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 historic city of Verona was first settled by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Several city sights—including the Roman theater and the Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge) over the Adige river—still remain from this early period, while many city streets, such as the Via Mazzini, follow the routes of ancient Roman roads with many ruins to visit.
There are also many buildings dating from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, including the Casa di Giulietta, where the family said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Capulets in Romeo & Juliet once lived. Many people interested in the architectural history of the city choose to take part in a guided tour to learn more about the significance of the different buildings.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Verona’s Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- If you’re planning to take part in a walking or bike tour make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- The Historic Center is wheelchair accessible, although many streets are lined with cobbles.
How to Get There
Verona’s Historic Center covers the central district of the city, lying roughly between Via Roma in the south and the riverbank in the north, east, and west. It is best explored on foot, either self-guided or as part of a walking, bike, or Segway tour. Additionally, hop-on-hop-off buses stop at many of the major tourist attractions making the city easy to navigate.
When to Get There
The streets in the Historic Center are open 24 hours a day year-round. Many of the individual sights have separate opening hours so check before you visit. The city is busiest in the summer months when visitors come from all over the world to enjoy opera performances at the Verona Arena.
Climb Up to Castel San Pietro
For a bird’s-eye view of the city before you start exploring in earnest, head up the steep hill to Castel San Pietro—or save your legs and take the funicular railway. From the top you’ll be able to see the Roman roads cutting through the center, the river winding its way through the buildings, and make out the 30,000 seat Verona Arena.