Eternalized in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona is, without doubt, one of Italy’s most romantic destinations. Though full of ancient history it is still brimming with vitality in its bustling piazzas, restaurants and bars.
This city’s roots extend back at least 2,000 years and eagle-eyed visitors can encounter Roman-era amphitheaters rubbing back-to-back with medieval churches and 19th-century townhouses. The open-air opera festival that takes place each summer in the Arena di Verona is the cultural highlight of the year.
It is just a short distance from Venice and Lake Garda and is surrounded by lush valleys that produce some of the world’s finest wines. Let’s discover the best things to do in Verona and why it should be top of the list for your next Italian city break.
1 – Visit the world-famous Giardino Giusti
Italy has always been renowned for its formal gardens and the Palazzo Giusti has one of the finest gardens in the country.
The gardens were designed and laid out in the late 1500s when they were owned by wealthy wool merchants, The Giusti Family.
The garden and palazzo were wool factories and dyeing areas until the 16th century when the factory buildings were incorporated into the Palazzo Giusti design.
Don’t miss this world-famous garden while in Verona.
2 – Tour the ancient Arena of Verona
The ancient Arena di Verona is still at the heart of the city’s celebrations after almost two millennia.
It hosts a yearly summer opera festival as well as occasional touring artists and has welcomed the likes of Pink Floyd, Bjork and Radiohead to its stage.
The arena was first constructed in 30AD outside of the city walls and originally had a capacity for 30,000 guests.
It is Italy’s third-largest Roman Amphitheater and in ancient times would have hosted all kinds of spectacles including circuses and savage gladiator battles.
3 – See Piazza delle Erbe on a walking tour
The Piazza delle Erbe sits at the center of Verona life and is one of its oldest and most beautiful squares.
In Roman times the piazza was the location for the city forum and is named after the market which still takes place here throughout the week.
There are lots of things to see in the Piazza including the statue of the Verona Madonna which dates to the year 380.
The city’s tallest tower, the Torre dei Lamberti, is located here which visitors can climb up inside for excellent views of the city.
It is worth a trip just to see the fantastic frescoes which decorate many of the buildings around the square.
4 – Check out the views from Castel San Pietro
Located on top of San Pietro Hill at a site that has been an ancient Roman temple, church, palace, fortress, and army barracks, Castel San Pietro is steeped in history.
The castle’s strategic position on top of the hill means it has stunning views across the city.
Visitors can walk up the hill or ride on the funicular that runs regularly, taking just over a minute to reach the top.
From there you can see the sights of the historic center and the Adige River. Visitors shouldn’t miss these unparalleled views of Verona.
5 – Explore the beautiful Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore
One of the finest and best-preserved Romanesque Cathedrals in the country, The Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore should be high on the to-see list of all travelers to Verona.
The facade of the building has an unusual warm hue to it due to the alternating brick and tufa stone used in its construction.
One of the most beautiful architectural features of the church’s interior is its arched wooden ceiling which dates from the 14th century.
It is a popular belief that the crypt of San Zeno was the setting for Romeo and Juliet’s wedding in Shakespeare’s famous play.
6 – Cruise the streets on a segway tour
One of the most fun things to do on a trip to Verona is to take a Segway sightseeing tour of the city.
Cruise through the ancient streets of the city on one of these unusual electric scooters.
Even first-timers can get the hang of using a Segway in a very short time. Get a quick introduction and before you know it you’ll be rambling through Verona’s streets like a pro.
Segway tours are suitable for ages 16 and above and all fitness levels.
7 – Cross the Castelvecchio Bridge
The Ponte di Castel Vecchio was built in the mid 14th century by Cangrande II della Scala, the city’s tyrannical lord at the time.
Visitors can stroll across this very old bridge that was once accessible only to the Cangrande and his family.
The original bridge was damaged by French troops in the 1700s and then completely destroyed by retreating German forces at the end of World War II.
It was rebuilt in 1949 without the left tower.
8 – Glimpse rescued treasures at the Museum of Castelvecchio
After you’ve crossed the bridge you should definitely take the time to look around the Museum of Castelvecchio.
