The Italian city of Verona was the setting for one of the world’s great love stories: Romeo and Juliet. Today Verona is home to several Romeo and Juliet–linked landmarks. Here are a few to check out during your visit.
Things to do in Verona
Welcome to Verona
In contrast to its neighbors Venice and Milan, the north Italian city of Verona exudes a subdued charm. Affectionately known as Little Rome during the time of the Roman Empire, the city bursts with baroque architecture and ancient relics, but is perhaps most famous for its association with Shakespeare’s greatest love story. Delve into the legend of Romeo and Juliet on a history tour, master local specialties during a cookery class, or explore beyond the city on a guided bike ride through the vineyards of Valpolicella wine country. Following a few days of food, wine, and culture, you’re guaranteed to fall madly in love with the city of star-crossed lovers.
Top 10 attractions in Verona
Piazza delle Erbe is the central square in Verona. The name translates to Square of Herbs and is the site of the local market. It has been the center of political and economic life in Verona for centuries. It was also once the site of a Roman forum. Tower Lamberti, the tallest tower in Verona, is located on the piazza. It stands at 272 feet high and has an octagon shaped structure at the top which holds the Rengo and Marangona bells dating back to 1464. Palazzo Commune, Verona's town hall building, is also located here. It was built in the Middle Ages, but renovations in the 19th century added a neoclassical facade. Also located in Piazza delle Erbe is Torre Gardello, which was built in 1370 but not finished until 1626. Palazzo Mafei is a Baroque building on top of which are sculptures of the gods Jupiter, Venus, Apollo, Hercules, and Minerva. The most popular attraction in the square is the 14th century Madonna Verona Fountain, also known as the Virgin of Verona.....
There's nothing quite like sitting where you know others have sat and watched performances for two thousand years. The lovely pink marble Roman amphitheatre built in 1AD still proudly dominates the piazza in the middle of Verona, and people still travel from miles around to witness a spectacle; these days it's opera rather than sports, games and gladiatorial battles. The third largest amphitheatre in Italy, Arena di Verona could once seat 30,000, these days its capacity is 15,000. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the outer walls were ripped down and used for building materials. In the twelfth century, an earthquake damaged the place and it wasn't really until the nineteenth century that there was an interest in using it once more to stage performances. The current incarnation as a major outdoor opera venue began in 1913 with a celebratory mounting of Verdi's Aida to mark 100 years since his birth....
The power of storytelling should never be underestimated. Every year hundreds of thousands of us trek to Verona to see the balcony where Juliet stood while Romeo declared his love. None of us care that it's very possible that Romeo and Juliet were only figments of Shakespeare's imagination. This is the most powerful love story in western culture and we all want to live a little part of its dream – though not its tragic ending. The house in Verona known as Juliet's house was owned by the family dell Capello, a name not too far from Capulet, right? The house dates from the 13th century and the family coat of arms can still be seen on the wall. A slight problem is the balcony itself, which overlooks the courtyard – it was added in the 20th century. But that's of no matter to the hundreds of girls who every year step out onto it and gaze below seeking their Romeo among the milling tourists....
Piazza Bra, Verona’s largest piazza, is also among the largest in Italy. Today, the piazza is the heart of Verona, anchored by some of the city’s most famous buildings. Most notable is the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheater built from pink marble during the first century; during the summer months, the 2,000-year-old theater — the best preserved in the world — still hosts operatic and musical performances. Palazzo Barbieri, Verona’s town hall, is also situated in Piazza Bra, as well as Gran Guardia Palace, a nineteenth century structure now used as a conference venue. Il Liston runs along the western edge of the piazza and is lined by cafes, pizzerias and trattorie....
A symbol of Verona, the 14th-century Castelvecchio Bridge (Ponte Scaligero) spanning the Adige River had the largest supporting arch span in the world when it was completed in 1356. The original was destroyed during World War II, but a new bridge was rebuilt with the same red-brick crenellations as its predecessor....
With ancient Roman ruins, church crypts that inspired Shakespeare, and grand Austrian-style buildings from the 19th century, Verona’s Historic Center (Centro Storico) is an architectural treasure trove. Highlights include the 2nd-century Verona Arena, the Casa di Giulietta, and the 14th-century Scaliger Tombs....
The civic and political heart of Verona is the Piazza dei Signori where the former city hall, the Loggia del Consiglio, still graces the square. Next door, the city's most powerful family, the Scaligeri, built their palazzo - not that they were trying to intimidate the councilors at all. It may after all have just been a matter of convenience, as the Scaligeri most often held the title of Lord of Verona and got to sit in the big chair anyway. Even in death they didn't like to be too far away and the tombs of the Scaligeri clan are at the far end of the piazza in Arche Scaligere. While not huge, architecturally the Piazza dei Signori is significant, with a mixture of styles, all joined by a series of arches. One of these leads to the nearby Piazza delle Erbe, a marketplace. The arch, the Arco della Costa, contains a whale's rib which is said in legend to fall on the first just person to walk under it. So far it remains firmly in place....
Commemorating the influential Della Scala family, the Scaliger tombs are a series of five Gothic funerary monuments found outside the Santa Maria Antica church in Verona. Dating back to the 14th century, the monuments are famous for their elaborate decoration....
With a history dating back more than 2,000 years, the Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge) is deserving of its status as one of Verona’s most memorable landmarks. The striking stone-brick footbridge is the city’s oldest Roman bridge, originally a wooden bridge erected in 89BC and rebuilt in stone in the 1st century BC. Today, the arched bridge is a mélange of construction from different eras, with parts of the original Roman bridge augmented by medieval pillars and at least two of its arches reconstructed after damage in WWII. Crossing the Adige River, the monumental bridge is set against a romantic backdrop of the riverfront and historic center, with the Roman theater perched on the east bank, and the eponymous Ponte Pietra Restaurant overlooking its west bank....
The 12th century cathedral was built on top of a pre-existing medieval church which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. The facade is Romanesque with Gothic elements. Inside, the church continued to be added to and renovated over many centuries; the interior is largely decorated with Renaissance paintings, and a 16th century bell tower was left unfinished. The lighting system dates from 2002! The things to see here are the lovely, gentle portal sculptures in the western doorway by Maestro Nicolo dating from 1139 (they are conveniently signed and dated). The south door has sculptures depicting the story of Jonah, a lion, an angel and the Virgin Mary. Two sculpted holy warriors, Oliver and Uliviero, guard the entrance. Inside don't miss Titian's painting of the Assumption of the Virgin....
Top activities in Verona
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Discover the top things to do in Verona.
- Verona Food & Wine Walking Tour in Small-group
- Fascinating Verona: in the Footprints of Romeo and Juliet
- Verona City Center Bike Tour
- Verona Arena guided Tour with Fast Track entrance
- Valpolicella Wine Tour: 3 Wineries and traditional lunch
Discover the top things to do in Verona.
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Things to do near Verona
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