What to do in Verona with kids: a trip to northern Italy with a small child; Romeo and Juliet and the Roman arena
Europe,  Travel

What to do in Verona with kids

There is so much to see and do in Verona and the surrounding area with kids. While much of the focus seems to be on the amusement parks and other sites in the area, there are still a number of fantastic things to do in Verona with kids of all ages.

Where to stay in Verona with kids

Verona is a great place to use as a base for the whole area. You can easily take day trips to Venice, Milano or Bologna, and there are loads of activities to do on Lago di Garda. We have found it best to stay in an apartment, often on an old farm, in or around Verona. This is also often easier than finding appropriate hotel rooms when you are staying in Verona with kids.

Tip: Find your accommodation on booking.com or agriturismo.

What to do and see in Verona with kids

Verona is mostly famous for two things:

  1. The wonderful Roman arena, where Vivaldi’s opera Aida was first performed in 1913 and is still performed each Summer, and
  2. The setting for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

There are numerous other things to see in Verona, too.

What to do in Verona with kids: the Arena di Verona, one of the highlights of a trip to Verona; what to do in the north of Italy with a  small child

The Arena di Verona

Similar to the Colosseum in Rome, the Arena is one of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind. Built in 30 AD, it seats 30,000 people (15,000 when a stage is used). You will probably see more of it in a few years time – the closing ceremony of the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics will be held here.

Tip: The elliptical shape of the arena gives it great acoustics. The best way to see the arena is at a concert.

In Summer, Verona holds its famous opera festival. Many other artists have also performed in the Arena, including Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, The Who, Mike Oldfield, Sting, Radiohead, Muse, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons and 5 Seconds Of Summer. There is bound to be something to suit all tastes.

If there is not a concert or opera when you visit, you can still visit the Arena. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. and on Mondays from 1.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. Tickets cost EUR 10 for adults and only one euro for 8 to 14-year-olds. Children 7 years and under visit for free.

What to do in Verona with kids: Piazza Bra, viewed from the Arena di Verona; what to do in the north of Italy with a  small child

While you are there, take a moment to admire the other buildings on Piazza Bra, which may be the largest piazza in Italy. These include the Palazzo Barbieri (the town hall) and the Gran Guardia, now a conference centre. Generally, the restaurants on Piazza Bra are some of the most expensive in Verona (and the food is often sub-standard). You may wish to try one of the many other options instead – just one street back can make a big difference!

Don’t forget to go the few steps further to admire the Portoni della Bra or Bra Gate. This is the 14th-century gate, which guards the start of Piazza Bra. I love the clock!

What to do in Verona with kids: Bra Gate; what to do in the north of Italy with a small child

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Prologue, line 2

How many of the Romeo and Juliet sites you wish to see may depend on the age of your children. If you have a child who has just studied or is about to study the play at school, visiting the sites will bring their learning to life.

Tip: Juliet’s house is probably enough of the star-crossed lovers for younger children.

Romeo and Juliet: the legend

In 1303, two young descendants of warring households met during carnival: the daughter of the Cappello (Capulet) family and son of the Montecchi (Montague) family. The story was first published by Luigi Lo Porto at the beginning of the sixteenth century and retold a number of times before William Shakespeare somehow became aware of it.

What to do in Verona with kids: Juliet's house and balcony, as viewed from the courtyard; what to do in the north of Italy with kids; the Romeo and Juliet trail

Juliet’s house

The first stop of on star-crossed lovers tour must be Juliet’s house. The Dal Cappello family originally used the building as a stable. The balcony is also a fake. It is an antique sarcophagus, that was added to the facade in the early 20th century.

Battle your way through the crowds into the courtyard to view the balcony and the sculpture of Juliet. Have your photo taken with her and rub all her shiny bits (especially her breasts) for luck in love. You may also like to pause and write a letter to Juliet and ‘post’ it by slotting it into a gap or hole in the wall.

Tip: Watch the 2010 film “Letters to Juliet” starring Amanda Seyfried to prepare for your trip to Verona.

We have always been rather overwhelmed by the crowds and have never bothered to go into the house. We’ve never viewed it as necessary.

