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Best things to do in Verona

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Italy  /  Veneto  /  Province of Verona  /  Verona

Top 15 things to do in Verona

1. Arena di Verona

Built in the first century CE, Arena di Verona--one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters--has served as an opera venue since 1913. Thanks to the amphitheater's incredible acoustics, electronic microphones were not used here they were finally installed as a sound reinforcement system in 2011. The arena has hosted Alicia Keys, The Who, and Pearl Jam, as well as some of the world's most noteworthy conductors and opera singers. Sitting in the stands, you'll be transported back to Roman times when more than 30,000 people filled the seats to watch shows and games.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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2. Doge's Palace, Venice

Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Venice used to be run at Doge's Palace, which once served as the residence of the doges, the city's chief magistrates. Regarded as a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic architecture, the palace is now a popular museum, attracting more than 1 million visitors each year. Works by such artists as Titian, Veronese, Tiepolo, and Tintoretto fill the interior. You can explore the monumental council chambers and richly decorated residential suites where major decisions affecting the city's fate were once made. Look in on the grim prison cells where the doges' political opponents were often locked away. A ticket for the nearby museums also grants access to this palace. Explore your ticket options online, and book well in advance to avoid standing in long lines.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Basilica di San Marco, Venice

Renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures, Basilica di San Marco is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Italy. Originally a private chapel for the doges, the city's chief magistrates, this building has been a cathedral only since 1807. Because of its opulent design, gold dome mosaics, and its status as a symbol of the city's wealth and power, the cathedral has been nicknamed the Church of Gold since the 11th century. The interior is based on a Greek cross, with iconic Byzantine onion-bulb domes and Egyptian marble walls. Behind the main altar, containing the sarcophagus of St. Mark, an altarpiece is adorned with hundreds of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, and amethysts. The front of the building is rippled with five niched portals, each capped with more elaborate mosaics and stone arches. The church also contains a museum, displaying bronze horses brought here in 1204 as part of the loot from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. You can enter the church for free, but the museum has an admission fee.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

Dedicated to the town's patron saint, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore mesmerizes visitors with its flower-filled cloister and ornate interior lined with painstakingly restored frescoes. Built in 1123-35, this masterpiece of Romanesque architecture serves as the final resting place of St Zeno, whose masked corpse occupies the transparent sarcophagus beneath the main altar. According to tradition, the brooding crypt was the site of the marriage of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Pay attention to meticulously crafted bronze doors under the rose window and Mantegna's altarpiece depicting Madonna on the throne.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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5. Piazza delle Erbe

Experience the charm of Verona at Piazza delle Erbe. Lined with historic Renaissance buildings, the plaza anchors the city center with restaurants, shops, and market stalls. The Baroque-style Palazzo Maffei is surrounded by statues of Greek gods. Visit the ancient city hall on the northern side of the square. Sit at an outdoor cafe and admire the fourth-century statue of the Madonna Verona in the center of the plaza.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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6. Canal Grande, Venice

Ride a gondola or water bus down Canal Grande. A major water-traffic corridor, it winds through the city's central districts. Along its banks, you can see more than 170 buildings, including several palaces. Most of the buildings were erected between the 13th and 18th centuries, reflecting the prosperity and art of the once-powerful Republic of Venice. Forming a kind of reverse S-shape, the canal probably follows the course of an ancient river, eventually emptying its waters into a lagoon. The canal is 3.8 km (2.4 mi) long and 30 to 90 m (98 to 295 ft) wide. Centuries-old traditions, such as a historical regatta, are held every year along this ancient canal.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Casa di Giulietta

Relive the romance and history of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" at Casa di Giulietta. This house in Verona is the supposed residence of the Capulet family. Visitors come year-round to see Juliet's balcony and courtyard. Tour the interior to visit her bedroom and see the bed used in the 1936 film "Romeo and Juliet." Head out to the courtyard to admire the bronze statue of Juliet. You can sign the wall or leave small love letters on the outside of the house, which legend says makes the love everlasting.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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8. Piazza San Marco, Venice

