What to do in Valpolicella and Verona

What to do in Verona and Valpolicella

Verona is often called the most romantic city in Italy. But it’s not just because of Romeo & Juliet. Love is everywhere in Valpolicella Verona: the historic center, as well as the Torricelli, the gentle hills that embrace the city, and the provincial areas, offering unique views. Verona tours are ideal for romantic weekends, to let yourself be mesmerized by the local beauty.

Just a few kilometers from Verona a beautiful hill area named Valpolicella is situated. It ranks just after Chianti region in total Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wine production. It is also world-famous for its red wines, in particular for the symbolic wine of this territory: Amarone.

Discover the Verona food tours with our tailor-made itineraries through family-run wineries famous all over the world. 

Wineries that have a centuries-old or more recent tradition, small cellars in farmhouses, or majestic villas that take your breath away. Tours in Verona are filled with picturesque scenery of the rolling hillsides, and precious vines, punctuated only by stately villas and charming medieval towns.

What to see in Verona and nearby?

1. Vineyards and wine tasting in Valpolicella

Valpolicella is the most famous red wine zone in Veneto region, which is in northeastern Italy.

The vineyards of the Valpolicella region begin just outside the city of Verona and head towards Lake Garda.

It is a controlled designation of origin (DOC – DOCG) area and is mostly famous for Amarone wine, a very rich red wine with a very strong and powerful flavor.

The most typical grapes of Valpolicella are Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, and the names reveal some interesting curiosities.

According to a legend, once upon a time, the hills of Valpolicella were cultivated exclusively with white grapes and abounded with crows, very greedy for its grapes. To defend the vineyards, farmers tried to drive them away in every way. One day, however, a farmer rescued and treated an injured crow, restoring its ability to fly. In gratitude, the crow, passing by his vineyards, transformed white grapes into an excellent black berry version. From that legendary episode, the Corvina grape variety, the most representative of Valpolicella, was born.

The name “Corvina” derives precisely from that of “crow,” particularly from the similarity between the color of its feathers and the color of the grapes of the grape variety.

2. Visit the Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona

The Sanctuary is located in Spiazzi in one of the most picturesque locations in northern Italy. Rises clinging on the rock of the mountains that surround it, at 774 meters above sea level, overlooking the valley of the Adige river.

In a hollow on Mount Baldo, 774 meters above sea level, is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona (in the municipality of Ferrara di Monte Baldo).

Tradition told of the birth of the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona in 1522, the year in which the sculpture venerated here is said to have been miraculously moved by angelic intervention from the island of Rhodes, invaded by the Muslim army of Suleiman II, but this date is later disproved by the existence of a 14th-century painting of a Madonna and Child, which is actually the first image venerated in the original little church.

The present basilica is the result of construction work in the 1970s by architect Guido Tisato. In 1982 the shrine was given the title “minor basilica.”

From an artistic point of view, there are many sculptural works present, most of them made of white Carrara marble by Veronese sculptor Ugo Zannoni. While both in the Sanctuary and along the access road, one can admire bronze castings by Veronese architect Raffaele Bonente.

The sanctuary is open and can be visited year-round.

3. A day out in Valeggio sul Mincio

In the valley of the Mincio River lies Valeggio, a town rich in history and possessor of a great culinary culture. During your trip out of town, you can visit the Scaliger Castle of Valeggio: built during the 14th century, it is a magnificent example of medieval architecture. You will also see the beautiful Church of San Paolo in Cattedra dating back to 1753 and, of course, between culture and history you will also have time to taste the excellent local cuisine!

The first settlement dates back to the Iron Age (9th century B.C.), while the medieval period with Scaliger and Visconti rule saw the construction of many of the places you can visit today, such as the Visconti bridge, the Scaliger castle and the menagerie.

Worth seeing are the buildings with water mills, the bell tower that sports a 1381 bell (among the oldest in the Verona area), and the aforementioned Visconti bridge, Scaliger castle, and the menagerie.

And, if you feel like a good ride, Borghetto is located along the cycle route that connects Mantua and Peschiera.

4. Explore the city center of Verona

Verona is one of the most historic and most beautiful cities to visit, not only in the Veneto region but also in all of Italy. It is crossed by the Adige River and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beauty.

The best way to visit Verona in one day is to do it on foot. The part of the center, the part from the Arena to Piazza delle Erbe, is pedestrian, so you won’t be able to do otherwise.

Used in the past for gladiator fights, judicial fights–fights between wrestlers to decide court cases–the Arena di Verona is the city’s main attraction. It dates back to the first century A.D. It had a capacity of 30000 seats originally, to date it is 12500 instead. Today it is used for opera performances and concerts by famous singers such as Zucchero and Elton John but also other Italian and foreign singers.

Verona owes its fame to one of the most famous love stories that ended in tragedy, that between Romeo and Juliet. The city serves as the backdrop for what is the quintessential love story.
Juliet’s house is one of the must-sees in Verona. It is entered through a portico characterized by thousands of writings on the walls: thousands of declarations of love on the walls in various colors, where young lovers promised each other eternal love. The portico leads you to the courtyard where Juliet’s balcony is located.

At Piazza delle Erbe from Monday to Saturday, and some Sundays, the city market is held. Here also located the Lamberti Tower, an 84-meter tower where you can climb up and see the city and get a 360-degree view of the city.

Looking at the tower, to its left, there is a road that leads you and Piazza dei Signori and you will notice a “C” shaped object hanging in midair under the arch. That hanging thing is believed to be a whale rib. Its function and why it was put there is unclear; many believe that whale bone powder has healing functions. Two things are certain: it was hung in the early 1700s, and tradition says that upon the passage under it of a pure of heart, it will fall. Three hundred years have passed; the rib is still there.

5. Try other wine regions nearby Verona

The beautiful village of Soave, with its medieval castle that watches over the whole town from above, is one of the things to visit in the province of Verona. Just think that, in 2022, it was elected “Village of Villages”!

Soave’s main attractions are:

  • the splendid 14th-century Scaliger Walls
  • the Scaliger Castle, dating back to the 10th century, which can also be visited inside
  • the Cathedral of San Lorenzo Martire and the palaces of the historic center
  • a tasting in a winery where you will find wines produced in the vineyards surrounding the village

Starting from Verona and traveling west, you will reach a magnificent village on the shores of Lake Garda: Bardolino. Here you can take a stroll along the lakefront, try some typical food in the town’s small restaurants, and even take a ride on the panoramic wheel, from which you can admire the Alps. The Wine Festival is held every year in Bardolino to celebrate the end of the grape harvest: three days of festivities and stalls where you can taste wines and local dishes. A not-to-be-missed event if you are in Verona in the fall. Finally, the famous Strada del Vino, a food and wine tour that goes all the way to Monte Baldo, also starts here! A perfect mix of culture, nature and good wine.

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