Are you wondering if Verona in Italy is worth visiting? Well, I’m not going to persuade you to go, because we all have our preferences. But in this post, I will tell you 12 beautiful reasons why you should!
These reasons are the things why so many tourists come to Verona. Did you know that during the years before 2020, Verona was visited by more than 13 million tourists? Impressively, it gets more visitors than some other countries in the world!
Believe it or not, Verona is the third most visited city in Italy by international travelers, too! That’s crazy, thinking it has more visits than the beautiful Rome. Before, I always thought that more international tourists see Rome because of its spectacular ancient attractions – but I was wrong.
The numbers will really make you curious about Verona. But that curiosity won’t last because you’ll know it all here in this blog post.
I included Google Maps links to show the location of each attraction indicated in this post. There will be tips too! If you find this post helpful, please bookmark, pin, or share this post. It will help me continue this blog and create more articles like this. Thank you very much! Love lots, Eljon.
We’re just getting started! LOL. Let’s have a quick overview of what and where Verona is before proceeding to the main topic.
So, where exactly is Verona in Italy? You can find Verona in the region of Venetia in Northern Italy. It sits at the foothills of the pre-alps along the Adige River, which is Italy’s second-longest river. Verona lies between Venice and Milan – both are a 1.5-hour train ride away.
What is Verona, Italy known for? Verona is famous for its Roman amphitheater, the Verona Arena. This, together with its numerous ancient structures, gives Verona an impression, the “Little Rome.” Verona is also renowned as the setting of the literature, “Romeo and Juliet.”
Is Verona Worth Visiting? Yes, Verona is a city worth visiting! Aside from being a UNESCO site rich with history and culture, Verona offers you many fun activities and unique attractions. Verona is near lovely natural sceneries which you can go on a day trip to, as well.
To further explain why Verona is worth visiting, we go now discuss the reasons to visit Verona:
- Verona is a city of Romance
- Verona Arena and the operas
- Beautiful Architecture in Verona
- Medieval Pilgrimage Churches
- Veronese Renaissance Art
- The Instagrammable Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
- The City Walls of Verona
- Panoramic City Views of Verona
- Wines of Verona
- Verona’s Vibrant Market Square
- Verona is a Picturesque City
- Numerous things to do in Verona
Reason #1: Verona is a city of Romance
What do I think is the first and foremost reason why visit Verona? Its uniqueness. What is that uniqueness? Well, it is romance, but in a profound way.
You may argue with me about Venice. Venice is the most romantic place on earth, most people say. Yes, I agree as well! The Venetian canals, intimate bridges, and so on are just so romantic.
Romeo and Juliet
However, unlike Venice, Verona has a story to tell about love when you visit. Romeo and Juliet, a famous love story/literature by Shakespeare, was set here in Verona. That’s why you can find numerous tributes to Romeo and Juliet around the city.
The Romeo and Juliet literature is fictional, but the story was inspired by a real couple who lived in Verona, sometime within the late 13th century and early 14th century. It is known that Shakespeare discovered the sad love story from the 16th-century poem by Arthur Brooke, “The Tragical History of Romeo and Juliet.”
Some of these sites in Verona, like the balcony in Juliet’s house (Casa di Giulietta), will help you imagine the painful but romantic story of the couple. It is said that in this place, Romeo first courts Juliet. You can find the exact location of Juliet’s house using this link to Google Maps (Cappello Street, house number 23).
I have to warn you that Juliet’s house can be full of tourists, especially during peak season. The house/courtyard, where you see the famous balcony, is free to enter (excluding the museum and access to the balcony). This makes it more enticing for more curious visitors to visit.
Don’t let the crowd bum the moment you’ll be seeing the balcony in Verona. Come very early or first in the morning so you can feel the moment and easily imagine the scene where Romeo courts Juliet. There’s nothing much ‘special’ about the balcony than that! Timing of visit is crucial.
According to the official website of Verona (click to see schedule updates and announcements), the house of Juliet is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 7 pm (6:30 pm – last entry). It is closed on December 25th and January 1st.
Anyhow, Verona, like other Italian cities, is unquestionably romantic. Walk around the city, you’ll encounter several quaint-looking structures that can make the simple stroll with your partner an unforgettable moment. Discover centuries-old arches, towers, medieval bridges, houses, and so on as you talk about little things about yourself.
