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Verona and Surroundings
Verona, located in northern Italy, is the capital of the region of Veneto. In the surroundings of Verona, you can explore the hills and mountains, the breathtaking Lake Garda, the Venetian Lagoon and much more. A nice twenty-minute walk will take you to le Torricelle and Castel San Pietro. From there you can enjoy a superb view of the city and its river. If you don’t wish to reach the view on foot, you can also use the recently reopened funicular. In fact, the hills of Veneto are covered with vineyards. Valpolicella and Soave are the birthplaces of some of the most delicious Italian wines. Wine producers often host wine tasting events, which could be a great plan for an alternative afternoon or weekend.
Verona is also a great location if you want to explore a variety of Italian cities. Mantua, a tiny medieval jewel, is located 40 km from Verona. Milan, Venice, and Bologna are only around one hour by train (Verona Porta Nuova train station is one of the most important Italian ones)!
12 Best things to do in Verona
1) Piazza Bra and the Arena
Piazza Bra is the widest square in Verona. It is surrounded by colorful buildings and restaurants. On its right, you will find Palazzo della Gran Guardia and Palazzo Barbieri, and in the centre, you can admire the spectacular Arena. The Arena is probably the best-preserved Roman Amphitheatre in the world and has the biggest open-air stage. Nowadays, it still hosts concerts and musicals during the magnificent Opera season.
2) Piazza Erbe
Not to be missed: this square will fascinate you with its charming atmosphere, the quality of the architecture that surrounds it and, most of all, the decorations on the ancient facades. In the middle of this piazza, you will find fountains, marble statues and, in most seasons, a small open-air market. You can also choose to go to one of the many cafes and restaurants that run along the square to enjoy a nice break.
3) Ponte Pietra
This is a pedestrian stone bridge that we recommend seeing both for its interesting history and for the scenery that it offers. Ponte Pietra was built by the Romans and has survived centuries of floods and attacks. It was even bombed during World War II, but one of the arches remained standing. In 1959 the reconstructed bridge was inaugurated. From Ponte Pietra you can enjoy the sound of the river Adige which flows directly under it, and the breathtaking view of the hills that surround Verona. On Ponte Pietra you can also stop to taste a delicious ice-cream, which you can purchase in one of the two amazing gelaterie nearby.
4) Teatro Romano
Crossing Ponte Pietra, and heading towards the hills of Castel San Pietro, you will reach a marvel of ancient architecture: the Roman Theatre. The construction of this building dates back to the end of the 1st century BC. Visiting this theater allows you to delve into the origins of Verona and imagine what the infamous historic plays were really like in Roman times. Even today, you can still enjoy live performances and events, especially during “Estate Teatrale Veronese”, “Verona Jazz” and “Festival della Bellezza”. The Archaeological Museum is located by the Roman Theatre and features lots of archeological findings collected from all over Verona and its province: statues, mosaics, inscriptions, glass, ceramics…
5) Piazza dei Signori
This square is steeped in history and stands out for its aristocratic but cozy feel. We recommend reaching Piazza dei Signori by passing through a narrow, hidden path located in the middle of Case Mazzanti, where you will feel immersed its’ the rich history. In the center of the square stands the statue of Dante Alighieri, built in 1865 to celebrate the sixth centenary of the birth of the great poet, who during his exile from Florence was a long-term guest in Verona.
Castelvecchio is one of the biggest and most beautiful monuments in the city of Verona. It was built on the riverbanks between 1354 and 1356 by Prince Cangrande II della Scala (Scaliger dynasty). This castle was used for military purposes until 1926, when it became home to Museo Civico, an important museum which now hosts important Mediaeval, Renaissance and modern art collections (up to the 18th century). Take a walk through the ancient castle walkways and admire the beauty of Verona and its river from a different point of view.
7) Cortile Mercato Vecchio
The Palazzo della Ragione, today an important museum, was built in the 12th century to accommodate the magistrates of the Municipality. A small arch on the right leads to the courtyard of Mercato Vecchio, an ancient seat of commercial activities and the city market. The marble Scala della Ragione stands there in all its beauty. An entrance hidden beneath it leads to the Torre dei Lamberti and the top of the tower is accessible via stairs or elevator. From the top you can enjoy a marvelous view of Verona’s city center
8) Duomo di Verona
Cattedrale Santa Maria Matricolare is Verona’s Cathedral, known in Italian as Duomo. It was constructed after two Palaeo-Christian churches on the same site had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. Built in Romanesque style, the cathedral was consecrated in 1187. The structure was later modified by several renovators, although the plan has remained unchanged. Inside you can admire several Renaissance masterpieces. Next to the Duomo stands one of the world’s oldest libraries: The Chapter Library of Verona Cathedral (Biblioteca Capitolare della Cattedrale di Verona)!
