This quaint Italian city is well known for Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet, the Adige River, and its ancient Roman architecture. However, it wasn’t long before we realized Verona is as rich in history as it is in delicious food! We unfortunately only had a short visit here. Yet, we made the most of it by getting to Verona early, hiking to the castle, cafe hopping, and walking until our feet hurt. So get ready… Here are 16 of the best things to do in Verona Italy!
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Getting to Verona Italy
Verona is extremely accessible from everywhere in Italy. Its location nearby to major cities such as Milan, Bergamo, Venice, and Bologna makes it the perfect place to add to a Northern Italy itinerary. In fact, you can get from most of the places we just mentioned to Verona Italy in under 1.5 hours by train!
Don’t worry if you’re not a train or bus person. It’s just as easy to fly into Valerio Catullo Airport both domestically and internationally. As you can see, Verona is easy to get to and just waiting to be explored!
The Verona Card
Before we get into all the best things to do in Verona, we have an important tip for you! If you’re planning on visiting the many attractions in museums you should consider buying the Verona Card.
When you get the Verona Card you’ll have the option of a 24 or 48 hour pass. Entrance to the Verona Arena and Torre dei Lamberti alone is 8 Euros each so that almost equals the amount for the card right there!
Only One Day in Verona??
We know what you’re thinking… How can you explore an entire Italian city in one day? While it would be impossible to see everything, we quickly found out Verona is built for walking. It has a small-town feel compared to other cities in Italy but with enough going on to keep you up and running around for hours.
For this reason, our one day in Verona was some of the most fun we had on our whole trip to Italy. Oh, and we should probably mention something else. The Verona food is amazing!!
We recommend you use this guide loosely to give yourself an idea of what to see and eat in the city. We had an amazing time! However, it’s essential to have extra time to roam and discover things on your own, too.
Anyway, if you only have one day there’s no time to waste! Here are our favorite restaurants, cafes, and things to do in Verona Italy.
16 Best Things to do in Verona Italy
1. Get Lost in the Colorful Backstreets
The best way to see any European city is to explore by foot, and that’s especially true in Verona. You’ll find yourself walking the bright-colored streets for hours, stopping in at cafes, all while seeing the beauty of authentic Italy.
You’ll see that we tried to put these things to do in Verona in an order that makes sense. Just know that we were crisscrossing our way through the backstreets and getting lost like we were in a maze… And it was so much fun!
2. Caffe Borsari for Breakfast
It’s time for our first Verona food stop before you start your adventure around the city. The small quirky Caffè Borsari right in the heart of Verona is the perfect start to power you up for the day. Grab one of their delicious espressos and a sweet treat to enjoy. Not used to pastries for breakfast? Well, when in Italy!
3. Stop by Juliet’s House
Did you know Verona is the home of Romeo and Juliet? Shakespeare’s famous love story has origins in this magical Italian city, and you can even visit Juliet’s house and the famous balcony where she preached down to Romeo.
In all reality, the story is fictional and the balcony was not added until the 20th century. Still, it’s a fun way to experience the story of Romeo and Juliet.
It should be no surprise that this is the biggest tourist draw in Verona so be prepared for big crowds. Also, be aware that touching the breasts of the Juliet statue is an old Italian tradition for good luck. Just so you’re not caught off guard when you see this!
4. Visit the Verona Arena
Upon entering Verona you’ll immediately see the massive Roman amphitheater sitting in the center. Witnessing something so remarkable as your introduction to a new city is such a crazy feeling!
The 2,000 year old arena which once played host to great warriors is still a source of entertainment for locals. We didn’t get a chance to see a performance but thought it was unbelievable that they still have concerts at this historic venue.
If you’d like to take a tour of the Verona Area we recommend doing so in the morning. Entering this magnificent structure feels so different when you feel like you’re the only one there.
5. Climb the Torre dei Lamberti
Looking up from almost anywhere in Verona you will be able to see an epic tower. This important historical monument was built in 1172, and it still stands tall over the city to this day.
To get to the top of the 275 foot tower, you’ll need to climb up a mere 368 number of steps up… No big deal right? While there are many views to take in Verona from afar, the Torre dei Lamberti is unique because you’re actually right above the very heart of the city!
6. Lunch to-go From Bigoi Verona
Hungry for some Verona food yet? How about pasta to-go!? While there are countless restaurants to taste pasta in Verona, you’ll be surprised to find out one of the best is also the cheapest.
Bigoi Verona makes their pasta fresh from scratch with your choice of sauce in cups to go. Honestly, if this is Italian fast food we’re all in!
If you’re the type that would rather sit down for a long meal we completely understand. Just know that a cup of delicious pasta is there if you need it for 5 Euros.
7. Walk Under the Porta dei Borsari Arch
As we sat and ate our cup of pasta we couldn’t help but look up in awe. There was a 2,000 year old arch sitting right there! Like the Verona Arena, this stone arch has been around since first-century Roman times.
Something that consistently blows our minds in Italy is the stuff you’re regularly seeing would probably be in a museum in most places in the world.
Instead, you can have an espresso, glass of wine, or even pasta before walking under a piece of Verona history.
8. Castelvecchio Castle & Museum
This Verona castle was built in the 1300’s by the ruling Scaliger family as a way to control the river and city. They’ve now turned it into a museum with many outstanding art sculptures and paintings to see.
While you could easily spend hours here we can’t blame you if you move on. If you do, not to worry! There is another epic castle we’ll mention later in our things to do in Verona guide.
