Verona, Italy is best known as the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of Verona. But it also has some of the best preserved Roman architecture outside of Rome and some beautiful medieval palaces. In fact, many of the best Verona hotels are located in renovated palazzos.

All in all, Verona is a delightful place to visit.

The center of town is Piazza Bra, which is dominated by the biggest attraction in town, literally and figuratively. It’s the Roman Arena, which was built in 30 AD. Seating more than 25,000 spectators, it was the third largest stadium in the Roman Empire. During the summers, operas and concerts are performed here.

Climb all 44 tiers to the top for great views and photographs.

There are several squares in Verona worth exploring. Piazza delle Erbe is lined with stately civic buildings and opulent palaces. This piazza, which hosts a daily market, was built on the site of the old Roman forum. Piazza dei Signori has several impressive buildings, including the Palazzo del Capitano and the Palazzo della Ragione. There are also several cafes here where you can take a break from sightseeing.

For more great views, climb the 275-ft Torre di Lamberti, which dates from the 12th century. On clear days, you can see all the way to Lake Garda and the Alps.

San Zeno Maggiore on Piazza San Zeno is one on the best examples of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy. The 12th-century rose window and wooden doors with bronze reliefs are worth stopping by to see. Inside, there’s an altarpiece by Mantegna.

The 14th-century castle on the Adige river has a fine arts museum with medieval and Renaissance paintings by Bellini, Veronese, and Tiepolo. And the ruins of the old Roman Theater are not far away.

Giardino Giusto is a must for garden lovers. It’s one of Italy’s best Renaissance gardens. With fountains, grottoes, and topiary, it’s a delightful spot.

Ponte di Pietra, Verona

Ponte di Pietra, Verona

Verona hotels.

Just a block from Piazza Bra, Torcolo offers quiet, nicely decorated lodging and good value for money. Each of the 19 rooms is unique, but all have small refrigerators, safes, double-paned windows, and WiFi Internet access. Many have parquet floors and exposed beams. The two women who run the hotel are very cordial, and breakfast is very good – when the weather’s nice, you can take it on the pretty patio.

Also near the Arena, Colomba d’Oro was once a medieval convent. The owners have kept a lot of Old World charm, including trompe l’oeil frescoes in the reception hall. The breakfast room and bar are very atmospheric with stone walls and arches dating from the 16th century. The 51 rooms are comfortable and nicely furnished with beautiful fabrics. There are several restaurants nearby.

Located in an 18th-century palazzo off Piazza delle Erbe, Gabbia d’Oro has oodles of charm. With stone walls, Persian rugs, fine paintings, rustic timbers, and original frescoes, it has a timeless and elegant ambience. The roof terrace and Orangerie garden are delightful. And the rooms have antiques, and modern bathrooms. This is one of the most appealing hotels in Verona. You can rent a bike to explore the area.

Part of the Baglioni chain, the Due Torri Hotel is Verona’s most expensive hotel. The 14th-century palazzo opened as a hotel in the 1950s, and over the years, it’s been the choice of artists performing at the summer festivals here. The 90 rooms and public areas are quite grand with columns, period furniture, and Murano glass chandeliers. Free WiFi access and satellite television are included. Some rooms on the upper floors have nice views, as does the roof terrace. There’s an attractive Art Nouveau restaurant and bar.

A mere stone’s throw from the Roman Arena, Hotel Giulietta e Romeo, offers comfortable, attractive lodging in a charming old palazzo. The 30 rooms have thoughtful amenities like mini bars and safes, plus big, marble bathrooms. Service here is warm and professional, and the location is convenient to everything.

In business since 1880. Hotel Accademia has 94 rooms near San Maria della Scala church. The location is close to the main shopping street, and there’s a good restaurant on site. Rooms in the 16th-century palazzo have been updated with wireless Internet access, LCD TVs, and electronic safes.

Find hotels in nearby Lake Garda here.

1) Piazza Bra
2) Arena di Verona
3) Guardino Giusti
4) Torcolo Hotel
5) Hotel Columba d’Oro
6) Hotel Gabbia d’Oro
7) Due Torre Hotel Baglioni
8) Hotel Giuliette E Romeo
9) Hotel Accademia

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