Verona, Italy, is a picturesque city that is, perhaps, best known around the world as the setting of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. It’s frequently called the most romantic city in Italy, despite the tragic end to Romeo and Juliet’s tale. While its reputation as a city of star-crossed lovers precedes it, Verona has much to offer beyond its involvement in this famous tale. The city is scenic, full of historical buildings, close to gorgeous wineries, and more, giving popular destinations like Rome and Venice some tourism competition.
Here are the top attractions in Verona, plus some hidden gems for travelers thinking of making a stop here while exploring nearby northern Italian cities like Milan, which offers tourist-friendly things to do in fall, and Bologna, Italy’s foodie capital.
10 Tour The Castelvechhio Museum
The Castelvechhio Museum is inside a 14th-century castle and is the most important museum in Verona. The castle was built by the Scala family and is full of medieval and renaissance artwork, artifacts, and historic architecture. Take a guided tour or download an audio guide to listen to while touring in order to learn as much about the interesting history of the castle and museum as possible.
9 Explore Piazza Delle Erbe
In Italy, a “piazza” is a central square surrounded by shops, eateries, and usually with sculptures or fountains on display in the center. These areas are hubs for entertainment, including street performances and other artists selling their work to visitors. Piazza delle Erbe is a lively part of Verona and is the oldest square in the city. It’s a great place to come for a coffee or to do some souvenir shopping.
8 See An Opera At Verona Arena
Arena di Verona (Verona Arena) is a Roman Amphitheater in the heart of the city. It was built in 30 AD and remains in use for spectacular opera performances in the modern day. Book tickets online for one of their upcoming shows when planning a visit to Verona.
Via Mazzini is Verona’s most popular shopping street, so it’s a must-visit while in this northern Italian city. The picturesque street is worth visiting for the Instagram photo alone, but it’s easy to spend a day wandering this area and exploring the boutique shops. Take a break for lunch at one of the many eateries and enjoy views of the street while dining.
6 Visit Juliet’s House
Since the story of Romeo and Juliet is so famously associated with Verona, it would be a shame to come all this way and not see the famous house associated with the tragic love story. Juliet’s House (or Casa di Giulietta) is a tower that was built between the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Although it technically has no relation to Shakespeare’s work, the former inn has become an attraction where people go to see the balcony that supposedly belonged to Juliet.
5 Photograph The Verona Cathedral
The Duomo di Verona (Verona Cathedral) is a sight to behold, and photographers visiting the city should carve out some time to capture it in all its beauty. Located in Piazza Vescovado, the cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a Roman Catholic religious site. Admission for a single entry ticket to view the interior is €4.00 (~$4.20).
4 Stroll Through The Giardino Giusti
One of the many hidden gems in Verona, the Giardino Giusti is a stunning garden behind the Palazzo Giusti. The palazzo was built in the 16th century and gives way to the scenic beauty of the garden’s winding paths, hedges, and fountains. Walk among the Italian cypress trees in one of Italy’s finest gardens, located near Piazza Isolo.
3 Visit A Winery Near Verona
Italy is famous for its top-tier wine, and traveling to Verona is no exception. The area is home to a few wineries that are worth visiting when staying in this romantic northern Italian city. Cantine Giacomo Montresor, Cantina Giovanni Ederle, and Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine SpA are all wineries located less than a 15-minute drive from Verona’s city center.
2 Get Gelato At Gelateria La Romana In Verona
One of the secret places of northern Italy is undoubtedly Verona’s top-ranking gelato shop, Gelateria La Romana. It’s not on a top attraction list, but it is one of the highlights of visiting this scenic city. Gelateria La Romana has a 4.6-star rating on Google with more than 4,000 reviews. Needless to say, their selection of gelato flavors is outstanding.
This parlor originally began operations in 1947 and switched ownership within a few years of its inception. The wide range of gelato flavors are made in-store with few ingredients, following the traditional recipes.
1 Stroll Along Via Sottoriva (And Grab A Bite)
While everyone is shopping on Via Mazzini in Verona, travelers should head to Via Sottoriva to discover a side of the city that not every tourist sees. This hidden gem of Verona is a street that looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale or a movie scene. Its charming cobbled stone and archways overhead make it feel like a secret of the city, creating a cozy atmosphere for street-side dining. Be sure to enjoy a meal or a coffee here, away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping streets and busy piazzas.