9) San Zeno Maggiore
San Zeno Maggiore is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. Being somewhat removed from the center of Verona, San Zeno is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful moment. But… who is Saint Zeno? He was a teacher, a monk, and martyr. Nowadays he’s the patron saint of Verona. A suggestion made by a local: you should pay a visit to the San Zeno area during carnival time, on the so-called Venerdì Gnocolar (“Gnocchi Friday”). All the bars, restaurants and osterias serve gnocchi and Verona’s typical drinks, while people (often disguised) wait for the arrival of the cheerful carnival floats.
The church of Saint Anastasia, although a much a smaller building, is no less impressive than the Duomo and San Zeno. Located between Piazza Erbe and Ponte Pietra, the stunning interior decorated with colorful frescoes never fails to amaze its visitors. It’s difficult to mention all Veronese churches in a short list but if you are interested to know more about the sacred monuments to admire in Verona, you can discover more in this website.
11) Giusti garden
Giusti Garden is located in the north-east side of the city, across the river, and is a perfect place to relax. The garden is behind the Renaissance Giusti Palace. From outside, you would never guess that the palazzo holds such a beautiful garden.
- in Giardino Giusti you can find the cypress of Goethe, which was quoted in the author’s Italian Journey. This tree is 600 years old!
- there’s also a small maze, good fun for children;
- it’s a giardino all’italiana, inspired by the classical ideas of geometry and beauty.
12) Romeo and Juliet’s places
History, legend and literature merge when we retrace the two lovers’ steps in Verona. The most famous place is Juliet’s house (casa di Giulietta). But… It may not be where Juliet actually lived– the Capuleti family probably lived near the riverbank. The balcony might have come from one of the buildings that used to be next to the river, rescued from floods and then placed on the facade where we can still see it nowadays. Or maybe it used to be a sarcophagus then converted into a balcony! You will find many different versions of the story! From via Cappello, you can reach the small courtyard of casa di Giulietta, whose entrance walls are covered in love messages. In Verona, you can also find Juliet’s Tomb: a coffin in a small chamber in what used to be a Franciscan church (now the “G.B. Cavalcaselle” Museum of Frescoes). That crypt was the setting for the tragic finale of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Next to Arche Scaligere (also worth visiting), you can find casa dei Montecchi. Legends has it that Romeo used to live there. You can only visit the facade, since it’s still a private building.
Our Cultural Activities
All our one-week courses in Verona include in the price of the course a guided tour of the city and an excursion in its beautiful surroundings (usually on Saturday). All our two-week courses include a guided city tour per week and one full-day excursion (usually on the first Saturday).
Our Guided Tour of Verona City Center
Led by an expert teacher, the walking tour introduces you to Verona’s rich history, culture, and cuisine.
Starting from Roman Verona, admire its ancient “forum” (nowadays’ Piazza delle Erbe, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy), the gorgeous Arena, Ponte Pietra, Arco dei Gavi, and the imperial doors (Porta Leoni e Porta Borsari).
Then follow the traces of the Renaissance and the Venice Republic, with its symbols and secrets: marvelous facades and their frescoes, the Duomo, Sant’Anastasia church…
The tour unfolds along the city center streets, among shops, small markets, gelaterie, and typical osterie (wine inns), where you can enjoy the Original Spritz or make a toast with the renowned local wines (such as Amarone and Valpolicella). Cin cin!
Our Full-Day Excursion
After five days of lessons, it is time for the weekend and time to relax. For you and your colleagues who met at Europass, we offer trips to some of the most beautiful surrounding areas. Do not miss the opportunity to participate in these all-inclusive tours, with a professional guide and transportation included in the price of the course!
The excursion is usually held on a Saturday, on the first Saturday for 2-week courses.
Below you can get an idea concerning the possible options for the excursion, one is the best!
Venice: its Charms and Secrets
(maximum duration: 10 hours)
A stroll along the calli (the charming narrow streets of Venice), canals and bridges, discovering the hidden personality of Venice: the corners of the old ghetto, the influences from the East, the legends that still animate places with eternal charm. Breathe the atmosphere of Venice walking through its sestrieri. Look for traditional local products and handicraft shops. Be stunned when you arrive in front of San Marco church and feel the emotion of walking across Ponte di Rialto!
