It’s a pedestrian bridge only, and while connected to Castelvecchio is free to enjoy. The walls of the bridge are high, but there are plenty of windows to look through. There is a small, raised stone ledge along the bridge you can walk along, and climb the narrow steps to the top of the view in the middle of the bridge.
As you stroll across its sturdy stone arches, you can almost feel the echoes of centuries-old footsteps and whispers of long-forgotten tales.
I found Scaligero Bridge to be strikingly beautiful, especially during sunset. We loved the views from here looking over the river, and as we watched a group of school kids come past in white water rafts (something to consider for our next visit).
This area is a popular quiet area to enjoy the evening and sunset light.
You can also get great views of the bridge from above at Castelvecchio.
6. Visit Castelvecchio
Visiting Castelvecchio in Verona is like stepping back in time to experience the rich history and architectural splendor of this enchanting city.
Castelvecchio, which translates to “Old Castle,” is a medieval fortress built in the 14th century by Cangrande II della Scala, a prominent ruler of the Scaligeri family.
The castle’s architecture reflects the military and defensive needs of the time, with its imposing walls and strategic location along the Adige River.
It has been meticulously preserved and now houses the Castelvecchio Museum, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike.
Inside, the museum showcases an impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance art, including works by famous Italian artists such as Paolo Veronese.
As you explore the castle’s upper-level brick corridors, you’ll also be treated to panoramic views of Verona’s picturesque cityscape, making it a truly immersive experience that combines history, art, and breathtaking vistas.
I really enjoyed our visit to Castelvecchio and its journey through time, especially for its architectural design, brick open air walkways and wonderful views.
Castelvecchio offers a deep appreciation for Verona’s cultural heritage and architectural prowess. It was easy to visit in about an hour, and while, simple, it was beautiful and relaxing, again with few crowds around.
It’s worth putting on your list of things to do in Verona, even if you only have a day.
It was an attraction on the Verona Card.
7. Relax in Giusti Garden & Villa
Hello, my favorite garden on our four-week trip to Europe!
We visited many gardens in Paris, Loire Valley and Italy, and I was left feeling quite underwhelmed by many of them.
As soon as I walked through the gates of Giusti Gardens down the avenue of cypress trees I was captivated by its beauty. This was the kind of garden I was searching for. And we visited this as a random filler with a couple of hours we had spare.
The Giusti Garden is a. Established in the 16th century, the garden has been created using the Renaissance art of landscaping, with its intricate maze-like paths, fragrant flowers, cypress trees, fountains, and meticulously manicured boxed hedges.
There is a tower at the back with a secret spiral staircase inside leading you to an upper level of gardens and fantastic views overlooking the gardens and villas and the city of Verona.
As you wander through this botanical wonderland, the fragrances fill your lungs and the quiet romantic atmosphere calms your senses, creating a truly enchanting experience.
The Guisti Garden is both refined in artistry and harmonious nature; it’s a hidden oasis in the heart of the city.
Through lack of communication, we ended up with tickets to also tour the 20th Century apartment in the Guisti Villa, which we didn’t want to visit. The villa was home of Giovanni and Nor Giusti del Giardino and children from 1921 until the last war when it was destroyed.
I was grateful for that mistake as the villa was gorgeous. I could envision myself living at this place for sure and a wonderful insight into a more modern way of living.
I love how Gardino Giusti is tucked away from the main area of Verona as well making it a quieter experience. There were about five people there during our whole visit. There was only one other couple touring the villa who were having fun shooting their Instagram reels with just them in it.
At this stage of the day, we were too tired to REEL it. As I said, we don’t travel for the gram! If we can’t be bothered, we won’t bother.
From here we walked down to the river in the student focused Veronetta neighborhood.
We found the Bim Bum Bam Cafe/ Bar which had cheap Aperol Spritz (€4) and hearty aperitivos of filled bagels, chips, and nuts.
8. Marvel at Torre dei Lamberti / Piazza dei Signori
The Torre dei Lamberti is a soaring tower that dates back to the 12th century and stands as a symbol of the city’s medieval might and wealth.
Craig and the girls weren’t overly happy at my insistence we skip the elevator and walked up the 368 steps. You gotta walk off the gelato and pasta somehow.
At the top is an observation deck with a rewarding panoramic view across the terracotta rooftops of the city and the mountains surrounding it.
I waited up here for the ringing at the bells on the top of the hour as I heard this was a great thing to do. Not sure what I missed but I hardly heard the bells, and it was a total non-event.
The Torre dei Lamberti is not merely a vantage point; it’s an opportunity to connect with the city’s heritage, to feel its pulse, and to witness its timeless beauty from a unique perspective. It’s part of the Verona Card, or you can get a single-entry ticket here.
