The 14 Best Museums In Verona
Located on the Adige River in northern Italy, Verona is a large city with almost 260,000 residents. The city is one of the seven provincial capitals of the area and is a popular tourist destination due to the sheer number of attractions, museums, and festivals held annually. The museums in Verona are especially important since they hold countless artifacts and archaeological items from the area.
The city is also the site of two plays by William Shakespeare, including Romeo and Juliet as well as The Two Gentlemen of Verona. In fact, there is a museum dedicated to Romeo and Juliet that is a must-see. You will also notice that the museums in Verona are packed with stellar art, unique documents, and priceless items you cannot see anywhere else.
According to the locals, the best museums in Verona are the art galleries and the museum of natural history because they hold so much of the special mementos from the past. The Museo di Castelvecchio, also known as the Castelvecchio Museum, is located inside a castle made in the 1200s for the Scala family and is known for its sculpture and bronze bells.
One name that you will see over and over again is the Musei Civici Foundation, which owns many of the museums in Verona including Doge's Palace, Museo Correr, Clock Tower, Ca' Rezzonico, and Palazzo Mocenigo Museum as well as Carlo Goldoni's House, Ca' Pesaro, Palazzo Fortuny, Glass Museum, Lace Museum, and the Natural History Museum.
Trying to choose the best museums in Verona is difficult because they are all so important and full of history and knowledge. From the archaeological sites to the Romeo and Juliet Experience. Whether you are into Roman art or the history of Italy, you can find it all in the city of Verona. Traveler tip: Most museums do not allow large bags. Drop off your belongings at a luggage storage site in Verona and explore the museums in Verona with ease.
Castelvecchio Museum (Museo di Castelvecchio)
Also known as Museo di Castelvecchio, this is the most popular museum in Verona. The castle was finished in 1356 and its name means Old Castle. With seven towers, a quaint courtyard, and an incredible view of the Adige River, the building was renovated in the 1960s by Carlo Scarpa, a famous Italian architect. The combination of the medieval and baroque styles of the castle makes it unique as well as exquisite.
Some of the items in the Carlo Scarpa Museo di Castelvecchio collections you can find inside include weapons, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, and paintings dating back to the Middle Ages. The 1420 painting of Madonna of the Quail by Pisanello is just one of the famous masterpieces inside. You can also see artifacts like the sepulcher of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus from 1179 and a 14th-century crucifix from Saint Anastasia.
Museo Lapidario Maffeiano (Maffeiano Lapidary Museum)
The Maffeiano Lapidary Museum is located in Piazza Bra across from the Philharmonic Theatre. Constructed in the early 1700s, the museum is dedicated to Marquis Scipione Maffei, a famous academic who collected thousands of inscriptions over the years. These inscriptions were then etched into stone and put on display inside the Verona museum. In fact, it is considered one of the best museums in Verona.
One of the oldest public museums in the world, the majority of this stunning collection in Piazza Bra includes grave markers dating all the way back to the 2nd century BC with all sorts of inscriptions. You can see a Greek grave stele of the daughter of Demosthenes from the 1st century BC, a Roman sarcophagus from the 1st century AD, and many other steles and urns throughout the courtyard and the building.
Archaeological Museum at the Roman Theater of Verona (Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano)
Founded in 1923 to house and exhibit the Roman remains of Verona, the Museo Archeologico al Teatro Romano, or Archaeological Museum at the Roman Theater is located next to the ruins of the Roman theater. On the banks of the Adige River, this museum is connected to the Renaissance building Palazzo Fontana, which serves as the entryway.
The building has five floors, with three dedicated to a special itinerary each including the necropolis and convent on the fifth, sculptures on the fourth, and the gatehouse on the third. The marble sculptures in the refectory and panoramic art terrace are two of the most popular spots with the guests.
Fresco Museum - Tomb of Juliet
In this Verona museum, you get two for the price of one. But the one that most tourists come to see is the Tomb of Juliet. According to legend, she is buried in the monastery of Saint Francesco al Corso. The building was created in 1230 and boasts some of the most exquisite architecture from those ancient times in Verona.
The ground floor features a large hall named after the first president, Amici dei Musei Civici di Verona, with six statues and many frescoes. In fact, the museum is full of original frescoes collected from nearby churches. The main attraction though is in the underground crypt where it is believed that Juliet was laid to rest.
Modern Art Gallery of Verona
Dating back to 1172, the Palazzo della Ragione holds hundreds of artworks including sculptures as well as paintings and frescoes. Some of these are dated from the 1300s and feature scenes from signs of the zodiac and character traits. The lower section contains all the frescoes from the 1300s and beyond.
The Forti collection and the Domus-Cariverona foundation collection of Italy include more than 150 masterpieces that guests can visit for free anytime in what used to be the law courts of the past. At night, the frescoes are illuminated, lending to its gorgeous and historic artwork. Other collections can be seen outside the building as well.
Maffei Palace (Palazzo Maffei)
One of the most stunning collections of masterpieces can be found in the Maffei Palace, also known as Palazzo Maffei. This three-story Baroque building in the Piazza Erbe holds a variety of furniture and art of the masters like Duchamp, Magritte, Picasso, and Boldini. But many people come to see the rare helicoidal stone staircase that leads from the basement to the roof.
