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Top Rated Attractions in Verona

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Basilica of San Zeno

No one going to Verona could justify missing out on a visit to this Romanesque church that epitomizes the city: San Zeno Maggiore. Enlarged in the Medieval Period after the earthquake of 1117 with the addition of a tufa span on the West, the church's original structure dates back to the 9th century. The ornate façade is made of tuff, divided by thin pilaster strips, with a triangular pediment crossed by a gallery of mullioned windows with two lights in red marble. Featured at the center is the "Wheel of Fortune," the large rosette dating back to the 13th century. Also, scenes of Saint Zeno's life and miracles are painted in the lunette, while wooden scenes from the Old and New Testament are depicted in the 48 panels.

Verona Arena

Located outside the Verona city walls, this historic Roman amphitheater was built in the first half of the first century. It was designed to accommodate more than 30,000 spectators and hosted many number of events over the years, among them plays, battles, games, and even jousting competitions during the Middle Ages. Today, the excellent acoustics and sheer size of the Verona Arena lend themselves to grandiose operatic performances. In 1913, the amphitheater staged Verdi's Aida in honor of the Italian composer's 100th birthday, its first production of the 20th century. At once a grand venue and an ancient architectural jewel, the Verona Arena should certainly not be missed, be it for a night on the town or a cultural day tour.

Giardino Giusti

The Giardino Giusti contains all the features of a typical Renaissance garden: a geometrical layout of flowerbeds and hedgerows, fountains, grottos, gazebos, mythological statues, avenues of cypresses, and a maze. Mozart, Goethe, kings, and emperors have all visited this garden, which, for four centuries, has been one of the most beautiful and well-visited in the whole of the Veneto. Designed by Agostino Giusti, the garden consists of three sections- a lawn, a wooded hill with a ravine and cliff, and landscaped terraces with a belvedere.

Casa di Giulietta

This obligatory port of call for any visitor to Verona is said to be the very residence that inspired Shakespeare in writing his most famous star-crossed lovers. Built in the 13th Century, this Gothic-style home once belonged to the dell Capello family, which fans of Romeo and Juliet will notice sounds strikingly similar to Juliet's last name: Capulet. It was built on the remains of a Roman insula, an ancient urban housing unit, and today plays host to a small museum filled with antiques from the 16th Century on. The site's famous balcony overlooks a courtyard renovated by Antonio Avena in 1935, which also features a bronze Juliet statue created by sculptor Nereo Costantini. History buffs and literature lovers often stop for a photo in front of the historic and romantic Casa di Giulietta.

Philharmonic Theater

The Teatro Filarmonico was started in 1605 by Domenico Curtoni. His design was obviously Palladian in inspiration and was originally in the form of a semicircle with an open gallery in wood. The majestic façade with its columns was erected in 1608, and the reception (now the theater's foyer) in 1612. In 1770 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed here; he was only 14 at the time. The form of the building that you see today was completed in 1729. A fire destroyed much of it in 1749, while in 1945 it was hit and damaged by bombs; it was rebuilt in 1969.

Verona Cathedral

Duomo Santa Maria Matricolare was erected on the site of the pre-existing Christian church after the earthquake of 1117. Around 1440, major renovation and enlargement work took place on the Roman building, as promised by the Scaligeri in the last years of their rule. Buttresses were added, as well as chapels along the building's perimeter. The influences of various periods are visible on the façade of the building: the monumental Roman gateway with double arches, the Gothic elements, and the final Renaissance additions. The interior is divided into naves with pilasters in red marble, holding up ogival arches and cross-vaults with four chapels on each side and a presbytery closed off by a semi-circular door.

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