How to spend a day in the beautiful Verona? Discover with me what to see and the curiosities of the city made famous by the love drama of Romeo and Juliet.
If you arrive in Verona by car take Corso di Porta Nuova, you will have the opportunity to park in one of the many underground parking lots just a few steps from the Arena without risking a few fines! At that point, all you need to do is cross Porta Nuova and the Portoni della Brà to find yourself in Piazza Brà, where you will find the magnificent Arena di Verona, the third largest Roman amphitheater in the world. Originally it was used for bullfighting and gladiator fights and its history contains a legend dating back to the Middle Ages. The protagonist is a gentleman from Verona who waits his death sentence executed at dawn. He is alone in his cell and his screams are perceived by the devil, who comes with a promise of salvation: to give the city of Verona an immense theatre in exchange for the freedom and the price of his soul. Obviously the man accepts, but when the work was almost finished, he repents and suddenly, the bells of a church began to ring the notes of the Angelus: Mary had heard the prayer of the condemned man and the devils who were building the arena were frightened and fled, leaving it unfinished.
From the Arena, walk down Via Mazzini (the shopping street), and you will arrive at Via Cappello – named after the family who lived in the Juliet’s House Museum, if you go to the right you will find Juliet’s House, while to the left the famous Piazza delle Erbe. At the cost of 6€ you can visit the interior of the House and her tomb. If you just want to see the balcony and the famous statue you just need to stand in line and arm yourself with patience! The beautiful face of the House is due to the Italian architect Antonio Avena, while the statue of Juliet was commissioned in 1969 and shaped by the sculptor Nereo Constantini. It immediately became a symbol of luck, just by touching its chest tourists and couples in love can have a little bit of luck. In 2014, however, the statue was replaced, because a hole had been created, so to admire the original just enter the house. Yet, the love story of Romeo and Juliet is not the only one in the city: Corrado di San Bonifazio was a young soldier who had fallen in love with Isabella of the House of Donati. She seemed not to love him and he tried in every way to make her fall in love. Isabella told the young man to jump into the well to see if the water was as icy as he thought it was. Corrado obeyed and threw himself. Isabella followed him into the well and disappeared. The Well of Love is a small romantic corner, located a few steps from Piazza Erbe.
Leaving the House of Juliet you can head towards Piazza Erbe, which since 2012 is considered the most popular Italian square in the world and the oldest, and is located above the area of the Roman Forum. Pay attention to the Arco della Costa, which connects two important historical buildings, the Casa del Comune and Casa del Mazzanti. In the square you will also find the Column of San Marco and the Madonna di Verona Fountain. From there, head towards the Palazzo della Ragione and climb the Torre dei Lamberti for a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Verona. The Palace encloses the Courtyard of the Old Market and with the ticket for the tower you can enter to see the wonderful exhibition of the Modern Art Gallery Achille Forti. Not far away you will find Piazza dei Signori with Palazzo dei Podestà and the Scaligero arch. Finally, don’t miss Castelvecchio, now a civic museum, and the Scaliger Bridge, both wanted and built by the powerful dynasty that ruled the city for 125 years during the Middle Ages. If you cross the bridge and take a short walk along the Adige river you can then return to the center from the Ponte della Vittoria and admire the famous Porta Borsari, which was the main entrance of the Roman city.
If you have more than one day, or if you simply still have time, you can visit the House of Romeo (of course there is also his!), the House Museum Palazzo Maffei, the Basilica of St. Anastasia, the beautiful Piazza Duomo with the majestic complex of the Cathedral, or take the Funicular of Castel San Pietro to enjoy the sunset over ancient Verona and the most beautiful viewpoint of the city.