Verona: an insider’s guide to the city

17 May 2023
Written by The Italy Insider
Insider's Guide

Lying on the Adige, with the bends of the river cuddling it, Verona is also called Little Rome, due to its wealth of monuments and architecture, and since 2000 the historic centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But alongside Verona’s iconic monuments, such as the Arena, or its beautiful squares, it is known the world over as the capital of love, especially troubled love. Here, in fact, was set Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers who are the children of Verona’s two main families, the Montagues and the Capulets, fighting each other. But alongside the places that recall the events of the couple that became myths, there are many itineraries for discovering the city and its beauties, which bear witness to a history with a rich past that has left its mark. Here are some of the gems for experiencing the city in the most intense, fascinating and authentic way.

A viewpoint on Verona
Streets of Verona



What to do in Verona
Ph. Courtesy of Palazzo Maffei Casa Museo

If fate takes you stumbling through the romantic streets of Verona, you cannot fail to take a moment to visit Palazzo Maffei, which houses an extraordinary art collection dating back five centuries. A place where an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures, furniture and modern art lives, and whose Baroque façade illuminates Piazza delle Erbe in the heart of Verona. Tip: climb up to the terrace to enjoy a splendid view over the city. WEBSITE


Immerse yourself in the splendid, natural setting of Giardino Giusti. A harmonious blend of history, art and nature whose history dates back to the fifteenth century when Provolo Giusti purchased the land. It was in the sixteenth century however that the land became the mesmerising garden it is today, with beautifully trimmed hedges, cypress trees, fountains and grottos. An idyllic walk along the plant lined paths only to walk up and witness a fantastic view of the historic centre of Verona.



If you are a lover of romantic tours and are a fan of sustainability, you will love taking the Verona bike tour. During this experience you will discover the city by living it as many Veronese do: observing it while cycling, marvelling at the history and breathing in the many scents that waft through the streets of the centre. Verona, in fact, is perfect for cycling, which is why there are many proposals for guided tours in this particular, dynamic and fascinating way.

where to EAT



Where to eat in Verona
Interior at Casa Perbellini

Try the surprising cuisine of Casa Perbellini, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the picturesque Piazza San Zeno. Here you can enjoy an enthralling experience while admiring, at the centre of the tables, a scenic open kitchen and Dolce Locanda, Giancarlo Perbellini’s signature pastry shop. Your eyes will lose themselves in the gluttonous details of the open laboratory for brioche, freshly filled, and the unmissable millefeuille with amaretto grains. WEBSITE


If you want to delight your eyes as well as your palate, book a table at 12 Apostoli. In this restaurant, the ambience is of a bewitching sumptuousness, with a room where the protagonists are the precious frescoes. WEBSITE


Where to eat in Verona
Mise en place at Il Desco

For discerning palates, Verona hosts Il Desco, since 1981 an address frequented by lovers of haute cuisine, where chef Matteo Rizzo now has a contemporary vision, but one that does not distort the identity of the dishes. WEBSITE



Ristorante Maffei stands in one of the most beautiful and lively corners of Verona and is among the city’s most popular restaurants. The cuisine is typical, creative and revisited and offers a menu that exalts the flavours and aromas of the Veronese land. The palace in which it is located, one of the best known of Verona’s ancient aristocracy, offers a splendid plateatico with a view of Piazza delle Erbe and, inside, a wine cellar immersed in the ancient ruins of the Roman Capitol for wine tasting that is one of the most well-stocked in Italy. WEBSITE


La Fontanina is an elegant typical Veronese restaurant, located in the centre of Verona, a stone’s throw from the Roman Theatre, from where you can enjoy a suggestive view of Verona and Ponte Pietra. Its guests can enjoy a meal that lies between tradition and innovation, in stylishly furnished dining rooms. WEBSITE



If you are looking for authentic flavours that taste of home and memories, try the Ostregheteria Sottoriva 23, a typical trattoria offering homemade recipes, with tables under the ancient portico. Here you can also taste a mouth-watering rice all’amarone! WEBSITE


For a fabulous meal, sit at the tables of the Ponte Pietra restaurant. A charming place that revives the sophisticated atmosphere of the aristocratic premises of the 19th century, splendidly overlooking Ponte Pietra, one of the most beautiful views, of Verona. The menu changes every three months, intelligently mixing the concreteness of tradition with more creative dishes. WEBSITE


