Five unmissable attractions in Verona
Verona is a city with just over 255 thousand inhabitants that enchants! With famous sights, Verona wins over even the most demanding tourists. Today we will know which the five unmissable spots in Verona are. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Between Milan and Venice, we find the precious Verona! Verona is one of the most popular tourist cities in Italy and part of its fame is due to its artistic, architectural, musical and literary heritage. Verona is right on the ‘S curve’ of the Adige, which comes from the Alps and its historic center, where most of the attractions are concentrated, is connected to the left bank through ten bridges. It is not difficult for Verona to have its brilliance somewhat overshadowed by the famous neighbor, Venice, but when you visit it, the city fascinates you right away! Also read the post: What to do in Verona in one day?
Its main attractions
When we talk about literature, who does not know the history of Romeo and Juliet? Well, this is the house where Julieta dreamed of Shakespeare’s poetic words. Another important point in Verona is its Arena, which hosts the biggest and best names in national and international music. UNESCO has designated Verona as a World Heritage Site due to its unique structure and architecture. As we can see, even before making our short list, Verona already shows itself in a charming way, in a few lines. Shall we find out the five must-see attractions in Verona? Come with me! How about a 3-hour guided walking tour of Verona? Click here to learn more! or How about a 3 hour scenic bike ride? Click here to learn more!
1) Five unmissable attractions in Verona: CASA DI GIULIETA (JULIET’S HOUSE)
For the romantics on duty, an unmissable visit is to go to Casa de Julieta. The whole world knows the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet narrated by the brilliant Shakespeare and, Verona, the city where the tragic love story took place, is its emblem. Although the story was never really confirmed, historians say that the romance between Romeo and Juliet takes place in 1303.
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The origin of the story of Romeo and Juliet
The literary origin of the story of the two lovers, however, dates back to 1531, when the Vincentian captain Luigi Da Porto, narrated it as a ‘story romanced between two noble lovers with his regrettable death that already occurred in the time of Bartolomeo della Scala’. A long-winded work, but already containing all the main elements that Shakeaspeare would narrate and immortalize. Da Porto’s novel was soon revived in a poem attributed to Gerardo Boldiero and, in 1554, it appears in a work by Matteo Bandello. History did not take long to gain fame across Europe, with versions written by names like Arthur Brooke in 1562; William Painter, in 1569 and by the Spanish Felix Lope de Veja, in 1590.
William Shakespeare’s version
In 1596, it was William Shakespeare’s turn to present his version of one of the most famous stories in the world! Shakespeare presents us with a tragic, but sensitive, romantic and beautiful story, written in a delicate and imposing way and tells us about the Verona tragedy. It manages to give the story of the two lovers an eternal relevance and makes it an icon of the collective imagination.
What is known about the families involved?
It is known that, in fact, they really existed: the Montecchi and the Cappelletti, but the surname of the latter became Capulets in Shakespearean history and, in reality, the love story was never confirmed or denied, that is, we will never know if it really happened. You will pay 6 euros to visit the house and there you will find the infamous balcony and a statue of young Juliet (in the courtyard) all made in bronze: legend has it that if you caress the young woman’s right breast, your love will be forever faithful to you.
Are you single? No problems! Doing the same gesture (or leaving a note for Julieta), they say that you will find the love of your life! Where is it? Via Cappello, 23.
2) Five unmissable attractions in Verona: VERONA ARENA
Historic! That word best defines the Verona Arena. It is undoubtedly the true symbol of the city of Verona. Its architecture and beauty are impressive and it is one of the most visited places in the city. When we approach the imposing outer walls, we have the impression of still hearing the voices of the ancient Romans as they hailed the names of their heroes.
A little of Verona Arena’s history
It was erected in the 1st century AD under the empire of Augustus, and the amphitheater hosted games, concerts and many gladiator fights. These fights took place in the center of the arena, called “harena” (hence the name Arena) and the presence of sand facilitated the absorption of the blood of the combatants, men and animals. The shows were violent, bloody and attracted crowds. At that time, the Arena was outside the city walls, far from the center, today it is part of the heart of the city. Before visiting it, stop to be able to see the white and pink limestone blocks that are outside. All come from Valpollicella, the prestigious wine area on the outskirts of Verona.
