A Backpacking Guide Through Verona Italy

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Statues Knightd
mage by Hans Hansen from Pixabay

If you are planning a backpacking adventure through the splendors of Italy, then Verona will most certainly already be on your travel list. It is a beautiful town in Northern Italy known as the city of love. One of its biggest claim to fame is the hometown of the famous love story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. When you wander through the historic streets you will see the inspiration behind the romantic tragedy around every corner.

Verona has been a prime holiday destination for many years for everyone. From Goethe, Mozart and modern-day backpackers, many have traveled this gorgeous Italian city. Its general layout makes the center of town compact and ideal for visitors to walk around. There is also fast and cheap public transport if you wish to venture out of the center.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Verona?

Verona Italy
Image by Michaela Loheit on flickr

To experience warm weather and Verona Italy at it’s most vibrant, then you should head to Verona anytime from Late May until early October. If you wish to avoid most crowds then early spring or late fall are the ideal options for you. Winter tends to be quite cold and dreary, so the majority of backpackers opt to stay away. If you are an opera buff, then consider that the Verona Arena Opera season stretches from June to August. So pick your travel dates within that period to catch a spectacular evening performance!

While traveling to Verona Italy, you might feel overwhelmed by the things to do in this Italian city. But fear not! Here you have the ten activities and experiences to not miss out on your backpacking adventure.

Juliet’s Balcony

Verona Italy
Image by Paolo Dadda from Pixabay

Since most people’s familiarity with the city does come from Romeo and Juliet, it only makes sense to start this list with Juliet’s balcony. It is located only a few hundred meters from the famous Piazza Delle Erbe. Here, thousands of tourist flock to see the iconic spot where Romeo and Juliet communicated amongst family rivalry, forbidden feud, deaths, and tragedy in the 1300s.

The story does have some truth to it. The Montecchi and Capuleti being real-life rival political factions with their respective houses located in Verona. The tale of the young lovers had long since been told in Verona. But Shakespeare’s version managed to immortalize the tragedy for centuries.

If you want to learn more about the story then make sure to stop in at the Casa di Giulietta museum where you will see other versions of the story, varying sources, and performances.

Piazza Delle Erbe

Verona Italy
Image by WikiCommons

Right in the center of Verona’s historic center is the spectacular Piazza Delle Erbe. You will certainly wander through it numerous times if you decide to walk around the city. On the northern side of the beautiful square is the Town Hall which features frescoed walls created in Baroque style.

The center of the square features the oldest component; a fountain with a statue of Madonna Verona dated to the time of the Romans. This is a great place to stop by and soak in the architecture, art, and general commotion of tourists wandering through the Piazza. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars, however, this prime location means the prices are adjusted accordingly.

Torre dei Lamberti

Tower Verona
Image by WikiCommons

The Piazza Delle Berne also features one of the few remaining towers in Verona from almost a millennium ago. The purpose of towers in 1171, and for many centuries to come, was to showcase the social standing and financial capacity of wealthy aristocratic families.

This means, that with every additional bit of income, new sections of the tower were added; continually raising it above their neighbor’s towers. This staggered building process gives the tower a unique look. In the middle ages, towers such as these were used to signal the end of the working day. It allows residents of the city to be warned of fire, or to summon them to town gatherings.

Verona Arena

Arena
Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

No ancient Italian city is complete without the impressive roman architectural feat which is the Arena. The Verona Arena is a massive Roman amphitheater which was built in the first century. It has remained in use until this day. Now, you can buy tickets to enjoy large scale opera performances during the summer.

In the time it was built, it would cram in almost 30,000 spectators in its multilevel seating areas. Now, the maximum capacity is still an impressive 15,000 and is regularly used for big events. The 2026 winter Olympics in Milan will use this amphitheater for the closing ceremony.

Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre)

Verona Italy
Image by WikiCommons

If you thought the arena was old, then you will be shocked to learn of the Teatro Romano. It is dated back to 100BC! Today, however, it is a set of ruins though sections have been reconstructed. This is to give visitors an idea of the momentous gatherings that took place in this venue for the last thousand years.

In the summer, the theatre still acts as a cultural center with its semi-circular seating area and fantastic central location. It is located right near the banks of the Adige River. However, due to fears of flooding, two walls were built along the banks of the river. These walls are situated between Ponte di Pietra and Ponte Postumio.

Giardino Giusti

Image by Emilia Ciliento on flickr

These luxurious gardens were planted by the Giusti family in the 1400s. It features an impressive array of plants, grottoes, foundations, with exquisite landscaping just outside of the town. Both Goethe and Mozart were known to wander through the gardens looking for their muses. So, maybe like them, you will also get a boost of inspiration in this historic and beautiful location.

You will also be met with the best views of Verona from on top of the hill. So why not designate an afternoon for this free and relaxing activity. It is a small garden, however, many visitors enjoy the peace and consider the 10€ entrance fee a note well spent.

Castel St Pietro

Castel St Pietro
Image by WikiCommons

To visit the Castel St Pietro, it is a good idea to designate an afternoon walk to wander up the hill behind Ponte Pietro towards the castle. It is seemingly an abandoned fort with gorgeous landscaping surrounding it. It was constructed in this strategic position and had been inhabited since the Roman times of Verona. When you are up on the hill, you will also be able to take beautiful panoramic photos of Verona Italy to send back home.

Ponte Pietra

Ponte Pietra
Image by WikiCommons

While you are heading towards Catel St Pietro, also take a stroll across the Ponte Pietra; the oldest bridge in Verona. The construction of the bridge is written to have been in 100BC with backpackers rewarded with beautiful views during your walk across it.

You will be able to see all the way down the Adige River. Here you can marvel at the historic buildings together along the banks of the river. There are also scatterings of trees, and the Castel St Pietro up on the hill.

White River Rafting along the Adige

White Water Rafting
Image by Ron Fuller from Pixabay

If you are not a fan of meandering around old cities and soaking in the romance and history, then pick an action-filled adventure suited for you. Book yourself onto a river rafting tour along the Adige Rapids for a little bit of change of pace.

The tours are an affordable price, take around 3h and give you a different perspective on the Italian rivers. Also, the tours organize to pick you up from your accommodation in minibusses, teach you all you need to know and give you an experience you will never forget.

Castelvecchio Museum and Gallery

Museum Gallery Verona
Image by www.inexhibit.com

The Castelvecchio is a square-shaped fort; once the most impressive military construction during the middle ages; built on what was once a roman fortress outside the inner city walls. It was originally constructed by Cangrade II Della Scala in 1354; considered the greatest architectural and engineering feat of the Scalinger dynasty. It has a moat surrounding the fortress to protect the inhabitants from potential revolts in Verona Italy. Unfortunately, both Napoleon and World War II bombings damaged the beautiful structure.

It has since been refurbished by architect Carlo Scarpa and now features a museum and gallery. There you will be able to see medieval artifacts, learn about the history of the town, along with a look at paintings painted by the greats. The museum features works of art created by Pisanello, Giovanni Bellini, Veronese, amongst others. The museum is open every day of the week with a low entrance fee of 6 € per adult.

Verona is a beautiful city to visit, and certainly should not be missed for any backpacker traveling through Italy. Just about every part of the city is worthy of a memorable photograph; a reminder of the rich cultural history in Europe.

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