Castelvecchio, or old castle, houses some interesting artifacts including 200 pieces of ancient religious and civic artworks saved during the Napoleonic occupation of the city.
Visitors can check out the collection of old sculptures, paintings, weaponry and trinkets.
The museum also features paintings by the famed Venetian painter Gentile Bellini as well as his father Jacopo Bellini and brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna.
9 – See classic Italian cars at Nicolis Museum
Founded to exhibit engineering genius, The Nicolis Museum is definitely one of the most fun places to visit in Verona.
Be overawed by the museum’s collection of historic vehicles, including classic Italian cars from Alpha Romeo, Fiat and Lamborghini as well as motorcycles, planes and bicycles.
The collection also includes other engineering marvels such as cameras, typewriters and musical instruments including a self-playing grand piano, built in the 1920s.
Visit this museum to modern ingenuity while exploring the ancient city.
10 – Cool off at Parco delle Cascate
Just to the north of Verona near the small hamlet of Molina, the Parco delle Cascate is waiting to enthrall you.
This small slice of paradise is dotted throughout with tumbling waterfalls and cascades, cavernous grottos and glorious nature trails.
The park has three different walking routes to choose from depending on your ability and handrails and walkways throughout.
This stunning natural park is well worth the trip from Verona. Bring a picnic and make an afternoon of it.
11 – Touch the hump for good luck at Basilica of Santa Anastasia
The largest of Verona’s churches, the Basilica of Saint Anastasia is a wonder of Italian Gothic design.
The interior features 12 large pillars, a grand entryway and flooring all crafted from local Verona marble.
The church dates back to the 1200s and contains a number of chapels to some of the most well-known families and personalities of the city’s history.
As you enter the basilica, there are two marble hunchbacks that support holy water basins on their backs. It is said to bring good luck to those who touch the hump of the statues’ back.
12 – Discover the city on a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
One of the easiest and best ways to tour any city is on a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus. Climb aboard to explore the city in depth.
Listen to commentary and pick up some local history as you pass by the city’s most important landmarks.
Get on and off as many times as you like or just relax and take in the sights as you cruise through the city streets.
Take the stress out of getting about and try one of these great bus tours.
13 – Pass through the Medieval Gates
The city of Verona is surrounded by a large series of defensive walls and has a number of gateways into the historic part of the city.
Some of these are from medieval times but some are much older. The Porta Borsari and Porta dei Leoni are two gateways that date back to Roman times.
Three of the city’s gateways, Porta Palio, Porta Nuova and Porta San Zeno were designed by Michele Sanmicheli in the 1500s with a unified renaissance flair.
There are many more gateways dotted about the city so keep your eyes peeled as you explore.
14 – Learn and play at the CMV – Children’s Museum Verona
If you’re looking for places to take younger kids, the Children’s Museum of Verona is one of the most fun things to visit in the city.
This unique and vibrant museum where play and learning go hand in hand is sure to be a highlight for both kids and adults.
Explore this huge museum and its many interactive zones which encourage children to explore, build, touch and play.
Discover the many uses for gears, sound and light as well as the fundamental forces of water and air. The Children’s Museum is a must-visit for younger kids.
15 – Climb the Torre dei Lamberti
The Torre dei Lamberti is the tallest building in Verona and it looms over the ancient Piazza delle Erbe in which it is located.
Construction of the tower began in 1172 but it wasn’t fitted with bells for over 100 years. The tower has been damaged and renovated a number of times.
This happened most notably in 1408 when it was struck by lightning, after which it received its iconic octagonal bell chamber.
Visitors can climb to the first level of the tower to grab some spectacular views of the city.
16 – Explore the Verona Cathedral and Piazza Duomo
Verona is absolutely packed with historic buildings, especially churches. The Verona Cathedral is an attractive Romanesque church that sits at the center of a complex of religious buildings. It dates from the 1100s but sits on the site of a much older church.
The cathedral complex includes the Capitular Library and Saint Elena and the Canons Cloister, the latter of which has remnants of mosaic floor that are well over 1,500 years old.