The Arena of Verona ranks third among the largest in the world, second only to the Colosseum and the Capua Amphitheater, and had a capacity for 30 thousand spectators!
- The ticket costs 8 euros.
- During the restoration of the Verona amphitheater, which took place during the reign of Theodoric, king of the Goths, many of these stones and marbles were also used for the restructuring of neighboring houses; the material is still visible today in some buildings close to the Arena, whose façades are still visible today.
- Where is it? Piazza Bra (TIP: take a walk around here! The surroundings of the square are beautiful!)
The classic place where international and national shows take place is the famous and beautiful Verona Arena. With a fantastic structure, the place is an Italian classic! It also receives philharmonic and dance shows, besides being a sight.
- Bring little to the show! There is security control at the entrance of the places and they are very meticulous; wear light clothes and comfortable shoes. Schedule the itinerary to go back and forth and be at the venue at least an hour in advance. Discover our Section on Festivities in Italy!
- Tickets package for Opera Arena di Verona, click here to learn more!
3) Five unmissable attractions in Verona: CASTELVECCHIO AND THE SCALIGERO BRIDGE
It is impossible to talk about Verona and not mention Castelvecchio as a must-see! The Scaligeri built it between 1354 and 1355, and it is an imposing and beautiful defensive fortress, which defeated the powerful Della Scala family. Crossing the river, we soon see the amazing Scaligero Bridge, a 14th century traffic-free bridge that was one of the favorite walkways of local families. The castle tower and its walls offer incredible views of the bridge, the city and the hills surrounding the city.
The interior of the Castle and the Museum
The interior of the castle has been completely restored and transformed into a luminous exhibition space through the hands of the architect Carlo Scarpa. Scarpa managed to modernize the space without losing the fantastic history, integrity and historical originality of the castle. Here is an excellent museum and the collections of the Civic Museum of Art (with more than 30 exhibition halls) present several magnificent works.
Among some of the most important we can mention: Sacra famiglia con una santa (“Holy family with a saint”), by Mantegna; Rittrato di giovane con disegno infantile (“Portrait of a young man with a child’s drawing”), by Caroto; Dama delle Licnidi (“Lady of the Licnids”), by Rubens; Madonna della Quaglia (“Madonna of the Quail”), attributed to Pisanello; San Girolamo Penitente (“Penitent Saint Jerome”), by Bellini, among many others.
Castelvecchio has two distinct spaces:
On the right you can see the main courtyard and the parade courtyard; on the left the palace itself, where the lords lived in a narrower courtyard and double walls, for safety. In the center, we find the high Mastio Tower that leads to Scaligero Bridge over the Adige. A few meters from Corso Cavour you will find the Arco dei Gavi, a stone arch-shaped door, from the 1st century, that crossed a Roman road. Play a ‘game’: look for the grooves used by the carriage wheels in the stone under the arch: they are still there and will take you back to the past!
- Where is it? Corso Castelvecchio 2 (outside Corso Cavour).
4) Five unmissable attractions in Verona: ARCHE SCALIGERE (SCALIGER ARCHES)
Unmissable in Verona, but little known by tourists, are certainly the Arche Scaligere, built for the Scaligeri family, which represent a monumental funerary complex built in the Gothic style. This true monument cemetery has existed for over seven hundred years and houses the remains of the ancient lords of Verona. Here, for example, the Princes of the Della Scala family rest, with their elaborate equestrian sculptures that rise towards the sky as in an endless petrified tournament.
A little more about the Arches…
The Arches are one of the most impressive places in the city of Verona and are just a few steps from the wonderful Piazza Erbe (Erbe Square). Externally, the place is protected by a huge stone fence with a 14th century wrought iron gate, formed by firm rings that surround the heraldic symbol of the staircase. It is supported by marble columns topped by statues and, although the suspended ones attract more our gaze and curiosity, the whole of the work is of a unique beauty!