What to do in Verona with kids: Bronze statue of Juliet at Juliet's house, rub it for luck in love; what to do in the north of Italy with kids; the Romeo and Juliet trail

More Romeo and Juliet sites

If you are planning to do the full Romeo & Juliet, your tour should include:

  • Case Nogarole, or ‘Romeo’s house’. It is privately owned, so you can’t go inside, but an inscription on the wall marks the site.
  • Volto Barbaro, where the Montague family fought its rivals and ‘Mercutio’ was stabbed.
  • The Borsari gate (Porta Borsari), near where Romeo struck the deathblow which killed Tybalt. There is a stone commemorating the event at the site.
  • The Basilica of San Zeno, one of the most important religious buildings in Verona, where Romeo and Juliet married in secret.
  • Juliet’s tomb, in the cloister of the Church of San Francesco al Corso. According to legend, it is where you can find the sarcophagus holding the bodies of Romeo and Juliet. There is an entry fee to see the tomb.

If you are visiting Verona from mid-July to mid-September and really want to immerse yourself in the story of Romeo and Juliet, go to one of the travelling performances. They start in the evening in Juliet’s courtyard and move to various places around the city. Some performances are in English with an Italian narrator and some are in Italian with an English narrator.

Try the local cuisine

It is Italy, the food is wonderful. Still, there are a few local dishes that you and your kids should try when you are in Verona:

  • Risotto – especially the tastasal risotto (which uses a salami mixture) and the amarone risotto, which uses local red wine.
  • Tortellini or ‘nodo d’amore‘ (love knots), because of their form.
  • Potato gnocchi, especially during carnival.

Miss M particularly enjoyed the gnocchi, as well as the gelato of course!

What to do in Verona with kids: go shopping on via Mazzini or Piazza delle Erbe; what to do in the north of Italy with kids

Go shopping

Via Mazzini is the Veronese high street with all the top Italian brands like United Colors of Benetton, Max Mara and Coccinelle (handbags!).

Tip: Roman ruins inside a shop? Yep! Visit the basement of Benetton to view them for yourself!

When you’ve had enough of the high street, visit Piazza delle Erbe. It is often referred to as market square because you will frequently find market stalls selling everything from souvenirs to clothing and fruit and vegetables.

Find a place to sit and watch the world go by in the Piazza.

Tip: If it is not too busy, Piazza delle Erbe is also a good place to let young children run around and burn some energy.

What to do in Verona with kids: go shopping and watch the passing parade at Piazza delle Erbe; what to do in the north of Italy with kids

Climb the Lamberti Tower

If you have read our Bologna, Solingen, and Munich posts, you will know that Miss M loves forcing me to climb towers and watching my fearful face.

The tallest tower in Verona is the Lamberti Tower on Piazza delle Erbe. At 84 metres high, the views over Verona are great.

The ticket price includes entrance to the Modern Art Gallery. Tickets are not cheap, especially if you are not planning to go to the gallery. Tickets cost EUR 8 for adults and EUR 5 for children aged 8 to 14 years old. Children under 7 years old can enter for free.

Tip: 368 stairs will take you to the panoramic terraces and the belfry. Alternatively, if you have little children, take the ‘glass’ elevator to the top. It is an experience in itself.

What to do in Verona with kids: the view from Castel San Pietro; what to do in the north of Italy with kids

Take in a different view at the Castel San Pietro

For a beautiful view of Verona, cross the river and go up to the Castel San Pietro.

You can no longer go into the castle itself, but the gardens are lovely and the view is great. Take some time and just soak it in! It is also another great place for young kids to burn some energy.

Tip: For EUR 1, take the funicular railway up to the castel then walk down to admire the views a little longer. Explore the nearby Roman theatre ruins on the way down.

What to do in Verona with kids: the view from Castel San Pietro; what to do in the north of Italy with kids

Be a-mazed in the Giusti gardens

This is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Verona: the Giusti gardens.

Spend some time relaxing in the shade and let your kids find their way through the hedge maze. Younger kids may need some help to find their way out; older kids will enjoy the opportunity to take photos.

Enjoy your trip to Verona with kids

In addition to being a great place to use as a base for exploring the surrounding area, Verona itself is definitely worth a visit with kids of all ages. There is much more to see than the Arena and the Romeo and Juliet trail. The best thing is that it is an easy city to adjust your itinerary, depending on the age of your children.

When are you going to Verona with your kids? What do you think they will want to see?

Enjoy your trip sign-off
What to do in Verona with kids; view of the Arena di Verona on Piazza Bra

2 Comments

  • Jenn Summers

    You always take the most extraordinary trips! This place is absolutely beautiful! I love that you shared some great kid-friendly ideas with all of us! Thanks so much, Rachael!

    • Rachael Matthews

      Thanks Jenn! We enjoy showing Miss M the world and seeing which bits she remembers – a good test of whether something is kid-friendly or not. For some cities, there is very little available on what is kid-friendly, so I like to share what we discovered and would recommend. We have it a bit easier when it comes to travelling in Europe though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

%d bloggers like this: