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What to see in Verona Italy? It’s a loaded question… how long have you got? As soon as you set foot in the historic section of Verona, your jaw will drop, the shutter on your camera will be clicking and, if you are an urban explorer like me, your perfect wandering self mode will kick into gear.
On an early June day, Verona Italy is hot and crowded. And it is perfection. Angel wings soar skyward, colourful façades entice, the Adige river rushes under ancient bridges and I know upon arrival that 24 hours will not be enough. I am grateful to discover things to do in Verona Italy and know that this city suits my lingering soul.
Many people pop into Verona for a day trip from Milan or Venice. If you can work it into your itinerary, stay a few nights or even longer and explore at leisure all the things to do in Verona Italy. Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is rich in history with stunning architecture, has serpentine cobblestone streets to explore and northern Italian cuisine to savour. What’s not to love?!
With barely 24 hours on a scorching June day, my Scottish friend Michelle and I opted to use the Hop-On Hop-Off bus (not my usual choice but works when short of time) and allowed time to wander in order to appease our insatiable curiosity.
Where Is Verona Italy?
Verona Italy is on the Adige River in northern Italy. It is situated perfectly to make a stopover while travelling to or from Venice or Milan. Verona is one of the most romantic cities in Italy
8 Amazing Things To Do In Verona Italy
1. What To See In Verona: Visit Juliet’s House
What to see in Verona starts with the Casa de Giulietta, Juliet’s House. As most people know, Verona is the setting for Shakespeare’s tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet.
Wander through an archway past wall upon wall of love notes, love locks and chewing gum that has been chewed by lovers and find yourself in a small courtyard, shoulder to shoulder with others. The courtyard of Juliet’s house where you find the balcony (not the original) and her bronze statue are inundated with people. The crowds are insane.
Doesn’t that kill all the romance right there?
Pay €6 to line up, enter the house and take your two-second wave from the balcony (or skip it) or linger near Juliet’s bronze statue hoping to feel her bronze breast for good luck. Would you?
Despite the crowds, it is an essential thing to do in Verona. I am a romantic at heart and loved seeing Juliet looking so serene and pensive.
As far as what to see in Verona Italy, it was by far the most crowded location. Worth skipping or just popping in past the crowds for a quick peek.
2. Admire The Verona Arena
The Arena di Verona, the Verona Arena, is a preserved, open-air Roman amphitheatre that has been around for over 2000 years. It is an incredible tribute to Roman ingenuity that it still stands today and is well known for its opera performances. Imagine what has transpired behind those double arches. Gladiators, medieval jousts, rock concerts and the annual Summer Opera Festival to name a few events. Experiencing an evening of music at the Arena di Verona now sits at the top of my bucket list.
The Arena di Verona is situated in Piazza Bra. Sit at a table in one of the numerous cafés and sip a coffee or a glass of Valpolicella facing the stone arena. You are in the Valpolicella wine region, after all.
3. Sit In The Cathedral of Verona
Definitely one of the top things to do in Verona Italy is to visit the Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare or the Cathedral of Verona that dates back to 1187. Stand in front and gaze up its simple Romanesque layered portico. Enter and note the influence of the Renaissance period with a lavish, vaulted interior and Italian frescoes. I always love to grab a few minutes of peace inside a church with a bonus of a reprieve from the heat.
Despite how marvellous the Duomo is in Verona, I fell for the stunning angel statue and the creatures guarding the entrance.
Travel Tip: You are not too far from the stunning city of Trento. Read about the 15 Things to do in Trento and add it to your itinerary!
4. Cross Ponte Pietra, The Stone Bridge
What to see in Verona Italy in one day? You just have to stroll across Ponte Pietra, a cobbled footbridge over the River Adige that has existed since 100 BC. Another stunning vestige from the Roman empire, it has seen some serious history. Ponte Pietra has had to be rebuilt several times. The last time it was reconstructed was after the Germans blew it up in 1945.
5. What To See In Verona: Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe has been a central meeting and market place in Verona since Roman times. Today the elegant frescoed buildings that line the square are full of inviting cafes.
The daily market in the centre of the Piazza is full of souvenirs (and a bit of fresh fruit on offer). If you are looking for an Italian purse or a Venetian mask to wear at the Carnival of Venice, look no further than the Piazza delle Erbe.
5. What To See In Verona: Torre dei Lamberti
Peruse the market in Piazza delle Erbe and end up at Torre dei Lamberti. I wish I had had time to climb and see the spectacular views over the River Adige and Verona.
6. Linger At Santuario Madonna di Lourdes
The bus tour took us up the hill to the Santuario Madonna di Lourdes, a hilltop sanctuary with gorgeous views. We hopped off the bus and stayed to savour the view over Verona’s red rooftops, towers and the Adige River. Have a few extra minutes? The sage-coloured leaves in the nearby olive groves invite you to dilly-dally.
7. Wander Through The Castelvecchio Museum
Castelvecchio is an old castle and fortress built in 1350’s. Look for her seven towers that provide an unmistakable landmark in Verona’s skyline and cross the Castelvecchio bridge spanning the Adige River. If you have time, enter the Castelvecchio museum, Museo di Castelvecchio, to enjoy the collection of ceramics, paintings and sculptures.
8. What To See In Verona: Get Lost
In Verona, there are plenty of tourists and crowds. My modus operandum. Go in the opposite direction.
Discover a Roman wall.
Stare back at a statue and try to uncover its importance.
Linger in a Piazza and devour a gelato while staring at stunning facades.
Stand under balconies laden with blooms and see who is looking back at you.
Slip unnoticed down a side street.
Now you know the top things to do in Verona Italy in one day and I think you know the answer to my query.
24 hours is just not enough time in Verona.