Verona is a city is alive with colour, romance, drama and culture. When I visited in March I fell in love with this beautiful yet under-rated city.
Verona is traditionally very Roman with ancient gates, Piazza delle Erbe which played host as a form and the magnificent arena. This Roman presence makes Verona a stunning city with incredible architecture, lots of culture and a lot of history. And today, the city is a Unesco World Heritage Site and buzzing city that comes alive even more so in the summer when the 2000-year-old arena hosts opera’s biggest names.
Here is some of my favourite things to do in Verona…
Galleria d’Arte Moderna Achille Forti
In the shadow of the Torre dei Lamberti, the Romanesque Palazzo della Ragione is home to Verona’s jewel-box Gallery of Modern Art. Reached via the Gothic Scala della Ragione (Stairs of Reason).
Torre dei Lamberti
For panoramic views of Verona and nearby mountains, head up this 84m-high watchtower. Begun in the 12th century and finished in 1463 – too late to notice invading Venetians and sports an octagonal bell tower.
Museo di Castelvecchio
Situated on the river, this museum is bristling with battlements along the River Adige, Castelvecchio was built in the 1350s by Cangrande II. Severely damaged by Napoleon and WWII bombings, the fortress was reinvented by architect Carlo Scarpa.
Not as impressive as Florence’s but Verona’s 12th-century cathedral is a striking Romanesque creation, with bug-eyed statues of Charlemagne’s paladins Roland and Oliver, crafted by medieval master Nicolò, on the west porch.
Built of pink-tinged marble in the 1st century AD, Verona’s Roman amphitheatre survived a 12th-century earthquake to become the city’s legendary open-air opera house, with seating for 30,000 people.
Casa di Giulietta
Never mind that Romeo and Juliet were completely fictional characters, and that there’s hardly room for two on the narrow stone balcony: romantics flock to this 14th-century house to add their lovelorn pleas to the famous wall.
Teatro Romano e Museo Archeologico
Just north of the historic centre you’ll find a Roman theatre. Built in the 1st century BC, it is cunningly carved into the hillside at a strategic spot overlooking a bend in the river. Take the lift at the back of the museum for incredible views of the city.
Walk through the archway at the far end of Piazza dei Signori to these ornate Gothic funerary monuments, the elaborate tombs of the Della Scala family, in front of the little Santa Maria Antica church.
Piazza dei Signori
Verona’s beautiful open-air salon is ringed by a series of elegant Renaissance palazzi. Chief among these are the Palazzo degli Scaligeri (aka Palazzo Podestà), the 14th-century residence of Cangrande.
Piazza delle Erbe
Originally a Roman forum, Piazza delle Erbe is ringed with buzzing cafes and some of Verona’s most sumptuous buildings, including the elegantly baroque Palazzo Maffei, which now houses several shops at its northern …
Flanking the northern end of vibrant Piazza delle Erbe is Palazzo Maffei, an elegantly baroque creation now home to numerous offices and businesses.