Located right next to Italy's biggest lake is the charming city of Verona. This beautiful place is popular as it is where the famous Romeo and Juliet play by William Shakespeare takes place and was home to the real Montague and Capulet families. The whole town is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its rich past and ancient architecture, some of which was built as long as 2,000 years ago. Although the city was partially destroyed during the Second World War, many of its original structures still stand today and can be visited by anyone by just walking through the streets.
Verona is a common tourist destination, and the city takes advantage of its popularity by offering guided tours and entry to museums. Traveling can be expensive, though and no doubt, you'd love to hear about free activities to do in Verona. This European city is located in a beautiful area in Italy, with close proximity to Lake Garda and the Lessini mountain range which offer some great free outdoor activities to enjoy. There are so many things to see within the city limits as well, but before going out to explore the different landmarks and attractions you should keep your things out of the way at a luggage storage facility in Verona.
One of the best things to do in Verona for free is to sightsee, and there are lots of impressive buildings and old structures scattered throughout the city. The Castelvecchio Bridge is one of the interesting places that you can visit, it is old and was built back in the 14th century but had to be reconstructed after it was damaged during WWII.
You can find the bridge just outside of the city walls and attached to it is an old square-shaped fortress that was once one of the most powerful military buildings in the city during the Middle Ages. If you want to spend some money you can enter the Castelvecchio Museum and Gallery that are found just inside.
Casa di Giulietta
If you are a Shakespeare fan you will definitely want to visit the famous Juliet's House and balcony that inspired his most popular play. It is found on the side of a gothic-style house dating back from the 1300s and is one of Verona's most popular spots for lovers of old literature.
Of course, the characters of Romeo and Juliet are fictional, although the balcony where she gazed down at him in the story is real. Visiting this place is free and definitely worth stopping by during your time in Verona.
Castel San Pietro
If you are planning to take a walk around the city you should make an effort to stop by the Castel San Pietro. You will find this ancient castle behind Ponte Pietro which is surrounded by cypress trees and offers an unforgettable view of the city from the top of the hill.
This is a nice place to take some pictures for the photo album or stroll around the paths in the valley. You can visit the exterior of this old abandoned fort and its grounds without charge, so feel free to return whenever you want.
Arena di Verona
The Verona Arena is an old and well preserved Roman Arena that was once used as a stadium for gladiator fights and shows. Up to 30,000 citizens would gather to watch the show, and the arena was famous for being the biggest of its kind.
Today the Arena di Verona hosts shows and concerts, as well as the Arena Opera Festival which goes on from June to September. This festival is free to attend and is worth checking out if you find yourself in Verona at that time, otherwise, you can still visit the arena to admire its architecture from a distance.
Piazza dei Signori
The Piazza dei Signori is both beautiful and an important spot for the government of Verona. The high arches and monuments surrounding the square are all intricately decorated, making it a beautiful spot for anyone to spend time walking around and appreciating the architecture.
This area is home to the former city council and all of the major buildings, like the Scaliger family's seat of power and the courts, are still standing today. You can take your time exploring the area as it is completely free to visit.
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
This Roman church is an ancient and impressive landmark in Verona. It ties in with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet story, as it is said to be the location of the wedding in the play.
You will need to pay for a ticket to enter the four major churches in Verona, one of which is the Basilica of di San Zeno Maggiore. However, this is still a spot worth visiting since you can admire the church from outside for free. The inside is decorated in rich Italian artwork, but the façade is also impressive with its vast bronze doors and gorgeous detailed exterior.
Ponte Scaligero, or Scaliger Bridge, is a structure that crosses over the Adige River and used to be an ancient defensive fortress, alongside the Castelvecchio. These places serve as examples of the historical military architecture that used to be found within the city and are great places to stop by and visit for free.
The aesthetic and architecture of the bridge passing over the river are beautiful and the area around the bridge is a great place to take pictures. The bridge is made of terracotta bricks and white stones that make a pleasant design that has lasted over the years.
Torre dei Lamberti
If you want to see an impressive piece of historical architecture as well as incredible views of the city, then you just have to visit the Torre dei Lamberti. You can find this tower in the Piazza delle Erbe and it has two impressive bells found on the top which were used to alert locals of disaster, to signal the end of the working day or to summon war councils.