Venice is a labyrinth full of surprises and tiny, precious details… including its bacari (typical Venetian inns), where you can stop for a drink and fish cicheto.
Vicenza and Palladio’s architecture
(maximum duration: 9 hours)
Vicenza and Palladio’s architecture are an inseparable pair. The Basilica, the facades of Porto palace, Thiene, Valmarana e Chiericati, with their Renaissance harmony and Beauty, will tell you fascinating stories of aristocracy.
Vicenza is also the “city of gold”, with its rich handicraft work, and of gastronomy. You can taste specialties such as bigoi co’ l’arna (duck Spaghetti), baccalà, soppressa (a tasty coldcut, similar to salami), and Asiago cheese.
You can then relax in the city’s historical gardens: Giardino Salvi and Parco Querini.
After a beautiful day along Vicenza’s streets, a visit to the Teatro Olimpico (the last masterpiece by Palladio), as well as an aperitivo in Piazza dei Signori will be the cherry on top.
Mantua and the Renaissance
(maximum duration: 9 hours)
In Mantova, you will step directly into the heart of the Renaissance. You will travel in time and land on the majestical Renaissance court of the Gonzaga family. Stop and admire their palaces, as well as Sant’Andrea church, one of the most important architectural masterpieces by Leon Battista Alberti.
Indulge yourself with a relaxing moment in one of the central squares, where you will see, breathe and feel the calm life of a small Italian province.
The local cuisine is a surprise! Taste the famous tortelli di zucca, risotto alla pilota, and torta sbrisolona.
Lake Garda and the Roman Villa
(maximum duration: 8 hours)
A day in Desenzano del Garda will introduce you to historical, artistic and natural beauties.
Go up to Desenzano’s castles and enjoy a timeless view over the lake. Stroll through the central roads, its palaces, its porticoes, and the tiny port. Then discover one of the biggest Roman villas of Northern Italy, and get amazed watching its mosaics. Breathe some fresh air and walk along the lake, then sit down and relax at a bar or gelateria, in front of unique views… if you can resist the temptation to swim in the lake!
Valpolicella: hills, oil and wine
(maximum duration: 6 hours)
Valpolicella is one of the most famous wine regions in Italy. Visiting a typical winery, you will explore the history and story of good wines. This will include tasting some masterpieces, such as Amarone and Valpolicella Classico Superiore.
From ancient times, wine production in Veneto has been accompanied by oil production. There, you will have the chance to taste both.
To finish, you will visit Pieve di San Giorgio, a Romanic church of the 7th century, surrounded by beautiful hills and vineyards.
About the Training Centre in Verona
The address of our training center in Verona is:
via Francesco Emilei, 24
37121 Verona, Italy
You can contact the center by phone: Tel. +39 0552345802
How to reach us
To arrive by bus from the train station (Verona Porta Nuova):
- You can get a bus ticket from the tobacco shop situated in the main hall of the train station, or at the bus station (which is just in front of the train station building).
- Walk 4 minutes to the bus stop “Stazione Fs Porta Nuova – D2”, situated on viale Girolamo Cardinale
- Take one of the following buses: 23 / 24 / 41 / 61 / 62
- Get off at the “Via Diaz 2”
- Take the first road on the right (via San Michele alla Porta)
- Go straight ahead on via San Michele alla Porta
- Continue onto via Francesco Emilei, up to street number 24. Destination will be on the left. / The walk from the bus stop on via Diaz up to the school is around 4 minutes.
- To enter the building, press the bell (LinguaIT).
- Enter the building and the second gate: the school main door is on the left, before the garden.
You can find the route provided by Google Maps here.
Getting to Verona
Valerio Catullo airport is located 12km from the city center and is served by international and national flights.
There is a regular bus service direct to the city center. Here you can find more information about it, as well as a link to the timetable.
To reach the city center, it is also possible to take a taxi.
Ps. To reach Northern Italy by plane, you have plenty of different options. Within 150km from Verona, you can also find the following airports: Venezia Marco Polo (122km), Treviso Antonio Canova (130km), Bergamo Orio al Serio (119km), Milano Linate (150km), Bologna (140km).
Verona Porta Nuova is the main and biggest train station in the city. It is served by many national and international trains. For italian routes and timetables, you can visit the websites of Trenitalia and Italo Treno.
Northern Italy borders with Slovenia, Austria, France and Switzerland. If you live in one of those countries (or not far from them), you might consider the option of driving.