As you walk around, you might discover a medieval-looking well. It’s called Well of Love, and like Juliet’s balcony, it has a story to tell. Legend says the well is a bare witness of the unrequited love of a soldier, Corrado di San Bonifazio, to a lady named Isabella of the Donati family. You can read their story here.
If you find people tossing coins to the well, they’ve probably read the instructions on its cover: “Throw in the well a little money. Think of your destiny for a moment. Don’t get distracted don’t make noise. Here… Here… Love comes” (Note: the instructions were removed, according to recent visitors)
You can find the Well of Love near Saint Mark’s column in Piazza Erbe. Here is the exact location in Google Maps to guide you in finding the well. I find it hard to locate, so this should be useful.
Reason #2: Verona Arena and the operas
Verona is both romantic and historic. If its romantic attractions can’t impress you, then you must check its historical landmarks! One of them is its arena, and it is a reason to visit Verona, absolutely!
Verona Arena has stood the test of time. For almost 2 thousand years, it is still intact! Believe it or not, this arena is still functional despite its age. Thus, it is considered one of the most preserved structures of its kind to still exist today.
Back in medieval times, around 30,000 spectators could occupy Verona Arena. Though it can only accommodate roughly half of its original capacity today, it is still used as the venue of different major entertainment events in very recent history.
Did you know that Verona Arena hosted the concerts of Evanescence, 5 Seconds of Summer, Paul McCartney, One Direction, Pink Floyd, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, and more! Yet, what’s more impressive? Verona Arena will be hosting the closing ceremony venue for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Every summer, you can watch operas which the Verona Arena is famous for. The two unmissable operas performed in Verona Arena are Aida by Giuseppe Verdi and Carmen, directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
The performances are in Italian. However, there are English translations. If you plan to watch on stone benches, there are cushions and blankets you can rent to stay warm and comfortable.
With events, operas, or none, Verona Arena will be something you can’t miss to behold. The view inside the arena is just spectacular. When there are no shows, you’ll see it vacant without the modern stage and chairs – the scene will transport you back into the middle ages.
Reason #3: Beautiful Architecture in Verona
Verona is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site for its numerous preserved monuments from antiquity, the medieval, and Renaissance periods. That just means one thing: Verona has beautiful buildings to see, and they are a reason why this place is worth visiting!
The architectural feature in Verona which really captured my attention? The M-shaped merlons you can find on top of the buildings in Verona. It’s one of the most distinctive architectures in Italy, alongside the architecture in Venice, which is a blend of different influences.
The M-shaped merlons are very noticeable in Verona, especially in the city center. You can find it in the castle in Verona (Museo di Castelvecchio), the tower beside Basilica of San Zeno, buildings near Arche Scaligere, and more.
However, these M-shaped merlons placed in Verona’s buildings like Castelvecchio aren’t the only ones exciting about the city’s architecture. Arche Scaligere, Palazzo Maffei, Torre dei Lamberti, Porta Borsari, and Ponte Pietra are all you would like to see in Verona, as well.
In my opinion, among these beautiful buildings in Verona, Palazzo Maffei and Castelvecchio are the two which are not to be missed. They are both historical, have an attractive appearance, and contain fascinating exhibits.
These beautiful buildings in Verona aren’t that far from each other. For example, Palazzo Maffei and Castelvecchio are within a kilometer apart. Visiting every one of them is totally doable in a day. Here are the exact locations of Palazzo Maffei and Castelvecchio.
We can find Palazzo Maffei in the city’s forum (Piazza Delle Erbe) during the era of the Roman Empire. It is a 15th-century building surrounding the square, and its facade is absolutely gorgeous! The facade is in Baroque style with an exquisite design like the statues on top and the bas-relief below them.
Piazza Delle Erbe is only 15 minutes walk to Castelvecchio, another one of the best attractions in Verona. It is a castle, now a museum having lovely frescoes, collections of sculptures & paintings from the 12th to 18th centuries. The bridge attached to it is the most picturesque part, and also the one which will transport you back to the time centuries ago.
Reason #4: Medieval Pilgrimage Churches
Verona has more to offer other than its charming physical appearance. Embedded in the heart of the city is the spiritual character of Verona. For centuries dating back to medieval times, Verona served as the little Jerusalem, and countless pilgrims have come to see the churches in this city.