The tower is located on Piazza dei Signori, which is surrounded by palaces of great historical and architectural significance such as the Loggia of the Council and Palazzo del Ragione (now the A Forti Modern Art Gallery). In the middle of the square is the famous state of Dante, the father of the Italian language.
Just off the square is also the church of Santa Maria Antica where you’ll find the Arche Scaligere, or the Scaliger tombs. This monumental Gothic style funerary complex is the final resting place (high in the air) of the Lords of Verona.
You can also go inside the church. We saw several walking tours stopping here to learn more about the tombs and the Lords of Verona.
9. Join a Verona Highlights Walking Tour
There’s no better way to get to learn the history and culture of a destination (highlight summary) than through a guided walking tour. We did several of them in Italy and loved that deeper connection to place and people.
I regret not doing one in Verona due its long and complex history from its ruling Lords of Verona to brief control by the Republic of Venice and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The knowledgeable, local guide on LivTours’ Small Group Tour, will take you through centuries of these stories and landmarks in just two hours.
Stand on the legendary balcony where Romeo and Juliet’s love story unfolded, and uncover the ancient Verona Arena, dating back to the 1st century AD, where gladiators once battled.
This tour takes you through Verona’s iconic piazzas, showcasing frescoes, palaces, and statues that tell the city’s tale. Walk in the footsteps of ancient travelers at Porta Borsari, the original Roman-era gate, and snap pictures of the picturesque Ponte Pietra, built in 89 BC.
Learn about the influential Scaligeri family at their Gothic-style funerary monuments and discover hidden treasures and local eateries tucked away on charming cobblestone streets.
It also includes a visit to Juliet’s Balcony and The Verona Arena. It’s a comprehensive Verona experience that captures its romantic allure and historical significance. Book your tour here.
We did a LIvTours guided tour of the Vatican and liked the company.
10. People Watch in Piazza delle Erbe
If you’re looking for more relaxing things to do in Verona, then grab an espresso in a cafe in Piazza delle Erbe, a vibrant square that has been a hub of activity since ancient Roman times when it served as the city’s main marketplace.
Today, it remains a lively gathering place, brimming with colorful market stalls, elegant cafes, framed by palaces and buildings that have marked the history of Verona.
The square is also where you’ll find Torre dei Lamberti, the ornate Palazzo Maffei, the market column, the fountain of Madonna Verona and the column of San Marco, with a lion hoisted on top as a symbol of the Republic of Venice.
We ate here one evening and picked up some delicious strawberries from the market.
11. Soak up life in Piazza Bra (wander, eat, & drink)
Piazza Bra in Verona is a captivating and expansive public square dominated by Arena di Verona.
Beyond the Arena, Piazza Bra boasts numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops lining its perimeter, making it an ideal spot for leisurely strolls and people-watching.
The open expanse of the square itself invites relaxation, and during the evening, it comes alive with enchanting lights.
There is a small garden and fountain within Bra is shaded by cedar and pine trees with a bronze Victor Emmanuel II (the first King of Italy) atop a horse.
As it’s the most famous square in Verona with magnificent views of Verona Arena, I thought eating here may be out of our budget. And while it will be more expensive than some of the side streets and alleyways in Verona, I was surprised at how affordable it was.
We ate lunch here and shared a pizza for only €8 – how can you beat that? At another restaurant down a side street, we had a slightly more expensive Risotto Amarone which is made with red wine. It’s a traditional food of Verona, so worth trying while you’re visiting. IT was okay, but I wasn’t rushing to order it again.
Look for cheap aperitivo hour drinks and enjoy them with those beautiful views of the Arena and people wandering by this wonderful square.
Whether you’re here to admire ancient architecture, savor delicious Italian cuisine, or simply soak in the lively atmosphere, Piazza Bra is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the essence of Verona’s beauty and culture.
12. Shop in Via Giuseppe Mazzini
For those looking to take back some souvenirs, head to Giuseppe Mazzini, a captivating shopping street named after the influential 19th-century politician.
As you explore this stylish avenue, you’ll be enchanted by a plethora of shops, ranging from affordable boutiques to high-end luxury.
13. Catch the Sunset from St Peter’s Hill
Finally, be sure to visit Verona’s St. Peter’s Hill for breathtaking panoramic views of the city, especially at sunset. This iconic hill holds a significant place in Verona’s past, serving as a strategic defensive point during medieval times.
As you climb to the top, you’ll discover remnants of ancient fortifications and marvel at the commanding presence of Castel San Pietro.
The view from St. Peter’s Hill is truly spectacular, allowing you to see the Old Town and its terracotta rooftops, as well as the shimmering Adige River.
There is no better way to end a trip than to sit back at a beautiful viewpoint and take it all in. To get over to St Peter’s Hill, you cross the Torre di Ponte Pietra, a Roman arch bridge crossing the Adige River, which was completed in 100 BC.
We did not get a chance to take in this view during sunset, but we did in the afternoon. The alternative best time to see it (apart from sunset) would be in the morning with the light shining on Verona old town.
