May, 24 2019 ( Updated May, 24 2019)
Let’s visit Verona!
Home to the largest Roman stadium still in functional use and the immortal scene for Shakespeare’s famous plays, ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and of course Romeo Juliet, Verona is a city built, it seems, to celebrate the colourful culture of its people.
Located 105km west of Venice, the city of Verona is heralded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. For this reason alone it is worth a visit!
If you’re planning on a sightseeing day to Verona, let us guide the way…
Morning to explore
No trip would be complete without a stroll along Via Capello to visit ‘the balcony’ of Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta). This romantic 1300’s Gothic-style house and museum provide an inspiring Shakespearean-style setting in which literary fans, couples and curious visitors alike will feel compelled to visit. In this fast-paced world, the simple moment of imagining Juliet calling out for her beloved Romeo will transport you to another world. Take a moment there for a photo on the famous balcony itself, and don’t forget to leave a precious love note near the entrance!
After you’ve recited some favourite Shakespearean
sonnets, enjoy a short 3-minute walk to the impressive Piazza dei Signori (also
known as Piazza Dante). The impressive piazza is home to Italy’s most famous
Italian poet, as well as notable Italian stateman. As the former powerhouse for
civic life and commerce in Verona, the piazza offers many notable buildings in
one place. From the courthouse which was established in 1731 (‘Palazzo dei
Giudici’), to older, ancient government buildings and the former headquarters
for the ruling elite of the 13th and 14th century, the
Scaliger family (‘Palazzo del Podestà’), this Piazza certainly packs a cultural punch!
Also take in the majestic façade of the ‘Loggia del Consiglio’ (a Venetian Renaissance building dating back to 1476), the ‘Palazzo del Comune’ and just opposite, the simplistic Renaissance building of ‘Casa della Pièta’. There you can spot the symbolic reference of the former Venetian rule over Verona (in the form of a seated woman with a flag). Linking the Scaligera’s power seat of ‘Palazzo del Podestà’ with the ‘Palazzo dei Tribunali’ (which dates back to 1575) is the formidable ‘Arco della Tortura’ (so called due to the torture devices which hung here and were the instruments of justice dished out by the Veronese Judges).
Just 1 minutes’ walk away from the piazza, the ornate Gothic-style Scaliger tombs can be seen in full view, just outside the small church of ‘Santa Maria Antica’. A similar distance away is the impressive ‘Torre dei Lamberti’ in Piazza delle Erbe. Dating back to 1172, the 84m bell tower offers incredible views from the top and symbolises the power which the Veronese aristocracy held over the city in the 12th century. The ticket price also includes entry to the city’s Modern Art Gallery, so it’s well worth buying for an out-of-season daytrip!
Taking in all these historical landmarks can be hungry work, and the ideal, scenic spot for sitting down and enjoying a well-earned lunch is Piazza Bra. The largest Piazza in Italy, this vibrant café and restaurant-lined square is home to one beautiful centre piece, the 1st century Roman amphitheatre.
Savour an authentic meal here, whilst imagining the glory days of this iconic building, now the atmospheric (and unforgettable) venue for present day outdoor events and atmospheric operas.
After savouring the typical Italian and Veronese cuisine in Piazza Bra, visitors can enjoy walking off their lunch; with a 15-minute stroll to the main cathedral of Verona.
‘Duomo di Verona’ is a Romanesque and Gothic masterpiece, dating back to 1172. Points of interest here are the Chapter Library, the Cloister of the Canons, the Baptistery, the Cloister of the Canons, Church St Helena and the Bishop’s Palace.
Just 5 minutes’ walk away from the Duomo, the Roman-era bridge ‘Ponte Pietra’ promises a lovely photo opportunity. Dating back to 100 BC, the bridge is the oldest of its kind in Verona. Once known as ‘Pons Marmoreus’, the ancient Roman ‘Via Postumia’ passed over, linking Genoa with Aquileia. Its distinct arched shape and rich heritage makes this a popular landmark to admire on foot, or from the water.
From ‘Ponte Pietra’, the Castel San Pietro promises a panoramic 180° vista across Verona city. Indeed, this historical hilltop castle is arguably one of the most picturesque sights in all of Verona! Reached either on foot in 10 minutes (via a steep climb amongst ancient ruins and colourful townhouses) or by a swift funicular ride (located just off Via Santo Stefano), this UNESCO World Heritage site offers visitors a rich visual spectacle from its 19th century fortress terrace. Sights to spot include the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra, the distinctive ‘Ponte Pietra’, the Castello Romanesque church and the 14th century Visconti castle.
Born romantics must come here at sunset, and take in the far-reaching views with scenic drinks or supper at the nearby ‘Re Teodorico’ restaurant.
Dine out in sweet Verona
As the sun goes down, the quaint restaurant-lined backstreets surrounding Piazza Bra spring into life; with glowing ambient lights and romantic dinner tables tempting you to sit. Elsewhere, the city awakens with the likes of authentic bars and elegant award-winning restaurants.
For those in search of authentic regional cuisine, head over to the likes of ‘Osteria Il Ciottolo’, ‘Ristorante Pizzeria Nastro Azzuro’, ‘La Taverna di Via Stella’, ‘Café Carducci’, ‘Trattoria del Taio’ or ‘Torcolino da Barca’.
Whatever your wallet size and whatever the season, ‘sweet Verona’ will offer you a vivid and memorable experience.