Verona's Famous Spots (Self Guided), Verona

Verona offers a grand collection of architectural hot spots such as palaces, cloisters, bridges, and gates. Make no mistake, you cannot get bored while in the city of Verona.
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Verona's Famous Spots Map

Guide Name: Verona's Famous Spots
Guide Location: Italy » Verona (See other walking tours in Verona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: Helen
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Piazza Bra
  • Palazzo Barbieri
  • Palazzo della Gran Guardia
  • Palazzo Verità-Poeta
  • Arco dei Gavi
  • Ponte Scaligero
  • Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
  • San Bernardino
  • Porta del Palio
  • Porta Nuova
Piazza Bra

1) Piazza Bra (must see)

Piazza Bra is the largest city square in Verona. Its amphitheater is the third largest in Italy. It was built during the first century AD and can hold 22,000 people. It is also the location of the town hall, many famous palaces, and the Palazzo della Gran Guardia. A statue of Victor Emanuel II on horseback, the balcony of the Palazzo degli Honori where Garibaldi gave his “Rome or death” speech, and stone carvings of saints are just a few of the sites you will see when you visit the piazza.

For the tourist on-the-go, the plaza is the place to be. One can choose from the dozens of cafes and restaurants that line the walkways or the gardens that are decorated with cedar and pine trees. The city square is a popular meeting place for demonstrations and discussions. In addition, there is always a concert to attend. Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, and Elton John are just a few of the artists who have graced the plaza.

The best times to visit are during the feast of Santa Lucia on December 13th, February during carnival, or the summer when the Opera season begins. One can only truly appreciate the beauty of the plaza and its cobblestone roads in person.

Why You Should Visit:
The perfect place to connect with history while having a refreshing drink or something to eat.
Also, one of the few places in Verona where seating is available, and with convenient access to clean (underground) public toilets.

From here you can walk along Via Giuseppe Mazzini, which is busy, but very charming and has some good shops.
The city train tour starts here, too, so if you want to jump on and see other sights then you're in the right place.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo Barbieri

2) Palazzo Barbieri

The Palazzo Barbieri is home to Verona’s city council. The palace is in front of the Piazza Bra where many shops, restaurants, bars, and other important historical buildings are located. Engineer Guiseppe Barbieri built the palace which was intended for military use. Construction began on the yellow-colored stone Neo-Classical structure in 1836 and was completed in 1848. It was originally named the Gran Guardia Nova.

The building was used by the Habsburgs during the war as their base for Austrian troops. Once the war ended, the building became the headquarters for the city government. The structure was damaged during World War II. Reconstruction began in 1945 and was completed in 1950. The renovation added a rounded back to the building as well as making it larger.

Other attractions one can enjoy while visiting the palazzo include the SS. Nazaro e Celso, the Rivoli, the Teatro Filarmonico, the Listòn, the Museo Lapidario, the APT Arena, the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele II, and the San Luca.

Those wishing to get a quick bite can try the cuisine at Liston 12, Trattoria Malavoglia, L'Oste Scuro, Il Cenacolo, Trattoria Cappuccini, or the Silver Star. The palace is often the site of weddings and is open 24 hours a day Sunday through Saturday.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo della Gran Guardia

3) Palazzo della Gran Guardia

The Palazzo della Gran Guardia is a grand palace that hosts conferences and art exhibitions. It is the former headquarters and registered offices of the city guard. The building was constructed in 1610 and was completed in 1853. The building, which features majestic arches, was designed by Domenico Curtoni. Cutroni’s work shows the influence of fellow designer Michele Sanmicheli. It is located next to the Portoni della Bra on the Piazza Bra, the largest city square in Verona.

Recent exhibitions include the works of Mantega, Mantua, and Padua. The Piazza Bar has many popular cafes, restaurants, and shops that visitors can enjoy. The Verona Arena, an amphitheater that can seat up 22,000 people, is a short distance away.

After viewing the stunning palace, one should also pass through the Via Mazzini to watch the Veronese perform the passeggiata, a ritual leisurely walk through one of Verona’s most elegant shopping avenues.

Whether you are attending a wine tasting event, business seminar, or an exhibition on eighteenth century paintings, the Palazzo della Gran Guardia has something for everyone and will not disappoint. Hotels within walking distance include the Le Camp Spa and Resort, the Verdi, the Europa, the Diamantino, and the Majestic Toscanelli.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo Verità-Poeta

4) Palazzo Verità-Poeta

Palazzo Verità-Poeta is located in the heart of Verona, in walking distance to the Arena and Castelvecchio. The Palazzo Verita-Poeta was constructed in the middle of the 18th century and it once belonged to the rich Veronese family. Today, the palace is often visited by tourists thanks to a plethora of different ceremonies, congresses, and product presentations.
Arco dei Gavi

5) Arco dei Gavi

The Arco dei Gavi is a beautiful white limestone triumphal arch located in the center of pizzata del Castelvecchio. It was commissioned by the noble Roman Gavi family. Triumphal arcs were used by the Romans to remember important events, to celebrate the construction of roads or bridges, or to honor the death of an important person. During the Middle Ages the archway was an entrance when the city was surrounded by walls.

The original architect was Lucio Vitruvio Cerdone. The structure was constructed during the first half of the first century CE and marks the portion of Via Postumia that branches off to Verona.

The arch was demolished by the French due to structural problems in 1805. In 1932, it was rebuilt and moved from the Torre degli Orologi del Castelvecchio to its current location. The structure is a very popular spot for tourists and graffiti artists. Even with the addition of spray paint, the beauty of the arch can be fully appreciated.