The view was beautiful, nevertheless. We actually walked from here to Guisti Gardens. I had planned to walk along the old city wall, but my internet was not working, so I lost my map. We ended up getting lost and walked there via random neighborhood streets – nowhere near as nice as I had planned! If you have time, I think that could be a beautiful walk along the city walls.
Day trip to Venice
Don’t forget you can also take a day trip to Venice from Verona. We left on one of the earliest trains from Verona Porta Nouova (6:22am) to arrive in Venice (Venezia St Lucia station) around 7:50. We then returned after dinner. Book your train tickets in advance via Omio. Some trains are faster than others so take that into account. Tickets were €10 (but change depending on train type and time). You can read all our tips and suggestions in our one-day Venice itinerary guide.
Save Money with the Verona Card
The Verona Car is an all-inclusive city attraction ticket that gives you free or reduced entry to monuments, the city’s four historic churches, and other attractions. You can also freely travel on city buses (which we never needed).
Plan your itinerary well before you arrive, as you can get a 24 hour or 48-hour card.
Also note some attractions are closed on Mondays. We purchased a 24-hour card as we arrived on a Monday when most attractions in Verona are closed. The Tower was opened though so we strategically timed that visit for late afternoon on Monday, leaving us 24 hours form that point to visit the other attractions the following day.
The Verona Card is worth it if you intend on visiting more than three attractions. We purchased it via Get Your Guide, which was the easiest option for me to understand. You then pick up the card from the tourist office near Piazza Bra. The card is activated on your first entry into an attraction.
You do not need to buy one for children as they are free or just €1 for many of the attractions.
When booking attractions in advance, you will have to ensure you book the same time slot for parties with the Verona Card and for any reduced fare children. We only booked Juliet’s Balcony in advance.
For the Verona Arena, there was a separate (faster) line for those with the Verona Card. We were able to use the Verona Card line AND pay for Savannah’s ticket as we went through, which was handy.
As mentioned, we had little crowds, you may need to book all attractions in advance otherwise.
Where to stay in Verona: Hotel Milano & Spa
Here’s why you want to stay at Hotel Milano & Spa.
Yep. Their exclusive Terrace Sky Lounge and Bar is reserved for guests only. This view is extraordinary and pairs well with an Aperol Spritz during aperitivo hour. They have some fancy aperitivo snacks as well.
However, the drinks are pricey at €12 Now if you’re American or Australian, you’re thinking that sounds about normal, actually cheap for a cocktail in our Raleigh area.
However, you can get €4-5 Aperol Spritz out on the streets of Verona so it’s significantly higher. But, worth it for the views, even if it’s just for the one.
We also wanted to use the spa, but since it was 98 degrees, we passed. It was much smaller than I was anticipating. Sure, it could have been an “Instagram worthy” photo but that’s not my travel style!
Obviously, with views like this, you know the hotel is centrally located to all the action. See rates and availability here.
CAVEAT: We booked this hotel using points – our one splurge on our 4 week Europe trip – because of those views. Imagine the tears when we arrived and found out we did not have a room booked here, but at their sister property, an eight minute walk away.
We thought we reserved a four-person room at Hotel Milan and Spa as that’s where we made our booking. At no point, did they stipulate we’d actually booked an apartment at another property.
The Hotel Mila and Spa does not have a 4-person room, so if you book that you will be booking a room at the Verona House.
The Verona House
It was still a fantastic suite, with loads of space, and located right next to Castelvecchio on the Adige River.
The main bedroom was spacious and the bathroom quite big and luxurious (compared to other European hotels we stayed in) The girls slept on the sofa bed int he decent size living room with small kitchenette.
We had views of the castle from our room, could walk everywhere, and had free bike rentals, but still it was not the same as what we had envisioned.
We wanted to be able to duck up to the rooftop terrace late at night or early in the morning when the girls were sleeping. Much harder to do an 8-minute walk away and of course it didn’t happen.
I still recommend you book a room at the Verona House if you are a family. And staying here means you can still use the rooftop bar and spa and all other amenities of Hotel Milano. See rates and availability here.
To help you with your planning you can copy a version of our Verona map above which has main attractions listed. Click here to access the map, then save a copy and then you can edit using Google My Places to suit your Verona trip.
Whether you’re looking for romantic things to do in Verona or you’re just looking to take in the beautiful architecture, there can be no doubt that Verona is a city that leaves your heart feeling full. This is why it’s one of the top honeymoon destinations in Italy.
It still captivated and charmed me more than twenty years after my first visit. I loved the smaller, slower pace of the city and if you can time the lucky like we did with few crowds, it will be an extra special Italian dream experience for you too.
We hope this guide helped you plan your trip and gave you some inspiration for some attractions in Verona to add to your to-do list.
You may like these Italy travel guides for nearby places:
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