Verona with kids!
Verona, the City of Love, is in the Veneto region in Italy. It is most known as the setting of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet, but there is much more to explore in Verona! Walking the beautiful pedestrian streets of Verona’s old town, with its colorful houses, amazed us by the different styles in architecture of the buildings. Yes, Verona has more beautiful balconies than the one on ‘Juliet’s house’. Whether you would like to stay overnight, or if you are spending only a day on a trip from Garda or Venice, it is the small size of the city which makes it easy to explore Verona with kids.
Things to do in Verona
Head to the Citta Antica, the Old Town of Verona. Once you have passed the gate of the old city, you will almost immediately be on Piazza Bra where the Arena of Verona is located. This Arena is the 3rd largest amphitheater in Italy and is famous for the Opera shows being held here.
We had a good pizza near the Arena in a restaurant called: Le Cantine de l’Arena.
Romeo and Juliet
After the Arena, we headed towards ‘Juliets house’. Juliets house, and the balcony, is one of the most known places to visit for romantic tourism. Juliets balcony is a fantasy setting though, made after Shakespeare’s famous play. The beautiful balcony is located on an old building in which some people recognized the Capulets family house, but most people say the balcony was only added much later.
Even though the place is not real, it still is beautiful to visit a place where people declare love. Writings of love can be found scribbled on the walls surrounding Juliets house, and little love letters are tucked in the holes in the wall.
Below the balcony, you will see a statue of Juliet. The story goes that singles should rub the statues’ right breast for good luck in love, in case you were wondering why you see people doing that.
Romeo and Juliet, an Immersive Experience
We went to the Romeo and Juliet Immersive Experience in Verona which is well done and a fun activity! You follow the story, told by actors on screens, and you move from room to room as the story goes by. They also compare Romeo and Juliet with similar love stories from around the world like the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. The last part of the experience is with virtual reality glasses (of a bit less quality, but ok). Since this is the tragic part of the story, think in advance if you think your children are up for it, or at least make sure to tell them in advance. The visit of the immersive experience takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If the kids are getting hungry they will probably like the different shops where you can buy fruit and have warm chocolate poured over it. This one is from Venchi Verona on Via Giuseppe Mazzini 44.
The colorful streets of Verona’s Old Town.
Piazza delle Erbe
Not far from Juliets house, you will find a beautiful Piazza called Piazza delle Erbe with its terraces and market stalls. This Piazza is located on the same spot where the Forum of Verona used to be located. Make sure to look up to see the beautiful frescos on some of the buildings!
The Duomo di Verona, or ‘Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare’ has a big angel statue standing outside of the cathedral, and is also worth peeking in to.
The Old Town of Verona is surrounded by the Adige river, so our walk through the city got us to a part where we walked along the river and crossed a beautiful old bridge (100 BC) called Ponte Pietra. The bridge has a long history of collapses by floodings, and has also been destroyed by bombs during WWII, but has since then been rebuilt using original materials.
San Pietro Castle
On the other side of the bridge you will be able to take a funicular up towards the castle. You can also reach the castle by foot, by taking the stairs next to the Roman Theatre.
Where to stay in Verona?
Family Friendly Hotel near Verona Arena:
We were very happy with our hotel very close to the Old City and the Arena. The hotel has a parking lot, and large apartments for families. They had free bikes for the guests to use as well, but depending on the crowds could be less useful in the old town on busy days. The staff was really helpful. Restaurants and cafés are just around the corner of the hotel, amongst others a Eataly Hamburger restaurant.