Legends say that Verona was founded by Shem, the son of Noah. He founded the city with the name Minor Jerusalem. It became useful to European pilgrims who could not travel to Holy Land. Centuries passed, Verona became a famous pilgrimage site whose character still exists today.
These churches that the pilgrims still exist up until now. They are a reason to visit Verona for the historical, artistic, and religious values they possess. You can experience the best of it with the help of the foundation created by the diocese of Verona, Verona Minor Hierusalem.
This foundation has prepared routes you can follow, and they have volunteers to guide you in discovering each pilgrimage site in the city. The itineraries they prepared are called, Rebirth From Water, Rebirth From Earth, and Rebirth From Heaven.
The itinerary, Rebirth From Water, includes six churches on the left of the Adige River. These churches are the church of San Giovanni in Valle, Santi Siro and Libera, Santo Stefano, San Giorgio in Braida, San Pietro Martire, and Santa Maria in Organo. Following this itinerary, to have a religious and environmental immersion along the river Adige with picturesque views of its hilly banks.
Rebirth From Earth itinerary also includes six churches, San Zeno in Oratorio, San Lorenzo, Sante Teuteria and Tosca, Sant’Eufemia, San Giovanni in Foro and San Benedetto al Monte. The route follows the old Via Postumia, the road that runs in the heart of Verona. This route will traverse you to the historic city center, passing ruins, a castle, and a palace to give you insight into the history of Verona.
Last but not least is the itinerary, Rebirth From Heaven. It includes the churches in the multicultural district in Verona of Veronetta, Santa Toscana, Santa Maria del Paradiso, San Tommaso, San Paolo, and SS. Nazaro and Celso. In this itinerary, you will find heavenly experiences, from music to art and to an impressive reliquary.
To start your journey to these churches, you may head to the headquarters of the Verona Minor Hierusalem foundation located in the church of San Pietro Martire. The info point is only open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Contact or learn more about the foundation from this link to their contact page.
Reason #5: Veronese Renaissance Art
The churches, castle, and palaces in Verona is filled with artworks, which I think you would like to see as well. Some of them are made by Paolo Veronese, a famous Verona-born renaissance painter.
Two of the most famous artworks of Paolo Veronese are The Feast in the House of Levi and The Wedding at Cana. His works are colorful, detailed, and dramatic. The subjects of his paintings are usually set in marvelous architectural places.
Though the artworks of Veronese in Verona are not that magnificent as the ones in Venice and other parts of Italy, they are still enough to be a reason to visit Verona. His extraordinary technical skills and stylistic innovations can already be seen from his masterpieces preserved in the city.
There are three places in Verona to visit where the works of Veronese. They are in the Church of San Paolo in Campo Marzio, the church of San Giorgio in Braida, and Castelvecchio.
Behind the tabernacle in the church of San Paolo, you will find the Pala Marogna. Then, the painting of Saint George’s Martyrdom is in the church of San Giorgio. The Deposition of Christ and Pala Bevilacqua Lazise, however, is in Castelvecchio.
Reason #6: The Instagrammable Basilica di San Zeno
There are many churches in Verona. But, if there is a church that you cannot truly miss, that would be the Basilica di San Zeno. It is absolutely Instagrammable and has historical things to discover. Thus, it is enough to be considered a reason to visit Verona.
The Basilica of San Zeno took four centuries of construction, starting from the year 967 until 1398 AD. It is also one of the most famous places in Verona, thanks to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In the literature, here in the crypt of this basilica that Romeo and Juliet got married.
The story of Romeo and Juliet made the basilica of San Zeno famous. But without it, it’ll still be one of Verona’s top attractions. The basilica’s beautiful interiors, impressive artworks, and oddly designed exteriors are undeniably attractive and photogenic.
In the middle ages, the basilica of San Zeno will bring you. The bas relief sculptures and the murals in the church will tell you the life of centuries in the past. See numerous artworks depicting saints, biblical stories, and mythical creatures in the portals, balconies, and walls of the basilica.
The unmissable things you must not miss seeing inside the basilica of San Zeno are the altarpiece, the bronze door, and the crypt containing the relics of San Zeno. Their details and colors are truly remarkable. Perhaps, they are some of the highlights in visiting Verona.
