Verona

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: August 2022

Verona is located in northern Italy along the Adige River. It is famously known for being the setting of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It is often referred to as Little Rome as it was once a Roman colony and contains many ancient Roman relics and ruins, including an amphitheater, which now hosts an opera festival every summer.

While visiting Venice we planned a day trip to Verona, which is just over an hour away by train. We walked to the station first thing in the morning, hopped on a high speed train and arrived in Verona shortly after 9 a.m. From there it’s about a 15 minute walk to the historic downtown. First things first, we went to the Verona Tourist Information Office to pick up a Verona Card, which granted access to all of the attractions we had on our list and it allowed us to skip the line in a couple of places.

We started with the Verona Arena, an amphitheatre that was built by the Romans in 30 AD. Today it is internationally famous for its open-air opera performances. It is located across from the Tourist Information Office, except it wasn’t quite clear where the entrance was as there was a lot of construction around the exterior as they were working on a set for the upcoming opera. The inside of the arena was pretty rustic. There were a few signs that provided more information about the history of the arena, including how it’s been conserved and restored.

Afterwards we went to Juliet’s House, which has become associated with William Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, and is rumoured to have been where Juliet once lived. The real draw is the balcony outside where the star-crossed young couple declared their love for each other. There is a small museum inside the house. Since our Verona Card granted us access, we decided to give it a whirl. There really wasn’t much to see though, just some costumes and bed from the set of one of the Romeo and Juliet movies. We could also take our picture on the balcony.

We then went to the Scaliger Tombs, a series of five funerary monuments of the Scaligeri family, a rich and powerful family who once ruled in Verona from the 13th to end of the 14th century. The monuments are built in Gothic style and are located in an enclosed courtyard outside of the Santa Maria Antica.

The Lamberti Tower was about to open, so we decided to join the queue. The tower is 84 metres high and is the tallest building in Verona. There are two options to reach the top, either by elevator (which includes an extra fee) or stairs. Naturally we opted for the more challenging route and climbed up the 368 steps. The top of the roof provides a glimpse of the bells, along with a panoramic view of the city.

We started to make our way to the Adige River, stopping at the Basilica of Saint Anastasia, the largest church in Verona that is also beautifully decorated.

We continued to make our way to the river and crossed the Ponte Pietra, a Roman stone bridge that was completed in 100 BC and is the oldest bridge in Verona.

Located nearby is the Archaeological Museum at the Roman Theatre. The Roman Theatre is another amphitheatre that was built in the late 1st century BC. While it is significantly smaller than the Verona Arena, in the summer it hosts numerous theatrical and music events.

We climbed up the steps to reach the archaeological museum, which is located on top of the theater in the building of a former Jesuit Monastery. The museum showcases a collection of marble statues, frescas, mosaics and old artifacts. It also provided a lovely view of the city from across the Adige River.

After stopping for a bite to eat, we headed to the Verona Cathedral. The cathedral is part of a larger complex of connected religious buildings, which also includes a baptistery, the Sant’Elena church, and a few other areas that are off limits to the public.

We then walked along the banks of the Adige River towards Castelvecchio, a defensive fortress that was built by the Scaligeri family. The inside of the castle contains a collection of art and ancient armour and weapons. The real highlight, however, was walking along the castle walls.

It was then time for us to make our way back to the train station and Venice to pack our bags. The next morning we planned to fly to Spain.

L

85 thoughts on “Verona

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross says:

    I’ve been to Verona several times for extended periods and have always enjoyed that it’s so much more relaxed and less crowded. The comfort level at the arena has improved over the years as it has been restored. The first show I attended was an opera that I watched from one of the old stone seats; my derrière felt like stone afterwards, too! The next time I shelled out for one of the comfortable seats. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Linda K says:

    Great tip about the Verona card and how interesting to see how “rustic” the arena is. I kind of get the feel just from your photos that Verona is a quieter much smaller version of Rome. Seems to have some of the same kinds of sites on a more manageable scale. It’s actually a place I’d like to spend some time because of it’s close proximity to smaller northern towns as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We typically don’t buy these city cards, but in this case it made the most sense since it wasn’t very expensive and all the places we wanted to visit were included. That’s one of the great things about taking these day-trips is that once we left the busy cities like Venice or Florence, the price of everything is so much cheaper. We did get a lot of Roman vibes when visiting Verona, minus the crowds, which is always a good thing. Thanks for reading. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wetanddustyroads says:

    Lovely view of the city from the Lamberti Tower. And I love an ancient Roman bridge – I always try to imagine how it was to cross these bridges centuries ago. And what a lovely way of ending your visit with a castle wall stroll! Romeo and Juliet – that was what I knew about Verona 😉. Now, thanks to you, I know there’s so much more to Verona!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m such a fan of climbing these towers. It’s a great way get a bird’s-eye view of the city … and to burn off some of those calories from all the pizza and pasta we were consuming! Verona is very charming and it felt very Rome-like without the crowds. We definitely had an action-packed day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rachel Davis says:

    Amazing pictures of a beautiful place 😍. I visited with school when I was about 15 and I wish I had been old enough to properly appreciate it. I really hope that I get to go back in the future 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a comment. That’s pretty awesome that you got to visit Verona as part of a school trip. I know what you mean about not fully appreciating something when you’re younger. I guess this means you’ll just have to return!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ab says:

    What a beautiful visit to Verona, Linda. I didn’t even register that Romeo and Juliet took place in Italy – so does that make the characters Italian? How cool you got to visit the Capulet home too and stand on Juliet’s balcony!

