The majority of our clients choose the Verona Opera short break to attend the opera at the Arena di Verona. However, most of the travel plans that we offer allow plenty of time for sightseeing.
Upon arrival at your hotel, you will receive a free Verona Pass which allows access to most local monuments, churches and museums across the city. With a vast amount of options for sightseeing, we thought we would give you some suggestions based on our own experience and the feedback we have received:
Juliet’s balcony – The romantic feel of Verona stems from the famous Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet” being set in Verona, so it only seems right that tourists visit this courtyard. The house was once owned by a Veronese family who are rumoured to have had a rivalry with a neighbouring clan. Pairing this with the normal way to court a lady all those years ago – by persuading her to step out onto her balcony – it is understandable why this balcony has been dubbed as ‘Juliet’s Balcony’.
You can enter the courtyard free of charge, however, if you want to go into the house and stand on the balcony, there is a small fee of around €3 per person. The walls of the building are covered with romantic graffiti and love notes and there is a statue of Juliet which is said to promise true love to anyone who touches it.
The Cathedral of Verona – Following an earthquake in 1117 which destroyed two Palaeo-Christian churches, The Cathedral of Verona (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare) took at least twenty years to rebuild. Two Romanesque porches were also added and in the 16th century a side chapel and semicircular choir became new additions. Although renovations have been made since, the building plan has remained unchanged.
The floor of the Cathedral is black and white marble. The Cathedral has many chapels which are dedicated to different saints and important families. The tombstone of Pope Lucio III is situated here following his death in Verona in 1185.
The Church of St Elena was dedicated to St. George and St. Zeno and is situated in the cathedral as well as the baptistery of St. Giovanni in Fonte. The latter contains an octagonal baptismal font, with the eight panels depicting scenes that represent Gospel episodes from the Annunciation until Christ’s baptism.
Piazza della Erbe – Although it used to serve as a Roman forum, the Piazza della Erbe is now a market square which offers fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, as well as souvenirs for tourists. The square boasts architecture from both the 14th and 15 centuries. The Lamberti Tower stands in the square at almost 85 metres tall. It is possible to climb the tower, however for a very small fee you can take the lift.
Castelvecchio Battlements – Castelvecchio was built between 1354-1357 by Cangrande II della Scala to fill the purpose of being his residence and fortress. The Scaligeri family ruled Verona at this point in time and built the castle with the intention of protecting themselves against external attacks from outside of Verona, but also from within their city. The castle also contains a museum which flaunts artwork including paintings and sculptures.
Natural History Museum – The Natural History Museum was founded in 1853 There are 19 rooms displaying over 2 million examples of the world’s animals, plants, geology, palaeontology and prehistory. One of the major attractions is the fossilised fish from Bolca, an area on Veronese mountains famous all over the world because of the marine fossils considered among the most beautiful and best preserved in the world.
The AMO is the main opera arena’s museum. This museum houses some of the original opera sets along with costumes worn by Maria Callas and many other famous opera singers.
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