Places to visit in Verona

Verona Airport is situated only 5 km from the city of Verona, which is considered to be one of Italy’s best-loved cities. Verona is in the Veneto region of north-east Italy, and is famous for its summer opera performances. People love to visit Verona just for a weekend break, or for longer periods as well. There are many fascinating sights to see, ranging from museums to roman ruins, since that Verona was once an important Roman town. Tourists can also easily reach other interesting areas from Verona, such as Lake Garda or Venice.

Verona’s most treasured and popular attraction is the Verona Arena. Even though it was built early in the first century AD, it is still in use today as Verona’s foremost venue for concerts and opera performances. It is also the largest Roman amphitheatre in northern Italy, and actually almost the largest in the whole of Italy, as only the Colosseum and Capua’s amphitheatre are larger. 25,000 people are able to enjoy the famous opera festival at the Arena every year during the summer months.

Possibly another of Verona’s attractions that is loved by all tourists and visitors is Juliet’s House. Casa Giulietta is located at via Cappello 23, and while it is doubtful that the Capulet family ever had residence in this house, the courtyard and famous balcony continue to be enjoyed by its visitors. The balcony was built in the 1920’s, and the entire house was restored in 1935. Casa Romeo, or Romeo’s house, is not open to the public, but can be found at arche Scaligere 4. It is here that it is believed that the Montague family actually lived. There is also a busy Shakespearian tourist trail, featuring ‘Juliet’s tomb’ (where you can post her a letter) and ‘Juliet’s balcony’ (where you can send her an email!).

Museums in Verona include the Museo Archeologico and the Municipal Museum of Art of Castelvecchio (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale). The Museo Archeologico is located at the Roman Theatre, with nice views over the river Adige. It was founded in 1923, and displays various pieces of art that were discovered in the area. The most fascinating exhibit is often said to be that of the fine bronze head that was found in the gravel bed of the river. The second mentioned museum is actually a 14th century castle built in the 1350’s. Today it is no longer a military fortress, but houses some great art works by Pisanello, Veronese and Tintoretto. There are also medieval weaponry, jewelry and sculptures on display.

A few churches are worth taking the time to visit in Verona, and these include the Santa Anastasia, displaying wonderful Gothic architecture form the 13th century, and the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, which is often thought of as the most attractive of Verona’s churches. It was built in the 1120’s and 30’s, and features an impressive bell tower, interior fresco-clad walls and a crypt which contains the tomb of St Zeno, who was Verona’s first bishop.

Like many Italian cities, Verona has plenty of festivals to keep everyone entertained. The Bacanal del Gnoco is held in February. Lots of parties and activities are enjoyed, and the highlight of this festival is the parade, where 4000 participants wearing masked costumes walk through the streets of Verona. Vinitaly is held in April, and is Italy’s most important wine fair, while there is also a film festival held around this time. The Verona opera festival is Verona’s biggest affair, and is held at the Arena. Other festivals include the Verona Jazz in June, the Feast of Santa Lucia in December and the Verona Fiera Cavalli, which is the biggest equestrian event in Italy.

Besides visiting all the main attraction venues, visitors in Verona can simply wander the streets of the historic center, and enjoy the shops and cafes along the way. If you don’t feel like walking, there is a mini-train tour which will help you explore the area.

There are also many ways to save money when sight-seeing in Verona. Instead of purchasing an entrance ticket for each attraction, combined tickets or tourist cards are available. A combined ticket can be bought for entrance to five of the city’s most important churches. The Verona Card enables admission to most of the important sights, and is valid for one or three days. It is much more cost effective to have one ticket for all the popular venues. Tourist information offices can be found at the railway station and along the city wall by the Arena at Piazza Bra.

Passengers arriving at Verona can also find out more information about hotels and attractions in Verona from the IAT tourism board at the airport, or the information desk in the Arrivals terminal.