    The open air amphitheaters are very cool. I always wonder how/if sound travelled well to the far back seats though.

    Very cool to see a bridge before Christ’s time. We simply don’t get craftsmanship like this today.

    Looking forward to seeing your Spain recaps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Visiting Juliet’s House gave me flashbacks to Grade 9 English when we read Romeo and Juliet in class. I didn’t remember that it took place in Verona either. Of course, the story is mostly fiction. The house here became known as Juliet’s House as it once belonged to the Dal Capello family, which I guess sounds close enough to Capuleti. The real kicker is that the balcony of the house was added in 1936 to help play up the story.

      The amphitheaters were pretty neat. Apparently they are supposed to have really good acoustics. I don’t imagine the seating would be very comfortable though. And agreed, we don’t make bridges and buildings like that anymore, which is a bit of a shame as it adds so much character.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve unfortunately moved on from Europe. We were only there for two weeks in August. I have yet to visit Switzerland, so I’ll have to keep that hike in mind for when we finally make it there. I just looked up some pictures of Oeschinen Lake and all I can say is wow. The scenery looks breathtaking!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. michellecj333 says:

    It is just incredible to imagine this much history! The buildings and cathedrals are beautiful. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Romeo and Juliet tale, but I believe it was really more because of the time period – which is intriguing. Loved reading about it and seeing your beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. Visiting Verona felt like we were transported back in time. It’s a shame we don’t design cities like this anymore. I just love how easy it is to walk around everywhere and the medieval architecture looks so charming.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. thehungrytravellers.blog says:

    I’ve only ever been to an opera once – and it was here, in the wonderful open theatre on a gorgeous sunset evening. What a place to see my only opera! It was Madame Butterfly, by the way. Great to read your experiences and trigger memories of that trip so many years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lookoom says:

    Thank you for this introduction to Verona. Contrary to you, I stopped there briefly on my way to Venice. I didn’t see much, much less than what you show, hence the interest of your post.

    Like

  9. NortheastAllie says:

    Verona looks so exquisite, and the buildings very elegant! The Basilica of Saint Anastasia really caught my eye and the ceilings are so detailed. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and interesting facts about the region.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. We had a few different options in terms of a day-trip from Venice, but I’m glad we landed on Verona. It’s a charming town with a lot of history. Plus, it wasn’t very busy, which is always a huge bonus. Thanks for reading. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  10. grandmisadventures says:

    What a wonderful tour of this beautiful city! I’ve never been a big fan of the story of Romeo and Juliet, but I still think I would need to go out onto that balcony and say the lines that probably everyone does when they visit. It’s so interesting to me that Juliet has reached a near saintlike status and is seen as such a relationship guide to so many people across the world. Maybe I missed something when I read it?

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. Visiting Juliet’s House gave me flashbacks to Grade 9 English when we read Romeo and Juliet in class. I didn’t have much of an appreciation for Shakespeare back when I was in school. I never fully understood why the story was so romanitized either.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. leightontravels says:

    Verona certainly packs a punch. That theatre is stunning, it would be amazing to attend an opera performance there, and I’ve never been much into opera. But even I could be persuaded to experience it there. Looks like you had a wonderful trip in Italy. Looking forward to Spain posts.

    Like

  12. jmankowsky says:

    Such a lovely post! I was smiling at the Verona Arena, as I only know it from this old Inspector Morse episode, “The Death of the Self”. If you are into mystery at all, I bet it would bring back memories for you!
    Cheers,
    Julie

    Like

  13. Bama says:

    It looks like Verona offers so much more than Romeo and Juliet, although undoubtedly many visitors who come to this city have Shakespeare’s play in their minds. Apart from the beautiful architecture, I love how the city has two open-air theaters, and still makes the most of them by hosting performances.

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      For sure. It’s pretty amazing how even though those amphitheatres are over a thousand years old, that they are still being used today. Apparently the acoustics are amazing. It’s too bad we weren’t able to attend the opera, but I guess this just means we’ll have to return someday.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Christie says:

    I always ‘viewed’ Verona as a romantic city, but it seems there is so much more to see. I share your love of climbing towers, so I am totally for the bird’s eye view of the city.
    I also love the bridge, Ponte Pietra, it is amazing for still being in use after 2000 years. Romans were quite knowledgeable about building roads and bridges, weren’t they?
    You had quite a wonderful summer!!

    Like

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Verona isn’t a big city, but it sure packs a punch in terms of attractions and sights. The Roman ruins and artifacts scattered around the historic city centre were neat. It is impressive that the amphitheatres and bridges that were built a couple thousand years ago are still being used today. I’m such a fan of climbing the towers. It’s a great way to get a different perspective of the city and to soak it all in. We definitely made the most of being able to travel again this summer!

      Liked by 1 person

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