“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona . . .” So go the immortal opening lines of Romeo and Juliet, ensuring that the city has been a target for love-sick romantics ever since. Though Verona is crammed with genuine historic goodies, one of the most popular sites is the ersatz Casa di Giulietta, Via Cappello 23 (6€; Mon 1:30–7:30pm, Tues–Sun 8:30am–7:30pm), a 14th-century house (with balcony, naturally), claiming to be the Capulets’ home. In the courtyard, the chest of a bronze statue of Juliet has been polished to a gleaming sheen thanks to a legend claiming that stroking her right breast brings good fortune. Juliet’s Wall, at the entrance, is quite a spectacle, covered with the scribbles of star-crossed lovers; love letters placed here are taken down and, along with 5,000 letters annually, are answered by the Club di Giulietta (a group of locally based volunteers). There’s not much to see inside the house, though plenty of visitors line up for a chance of a selfie on the balcony.
Once you’ve made the obligatory Juliet pilgrimage, focus on actual historic sights. The 1st-century Arena di Verona ★ (10€; Mon 1:30–7:30pm and Tues–Sun 8:30am–7:30pm), in the spacious Piazza Bra, is the third largest classical arena in Italy after Rome’s Colosseum and the arena at Capua—it could seat some 25,000 spectators and still hosts performances today.
To the northwest on Piazza San Zeno, the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore ★★ (3€, includes audioguide; Mar–Oct Mon–Sat 8:30am–6pm, Sun 12:30–6pm; Nov–Feb Mon–Sat 10am–1pm and 1:30–5pm, Sun 12:30–5pm) is the greatest Romanesque church in northern Italy. The present structure was completed around 1135, over the 4th-century shrine to Verona’s patron saint, St. Zeno (who died in 380). Its massive rose window represents the Wheel of Fortune, while the impressive lintels above the portal represent the months of the year. The highlight of the interior is “Madonna and Saints” by Mantegna.
The VeronaCard, a biglietto cumulativo (cumulative ticket), will help you visit several of the city's sites for just one fee. Two versions of the card are available. The 20€ card, valid for 24 hours, allows you to ride the city's buses and enter its museums, monuments, and churches. The 25€ card offers the same places but allows you 48 hours. You'll find the VeronaCard for sale at the sites listed, or call tel. 045-807-7774.
Verona's churches have banded together as the Associazione Chiese Vive. Admission to any one church is 3€, or you can buy a cumulative ticket for 6€ for adults, granting admission to Sant'Anastasia, San Zeno, San Fermo, and the Duomo complex. Note: If you're only going to visit Verona's churches, this is the deal for you. Otherwise, if you want to see all or most of the city's attractions, stick with the VeronaCard.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.