Verona is one of northern Italy’s most beautiful small cities and its packed full of awe-inspiring sites and things to do. It’s also consistently underrated and overlooked by travelers, who often skip it to hit Milan or Venice. But their loss is your gain – from the rich culture and beautiful architecture, to intriguing history and unique cuisine, there are so many things to do in Verona it’s gaining popularity as a base for people who like to spend extended vacations in Italy. Of course it’s also known as one of the most romantic cities in the world due to its association with Romeo and Juliet, but it has inspired more than just Shakespeare; many important people are associated with the town like Goethe who passed through in his travels, Julius Caesar who vacationed here, and Dante who featured it in his works and was even buried here.

What stands out about Verona above all else is its beautifully-preserved ancient, medieval, and Renaissance architecture. The city center alone has probably the best collection of Roman buildings in Northern Italy. This incredible inheritance won it UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2000 and continues to make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the cultural history of Europe. Its location nestled between the Alps to the north and the banks of Lake Garda to the south also makes it an ideal base to explore the region, especially for families looking for diverse experiences during a long vacation. So if you want to step off the beaten path and discover an under-appreciated gem, check out our suggestion and discover our Verona Picta Urbi Tone day tour!

What to do in Verona?

1. See an opera

Without question, the first thing to do in Verona if you want to gain an appreciation for the soul of the city is to go see an opera. The summer opera season hosted in Verona’s gorgeous, ancient amphitheater is a unique way to experience Roman architecture the way it was mean to be experienced, as a spectator. Imagine seeing a concert in Rome’s Colosseum – Verona’s is only slightly smaller – with 15,000 other people sitting in rapt attention. Plus, the operas held here are inexpensive, fun, and more laid back than those in Vienna or Milan. Interested? Read more about how to attend an opera in the beautiful Arena di Verona.

2. Explore the wine routes

If you’re looking for more active things to do in Verona, turn your gaze to the hills: the countryside around the town is known for its excellent wine production, featuring world-famous wines like Soave and Valpolicella. Verona also founded Vinitaly, an annual event dedicated to wine production that brings professionals from throughout the world to the region to taste, talk and learn about excellent wines. You can check it out in April, or if you’re going to be there any other time of year, Rent a bike and grab a map to go off in search of some of the area’s best and most accessible wineries.

Discover the secrets of the renowned winemaking traditions of much prized liquid gold - The Amarone. Learn more...

3.Taste local specialties, Including donkey

Like all Italian cities, Verona has its own unique cuisine that proudly features regional and local specialties. Though the dishes are typically simple, the high quality ingredients make them second to none. Pair the region’s best wines with a hearty ragù (meat sauce). You can’t visit Verona without trying the donkey ragù, which is one of the city’s trademarks. It may sound strange but it is utterly delicious, with a depth of flavor that rivals any other type of ragu in Italy. You can also enjoy traditional dishes made with freshwater fish from Lake Garda. If all else fails, you can’t leave the city without sampling roasted chestnuts, truffles, (but only in the late autumn and early winter) and of course, tortellini pasta.

4.Take the kids to Gardaland