The structure was built in 1277, to house the remains of Mastino I, captain of the people and founder of the dynasty and, since then, it has become a ‘final’ symbol and destination for the nobles who made the ‘passage of the worlds’. When we speak of the Arches, we are not only talking about their historical value, but mainly about their architectural beauty. It is considered one of the best, most beautiful and greatest examples of Gothic architecture in the world.
- Where is it? Via S. Maria Antica, 4.
5) Five unmissable attractions in Verona: FRESCO MUSEUM AND JULIET’S TOMB
The Fresco Museum in Verona is splendid! In addition to being able to see Juliet’s house, in Verona you can also see her tomb, in red marble, which is in the basement of the old convent of San Francesco Corso; in the basement are also visible various amphorae of Roman origin, dating from around the 1st century AD. The museum preserves valuable frescoes made between the 10th and 16th centuries, recovered from facades of religious buildings in Verona.
The old convent, inside, enchants even the most demanding eyes! In a side street of Via del Pontiere, a few hundred meters from the Arena, you will find this fantastic museum, which is dedicated to Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle, an art historian who lived between 1819 and 1897 and who always made a point of preserving the artistic heritage of the city. The Museum was inaugurated in 1973 and, inside, it preserves several paintings by important artists from the 16th and 18th centuries.
A bit of history
During the Second World War, the church and convent were heavily damaged by the bombings, which damaged much of its structure: in 1959, the bell tower of the 15th century San Francesco church collapsed and in 1978 the same happened with the eastern part of the cloister. The frescoes made between the 10th and 16th centuries were carefully removed from the ruined buildings, restored and exposed. In Verona, the custom of painting facades of houses and palaces with frescoes was so common that at the time of the Renaissance the city was also known as Urbs Picta, which we can translate as ‘painted city’.
Among the many frescoes worth mentioning are those recovered from the cave of Saints Nazaro and Celso, one of Verona’s oldest chapels, in the Veronetta neighborhood. Also interesting are two cycles of frescoes recovered from different palaces in the city: those outside the Fiorio della Seta Palace and those inside Guarienti House.
In the Fresco Museum there are also several sculptures from the 19th century, including works by Innocenzo Fraccaroli and Torquato della Torre. There are also several paintings by artists who lived between the 16th and 18th centuries, such as Domenico Morone, Francesco Caroto, Antonio Palma, Carlo Ridolfi , Pasquale Ottino, Clemente Bocciardo, Antonio Balestra, Louis Dorigny, Osvaldo Perini, Gianbettino Cignaroli and Antonio Pachera.
- The Museum’s courtyard houses stony, architectural and sculptural, medieval and modern material.
- The ticket costs 4 euros (4.50 euros if you buy online) and deserves a visit!
- Where is? Via Luigi da Porto, 5.
A little bit of Verona’s history
Verona became a Roman colony in 89 BC, and already considered an important city at that time. Nowadays, we can still see traces of this glorious period, including the Roman amphitheater. Not to mention that the city is rich in churches in the Romanesque style, mostly from the 11th and 12th centuries. Verona was also an important cultural center in the Renaissance under the rule of the powerful Della Scala family. The main architects of the city, between the 15th and 16th centuries, were Fra Giocondo and Michele Sanmicheli, who are responsible for some of the most splendid buildings and for the city walls.
It is good to remember that, over time, Verona was a city dominated by several peoples, such as the Lombards – for about two centuries – and later by the Carolingians, when Charlemagne assumed power by attributing the city of Verona to his son Pipino. Verona was also the papal seat for five years, when Pope Lucius established the curia in the city in 1181, until his death four years later. Today the body of Pope Lucius is in the beautiful Cathedral.
Five unmissable attractions in Verona? Verona is a fantastic city and its unmissable sights, of course, exceed five, but we would spend years talking about what to see and do in the city of our dear Juliet! To learn more about this amazing city, you can read our post, What to do in Verona in one day?
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