The best things to see and do in Verona
Back in 2014 Luca and I spent New Year’s in Verona. Six years later, we returned to celebrate his mom’s birthday! I’m in love with Verona, It’s such a picturesque city and the Veneto region is filled with beautiful places to explore. Plus, this time I got to visit the city in summertime! We strolled through the enchanting piazzas, dined in delicious restaurants, wine tasted in a stunning estate, saw the Il Volo Concert in tribute to Ennio Morricone and had an amazing time. If you’re planning on visiting the city of Romeo and Juliet, here’s my travel guide to the best things to see and do in Verona and my favorite places to dine.
How to get to Verona
We traveled from Rome and decided to go by car since we also wanted to visit places outside the city center (plus we stopped by in Tuscany to visit Luca’s grandmother)! From Rome to Verona by car it takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes. But if you’re planning on staying in Verona I’d recommend going by train, it takes just a bit over 3 hours.
Where to stay in Verona
Both of the times I visited Verona I stayed in the area near Piazza Bra. It’s a great area to stay in as it’s walking distance from everywhere! But Verona is fairly small so you can opt for different areas, B&Bs near Piazza delle Erbe are also a great choice but I’d say pretty much everywhere is good as long as it’s a central area.
Things to see and do in Verona
There is plenty to see and do in Verona, here are just a few suggestions based on what we did over the weekend!
Strolling through Piazza Bra is a must-have experience. This piazza is the largest one in Verona and boasts the famed Arena di Verona, a 2000-year-old amphitheater turned world-renowned concert venue. The piazza is lined with restaurants and cafes, and is connected to the popular Via Giuseppe Mazzini with designer stores.
Catch a concert at the Arena di Verona
I can’t tell you how special it was to see a concert at the Arena di Verona. On June 5th, we saw the concert-event by Il Volo in tribute to the late Ennio Morricone. The concert was aired on national television and was fantastic. It was truly an experience that gave me so many emotions. I super recommend catching a concert here or visiting the Arena!
Aperitivo at Piazza delle Erbe
Piazza delle Erbe is a picturesque piazza lined with cute bars where you can grab drinks. It’s one of my favorite piazzas in Italy and it’s the most ancient one in Verona, boasting a mix of historic buildings, fountains and towers. It’s also a great spot for aperitivo.
Visiting the Mosconi Bertani Villa and wine cellars
The Veneto region is renowned for its wines – from the Amarone to the Valpolicella, from the Soave to the Prosecco, they take wine very seriously in Veneto. One of the highlights of our trip was visiting the wine cellars of the Mosconi Bertani Villa, dating back to the 1700s. After the guided tour of the gardens and estate we visited the historic wine cellars of the Tenuta Santa Maria and had a tasting of four of the estate’s wines – Soave, Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Classico Ripasso and Amarone della Valpolicella. We learned about the different grape varieties used, the winemaking techniques and the organoleptic characteristics. A fabulous experience that I super recommend. Best to book in advance.
Castelvecchio and Strolling along the Adige riverside
Verona is such a beautiful city and walking along the riverside is a great experience. Walk to Castelvecchio, the most important military construction of they Scaligeri dynasty who ruled the city in the Middle Ages, and then cross the bridge to enjoy a stroll.
If you’re into Medieval sculptures and paintings the Castelvecchio Museums is the place for you. While it isn’t exactly my cup of tea the museum set-up alone was worth the visit. We really wanted to visit the Maffei Palace, boasting masterpieces by Picasso, Morandi, Magritte and many others but it was closed due to restoration works! We instead visited the Modern Art Gallery that has a collection of artworks that mainly focus on Verona.
Go on a day trip
The Veneto region is filled with gems to visit and Verona is strategically located to visit them! Just an hour-and-a-half by train you’ll reachVenice (although it’s always better to stay at least a few days in The Floating City); Italy’s largest lake, beautiful Lake Garda, is just 20 minutes away by train; under an hour the medieval city of Padua; not to mention the beautiful wine regions like the Soave and the Valpolicella.
Where to eat in Verona
Verona is filled with great restaurants. While you’re here, don’t forget to try the risotto all’Amarone, one of the specialties of Veronese cuisine. Here are a few suggestions on where to eat, based on personal experience and recommendations from trusted sources!
This historic restaurant has the cutest al freso dining, in a small piazza a stone’s throw away from Piazza Bra. They pay lots of attention to the mise en place and the service is excellent. The menu looks like a newspaper and is divided into seafood and meat specialties. Must-tries are the scampi tartare, the Amarone risotto and the spaghetti with garlic, oil, chili pepper and clams. The desserts are also yummy and the wine selection is outstanding!
Antica Bottega del Vino
Wine and tradition are the protagonists at this historic restaurant in Verona. The indoor is characteristic, with wine bottles placed on shelves, phrases linked to wine inscribed on the walls and beautiful wooden tables. The wine selection is a book, literally, with a fantastic selection. It’s impossible to go wrong. Absolute musts are the homemade gnocchi with duck ragout, completely feel in love, and the Amarone risotto.
I have such a good memory of this restaurant near Juliet’s house… Luca and I dined here a few years back and we loved it. We had the cured meats and cheese selection as a started, followed by gnocchi con ragut di gallina and the tortelli ripieni con salmon affumicato, just perfect. The wine selection is also fantastic here. We actually discovered one of our favorite bottles of wine here thanks to the sommelier.
Signorvino is a wine shop, wine bar and restaurant that belongs to the Calzedonia Group, located footsteps from Piazza Bra. It’s a great place for aperitivo but also to dine! We had a San Daniele prosciutto board with pinsa bread, a selection of cheese and a vegetarian board, all spectacular. The wine selection is superb, with wine bottles for all the Italian regions. Definitely recommended, we went here before our concert at the Arena di Verona.
Osteria del Bugiardo
If you’re on the hunt for a place that serves yummy cured meats, cheese, polenta or an informal dining experience, Osteria del Bugiardo is it. The name, Osteria del Bugiardo, comes from the company’s Valpolicella Ripasso label, but many other wines are available at this charming restaurant footsteps form Piazza delle Erbe.
Luca’s mother has a friend who’s husband is from Verona and he recommended we dine at Il Cenacolo. While we didn’t have enough days to try all the restaurants on the list, I think its safe to say that Il Cenacolo is a good one to have on your radar! The restaurant serves grilled specialties, Italian and Veronese cuisines paired with some of the best wine labels.
Osteria Ponte Pietra
This restaurant seems super cozy but I personally haven’t been to it, it was recommended by one of my followers. They also have outdoor seating with views over the Adige River, seems like a great one to try!