During your visit to the city you cannot miss…..
The amphitheater, or Arena: from the moment you set foot in Piazza Bra, its grandeur will leave you speechless. Two thousand years of history made it famous around the world, along with the Colosseum in Rome and the amphitheater in Capua.
The amphitheater dates back to the first century AD, and its structure, built from Valpolicella stone, could hold more than 30,000 people. Initially used to stage the Roman games, it is today the largest open-air opera stage in the world. Host to major concerts and a prestigious opera season, the Arena has a unique elliptical shape, which creates perfect acoustics that allows singers to perform without amplification systems.
Attending a show at the Arena is a quintessential experience, full of evocative sensations created by the fusion of history and music.
The Roman Theater: a blend of Roman and Greek culture, it is the oldest building in the city. The theater was erected behind Colle San Pietro, so as to exploit the natural inclination of the ground to build its terraces, according to Greek and, later, Roman customs. Formerly the setting for plays, tragedies and comedies, sadly very little remains of this monument after it was looted during the Middle Ages for the constructions of towers and palaces. Despite its current conditions, the Roman Theater is still used for the Shakespeare Festival and the Verona Jazz Festival.
Ponte di Pietra (stone bridge): dating back to around 89 BC, the bridge crosses the Adige and connects the Hill of St. Peter with the bend of the river that later became the Roman urban center. Several interventions of reconstruction and restoration were made over the centuries: from the insertion of marble blocks, to the creation of the towers on top of the bridge, to the complete reconstruction of the bridge after the bombing of the retreating German troops in World War II.
Castel San Pietro: this landmark is within walking distance, and can be reached by climbing the impressive staircase that from Ponte di Pietra runs along the Roman Theater leading directly to the top of the hill, where the Habsburg Castle sits. Before the construction of the Austrian military fortress began in 1851, this Colle (hill) hosted several building, including a Roman temple and an early Christian church to which the hill owes its name. The hill has always been regarded as a scenic backdrop for the city, offering spectacular views over Verona.
Castelvecchio: the jewel in the crown of the Scaliger dynasty, it is today a building of extraordinary significance for the urban and architectural design of Verona. Wanted by Cangrande II della Scala in 1354 as a family stronghold in the city, it features two distinctive units characterized by the parade ground on one side and the actual Scaliger castle on the other. The two units are separated by a stretch of walls dating back to the 13th century and seven external towers, whereas in the center rises a superelevated keep, the Torre del Mastio, which leads onto the Scaliger bridge over the river Adige. During the Venetian domination the castle was home of the Venetian military academy, but it was badly damaged by French troops during the Napoleonic wars, who cut off the towers and added barracks along one side. Today it houses the Museum of Modern Art, and it is a major example of architecture and museum display thanks to the intervention of Architect Scarpa.
Scaliger Tombs: True gems of Gothic art, the “Arche” are the funerary monuments of the La Scala family, and were built opposite the impressive Romanesque church of Santa Maria Antica; the latter became the Palatine chapel of the Scaliger dynasty and is located near the Scaliger mansion. A beautiful wrought-iron fence decorated with the motif of the ladder (la Scala) enclose several sarcophagi placed on the ground or on shelves, and re-creates a typology of garden known as “Stone” garden. Whilst the first tombs were Roman inspired, carved in local stone and simply decorated with the family crest, the most recent ones are richly decorated and have a celebratory character, such as the three monumental canopy marble tombs of Cangrande I, Mastino II and Cansignorio.
Juliet’s House: a must see for all love struck visitors of Verona, Juliet’s House is world renown for the famous balcony love scene from Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”. Built in the 13th century, the House belonged to the Cappello family, later identified with the Capulets and thus immortalized in myth. The inner courtyard contains the legendary statue of Juliet made in the 1960’s by the sculptor Nereo Costantini. Many couples that decide to get married in this picturesque scenery choose Juliet’s house as their ultimate destination. The entrance walls of Juliet’s House are covered floor to ceiling by panels inscribed with visitors’ love messages – there is a tradition of covering the walls of the main building with small scraps of paper, hearts and romantic promises.
Palazzo della Gran Guardia: The Palazzo della Gran Guardia (Palace of the Grand Guard) is a monumental building situated on the south side of Piazza Bra, which seems to defy the secular Arena located on the opposite side with its magnificence. The building, originally built as a shelter for the troops of the Serenissima, is surmounted by a piano nobile (noble floor) designed to accommodate the Accademia dei Filotomi (an academy for chivalric education); the project was abandoned for almost two centuries due to the economic hardships that the city had to endure after 1614. In 1808 architect Giuseppe Barbieri was commissioned to design and complete the project under the leadership of the Habsburg Empire. Today, the Gran Guardia is home to important art exhibitions and international conferences.
To fully and conveniently enjoy all the monuments and artistic sites the city has to offer, we recommend you purchase the VeronaCard: an all-inclusive ticket that entitles visitors to complimentary or discounted access to major attractions and free bus travel within the city. VeronaCards are available for one (18 €) or two calendar days (22 €), the latter valid for 72 hours from first use.