17 – Cycle the Ponte Pietra on a bike tour
Why not take a fun and freewheeling bike tour during your time in Verona. Visit all the major landmarks and get some local history from your professional guide.
Visit sites like the super-historic Ponte Pietra, a Roman bridge that is over 2,000 years old.
Strap on your helmet and cruise through the city streets as you see all Verona’s must-see sights including the Arena, Castel San Pietro and Juliet’s Balcony.
These casual tours are a seriously fun way to get to know the city.
18 – Grab a coffee and people-watch at Piazza dei Signori
One of Verona’s most beautiful squares, Piazza dei Signori is tucked away just behind Piazza delle Erbe.
Some highlights of the square include a statue of the renowned Italian poet Dante and the Palladio-designed Loggia del Capitanato and Palazzo della Ragione, which was the former town hall.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the square and it is a great place to grab a drink and watch the world go by.
Don’t miss the magnificent gothic staircase just off the main square.
19 – Pass through the ancient Arco dei Gavi
Once part of the Roman walls of Verona, the Arco Dei Gavi was the main gateway to the city for people traveling on the ancient Via Postumia.
The arch was commissioned by the wealthy Gavi family and built in the first century. It was demolished in the Napoleonic period and moved to the Arena.
It was reconstructed in the 1930s using some of the original materials and the position that it stands in now is near to its original site near the Castelvecchio.
20 – Have fun at Gardaland Park
Looking for fun things to do in Verona with kids? Visit the Gardaland theme park.
Italy’s top amusement park since 1975, Gardaland has white knuckle rollercoasters, exciting rides for younger kids and a whole heap of attractions all in one place.
Ride the terror-inducing Oblivion with its 100-foot vertical drop or experience the thrill of flight on the Raptor.
Gardaland is also home to LEGOLAND Waterpark and the SEA LIFE Aquarium. You could spend the whole day here and not see it all.
21 – Catch an exhibition at Palazzo della Gran Guardia
The Palazzo della Gran Guardia is located in Verona’s vibrant Piazza Bra. The palazzo’s construction was begun in the early 1600s but was abandoned and finally completed in 1853.
It has been used for various military purposes and served as barracks for the Austrian Army in 1848.
The palazzo hosts regular traveling art exhibitions featuring some of the world’s most renowned painters as well as Vinitaly, the Verona wine conference.
22 – Explore the layered history of the Church of San Fermo
Featuring prominent gothic spires, the church of San Fermo cuts a unique silhouette in the city skyline. The church is actually more like three stacked on top of each other.
The oldest lower floor holds the remains of martyred saints Firmus and Rusticus and dates to the 5th century.
There are two other churches above, known as the upper church and lower church built between the 11th and 15th centuries by the Benedictine monks.
The upper church features an ornate wooden ceiling from the 1300s as well as one of the earliest works by Pisanello.
23 – Go Window Shopping in via Mazzini
If you’re on the hunt for luxury shopping and eateries in the center of the city, Via Mazzini is it.
The narrow pedestrian street is lined on both sides with upmarket shops, unique boutiques and enticing cafes and restaurants.
The street runs between two of the city’s biggest squares, Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra.
Here you can find the best-dressed members of Verona society alongside casual tourists window shopping at Gucci while enjoying an ice cream.
24 – Experience the peace at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
On San Leonardo Hill, The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes looks down over the city. The original sanctuary was built in the 12th-century as a church and monastery.
The site became a fortress in the 1800s and then a prison for political detainees during the Second World War.
The fort was destroyed at the end of WWII by a bomb and in the following years, the sanctuary was rebuilt.
Check out the sanctuary during your time in the city and discover the history of this amazing site.
25 – See the famous balcony on a Romeo and Juliet tour
Could you go to the fair city of Verona and not visit the house of Shakespeare’s star-crossed heroine Juliet?
There are a number of guided tours visitors can take through the city to see some of Verona’s most popular Romeo and Juliet locations.
Visit the house thought to be the home of Juliet, with its famous balcony overlooking the street.
See the palatial home of Romeo from the outside and visit the tomb of Juliet in the crypt of San Francesco al Corso Church. These spots are a must-see on a tour of Verona.