Nestled just behind the Arena, Ristorante Il Torcolo is an exquisite culinary stop. Set with Versace tableware, it’s both elegant and aesthetic, as well as serving delicious cuisine. For first timers, Pappardelle with Lessina black truffle and Monte Veronese cheese. WEBSITE


The philosophy of Al Pompiere’s cuisine starts from a few fundamental points: the search for the best raw materials and the best products of the territory and Italian gastronomy, innovation in cooking techniques and combinations, the chef’s passion and knowledge of traditional Veronese and Veneto dishes. This meeting of values takes place in an exquisitely homely and authentic location. WEBSITE


Antica Amelia is a real treat for the eyes and palate. Nestled in the historic city centre, this restaurant with colourful furnishings, striped walls and original paintings offers Venetian specialities, exquisite vegetarian recipes and a wide variety of dishes even for gluten-free or lactose-free cuisine devotees. WEBSITE


The cuisine of Café Carducci is simplicity, balance and the pleasantness of flavours that tell of traditions and emotions. Created in an open kitchen, the dishes range from unfailingly traditional recipes to dishes revisited with creative genius. Concrete, balanced and unpretentious dishes. WEBSITE


First Course. Ph. Credits Jacopo Salvi
Where to eat in Verona
Beef Tartar. Ph. Credits Jacopo Salvi

Located right in the beating heart of Verona, Bue Nero is a steakhouse that places meat at the centre of its offerings, but distinguishes itself from the countless restaurants in the city centre thanks to contemporary and innovative twists, as well as a meticulous design and attention to detail. WEBSITE



Is the carbohydrate desire pervading you? Head to Saporè Downtown, the pizzeria of one of Italy’s master bakers and pizza makers, Renato Bosco, to sample masterful doughs like the Doppio Crunch. WEBSITE



Along Corso St’Anastasia you’ll find master pastry chef Iginio Massari’s pasticceria, and there is no shortage of exquisite bakes. From leavened doughs to chocolates, pasticcini and cakes – you will find yourself entirely spoilt for choice.



Enjoy a special aperitif on the Arena Sky Lounge Bar terrace at the Hotel Milano & Spa, from which you can have an exclusive view of the amphitheatre, perhaps even during the opera. WEBSITE


A former monastery dating back to 1100 ac, Romeo does not have a style, but a personality. It encapsulates the experience of Marco Cosenza and Andrea Cason, founding partners of Bartenders Group Italia. From the atmosphere to the working techniques and style of service, every detail is taken care of to give the customer the best possible experience, in an environment without time or place. WEBSITE

where to SLEEP


One of the rooms at VISTA Palazzo Verona

Housed within a historic building, moments from the renowned Piazza delle Erbe, Vista Verona is an elegant boutique hotel newly opened in the city. The second location for the Vista Palazzo Portfolio by LarioHotels, with a first location opening in Lake Como. Vista Verona seeks to provide guests the sensation of sleeping in a Venetian noble house with a contemporary approach to interior design. Luxury marble features in the bathrooms and an almost oriental approach in the choice of materials. This is the only hotel in Verona to house an indoor swimming pool and in fact, the SPA is what you would expect to find in a wellness hotel – yet here, you’re actually in the heart of a city. Located on the lower ground floor, the SPA features a swimming pool with ‘Romeo’s Well”, an area with jacuzzi as well as an aromatic Turkish bath, Sauna and emotional showers. As the sun begins to set, make your way up to the terrace for an aperitivo before embarking on a culinary journey at their Sottovoce Restaurant with a selection of tasting menus and a-la-carte curated by Chef Fabio Aceti. Here, traditional recipes have been revisited in a contemporary key, focusing on the use of seasonal and local ingredients. WEBSITE


The Butterfly is home to six suites with Italian design pieces and accessories, for those who seek a contemporary style, where everything is taken care of in detail. This hotel is intended to be a refined reproduction of the comfort and intimacy of home. WEBSITE


Il Balcone di Giulietta (Juliet’s Balcony) is a precious dwelling, housed in the courtyard where the most famous balcony in the world overlooks: the one that tells the love story of Romeo and Juliet, in the heart of Verona’s historic centre. Here you will find fascinating alcoves with comfortable rooms and fine details, including 17th-century frescoes, design pieces, mirrors and handcrafted furniture. WEBSITE

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