Food & Drink
 When to Visit

 City Guides

 Region Guides
 Cinque Terre

You are Here: > > Verona on a Budget

Verona on a Budget

Experience Local Culture in Verona for Less

By Alice Woolliams

Verona is a small (but significant) historic city in the north of Italy, famous for its opera and architecture. Yet although its reputation is one of culture and class, you can enjoy a visit to the city without having to splash out.

Accommodation in Verona

Verona hostels are on the limited side in comparison to much of Italy but there are still plenty of excellent budget accommodation options. Instead of the usual dorms, an assortment of comfortable guest houses and cheap hotels have great facilities at low prices.

Roman Roots

Many visitors are drawn to Verona as the legendary setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – something the city has capitalized on with tacky tours of scenes from the play. But away from these tourist traps, the city has a fascinating history and heritage.

The ancient center still reflects its Roman past, with quaint streets, piazzas and churches. To the south, the Porta Leoni gate guards Verona along with the original 2,000 year old wall that encircles the city.

Once the Roman forum, Piazza delle Erbe remains a central urban hub, with cafés and ice-cream shops lining the pavements and a lively crowd after dark. Likewise, the smooth marble surface of the pedestrianiazed via Mazzini forms a busy shopping district in the main thoroughfare.

To the southwest lies the vast Arena – an impressive Roman amphitheatre where concerts are still held – and the Renaissance Castelvecchio. A touch of Shakespearean romance can be found in the beautiful Giardini Giusti, but without the inflated price.

Arts and Music

The opera season is at its height in July and August, with performances taking place most evenings in the Arena. Cheap seats are available on the gradinata (stone steps) but they’re always popular and as places can’t be reserved. It’s a good idea to arrive early to secure a view.

Cushions are also advisable for sitting on stone for four hours. You can even take a picnic and enjoy the advantage of the high view to watch the more glamorous audience arrive for the expensive stalls below.

Aside from its renowned opera, the Arena has a variety of pop concerts in the summer months while, to the south of the city, Teatro Filarmonico regularly hosts world-class jazz. A converted warehouse known as Interzona provides cutting-edge music and theatre.

Trattoria and Osteria

Verona has a surprisingly good range of affordable places to eat and drink considering its refined reputation. Visitors on a budget will find local specialties cheap and easy to find.

Traditional Italian venues, the trattorie and osterie are the best places for big portions and reasonable prices - the former being primarily restaurants and the latter orientated around drinking. In practice, however, there’s little distinction between the two and it’s possible to get quality food and a large range of wines at either.

Local produce on the menu can include kiwi, radicchio, chestnuts and melons whilst a gastronomic influence from north of Alps lends Veronese cooking a heavy twist to their Italian favorites – the bigoli, for example, is a sort of thick spaghetti and popular in the trattorie.


Verona’s specialties, however, are not limited to food – the surrounding slopes are full of vineyards growing Valpolicella and Soave grapes. The city is also home to Vinitaly, the largest wine fair in the world, which is held annually in the spring.

With a wealth of produce on the doorstep, wine in trattorie and osterie is almost universally good quality and the house variety is more often than not cheap.

Nights Out

Although there’s a wealth of summer venues around Lake Garda (20 km away), the city center lacks proper nightclubs. Instead, visitors looking for a night out can head to Sottoriva – parallel to the river – which is lined with lively bars, lounges and pizzerias open until the early hours.

For a more sedate evening, Piazza delle Erbe is bustling with local residents sipping the aperitif spritz al Aperol in pavement cafés after dark – the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere of this popular ancient city.

| Employment | Advertise | Contact | Site Map | Link to Us

Copyright © 2005 - 2008 - All rights reserved