If you are obsessed with the Italian summer aesthetic of “Letters to Juliet” as much as I am, then you definitely know about Verona. More famously known as the original setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Verona is a picturesque city located in the north of Italy, between Milan and Venice. With its stunning architecture and romantic vibe, Verona has gained the name of the city of love. But it doesn’t matter if you go with a significant other or by yourself, Verona is incredibly easy to fall in love with. And I will show you how. Here is a day in romantic Verona: what to do in the city of love.
Fall in love with Piazza Delle Erbe
Let’s start with what I consider to be the most stunning view in Verona; the charming Piazza Delle Erbe. When I was visiting, my Airbnb was just a few steps away from the piazza, so this was the first thing I saw in the morning as I went out to explore, and it completely enchanted me.
Piazza Delle Erbe is small but mighty. The fountain, the market stalls, the building frescoes, and the architecture all around make the place look like a movie set. It makes it hard to walk away from there to see more of the city. Luckily Verona is not that big, so you will inevitably make your way back here at one point in the day.
Visit quirky and unique Caffe Borsari
If you are looking for breakfast places and don’t seem to find one, is because in Italy breakfast is not this big brunch concept we are so used to, at least me. Italian breakfast consists simply of coffee, in some shape or form, and some kind of pastry. Small and sweet, with a caffeine kick.
So while in Italy, do as Italians do and head over to Caffe Borsari for a rich cappuccino and a flaky croissant. Just a few steps away from Piazza Delle Erbe.
This charming little coffee shop makes a statement even before walking in. The exterior of the shop is unmissable, with a window display of hundreds of teapots and teacups and little Disney figurines. It’s so odd and inviting at the same time. Indoors, you will find a cozy room with just a few tables, but with excellent coffee and friendly service. Couldn’t recommend this little cave of wonders enough.
Panoramic view from Torre dei Lamberti
Torre dei Lamberti is the beautiful tower with alternating white and red brick that you will see on the corner of Piazza Delle Erbe. It was constructed in 1172 a.C. and it initially used to be only 37m tall. In 1403 the top of the tower got destroyed after being struck by lightning and was left this way until 1448 when the city started to work on repairing and elevating it to its actual 84m. Making it the highest point in the city.
So go visit Torre dei Lambert to experience the best panoramic view over the Veronese rooftops. The tower is open to the public every day of the year. The ticket costs 8 euros and it also includes the entrance to the Gallery of Modern Art.
The romantic Casa de Julieta
Because there is no way you can come to Verona and not visit the legendary Casa de Julieta, or Juliet’s House. Especially if you have watched “Letters to Juliet” a million times like myself. However, I have read very mixed reviews about visiting the house due to the small courtyard and the big crowds that normally would gather here. But I can confirm this really depends on what time of the year you are visiting.
I visited Verona in February, not really a high season for Italy, so I was lucky to skip all the crowds. The courtyard was so empty I really felt like I was in that scene from the movie when Sophie first walks in and sits down to write. I was able to walk around, look at the notes on the wall, and even add one of my own. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you are in Verona I think you should at least pay a quick visit to this truly iconic place.
Admire the Verona Arena
The Verona Arena is the city’s own Roman amphitheater and one of the best-kept ancient structures of its kind. It basically looks like the baby of the Colosseum in Rome. Nowadays it’s still being used for opera performances. So make sure to check out the schedule if you have time to attend one.
In front of the Arena, there is an open square with a variety of restaurants on the side and a park with benches in the center. Which makes for a perfect central place to sit down and watch the world go by, a hobby in itself while in Italy. So grab a gelato, find a bench, and let the Italian pace of life sink in.
Dinner at Osteria Sottoriva
Dinner is a social event in Italy. People come together to share a meal and talk and laugh all the way through it. Dragging into the night in the company of red wine. And I was determined to experience just that. So after meeting two other Mexican girls at the market that day, I asked them if they wanted to join me for dinner. And luckily they didn’t think I was a creep and accepted my invitation.
We met that evening at Osteria Sottoriva, a little gem I read was a locals’ favorite. Which was proven by the lack of any other foreigners in sight. Bingo! The place is small and cozy, the service is very relaxed, and they let you know right away: “This is not American fast food, this is homemade Italian food, and good things take time”. Which was fine with us as we shared a bottle of their house red and travel stories.
The Osteria serves traditional regional dishes such as horse meat stew if you are feeling adventurous, or if you are like me, and like to stick to what you know their lasagne is heavenly! Also, make sure to order the little coffee mousse served in solid chocolate cups. They are *chefs kiss*
Walk over Castelvecchio Bridge
The Castelvecchio Bridge is a gorgeous piece of engineering and medieval architecture sitting over the Adige River. It was initially constructed in 1354, it got blown up by the retreating Germans in 1945, and then it got reconstructed to look exactly like the original and was inaugurated again in 1951. So what you see is still the original design.
The bridge is 119m long but the beauty of it will make you want to walk it up and down at least a couple of times to admire the view from all different angles and the stunning bridge itself. Exposed brick heaven!
So that is my take on a day in romantic Verona: what to do in the city of love. I hope you find it useful for your next trip to this charming city.
If you have time also check out:
- Giardino Gusti
- Castel St Pietro