Famous for its artistic heritage and immortalised in classic literature, this iconic Italian destination has become synonymous with passion and romance. The setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, northern Italy’s Verona is a city crafted for entwined, star-crossed lovers, where art and scenery melt into one. Enclosing the Adige River, the city combines peaceful, rustic beauty with all the vigour and vitality of the river that runs through its centre. A glorious reminder of an age gone by, Verona’s traditional appearance is one of its greatest charms, rich in archaeology and winding streets, its existence steeped in history. Understandably a city popular amongst young romantics, there is plenty to do for travellers of all ages, from solo explorers wanting a unique city experience, to families looking for a true taste of Italy. Use the 'Book Now' tool to the left to start checking out available cheap flights to Verona so you can start planning your Italian getaway.
Flight frequency: Daily
Currency: EUR (€)
Being a World Heritage Site, Verona has echoes of the past throughout the city, and despite being bombed during World War II, its character thankfully remains intact. Armed with a map and compass, Verona is a wonderful maze to get lost in, with historical buildings, museums and churches seemingly around every corner.
The Roman arena and beautiful churches give an enlightening look back at Italian history. The Tombs of Scaligero, located by Santa Maria Antica Church, hold the bodies of Verona’s 14th Century rulers, and the Castelvecchio castle also looks after the city’s main art gallery. For those planning to visit a number of Verona’s attractions, a ‘Verona Card’ can be purchased, granting entrance to a number of the city’s enticements for a much-reduced price.
Having its own airport just 3 miles from its centre, Verona is an easy city to reach. An Aerobus service links Verona with its airport, with regular journeys taking around 15 minutes. The city centre has a bus service, but given the size and the number of narrow streets, Verona is best experienced on foot. Being in the north-east region of Italy, Verona can be used as a base to visit two of Italy’s other premier destinations – Lake Garda is around 20 minutes by train and Venice around an hour (plus a short boat trip!). The main train station, Porta Nuova, is a 20 minute walk from the centre of Verona, best reached by bus.
The cuisine in Verona is one of its many highlights, with a host of authentic, family-run Veronese restaurants on offer for hungry visitors. The main locations for food can be found on Piazza Brà and Piazza Erbe. The former is largely for tourists; the latter attracts a mixture of both travellers and locals. Restaurants in both locations tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but more budget-friendly meals can be found with a little browsing. Verona’s myriad of streets away from its two main squares also boast an array of eateries, with the Centro Storico being a good starting point.
For those in search of the heart of Verona’s food culture, look out for Rossa di Verona, a beer served only in the city. Pearà sauce is another local favourite, and generally used to accompany meat. A creamy, well-peppered sauce that is sometimes thickened with polenta, locals often eat it with a platter of cured meat, the Veronese equivalent of a smorgasbord. More so than in other Italian cities, restaurants in Verona have a preference for risotto over pasta, although you will have no problem finding the latter. Local white wines include Soave, and Valpolicella is usually the choice of red, plus unlike in the UK, you will almost always find a restaurant’s ‘house’ wine to be delicious!
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The shopping in Verona ticks all the boxes, from traditional antiques to premium fashion stores. Via Mazzini, close to Piazza Brá, is the place to find the cream of Italy’s fashion stores, including Gucci and Louis Vuitton. For a more rustic experience, Piazza Erbe has a market selling clothes and food and is a wonderful way to pass the time whilst finding some authentic Veronese souvenirs. Piazza San Zeno has an antique market, with goods on offer ranging from trinkets to furniture and even motor vehicles. Anyone wanting to bring back a bottle of something Veronese should seek out one of the city’s many wine stockists, where friendly and enthusiastic proprietors will gladly recommend a bottle so you can take a taste of Verona home with you. Bear in mind that many of Verona’s shops are closed on Sundays, so save that day for other attractions.
Partaking in an opera at Verona’s Roman arena is an experience that combines the arts with Italian history in a way quite unlike no other. Originally built for arts, sports and gladiators, the arena is generally kept for opera and music and is over 2000 years old. The opera season runs from mid-summer to early autumn, but the arena can be visited throughout the year, and many other concerts take place out of season. The city’s opera festival takes place in the arena every year from June to August.
Visitors to the city in February – pre-Valentine’s Day – will find the streets littered with red balloons, and Shakespearian works are performed at many venues around the middle of the month. Other events in Verona include a wonderful selection of festivals in summer, with separate occasions for theatre, jazz and ballet also held at the Roman arena. September’s Tocati Festival brings traditional Veronese street games into the fore, with the historic city centre converted into a haven of chess-playing, spinning tops, archery and barrel-rolling, to name but a few!
Verona’s historic centre is a must-see, with its narrow streets, beautiful square and Roman arena. Casa di Giulietta – Juliet’s House – is another essential, whether a fan of The Bard or not. Found in Via Capello, the house sees thousands of tourists take their pilgrimage to the famed location every year in order to glimpse the balcony where Shakespeare’s Juliet cried out for her beloved: ‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?’. For those not presently in the throes of love, Juliet’s House is a glorious slice of 13th century history regardless. It still bears the coat-of-arms of its inhabitants and boasts its own bronze Juliet in the courtyard, which supposedly brings good luck to those who rub her right breast!
Other attractions in Verona include the Castelvecchio, an imposing 14th century red brick castle with an incomparable collection of medieval sculptures and Renaissance paintings. 15 minutes from the castle lies the Basilica of St Zeno, a towering church with its own impressive displays of artwork and, incredibly, signatures on the walls from pilgrims dating as far back as 1390. Don’t forget to take a lift up to Lamberti’s Tower, Verona’s highest point, which handily has a walking option, for those needing to recover from an indulgent lunch.
IATA code: VRN
Name: Verona Villafranca Airport
Address: 37066 Caselle VR, Italy
Telephone: +39 045 809 5666
Verona Villafranca Airport has nearly 5000 parking spaces available 24/7 for a fee, all within walking distance of the airport itself.
The city of Verona is approximately 20 minutes away by public transport. An Aerobus service departs three times per hour, from the airport to Verona Porta Nuova rail station, at a cost of €6.
Taxis are plentiful, and the main rank can be found close to the Arrivals exit. A 25 minute journey will cost around €50. Taxi and Autoblu, Unione Radio and Radiotaxi Catullo all operate out of the airport. To avoid the queues, taxis can be pre-booked via the Verona airport website.
Car hire is available from several firms at Verona Airport itself. Booking in advance is advisable, although there is usually an ample selection of motor vehicles available.
Recipients of United Kingdom 1951 Convention Travel Documents should ensure that they check the requirement for a visa with the Embassy of the country to which they intend to travel.