Fall in love with the romantic sights and relaxed Italian atmosphere, and even squeeze in a night at the opera, all in a day in Verona. It’s easy to reach by bus or guided excursion from Lake Garda.
Paris and Venice may be considered the world’s most romantic cities, but Shakespeare found his setting of true love to be Verona. Even from a bird’s-eye view, the river and city walls form an almost perfect heart shape.
Begin with a trip up to the impressive viewpoint at Piazzale Castel San Pietro (pictured above). You can choose the 7-minute walk up the steep steps, or jump on the handy funicular for more time at the top. Take in the remarkable views across the city, dotted with bell towers, and spot four of the bridges that cross the Adige River into the city. The Roman Ponte Pietra is the oldest bridge in Verona. Completed in 100 BC, it gave access to the Roman theatre, which you’ll spot on the hillside just below the Piazzale Castel San Pietro. Heading up earlier in the day will not only give you a clearer view over the city, the walk will be cooler too.
After crossing the Ponte Pietra, you’re in the world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This is never truer than when in Juliet’s courtyard, looking up at the 14th-century stone balcony. You can stand in the footsteps of the young Capulet daughter herself, and imagine her looking down on her Romeo. The bronze statue standing in the courtyard is something of a good luck charm. It’s said that by touching its shiny arm and chest, you’ll be brought eternal fortune, luck and love. And if you attach a love lock onto the ornamental gates, you’ll find everlasting love.
Spend an hour or two exploring the collection of pretty courtyards and delightful piazzas of the area. Piazza dei Signori, the courtyard of Torre dei Lamberti, and the Roman forum of Piazza delle Erbe are each surrounded by ornately decorated buildings, balconies and monuments. Originally a bustling Roman marketplace, Piazza delle Erbe was surrounded by official buildings, many with original fresco decorations, including the original town hall. It’s still a marketplace today, and is where many locals and visitors gather in the restaurants, bars and coffee shops that line the square.
For a view of the piazza from above, head up the Torre dei Lamberti. At 84m high, it’s the tallest building in Verona and rises high above Piazza delle Erbe. Get to the top via the 368 steps, or there’s a lift to take you most of the way up.
From the history of Piazza delle Erbe to the glitz and glam of Via Giuseppe Mazzini. Named in 1907 after the 19th century activist responsible for the unification of Italy, Via Mazzini is now the most popular shopping street of Verona. Shiny marbled walkways and sparkling shop windows line the way between Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra. On this busy, pedestrianised street, you’ll find all major Italian designers. From the high-end Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton to the more affordable Sisley and United Colors of Benetton. Splash the cash and treat yourself in true Italian style.
As the largest piazza in the city, Piazza Bra is bordered by bars, cafés, restaurants and grand buildings and is the hub of the city’s energetic atmosphere. Central gardens with fountains and monuments are surrounded by Verona’s town hall, Palazzo Barbieri, the Palazzo della Gran Guardia – built over nearly 200 years as a shelter for troops, and of course, the Verona Arena – one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the world. Built in the first century, the Arena could take 30,000 spectators of Roman celebrations and public games known as Ludi.
Now the Arena is more commonly used for concerts, festivals and its world-renowned opera. Famous performances of Carmen, Aida, Turandot and Nabucco take place throughout the summer months, and it’s best to book tickets in advance. Seating can be on the arena floor or up the ancient stone steps. These unnumbered step seats, while sometimes further from the stage, create an incredible atmosphere during every performance. Picnics and drinks are permitted to really complete the evening. At the beginning of performances everyone is invited to light a candle, and the view across the Arena at this moment makes a beautiful end to your day in this romantic city.
Visit Verona during your holiday to Lake Garda from resorts including Bardolino, Garda, and Sirmione in the south, and Limone, Malcesine and Riva in the north.
Pssst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Traditional mountain villages, laid-back lakeside towns and musical cities – Austria has...
Beaches with a difference. Think you have to go somewhere tropical to...
What's hot for summer 2020?. Find out more about some of our...
Author: Ben Dent
Published: September 29, 2017
Our top deals tailored to you, straight to your inbox Sign up for offers
Shop Finder Ask a question? Contact us
We're part of TUI Group - one of the world's leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.
Registered address: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, LU2 9TN
More from TUI
Terms & conditions
Ways to Pay
Google Play Store
App Store for Ios
Holiday Budget Calculator
TUI Credit Card
Travel After Brexit
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel
More information is available by checking /destinations/info/travel-aware
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Some of the flights on this website are also financially protected by the ATOL scheme, but ATOL protection does not apply to all flights. This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each flight before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk. ATOL protection does not apply to the other holiday and travel services listed on this website.