26 – Day trip to the Santuario Madonna della Corona
Just under an hour’s drive from the city is one of Italy’s construction marvels, the Santuario Madonna della Corona.
The cliffside site has been home to a church for about 800 years offering a secluded place for pilgrims to contemplate their faith.
The church and pathway were renovated in the 1900s but the previous route to the sanctuary was a treacherous and dangerous trail fit only for the truest of devotees.
Visitors can now reach the sanctuary more easily and it is definitely worth the trip during your time in Verona.
27 – Explore the modern city at Galleria d’Arte Moderna Achille Forti
We know that Verona is packed with historic art and architecture but it also has cutting-edge modern and contemporary art too.
The Galleria d’Arte Moderna Achille Forti is housed in the Palazzo della Ragione, once the seat of government in the city, which lends a deeper significance to the works on display.
It endeavors to bring together the most important local works from the last two centuries and make the Verona culture accessible to everyone.
Expect traditional and modern exhibitions side by side in this unique and vital art space.
28 – Visit the extravagant Scaliger Tombs
Considered to be some of the finest gothic artworks in the world, The Scaliger tombs are an opulent memorial to the city’s former rulers, the Scaligeri Family.
The five memorials are located by the Church of Santa Maria Antica and each features a statue of the deceased on top.
The Scaligers ruled Verona from the 13th to the 14th-century during one of the city’s most prosperous eras and were one of its most powerful political dynasties.
Infighting amongst the Scaligeri, including several generations murdering each other to retain power, led to their eventual downfall.
29 – Tour Lake Garda on a day trip
If you’ve never visited Lake Garda before you have to go see this iconic Italian destination. The lake is home to a number of small islands including Isola del Garda, where St. Francis of Assisi built a monastery in 1220.
Some of the islands can be viewed by boat tours which run from the town of Sirmione There are also many captivating towns, villages and landmarks dotted around the perimeter of the lake.
Some of the most impressive buildings include Castello Scaligeri, the ruins of a Roman villa at the Grotte di Catullo and the town of Torre del Benaco.
A bicycle route runs partway around the lake offering one of the nicest ways to explore the area.
30 – Visit the market at Arsenale Franz Josef I
Constructed by the Austrian military during the mid-1800s, the Arsenale Franz Josef was part of a much larger military complex.
The building was used for military purposes up until the end of World War II. The grounds of the arsenal are now a much more fun place and have been turned into a playpark.
The building hosts exhibitions as well as food and wine fairs. It also has a market Each Thursday selling locally grown and produced products.
31 – Go Shopping in Centro Commerciale Adigeo
Verona’s indoor shopping mall, Centro Commerciale Adigeo, has enough top high street brands to please the most enthusiastic shopaholic.
The newly opened center has a wide mix of stores specializing in fashion, health and beauty, electronics and homewares, groceries and a number of restaurants.
Major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Vans and Timberland as well as Primark and H&M can all be found here. Check it out while you’re in the city.
32 – Catch a Hellas match at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi
Verona’s multipurpose sports stadium, Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, is the place to be for football fans in Verona.
Home to the city’s two very old clubs, Hellas Verona FC as well as their cross-town rivals A.C. ChievoVerona until 2021, match days are always a loud and passionate affair.
The stadium also hosts Bardolino Verona C.F. women’s football club matches as well as occasional rugby and athletics events.
33 – See jaw-dropping scenery on a Dolomites day trip
It would be hard to find a landscape more enchanting than the Dolomites anywhere in Europe. The mountain range extends from the Adige river to the Piave Valley and is a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
The dolomites are a great place to hike, cycle, and climb during the warmer months and in winter become a center for all kinds of snow sports.
Take a day trip through these stunning peaks and see some of the most popular spots including the picturesque Val di Fassa, Pordoi Pass and take a ride on the Piz Boè funicular.
34 – Relax at Water Park Persicum
If you’re looking for a fun attraction that has something for everyone, Water Park Persicum could very well be it.
The park has a bunch of wild water slides and inflatables to amuse kids and adults alike but also features jacuzzis and loungers for those who just want to chill.