In the Middle Ages, these towers were constructed to display the wealth of aristocratic families. The Lamberti Tower is one of the last of its kind that are still standing in Verona and dates back all the way to 1172 when it was built by the Lamberti family. Climb to the top for a bird's eye view of the surrounding square and city streets.
The Porta Borsari is a historic piece of Verona that displays the impressive work of Roman architecture that used to make up most of the city. The structure used to serve as the gates of the city and date back all the way to the 1st century.
The gate is made of white limestone and has two arched entrances and a collection of windows placed above. This historical place is a must-see for anyone visiting Verona, especially since it won't cost you anything.
While you are out on your self-guided walking tour around the city be sure to check out the Ponte Pietra. You can walk over this ancient bridge, which was originally built all the way back in 100 BCE but had to be reconstructed after being damaged in the Second World War.
This is said to be the prettiest bridge in the city so it is definitely worth a stop. The Ponte Pietra connects the Valdonega neighborhood to the other side of the river by the Città Antica and is within walking distance from the Teatro Romano and Castel San Pietro.
This is another of the local tourist attractions centered around the wealthy Scaliger family. The Arche Scaligere is a small monument and cemetery that serves as the ancient Scaliger Tombs. It is the resting place for many members of the Della Scala family as well as other historic figures.
You will only be able to get as far as the old iron gates allow you, but the tombs are impressive even from a distance. The structure is sure to catch your eye with its stone sculptures and detailed arches.
Duomo di Verona
The Duomo di Verona, or Verona Cathedral, is one of the most beautiful and visually pleasing landmarks in the city. The Roman-style church is found in the old historic part of the town and is sure to grab your attention as you pass by.
The chapel was built in medieval times and underwent some changes during the 16th century, including the addition of the rose window and mullioned windows. The bell tower that is connected to the church was also made in different stages, with the base, middle and top all being constructed in different centuries.
Found in the Piazzetta Porta Palio in the southernmost area of town there is a stunning Doric-style structure dating back to the early 1500s. The building itself is a masterpiece and was built for the purpose of strengthening the city's defenses of the Mura Scaligere, or Scaliger Walls.
The Porta Palio received its name because it was only opened for a specific event of its time; the Palio del Drappo Verde, or Palio of the Green Banner. You might also hear it being referred to as the Porta Stupa, which translates to 'shut' in the local language.
The Via Sottoriva can give you one of the best free experiences in Verona, as the whole area is reminiscent of an old road from the Middle Ages. The entire street is surrounded by beautiful old arches and a low-vaulted portico, and if you try hard enough you can almost imagine what it was like during the old days.
The area will bring you beside the riverbank which also makes it a great place to take a stroll. Years ago this area on the Adige River was filled with mills that would work to grind grain for bread. You can find Via Sottoriva near the Basilica di Sant' Anastasia.
Palazzo del Governo
The Palazzo del Governo is also known as the Cangrande's Palace and was built at the beginning of the 19th century but was remade several times throughout the years. It has changed significantly throughout the years but has recently been given back its medieval appearance with the restoration of some important and ancient pieces.
The palace is made from a combination of different buildings placed around the courtyard that was made in the 14th century by Cansignorio. Originally the walls and rooms of the building were decorated with paintings from some of Verona's top artists, but many of them have now been taken away and placed in museums. You can visit the square and see the outside of the Palazzo del Governo for free.
Discovering the Heart of Verona on a Budget
Everyone knows that traveling can be expensive, and a vacation to Verona, VR is not cheap. There are many ways to spend your vacation time without breaking the wallet, which is why we made this guide full of travel tips to help you save money. It can be wise to save your spending money to attend some of the big activities in the city like a day trip to the Verona Opera Festival, where you can see an amazing performance held in the old ancient Roman Arena or pay to enter one of the city's great museums.
Landing in Verona Airport? No matter where you choose to stay, you will be within walking distance from some great monuments or impressive landmarks that can be visited with no charge. There is always something interesting to see and do in Verona, Italy!