San Zeno Basilica’s altarpiece painting is incredibly elaborated and applied with Byzantine iconography. It is a beautiful triptych made by Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, which took three years to finish, from 1457 to 1460. In the artwork, you can see the Madonna enthroned with baby Jesus with different events in the bible.
The bronze door of San Zeno Basilica is one of the most unique things you can discover in traveling to Italy. This very-medieval looking door, composed of 48 square panels, some dating back to the 11th century, will undoubtedly impress you much! Some of its panels were even made by the Saxon masters of Hildesheim in Germany.
Another thing you must see in the basilica of San Zeno is the crypt, but if you’re looking for something you can post on Instagram, it’s definitely the cloister. The arcades and columns, red bricks, and verdant plants make perfect elements of photography and colors irresistible to photograph. Lucky if there’s strong light from the sun, you’ll get to see the contrast dramatically transforming the scene.
Indeed, with all these you can find in the basilica of San Zeno, you’ll agree with me that it’s a reason to visit Verona!
Reason #7: The City Walls of Verona
Another thing that you would like to see in Verona is its city walls and gates that some are still intact today. The walls and gates may not look very spectacular, but they’re something to help you imagine life in northern Italy back to ancient times.
Did you know that the parts of the walls in Verona date back 1st century BC? That’s more than two millennia and to see some of it still standing is a fantastic privilege. As the city expanded, new walls were built, and you can still find them today in Verona.
The walls in Verona are located in different areas of the city, but the most notable parts are the Porta Borsari and the Porta dei Leoni. They are located on the east and west side of the old town (Citta Antica). Here are their exact location: Porta Borsari, Porta dei Leoni.
Porta Borsari served as the main entrance to the ancient city of Verona during the first century. To some tourists, the gate is just an old crumby wall. But, indeed, it is a respectful piece of history that all of us need to look beyond for.
Unlike Porta Borsari, that’s still intact, Porta dei Leoni on the other side of the Verona has only a part of it that remains. Visiting it isn’t totally unworthy of time, however. Beside it are the underground ruins where the Romans used to take a bath back in the day.
The underground ruins are exactly in the middle of the street, and you can peek to see what’s below as you walk by it. If you get tired, there are small cafes around the attraction to relax after exploring the site. You can find cafes near Porta Borsari, as well.
Reason #8: Panoramic City Views of Verona
Whenever I’m visiting a new place, I always look for an overlooking vantage point of the city. The view gives me the perception that I really visited the city or town, kind of. Also, it makes me so pleased to see the city’s architecture, planning, or aesthetics in one view.
Torre Dei Lamberti
In the case of Verona, there will be several panoramic views to see. There will be some from the heart of the town and some along the river Adige. But, at the city center, you can find Torre dei Lamberti. It is Verona’s tallest medieval tower, constructed in the year 1172.
Torre dei Lamberti is located in the Piazza Delle Erbe, overlooking the entire Piazza and offering breathtaking views at 84 meters after you climb it and reach the top. Here is the exact location of the tower if you need directions when you visit.
You will not only see the roofs of the houses in Verona, spires of the churches, and other towers in the city from Torre dei Lamberti. On clear weather, the sceneries extend far beyond the Adige River up to the snow-capped mountains of the Alps.
At the top of Torre dei Lamberti, you’d probably feel that you’re transported back into the past. The absence of modern buildings and the presence of roof-tiled houses are such a nostalgic view.
It is only a 10-minute walk to Verona’s 2000-year-old bridge from Torre dei Lamberti. This bridge is called Ponte Pietra, and this is another scenic spot to see more panoramic views of Verona.
You know, if there’s another unmissable landmark to see in Verona, it would be Ponte Pietra. Not only can you find a nice view from the bridge but it’s actually the oldest bridge in Verona, dating more than 2000 years ago.
Ponte Pietra was destroyed during the Second World War, though. It has 5 spans, and four of them fell to the river but were rebuilt with the same materials gathered on the river banks. The bridge may have lost a part of its glory, but the essence remains. It still pictures out the same scene as the ones centuries ago.
For me, the best vantage point of Ponte Pietra is in Rigastre Redentore, across Piazza del Foro. The hilly side of Verona will be the backdrop of Ponte Pietra from this point. The tower that welcomes people passing Ponte Pietra, connected to the bridge, will be yours to see, as well.
Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes
At Ponte Pietra, look north, and you’ll see the San Leonardo hill with a white building on top. This structure is called Santuario della Nostra Signora di Lourdes, and guess what? It is another scenic spot in Verona where more panoramic views await.
Planning to walk? The church is on a hilltop, so the path is slightly inclined. Also, it’s a long cobbled path up. It can be a bit tiring. But, definitely, you will love the view from the top.
Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes has a wide-open sunny balcony with nice-looking trees acting like columns surrounding the church. The place is lovely and quiet; you’ll love the overall tranquility.
Of course, it’s the view from the Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes, which will complete your visit. Proceed to the cement guardrail at the edge of the area for breathtaking views. The vast plains of north-central Italy, the entire Verona, and the river Adige are all yours to see there.
The best time to visit Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes is during the afternoon, just before sundown. It is the time of the day we call the Golden Hour. At this time, you will see all of Verona turn to gold, with sharp shadows and contrast – SO GOOD to photograph!
Of course, the weather must be sunny for you to witness it.
Castel San Pietro
If you do not have a car, or you don’t want to walk for too long, you can still get a spectacular view of Verona in all in one spot. The place that you must go to is called Castel San Pietro. It is located very near Ponte Pietra, just a 5-minute walk away from the bridge.
From Ponte Pietra, just look east (away from the Torre di Ponte Pietra), and you’ll see Castel San Pietro sitting on top of a small hill. There is an alley on the east side of Ponte Pietra – proceed to it, climb the stairs, and you’ll be in the castle in a bit.
Do you hate climbing stairs? There is a funicular to Castel San Pietro located behind the Chiesa di Santo Stefano. A ride to the top using the funicular will surely save your knees. Learn more about the funicular’s operating hours and more details here.
The view in Castel San Pietro is fantastic too, like the one you’ll see in Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes. However, you’ll see Citta Antica of Verona and the River Adige much closer from this point. There could be more crowds here compared to Santuario Della Nostra Signora di Lourdes since it is much easier to visit.
All these scenic views… they will really compel you to visit Verona, right?
Reason #9: Wines of Verona
Romeo and Juliet, the medieval streets and buildings, the lovely views, what else can make Verona even more worth visiting? Wines. Verona is the capital of Italy’s wine trade, wines flourish here, and they are a reason to visit Verona.
I’m not really a fan of wines. But if you are, perhaps you must visit Verona. Verona is surrounded by towns and cities where some of the finest wines in northern Italy are made. Most of their products are served in Verona to complement the city’s “romantic vibe.”
Did you know that Verona even hosts Italy’s most important fair called, Vinitaly? For more than 50 years, it has been appreciating the work, local areas, people, and the passion for wines.
When you come to Verona, don’t forget to taste one of the wines in the city. Sip them while you admire the millennia-old monuments and structures in the city! Or, do cheers while you’re in the scenic spot while watching the sunset.
“The greatest wine among this famous city’s list of favorites is undoubtedly Amarone, the queen of Valpolicella. This wine, at its best, deservedly ranks among the finest red wines in the world.” – timeforwine.com.
Reason #10: Verona’s Vibrant Market Square
The 10th reason to visit Verona is simply its Market Square or Piazza Delle Erbe. Surrounded by quaint buildings, some are painted with beautiful frescoes, Piazza Delle Erbe is a place to feed your wanderlust.
There is a lot to discover in Piazza Delle Erbe. Not only do you find exquisite facades and architecture of surrounding buildings, but also locally made souvenirs, antiques, delicacies, and clothes from the market to simply introduce you to the culture of Verona.
Piazza Delle Erbe has always been maintained and organized according to different visitors. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes, too! Eat outside so you can fill up your tummy and your sight with the energetic and vibrant sceneries of the market.
Reason #11: Verona is a Picturesque City
I believe you have seen how Instagrammable Verona is from the pictures for each reason above. If you need more convincing factor to visit Verona, here are the photos to inspire you more:
Reason #12: Numerous things to do in Verona
Another reason why go and stay in Verona on your trip to Italy are the numerous activities you can do in this city. You’ll never get bored of discovering new places and acquiring new experiences. Check out my handpicked exciting day tours, experiences (as well as passes and tickets) from GetYourGuide:
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