There are children’s pools with play equipment and full-size pools for those who really like to swim. Water Park Persicum is just a half-hour drive from Verona city center.
35 – Discover the unique Church of San Lorenzo
There are many churches in Verona but San Lorenzo is unique in its design and layout. The church is on the ancient Via Postumia route and parts of it are over 1,000 years old.
The original church was damaged in a major earthquake in the 1100s and it was rebuilt with layers of brick and marble, giving it a distinctive striped appearance.
The Church of San Lorenzo is one of the only churches in Europe to have two circular towers on its facade. These towers lead up to a gallery level above the doorway.
36 – See amazing fossils at the Natural History Museum
For a glimpse into the natural wonders of the world, Verona’s Natural History Museum is a worthwhile stop.
The museum is quite old-fashioned in style with many items in glass cabinets and its collection is very extensive.
See the huge collection of fossils, including full-size fossilized sharks, alligators, and other creatures. It has many preserved animals, insects, and rocks to discover. Admission is free with the VeronaCard.
37 – See roman artifacts at Archaeological Museum Teatro Romano
The Archeological Museum located at the Roman Theatre is a must-visit for fans of Roman-era history.
It contains a fascinating collection of artifacts from the period and includes many objects found locally as well as a few from outside of the region.
The collection includes stone tablets, sculptures and artworks, including a section of original mosaic flooring. The museum also has great views across the city’s Old Town.
38 – See the oldest library, The Biblioteca Capitolare
Thought to be the oldest library in the world still in operation, The Biblioteca Capitulare has withstood the test of time and numerous natural and man-made disasters.
It has welcomed the greats of Italian poetry to study in its halls including Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarca.
The library is home to a huge treasure trove of ancient books, manuscripts, artworks, musical instruments and more. The library is available to visit by guided tour only.
39 – Take a trip to Hollywood at Movieland Studios & Caneva Aquapark
Take a trip to Tinseltown at Movieland Studios, Canevaworld. See outrageous stunt shows and ride epic roller coasters at this glitzy Lake Garda amusement resort.
Take a trip back to prehistoric times on the Expedition Pangea dinosaur safari or play Sherlock as you track a notorious Serial Killer through the Horror Hotel.
Canevaworld is also home to the Caribbean-themed Caneva Aquapark which has five pools, and many slides and attractions. You could spend a full day in the Aquapark alone.
40 – Discover treasure at Piazza San Zeno Flea Market
A trip to a local flea market is as much an educational experience as the museums when visiting a new city.
Piazza San Zeno hosts a great Sunday flea market bursting with treasures and trash in equal proportion.
Sift through the stalls of vintage clothing, antiques, art and furniture to see if you can find the perfect souvenir of your trip to Verona. Really, who doesn’t love a good flea market?
41 – See Shakespeare on the city streets at Teatro Nuovo
For a really unique theatrical experience while in Verona, check out the Teatro Stabile.
The company performs Shakespearean classics, most notably Romeo and Juliet and leads its audience on a literal tour of the city.
See the much-loved scenes brought to life on the real-life streets of Verona, including Juliet’s balcony, the Piazza delle Erbe and finishing off at the Teatro Nuovo.
These productions will be great fun for everyone, especially lovers of the theatre.
42 – Uncover local delicacies on a food tour
Sampling some of the amazing local food is one of the best things to do in Verona. Where to eat is a priority on most people’s trips to any Italian city.
Why not take a food tour and discover the best of the city restaurants and eateries with a knowledgeable local guide.
Discover some history on the way as you sample ice creams and pastries and local delicacies like Monte Veronese cheese and the salami known as sopressa.
Wash it all down with a taste of Valpolicella wine and an invigorating espresso. Buon appetito!
43 – Dine in luxury at the best traditional restaurants
One of the best-loved restaurants in the city by locals and visitors alike has to be L’Evangelista Ristorante and Enoteca.
They serve up traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes with a gourmet twist and modern flair.
Dari Ristorante provides excellent food in unique and beautiful surroundings that are sure to make the evening an unforgettable one.
