Located almost midway between Venice and Milan is the historic and picturesque city of Verona. Verona’s claim to fame may be the setting of the greatest love story ever written – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – but it is not limited to just that. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Verona mesmerizes visitors with its Roman ruins, its medieval charm, and its cultural heritage.
The city is cradled by the curves of the River Adige, which, coupled with the backdrop of the cypress-covered hills, creates a beautiful visual treat. Here is our pick of the top attractions for those visiting Verona.
Built in 1354, the Castelvecchio is a spectacular fortress on the bank of the River Adige. It was one of the most important constructions completed by the ruling Scaliger dynasty. This primarily Gothic-styled red-brick fortress has 7 towers, bridge walls, M-shaped merlons, and 4 main buildings. It has a surrounding ditch which has been dry for many years. It is strategically linked to the historic Scaligeri Bridge across the river. The museum went through major renovations during the 1950s and is today home to the Castelvecchio Museum with a rich collection of medieval paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and weapons. It also has miniature works of gold.
- Piazza Erbe
Connected with Piazza Bra through the popular via Mazzini is the Piazza delle Erbe or the Market Square. This is one of the popular squares in the city, with well-preserved Roman architecture and monuments. Adorning the center of Piazza Erbe is the oldest structure in the square – the Madonna Fountain that was built in 1368. The statue of the Madonna is believed to be older than the actual fountain, sculpted in 380 AD.
- Regional Natural Park of Lessinia
Located to the north of Verona and stretching right up to the border of the Trento region is the Lessinia Park. The park was opened in 1990. It spans over 10,000 hectares and reaches an altitude of 1800 meters on the Monte Lessini plateau. The natural bridges, caves, dolinas, and fossil deposits make it a wonderfully scenic place for a hike. The park can be explored by foot, on bicycle, and on horseback. Within the park boundaries there are 7 theme-based museums highlighting the historical and natural aspects of the region. Visitors planning to visit the park should not miss the Molina waterfalls, the Veja natural bridge, and the Rovere Mille cave.
- Basilica of San Zeno
This Romanesque basilica is one of the many religious buildings built after the earthquake of 1117. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy. Another major attraction of the basilica is the legend that its crypt was the setting of the marriage between Romeo and Juliet. The crypt of the church also has the remains of St. Zeno, to whom the basilica is dedicated. The façade of the church is built with cream-colored tuff. It has a huge Gothic-styled rose window called the Wheel of Fortune.
- Giusti Palace and Garden
Located a short distance to the east of the Verona city center, this is one of the most beautifully landscaped gardens in the region. This late 16th century Italian Renaissance garden is in perfect harmony with the 16th century neo-Classical palace. Terrace gardens, hedges, and needle-shaped cypresses together with the backdrop of the lush green hillside make it one of the most scenic places in Verona.
- Cathedral of Verona in Duomo
Located in Piazza Duomo, this cathedral is one of the most popular attractions in Verona. Built in a Gothic-Renaissance style of architecture, it welcomes visitors with a stunning façade. It was built in 1117 but has gone through many renovations and expansions over the centuries. The church premises include the cloister, the Bishop’s House, a museum, and a library. The interior of the church has rich carvings and frescoes from noted Italian artists.
- House of Romeo
Unfortunately, this is a private property and can only be seen from the outside, but that does not stop tourists from visiting this medieval house. Located in the narrow Via Arche Scaligere, this 13th century house originally belonged to the Montecchi family. Romeo’s full name in Italian was Romeo Montecchi. The high-walled house almost looks like a mini fortress. On the wall of the house there is a bronze inscription of Romeo riding a horse. Although entry to the house is restricted, visitors can enjoy traditional Veronese cuisine at the restaurant on the ground floor.
- House of Juliet
One of the most famous addresses of Verona is Via Cappello No. 23. This 14th century house is believed to be the house of Juliet Capulet – the tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s Rome and Juliet. The house is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, making it a top attraction of the city. The house has a small balcony, popularly known as Juliet’s balcony. There is a small courtyard which has a bronze statue of Juliet. Legend has it that stroking the right breast of the statue brings that person good luck and fortune, especially in love. The inside of the building is decorated with costumes and furnishings from the sets of MGM’s famous 1936 movie, Romeo and Juliet.
- San Giorgio in Braida
Located on the bank of the River Adige, this church is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Italy. With its towering dome, interior décor, and rich treasure of artwork, this is one of the must-see churches in Verona. It was built around the 15th century, replacing a Benedictine monastery. Artists whose works are seen in the church include Tintoretto, Domenico, and Farinati. The most famous artwork in the church is the Martyrdom of St. George just above the altar.
- Piazza Bra
This is the largest square in Verona and one of the largest and most-visited in Italy. The square is famous for the majestic Roman Arena, the Gran Guardia Palace and the town hall – Barbieri Palace. It is lined with a number of restaurants and cafes complete with their green or white canopy covers. The entrance to the square is through the Portoni della Bra – the ancient gate. The gate comprises of a pentagonal tower with Romanesque arches. To the left of the gate is the entrance of the Lapidary Inscriptions Museum. Those planning to go the museum can have a bird’s eye view of the square from the top-floor of the museum.
Originally posted 2017-05-23 06:55:35.