The backdrop for Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet, Verona is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Located in northern Italy near Lake Garda, Verona exhibits its Roman and medieval past more than most cities on the continent, making it a major area of curiosity for any visitors.

The city’s origins reach back to the semi-mythical Euganei group, who controlled the settlement until 550 BC, after which it was passed to the pre-Roman Cenomani peoples. Indeed, Verona itself was only christened a Roman town in 49 BC. A significant centre of Roman communication, the fall of the Empire was followed by centuries of occupation, internal turmoil, political machinations and violence. Such was the tumult of the times that true stability was only achieved with the Austrian evacuation of Venice in the late 19th century, paving the way for the Risorgimento and integration as part of the new Italy.

However, more modern developments since then do not detract from the essential connection between the Verona of today and of the past. Medieval and Roman emblems of the past predominate, creating a truly beautiful city.


Classified a UNESCO World Heritage site, Verona in its entirety represents a cultural attraction. Most of the major monuments can be found in the historic centre, particularly the remains of the Roman past. Found within the Piazza Bra, the Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheatre, completed in 30 AD, is the cultural hub of the city. Although once the host of lubii shows and gladiatorial games, today its excellent acoustics make it a popular venue for concerts and operas.

In a similar vein, the Roman theatre built in 1st century BC and restored in the 18th century also offers performances to this day.

Attractive in its own right, the Porta dei Borsari, an archway façade of a 3rd century AD gate, part of the original Roman city walls, can be found at the end of the Corso Porta Borsari. Reaching further back in time, the Porta dei Leoni ruins originate from the 1st century BC city gates.

Most of the medieval remains are associated with the city’s religious history. The Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture, with the existing structure originating from the 12th century. Dedicated to the patron, St. Zeno, the façade and 72 metre bell tower dominate the Piazza. Inside, the walls are covered with 12th to 14th century frescos, while the crypt contains both the remains of St. Zeno and the famous 8th century Italian king, Pippin.

Amidst the many other fabulous churches such as the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the St. Maria Antica, one can find down the Via Capello a true link to Shakespeare. The 13th century Juliet’s House, supposedly owned by the Dal Cappello (or Capulet) family.

Although Verona does not have a huge choice of museums, the 14th century Castelvecchio, home to the once powerful della Scala family, now hosts a gallery with works by Tintoretto and Veronese.

Football is a pivotal part of Veronese life. The city is jointly-represented by Chievo Verona (recently qualified for the Champions League) and Hellas Verona (in Serie B). Both play their games at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi. If you prefer watersports, the conveniently located Lake Garda is the place to go.


As well as the typical rows of local craftworks, the Via Mazzini and Corso Porta Borsari specialise in high-street fashion.

Found on the Via Sottoriva every weekend each month, the Sottoriva Market specialises in antiques.

If you happen to book for April, Italy’s most important wine fair, Vinitaly, takes place between the 6th and 10th.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Veronese cuisine focuses on meats (particularly sausages) and cold-cuts, with speciality dishes like pastizada de caval (braised horse meat). The Osteria al Duomo off the Via Duomo is a popular and high-quality establishment, while the Via Sottoriva has a great selection of places to eat and drink.

Verona was frequented by Julius Caesar for relaxation and this reputation remains today. Plenty of clubs can be found like the Associzaione Culturale Interzona on the via Santa Teresa and Hollywood Danceclub on the Via Montefelice. Meanwhile, Piazza Bra is the place for bars.

For something different, the opera season takes place during July and August, while the Arena is used throughout the year for all types of concerts.

Tourist Information

IAT Tourist OfficeVia degli Alpini, 9Piazza BraVeronaTel: +39 (0)45 806


Verona is served by Verona-Villafranca Airport. One of the largest in Italy, the airport provides domestic and international connecting flights daily. Ryanair, British Airways and Meridiana all fly from various British locations.

Some 12km to the city centre, buses and taxis are widely available.

All car hire locations in Italy