Recommended restaurants and attractions near the arch include the Antico Caffe Dante, the Officina dei Sapori, the Osteria Il Bertoldo, the Tosca Cafe Verona, the Al Pompiere, the Villa InCanto Opera Lirica, the Castelvecchio, the Chiesa di San Lorenzo, the Monumento a Aleardo Aleardi, the Ponte Scaligero, and the Museo Storico Naturale.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ponte Scaligero

6) Ponte Scaligero (must see)

Ponte Scaligero is a three-arch bridge that spans the Adige River. It was built in 1375 or 1376 for the Scaliger family who wanted to use the bridge as an escape route from the Castelvecchio to the river. The architect was most likely Guglielmo Bevilacqua.

The overpass spans 120 meters and connects the city to the road that leads to Tyrol. It is one of the most photographed viaducts in the city and a popular transport path for pedestrians. As with many other structures, the original bridge was destroyed by the Germans during World War II. Fortunately, it was reconstructed in the 1950s using many of the original salvaged parts.

The bridge is within one kilometer of the Ponte Scaligero, the Casa di Giulietta, the Roman Theater, the Roman Amphitheater, the Piazza delle Erbe, the Piazza dei Signori, the Cathedral, and the Castelvecchio Palace.

The upper part of the bridge is red brick, while the lower part of it is white marble. Local legend says that Cangrande II della Scala awarded the designer a sword, that belonged to St. Martin, for his efforts. The bridge resembles a small fortress during the day and is absolutely stunning when viewed at night.

Why You Should Visit:
Stunning views up and down the river and some wonderful city skylines to be photographed. A must-see part of medieval Verona.

Explore the numerous staircases and ramparts – many great photos can be taken on the fortified walls.
Try to visit by day and again after dark when the bridge is beautifully lit.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore

7) Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore (must see)

Basilica di San Zeno's fame rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Together with the abbey which forms an annex, it is dedicated to St. Zeno of Verona. The church of San Zeno constituted the model for all subsequent Romanesque edifices in Verona. Built of cream-colored tuff, the facade is divided into three vertical components, the central nave surmounted by a pediment and the two aisles with sloping roof-lines, all supported upon small pendented blind arcades. The intersections of the three parts are marked by angled pilasters ending in foliate capitals below the pediment. The interior of the church is on three levels with an extensive crypt on the lower level, the church proper and a raised presbytery.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the most beautiful and better-preserved examples of Romanesque architecture in Northern Italy, with several art masterpieces on display.
The nice piazza in front of the Basilica is a great place to relax as it has several restaurants and a nice atmosphere.

Make sure to use the audio guide (included in admission) – it is excellent on details.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8:30am-6pm; Sun & Holidays: 12:30-6pm (Mar-Oct); Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun & Holidays: 12:30-5pm (Nov-Feb)
Sight description based on wikipedia
San Bernardino

8) San Bernardino

San Bernardino is a church in Verona, northern Italy. The church, in Gothic style, was built from 1451 to 1466. The church has a nave and a single aisle. The simple façade is in brickwork, with a Renaissance portal decorated by three saints figures. Notable is the collection of Veronese 16th century paintings in the six chapels of the aisle. The first is that of St. Francis or of the Terziari, with frescoes by Nicolò Giolfino (1522) with the stories of St. John the Evangelist and St. Francis. The fourth chapel, dedicated to St. Antony, has frescoes by Domenico Morone (1511), in poor state. The fifth, includes a Cruficixion by Francesco Morone (1548). The sixth chapel was designed by Michele Sammicheli: its altarpiece, from 1579 (Madonna col Bambino and St. Anne) is by Bernardino India, while the lunette has an Eternal Father by Pasquale Ottino. Frescoes by Domenico Morone and his son Francis can be found also in a hall of the annexed convent.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Porta del Palio

9) Porta del Palio

The Porta del Palio is a very famous gateway that is decorated with heroes of war. It is located in the city of Verona. It was designed by Michele Sanmicheli and completed in 1561. It is named after the race that passed through the area. It is located near the Port St. Maximus and is one of the most recognizable and beautiful gates in the city.

From 1207 to 1450, the race happened on the first Sunday during Lent. From 1450 to 1797, it was held on Fat Thursday. In 1797, the race was discontinued. Even the poet Dante, mentioned the gates and the popular competition in a poem.

If you stay overnight in the city and want to enjoy Verona’s most famous gateway and other attractions, it is recommended to stay at the Porta del Palio Hotel. It is located close to the city’s center and allows you quick access to other attractions such as the Arena, the Mura di Verona, the Galleria d'Arte Mercato, the Museo Della Radio d'Epoca, the Porta del Palio, the San Luca, the SS. Nazaro e Celso, the Studio la Città, the Palazzo Verità Poeta, and the Museo degli affreschi. Tourists can visit 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Porta Nuova

10) Porta Nuova

One cannot think of Verona without visualizing its many gateways, bridges, and towers. In fact, the city is well known for its spectacular military architecture. Porta Nuova, or new gate, was built by architect Michele Sanmicheli between 1533 and 1546. The sideways were added by the Austrians in 1854.

The gate was constructed to encourage access to the city and marks the beginning of the historical section of Verona. It is located along the Trinita Bastion and features a sculpture of Jupiter’s head. It is also one of two remaining gates in the city. The train station with the same name is located close by and serves thousands of commuters every day.

Verona is a bustling city that is jam packed with many things to see and do. Best of all, many of those attractions are located near the Porta Nuova. Some of the many other attractions you can enjoy when you visit the gate include the Mura di Verona, the Galleria d'Arte Mercato, the Museo Della Radio d'Epoca, the Porta del Palio, the San Luca, the SS. Nazaro e Celso, the San Nicolò, the Arena, and the Palazzo Bevilacqua. The gate is open 24 hours from Sunday to Saturday.

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