The walls are adorned with tympani throughout the first floor and each section has an elegant balcony with semicolumns decorated with masks. At the top, you can see the highlight of the collection, which includes statues of Minerva, Apollo, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Hercules.
Scavi Scaligeri Underground Museum
Located just below the streets of Verona in the Scaligeri Underground Museum, you can find the International Center of Photography as well as a large archaeological site. From Roman origin to the Middle Ages, the Scaligeri family collected unique things such as the ruins of tower houses, Longobard tombs, mosaics, and stone streets.
These remains ended up underground after years of reconstructions built on top of them, many still intact and preserved. See pieces of some of the most eclectic buildings and monuments as well as a mosaic of a Roman dome and old roads made of cobbled stones can be found under the Palazzo del Capitano and part of the Palazzo della Ragione.
Natural History Museum
This history museum is the most prestigious in Verona as well as Italy and Europe. Its history began hundreds of years ago when the Palazzo Pompei was created but the museum itself holds items that date back to the prehistoric years. Guests can see collections of fossils from the Bolca deposits, plants from the Eocene, and rocks and minerals from over 50 million years ago.
An intriguing activity for many kids, other great collections include dinosaurs, dwarf elephants, and a Pteranodon, a flying reptile with a 19-foot wingspan. The primate collection is also fascinating featuring those native to Verona as well as all over Europe. But don't miss the Natural History of Man exhibit to learn more about your history.
Miniscalchi Erizzo Museum
For a peek into the life of Count Miniscalchi Erizzo of Verona, visit the house he lived in, which is actually a palace as well as a museum. The ancient residence with its Venetian and Gothic architecture is filled with art frescoes, period furniture, and rooms featuring the decor of the 1400s.
Some of the exquisite artwork that adorns the walls include paintings by Agostino Ugolini, Antonio Gianlisi, and Andrea Benedetti. The most popular is the Madonna with Children by Francesco Giacomo Francia but the tapestries, porcelain, armor, and weapons are also well-liked by guests who visit the museum.
The Capitular Library of Verona (Capitolare Library)
Located in the Piazza Duomo along the banks of the Adige River, the Capitular Library of Verona is the oldest library in the world that is still functioning. It started as a Scriptorium in the 6th century and has a plethora of history packed inside with thousands of books, manuscripts, and documents.
The oldest is a copy of narration of the lives of St. Martin of Tours written by Sulpicius Severus and copied by Ursicinus, a scribe. The date on this writing is August 1, 517 AD. Many famous historical scholars studied in this library such as Francesco Petrarca, Dante Alighieri, and Pipino Magno. Be sure to book your guided tour in advance because this is a popular site.
This unique museum in Verona was founded in 1892 when the Combonian Missionaries' collections were discovered. Guests can see musical instruments, masks, ancient art, figures, and Christian artwork. In addition to all that, there is also a huge library featuring over 20,000 books and films.
The masks are a popular collection with the guests including the Senufo, a mask for fertility rites, and Bayaka, a mask used in male initiation rites. The wooden statues are also quite popular, featuring protective and healing fetishes. Other artifacts include pyrography knives from Uganda, a clay pot from Central Africa, and a mallet from the Congo.
Romeo and Juliet Experience of Verona
Located in the historic structure identified as the home of Paris, who tells the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet. There are six rooms where guests can immerse themselves in a reproduction of the times, using advanced technology. You can relive these steps in history with a 4D experience unlike any other.
Similar to the Shakespearean play, guests are also treated to actors who play Romeo and Juliet as well as narrators to fill in the information. The whole experience takes you from Juliet's original courtyard through Verona with the final tragic scene in Teatro Nuovo. Near the Verona Porta Nuova train station is the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, the place of Romeo and Juliet’s fictional wedding – be sure to see that also.
Giusti Palace and Garden (Palazzo Giusti)
In eastern Verona just a short walk from Piazza Isolos, the Giusti Palace is not to be missed. The palace itself is from the 1500s and features Mannerist architecture with a large covered porch and the main entrance with a keystone in the shape of a man's face.
The garden is said to be one of the finest examples of an Italian garden and is decked out with renaissance features and a hedge maze that will impress anyone who enjoys it. The Giusti Family also constructed a parterre garden, terraces, and surreal groups of vibrant flowers and lush green flora.
Children's Museum of Verona
If you have the kids with you, this is one museum in Verona that you don't want to miss. In fact, even if you don't have the kids, it is still a great place to spend a few hours and learn some things. The building is divided into the museum area and the interactive laboratory area, which is called the ThinkLab.
The lab features interests such as coding, robotics, creative writing, science, mechanics, and space. The CMV Sphere is a popular exhibit as guests can watch the huge ball send 150,000 smaller orbs throughout the museum.
The Best Museums in Verona
Whether you want to see stellar paintings by Rembrandt and Picasso or you have an interest in learning about the wine, food, and history of the Italians, the city of Verona is a fun place to enjoy all of this, and then some. You will probably be able to find a work of art in every gallery if you take a tour by a tour guide or even if you explore on your own.