Venice's principal public space, Piazza San Marco has served as the city's social, religious, and political center for centuries. In fact, Napoleon called the square "the drawing room of Europe." It's the largest square in the city and the only one given the designation of "piazza" (the others are all called "campi"). Originally constructed in the ninth century as a small public space dotted with trees, the square was substantially enlarged in the 12th century and was paved with bricks in the 13th. Several major architectural sites surround the area. The most notable is an imposing church dedicated to St. Mark. Don't feed the pigeons--city law forbids feeding the birds in the square.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Museo di Castelvecchio

Explore a small-but-varied collection of medieval paintings, sculptures, weapons, and ornamental objects alongside modern art at Museo di Castelvecchio, housed in the 14th century castle of the same name. Between 1959 and 1973, modernist architect Carlo Scarpa restored and enhanced the castle, adding his own features and creating special fixtures to hold some of the artworks. The layout resembles a modern art gallery, rather than a historical museum, with ample space to appreciate each artifact. A fortified, red-brick bridge attached to the castle provides sweeping views of the river and surrounding countryside.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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10. Piazza Bra

Soak up the history of Piazza Bra, Verona's largest square and the site of several notable buildings, including the 2,000-year-old Verona Arena, the town hall, and the Gran Guardia. Sit in the shade of the piazza garden's cedar and pine trees. Admire the bronze statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy. Wander the area for shopping, dining, or just to admire the historical buildings.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Torre dei Lamberti

A wealthy family built Torre dei Lamberti in 1172, and it stands as a reminder of the many towers that once dotted Verona's skyline. The 84 m (275.6 ft) tall structure is a mix of architectural styles added over the centuries. Climb to the top for views of the old town and countryside. Listen for two sets of bells, the Rengo and Marangona, which still ring occasionally. Take the elevator to the viewing platform if the climb looks too strenuous.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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12. Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Peggy Guggenheim Collection features the some of the American heiress' personal collection of modern art, which she began displaying in the 1950s. Guggenheim was married to artist Max Ernst and served as a patron to a few of his contemporaries. The gallery includes works by Picasso, Dali, Pollock, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Tanguy, Mondrian, and others. The property also has a sculpture garden. This impressive collection is housed in an 18th-century palace that served as Guggenheim's private home for nearly 30 years. The museum, on the Grand Canal, attracts nearly half a million art lovers each year. Save time by booking your tickets online well in advance.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Ponte Scaligero

Legend has it that the designer of Ponte Scaligero arrived at the bridge on horseback so he would be ready to ride away should the structure collapse. The bridge was built at the command of Cangrande II della Scala, a tyrannical ruler who wanted to be able to escape his castle should the people rebel against him. The bridge remained unharmed through many violent struggles until 1945, when retreating German troops destroyed it. It was reconstructed faithfully in 1949 and opened again in 1951. The fortified walkway, now a pedestrian- and bicycle-only bridge, connects two sections of Verona over the Adige River.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Piazza dei Signori

Every Wednesday night, locals flood Piazza dei Signori to enjoy guitar-playing, watch flamenco dancers, and cheer on their favorite in the capoeira face-offs. During the day, shops and administrative offices fill it with people. The square came about in the Middle Ages, when the La Scala palace and other monumental buildings were built, creating a square in the center. Reach the square through one of the many loggias or arcades.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. San Fermo Maggiore, Verona

Famous for its wooden ceiling, San Fermo Maggiore, Verona holds the remains of two local saints. Completed in the 15th century, the building combines elements of both Romanesque and Gothic styles. The wooden ceiling extends over the nave, while two paintings of the crucifixion occupy prominent spaces above the main and side entrances. Take a look at the tomb of Nicolo Brenzoni, a wealthy Veronese citizen who died in 1422. Considered a minor masterpiece, the tomb features elements carved by sculptor Nanni di Bartolo, as well as painted images by Renaissance artist Pisanello.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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