44 – Sample the best local wines on a Wine Tour and Tasting
You’ve tried the food, now how about the wine! The area surrounding Verona is home to some outstanding varieties. World-renowned yet varied wines such as Soave and Amarone are both produced in the regions surrounding the city.
Why not take a wine tour to discover what makes the region’s wines so special. Tour the vineyards where the grapes are grown and learn about the process of producing the finest grapes. Sample the wines in the place where they a grown for a really unforgettable experience.
The picturesque Villa Mosconi Bertani is worth a visit. It is known to be the birthplace of Amarone wine.
45 – Go to the Opera at Teatro Filarmonico
The Teatro Filarmonico is Verona’s main opera house and is considered to be one of the finest in Europe.
First opened in 1732 the theatre has been rebuilt a number of times after fire damage in the 1750s and heavy bombing in World War II.
It was rebuilt in the spirit of the previous design but with modern conveniences.
The theatre hosts opera, ballet and concerts throughout the year. A night out at the Teatro Filarmonico is sure to be a world-class event.
46 – Learn the secrets of local cuisine in Cooking Classes
After your trip to Verona, you’re sure to want to recreate some of the dishes you’ve enjoyed. Why not take a class and learn the secrets of cooking all’Italiana.
Discover the “correct” way to make pasta and simple traditional methods to create the best dishes.
Visit a local market to pick up some fresh ingredients then hit the kitchen for a fun and casual cooking class.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor over a glass of wine. For foodies, these classes could be the most fun thing you do in Verona.
47 – Dine at the best Michelin restaurants
Home to no less than 18 restaurants that have made it into the MICHELIN guide, you are really spoiled for choice when it comes to fine dining in Verona.
Many of the city’s best eateries serve modernized versions of regional traditional foods. There are also a few that offer international flavors.
Casa Perbellini is the city’s only two-star restaurant and offers an informal atmosphere to enjoy creative dishes.
The single-starred 12 Apostoli serves up dishes rooted in local flavors but with a modern flair. Choices, choices!
48 – Sample all the city’s best gelato
It’s true that there’s always room for ice cream, so there’s no excuse not to sample all the flavors on offer in the city’s best gelaterias.
Whether you’re a straight-up stracciatella (chocolate chip) kind of person or like to explore the weird world of fruit and wine combinations, Verona is heaven for ice cream lovers.
For the real enthusiast why not consider taking part in a gelato-making workshop during your time in Verona.
49 – Relax under the stars at Verona’s best rooftop bars
Where better to spend those balmy summer nights than at one of the city’s rooftop bars. Enjoy a ‘spritz’ and take in the sights and sounds of the city as you look down on charming Verona.
The deck-like Terrazza Bar al Ponte opens late into the night and is the ideal spot to visit after a night at the opera or theatre.
Terrazza Arena Sky Lounge serves up fantastic cocktails with spectacular views of the Arena.
If you are in the mood for a garden atmosphere and modern Italian food, Re Teodorico is the place to be.
50 – Discover the city’s nightlife at Verona’s best bars
The best nights out often have no clear destination in mind. Verona is a great place to ramble around and discover cozy bars to sip a drink or two in.
If your time in the city is limited though here are some of the best bars for you to check out. One of the city’s oldest bars is Antica Bottega del Vino which has a ridiculously extensive wine list.
The tiny bar, Archivio, on Via Rosa has a menu packed full of mouthwatering cocktails and craft brews.
51 – Stay in a historic hotel
To really get the best experience while in Verona there are many beautiful historic hotels to stay at.
Whatever your preferences there’s sure to be a hotel to suit your taste, be it a room in a castle, palazzo, or humble guest house.
Le Flaneur is a wonderful bed and breakfast which is conveniently located just opposite the old town. The NH Collection Palazzo Verona is in the very center of the historic city just a few minutes walk from Juliet’s house and the Arena.
Just outside the city is the medieval castle, Relais Castello Bevilacqua which offers unique accommodation in one of its converted chambers.
We hope you enjoyed our list of fun things to do in Verona, Italy. If you have other fun things to recommend don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
If you have not booked your accommodation yet, check out the best hotels in Verona.