After my first post about Verona, this one is more practical and will tell you what I did choose to see, with a nice photographic gallery to help you visualize.
I strongly advise to choose an accommodation option in the historical center, to avoid spending money on taxi, public transport as well as losing time. As I did refer in my last post, Palazzo Camozzini was a perfect place to stay, quite affordable, with self catering options. You can buy food at a nearby supermarket and enjoy a cheap and delicious dinner at home (antipasto with cold meats and cheese is wonderful). The Map below and associated link shows you the places I have been, supermarket options, my accommodation and Porta Nuova Train Station.
The day before, due to the train delay, we only had a couple of hours left before night, and we took the time to just walk around and get used to the surroundings, and choose a nice place to eat.
Next day, we had a beautiful breakfast at home and left the B&B for a long day, trying to see as much as possible. We started by heading to the Arena and adjoining Piazza Bra. The area was much quieter than at night (specially because at night it is packed with people eating out. The Piazza is lined by a nice selection of restaurants). The Arena is beautiful, but we did not plan to get inside, as we wanted to have enough time to enjoy Verona and see as much as we could. From there we decided to head to the river, cross it and walk along it, until reaching Castel San Pietro, to enjoy the views of Verona from above.
Verona was founded in the 1st century B.C, and was a fortified city with extensive walls, that went through several renovations and can still be seen today.
After walking for some time we came across the Roman Theater and Archaeological Museum. “Humm, why not checking it, we said!” We paid a small entrance fee and went inside with no expectations in fact (just because I did not research enough?!). From the outside it looked only interesting. But wow, the whole place is so worth to see. From the church, to the museum and beautiful views, I do encourage everyone to see it.
The theater was built towards the end of the 1st century B.C, even before the Arena. The archaeological museum contains important findings and remains of the medieval past of the city. The complex is opened from Tuesday to Sunday – 8h30 – 19h30 and on Monday from 13h30 to 19h30. The entrance fee is 5 Euros.
Very happy that we decided to see the theater, but knowing we still had a lot to see, we left and headed to Castel San Pietro, accessed by the stairs on the left of the Roman Theater.
Verona was founded in that exact point, and the hill where the castle is located, houses the remains of the first settlements (dating back to the 7th century B.C.). The views from there are simply amazing. The castle cannot be visited, but do not miss this place, it is really gorgeous.
The day was gorgeous but really hot and by now we were quite hungry. At the top, on Piazzale San Pietro, there is a restaurant that was on my bucket list for Verona – Re Teodorico, so we decided to go there. It was a great decision. The menu is gorgeous, the staff friendly, a nice breeze flowing, and the most magnificent views made it quite a memorable experience. As they say in their website:
We believe in quality and simplicity. Verona is such a beautiful city and we have the privilege of having the city at our feet from our location right above the Roman Amphitheatre. Behind us is the San Pietro Castle but once the palace of the gothic king Theodoric lay here. The king lay the known world at his feet, even Rome, but his favourite city was Verona. Therefrom our name. We use our garden terrace all year round and this special space inspires us when creating new grill plates. When it comes to food we keep it simple with only the best local raw materials.
We are really proud of our place and hope You will love it as much as we do.
It was now time to go and enjoy the rest of the day. Relaxed and refreshed, we decided to take the funicular down, to save time. It is a short and nice ride, for 2 euros each person. We then headed back to the city, crossing Ponte Pietra,
It was now time to see the Duomo (I make a point of visiting the Duomos on every city I go). The Duomo di Verona was consecrated in 1187.
It is a beautiful building outside, that will blow your mind inside. Rich, intricate, with art everywhere (Folconetto, Giolfino, Torbido, Titian, all have works there) .
It has a beautiful cloister, very peaceful, with no people there, that houses the Canonical Museum.
After that we proceeded to see other points of interest, walk down Piazza delle Erbe with its beautiful market and lively vibe, the Piazza dei Signori with the statue of my favorite person – Dante, Piazza Bra, Archi Scaligere, and finally we headed to Torre Lamberti to climb it and finish our day looking at Verona from above.
On our walks we came across beautiful places and we could not stop looking everywhere, each step you take, each corner you turn, is a surprise.
A few blocks from the Duomo lies the largest church of Verona – Basilica di St. Anastasia, a magnificent gothic building made in red bricks. Left of the front facade, in the little square in front, lies the suspended tomb of Guglielmo da Castelbarco.
From there we kept walking and headed to Piazza delle Erbe, Scaligeri cemetery, Piazza dei Signori and Torre Lamberti. Piazza Erbe is a lively place, lined by bars and restaurants, and an amazing atmosphere.It hosts a busy market that sells not only produce but also scarves, souvenirs and much more. In the centre of the square lies the Madonna Verona Fountain. In the background, stays Palazzo Maffei and Gardello Tower
Piazza dei Signori is also called Piazza Dante, due to the statue of Dante Alighieri you can see in its centre. The square hosts Palazzo della Ragione, Cortile Mercato Vecchio, Palazzo del Capitano, Palazzo del Governo, Loggia del Consiglio and Domus Nova.
Arche Scaligere contains the monumental graves of the Lords of Verona, and is located near the S. Maria Antica Church. The graves are a masterpiece in itself, beautifully carved.
Torre Lamberti is the tallest tower in Verona, and lies on Piazza Erbe. It was built by the Lamberti family in 1172. To get there you pay a fee and take the lift or the stairs (for the brave as the tower is 84m high). The tower houses two bells – Rengo and Marangona that still ring during funerals.
After this long day, we decided it was time for a nice glass of Moscato, and chilling on a cafe close to the river. After that still had time to walk around a bit more and head home to rest.
Next day, our last, we only had a few hours before picking up our rented car and head to Lake Garda, and used it to see Castel Vecchio and walk a bit more to say goodbye to Verona.
Castel Vecchio was built on the Adige banks by Cangrande II della Scala in 1354. It was intended to defend the people of Verona from the outside attacks. Ponte Scaligero is a masterpiece with red brick walls and arches.
From 1923 it hosts the new Verona museum project. The museum hosts important art collections and masterpieces that sadly we did not have time to see.
Next to come, Lake Garda