Numerous traces of Verona’s long history are to be found in the old part of its city centre. The centre and neighbouring areas can be easily visited on foot.
Piazza Bra is dominated by the impressive Roman Arena, built in 1 BC, and one of the most important well preserved Roman amphitheatres. Nowadays, this extraordinary amphitheatre hosts the Opera Festival and here, every year, famous singers and orchestra conductors appear on the stage and podium, ensuring audiences an unforgettable experience.
To the south-east of the square, near the garden, there is the neoclassical Palazzo Barbieri, currently the headquarters of the Municipality, and built in the 17th century for military use. To the south of the square, there is the recently restored Palazzo della Gran Guardia, which now hosts important events and exhibitions.
On the west side of the square there is the wide Liston pavement, where Verona people traditionally go for a walk. Piazza Bra is also known by the name “Braida”, which comes from the Germanic term breit, which means wide.
From Piazza Bra, going along Via Mazzini (one of the best-known streets for shopping) and turning right into Via Cappello, at number 23, on the left you can see and visit the courtyard of Juliet’s House with the suggestive balcony. Going back and passing (leaving on the left) the beginning of Via Mazzini, visitors reach Piazza delle Erbe, an ancient Roman Forum, now well-known for its daily fruit and vegetable market. Adjoining this square, on the right-hand side, there is Piazza dei Signori, Verona’s favourite meeting point; from here, it is possible to glimpse the nearby Arche Scaligere and enter the Cortile del Mercato Vecchio, from which the Torre dei Lamberti can be reached, where it is possible to admire a spectacular view of the city. If you continue towards the Adige, walking alongside the river, you reach Ponte Pietra, on the other side of which there is the Teatro Romano, which hosts important theatre and ballets performances during the summer. The nearby cathedral is a “must-see”.
Continuing south along the Adige, you reach Castelvecchio, with its famous Scaligero Bridge. Continuing to follow the course of the river, on the other hand, you’ll arrive at the Basilica of St Zeno, a masterpiece of Romanesque art.
A very popular tourist destination is Garda Lake, well-known for its mild Mediterranean climate and suggestive position among the mountains that run north of the city, among which Monte Baldo stands out. Here it is possible to relax in the lake’s waters, sunbathing and admiring the surrounding soaring mountains and the picturesque nearby towns. It is also possible to go on boat trips to the various lakeside towns and, for bicycle lovers, there are several routes immersed in the countryside.
If you come to Verona for a holiday or only for a weekend, even only to attend one of the performances of the Arena Opera Festival, there are some delicious traditional specialities of Verona you have to taste:
- Typical italian wines from the area of Bardolino, Soave, Custoza and Valpolicella.
- Risotto al Tastasal, Risotto all’Amarone of the Sartori winery and gnocchi sbatùi with a sprinkling of grated Grana Padano cheese
- Lesso (boliled meat) with pearà ( bread sauce with pepper) and pastissada de caval (horsemeat) or de musso (donkeymeat).
- Pandoro, a typical Christmas cake and the "kisses of Juliet".
For tourist information contact Ufficio Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica - I.A.T. - Piazza Bra / Via degli Alpini 9.
The Lost Property Office is managed by the Municipal Police, Via del Pontiere, 32 (near Piazza Bra).
For info on the calendar of trade fairs in Verona, check out the Verona Fiere Web site.