Verona is often overlooked by the charming canals of its more famous neighbor, but it’s a great destination for families. The city is easily walkable, with all its major attractions within its compact historic center. Here are five spots that are sure to enchant even the tiniest travelers.
The Verona Arena was built in 1st century A.D., 50 years before the coliseum in Rome. It’s remarkably well preserved and is still used to host Verona’s opera festival each summer. Visitors can climb to the top of the amphitheatre to take in the commotion in Piazza Bra, or they can walk across the arena floor and imagine the roar of the crowd during gladiator battles.
Museo di Castelvecchio
What was once a prominent military construction during the middle ages is now a museum housing sculptures, paintings, and artifacts. Castelvecchio has been damaged and restored several times since it was built in the 14th century. Kids will be too fascinated by the building and its ramparts–that provide views of the river–to complain that you dragged them to yet another museum.
Casa di Giulietta
In 1905, the city of Verona purchased the Cappello family’s 14th century home to create “Juliet’s house.” Since then, the courtyard and balcony have become the tourist attraction in Verona. Visitors come to re-enact the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet or to touch the statue of Juliet, which is believed to bring luck in finding love. Don’t forget to take kids to the excessively pink and red gift shop around the corner for all things love and heart related.
Piazza delle Erbe
Once the Roman Forum in Verona, this piazza is named for its time as a market square in the 15th century. Medieval tower-houses and the ancient town hall border the Madonna Verona fountain, while the Gardello Tower stands in the distance. Enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the sights and sounds of the market that comes to life each morning.
The garden of the Giusti family is considered to be the finest example of an Italian garden. With gargoyles, fountains, and labyrinths created from shrubbery, the gardens are a magical playground where imagination is met with endless possibilities.