9. Cross Ponte di Castelvecchio
After your tour of the Castelvecchio Castle, it’s time to cross a famous bridge in Verona Italy! Also known as the Scaliger Bridge, this fortified crossing was the world’s largest at the time it was built in the mid-14th Century.
Even though it was destroyed in WWII and rebuilt, that doesn’t take away from its historic charm. We could easily still imagine Verona royalty crossing the river from the castle many years ago.
If you didn’t know, Verona Italy is full of impressive bridges! We promise this won’t be the last you’ll cross during your one day in Verona.
10. See the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
Once you cross over Ponte di Castelvecchio it will lead you through several beautiful public gardens on the other side. From there you can walk to your left and back over the Adige River across the Ponte Risorgimento bridge.
Now back on the same side as the Castelvecchio, make your way to the Basilica di San Zeno. The construction of this Romanesque architecture began over 1,000 years ago in the year 967. The interior of the Basilica is quite spectacular if you get a chance to go inside.
Another reason behind the Basilica di San Zeno’s claim to fame is that its crypt was where Romeo and Juliet got married in Shakespeare’s tragedy. If ancient churches are of interest to you make sure to also visit the Verona Cathedral!
11. Stroll Along the Adige River
By now you can see that Verona has an amazing collection of bridges crossing the Adige River. This was the most notable and lovable feature of the city for us, as we were constantly strolling over them and gazing off at the buildings lining the water.
You may be impressed to know that the Adige is actually the 2nd longest river in Italy, stretching from the north of the country all the way to the Adriatic Sea.
Simply walking along the Adige River and enjoying the views is one of the best things to do in Verona! It can also be fun to buy some Verona food and grab a seat on the water.
12. Quick Snack at Focacceria Ponte Pietra
Speaking of Verona food… If you’re anything like us, all this walking and sightseeing will make you hungry. Luckily there is a small bakery near Ponte Pietra that specializes in one thing. Focaccia bread! We randomly passed by and it looked too good not to go in. For 2 Euros it’s a great afternoon snack before you cross yet another famous bridge in Verona Italy.
13. Go Across the Most Famous Bridge in Verona Italy
Ready for one more beautiful bridge in Verona?? Not only is this Ponte Pietra Verona’s oldest bridge, but it also serves as the access point to Castel San Pietro across the river.
If you can believe it, the original structure was built in 100 BC. That makes this Roman Arch bridge over 2,000 years old!
Unfortunately, like Ponte di Castelvecchio, this was destroyed by the retreating German army in WWII. Still, it’s nice that they were able to rebuild it with its original materials.
14. Short Hike to Castel San Pietro
You’ll be happy to know that we saved the best for the end of this one day in Verona guide! The San Pietro Castle sits proudly above the city, and you won’t find a better viewpoint of Verona. By taking just a short 10 minute walk uphill you’ll see the colors come to life with the bridges, Torre dei Lamberti, and the Adige River below.
Whether you’re a fan of Verona history, pretty views, or both, make it a point to climb to this castle! Castel San Pietro was built towards the end of the 14th century in a strategic position overlooking the city and Dolomites mountain range. The view is absolutely breathtaking from atop, and it will make you appreciate the streets you’ve been exploring all day so much more.
One of the best things to do in Verona Italy is hiking up here for sunset. So don’t worry if you saved it until the end of your day!
15. Unique Dinner at Santa Felicita
Ready for a dining experience unlike any other you’ll have in Italy? Santa Felicita is set inside an old church! The nice thing is that there is also something on the menu for everyone.
From 6 Euro pizzas to massive seafood platters, Santa Felicita has a meal to fit every level of hunger. Dinner service starts at 6:30pm here if you’re planning on stopping by. Otherwise, there are so many amazing restaurants to enjoy elsewhere.
One of the things we liked most about the Verona food options is that there is such a diverse range of restaurants. So whether you’re on a budget or in the mood for some upscale dining, they got you covered!
16. Stop ANYWHERE for Dessert in Verona Italy
Now maybe we shouldn’t have saved this as the last of the things to do in Verona… Because we actually stopped multiple times for desert! This is a city where you can make your wildest foodie dreams come true in the form of gelato, cannoli, and tiramisu.
Pretty much everywhere you look there will be some kind of chocolate store or incredible ice cream stand. Remember, you’re in Italy! Stop by for a Gelato and end your day with something sweet.
More Things to do in Verona (If You Have Time!)
- The Classic and the Unknown Original Verona Bike Tour
- Visit the Amarone Wine Trail Tour from Verona
- Try a Verona Cooking Class and Experience The Real Taste of Italy
- Visit the Verona Aquardens Thermal Baths for the Day
- Take a Verona Food Tour with Wine Tasting
Have any questions on this one day guide or want to share your own favorite things to do in Verona Italy? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Verona Italy
Ultra Luxury – Hotel Milano & SPA***S – There are plenty of ways to see a Roman Amphitheater, but how about from a rooftop jacuzzi?? This luxury hotel has it all and more, right in the city!
Fun Vacation – Marconi Rooms and Apartments – Fun medieval-style vibe in the heart of the city center. Spacious rooms and a unique rooftop terrace.
Hostel Life – Posada Verona Hostel – Just outside the main city, but still within walking distance of all the great restaurants and attractions. Private rooms and dorm beds are available.
For more hotels in Verona you can find the latest prices here!
Italy Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Italian road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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