A city with over two millennia of history, Verona is the second largest city in the Veneto region and is known for being a lively economic center, as well as being a popular international tourist destination. Discover our guide of the best attractions to visit in the city as well as some of Verona’s typical dishes and wines!
What to do
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the city offers historical and artistic paths that allow visitors to explore the several different eras of Verona. It’s past is represented by the many monuments, museums, and archaeological sites and palaces that enchant visitors from all over the world. The classic Arena or Ponte Pietra, the Piazza Erbe, the staircase of the Palazzo della Ragione and Castel San Pietro are among the many historic landmarks that make Verona a real “door” to the rest of Italy and Europe.
Centuries of history and culture are preserved by the ancient collection of the Maffeian Lapidary, the Archaeological Museums at the Roman Theatre and the Castelvecchio Museum houses which contain sculptures and paintings from the 12th to the 18th century. Located near Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Signori are the House of Giulietta, the Civic Library and the Gallery of Modern Art Palazzo Forti, while the International Photography Center is located near the Scavi Scaligeri houses.
Finally, the sixteenth-century Palazzo Pompei is the main attraction of the Civic Museum of Natural History, which also houses important collections in the areas of Botany, Geology, Paleontology, Prehistory and Zoology. It is fortified by the magistral walls of the former Habsburg Arsenal and the Adige bridges.
Throughout the year, there are several cultural events such as summer evenings at the Arena, the extraordinary Opera Festival and many pop and rock music concerts which attract international performers to the city. The Roman Theater also hosts its annual ‘Shakespearean Festival’ which celebrates the close link between Verona and the great English playwright.
It is also worth mentioning the events which attract the most tourists and truly gives Verona it’s worldwide reputation; from the ‘Tocatì’, the annual international festival of street games that brings back the ancient ludic traditions to the Verona city streets, to the ‘Verona in Love’, which enhances Verona’s worldwide image as the City of Love. There is also the Veronese Carnival, one of the oldest in Europe, which is a parade of masked floats followed by cultural figures and bands. There is no shortage of opportunities to visit Verona, coined as the capital of Italian history, art, music and culture, and also of excellent food, wine and landscapes.
What to eat
Verona, like the rest of Italy, is known for its exquisite food, and is the result of the tradition of local agriculture and the abundance of DOP certified specialities. Some of the most typical dishes of Verona are pasta with fasoi, bigoli with sardines, gnocchi and Valeggio knots. Rice, a staple of the region, is used as the base for many classic dishes like risotto with radicchio di Verona and Monte Veronese cheese, or rice with tastasal and peas. Other classic Veronese dishes include the pastisada de caval and boiled meat with pearà, which is a sauce that is only cooked in the Scala area and is the perfect accompaniment to any meat inspired dish. Pandoro, Nadalin, crostoli and carnival fritole are the classic sweets and desserts of the region. The production of various cheeses and sausages are also typical of Verona, most notably, the Monte Veronese which comes from the Alpine huts of Lessinia and the Soppressata with garlic.
Last but not least is the production of oil, from Garda to Valpolicella, both of which are DOP certified. Verona’s landscape is characterized by vast hills and has the perfect climate to host its many vineyards extending from east to west, and has led to the production of many quality wines that are exported all over the world.
There are 5 DOCG labels in the region: Amarone, Bardolino Superiore, Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto Soave and Soave Superiore. Among the various DOC wines of the region, the most recognized are Bardolino, Bianco di Custoza, Valpolicella Ripasso, Soave and Lugana.